A Perth business that failed to provide documents to State Government electrical safety inspectors has been fined $25,000 on appeal after the Supreme Court ruled that the original $3,000 penalty was manifestly inadequate.
Jason Aaron Nominees Pty Ltd, based in Willetton, was resentenced for breaching the Energy Coordination Act by not providing records requested by EnergySafety (now Building and Energy) in 2016. The maximum penalty for this offence is $250,000 for a corporation.
During the original court case in July 2018, Jason Aaron Nominees and another business, Pascoe’s Electrical Contracting Pty Ltd, were each fined $3,000 after both failed to provide the same requested documents to Building and Energy.
Jason Aaron Nominees was also fined $8,000 for operating as an electrical contractor without a licence for two months in 2014. The firm has other previous convictions for licensing issues and not providing records to electrical and gas inspectors.
Building and Energy appealed the $3,000 penalty against Jason Aaron Nominees, arguing that the fine was extremely lenient for the seriousness of the offending.
The Supreme Court appeal proceedings concluded on 16 May 2019 with Justice Jeremy Allanson imposing a new fine of $25,000 plus more than $7,000 in costs.
His Honour described the original 2018 sentence as “manifestly inadequate” given the firm’s deliberate non-compliance, which hampered an investigation, as well as Jason Aaron Nominees’ past convictions and the significant maximum fine available for the offence.
Director of Energy Safety Ken Bowron welcomed the updated penalty.
“Non-compliance with any aspect of WA’s electricity legislation can ultimately put people’s safety at risk,” Mr Bowron said.
“This significant fine should serve as a reminder that anyone participating in a regulated industry will face consequences if they don’t meet their obligations and responsibilities.”