Blitz on unlicensed electrical work and bogus advertising

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations The Honourable Grace Grace

The Queensland Government is stepping up its blitz on unlicensed operators advertising through online marketplaces like AirTasker to do home electrical tasks illegally.

The compliance blitz came ahead of Electrical Safety Week, which begins today.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the Electrical Safety Office’s (ESO) crackdown on unlicensed services being advertised and illegal work being done has led to a raft of enforcement action.

“We are doing everything we can to stamp out these dangerous practices and when breaches occur, we are coming down hard,” Ms Grace said.

“It doesn’t matter whether you are falsely advertising, performing unlicensed work or engaging unlicensed operators — it’s illegal and downright dangerous.

“In just over three months ESO inspectors have issued 75 statutory notices for offences such as non-compliant advertising by a licensed contractor and failure to hold an electrical contractor or electrical work licence.”

Ms Grace said there are also a number of matters being investigated for potential prosecution.

“The ESO investigations team is finalising four briefs of evidence for referral to the state’s independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor, with an additional seven investigations currently on hand with a view to submission for prosecution” she said.

“These matters relate to unlicensed electrical contracting and failure to comply with improvement notices.”

ESO inspectors recently executed a search warrant on a premise in South East Queensland as part of an investigation into allegations of unlicensed electrical work.

In addition, an injunction application was lodged in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to prevent a company from contracting for electrical work.

“People doing unlicensed electrical work don’t have the knowledge or competence to ensure it is compliant with installation standards, or to ultimately test the work to make sure it’s electrically safe,” Ms Grace said.

“Unsafe work means greater risk of shock which could end up in serious injury or death, as well as fire and property damage.”

Earlier this year, a Queensland concreting business and its sole director were fined $42,500 for unsafe and unlicensed electrical practices.

In a separate matter, an individual was charged with nine offences relating to unlicensed electrical work and unlicensed electrical contracting and was fined $100,000.

Those caught doing electrical work without a licence in Queensland will always face on the spot fines and possible prosecution.

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