The Palaszczuk Government has shut the door on a shocking LNP bungle that could have crushed the plumbing industry in Queensland.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the LNP’s careless approach to occupational licensing left many of the state’s 6400 plumbing contractors facing massive fines of up to $21,000 each.
“The Palaszczuk Government is fixing a regulatory system left in total disarray by the underwhelming performance of the LNP,” said Mr de Brenni.
“In 2014, the LNP’s Tim Mander advised licensed plumbing and drainage contractors they would no longer be required to hold an occupational licence as well as a contractor’s licence.
“The LNP then failed to pass the necessary legislative amendments, despite numerous opportunities – it’s yet another example of how hopeless they were during their short time in government.”
Mr de Brenni said the result of the LNP’s negligence was that, through no fault of their own, many contractors no longer held a plumbing occupational licence, even though the law required them to do so.
“This meant many plumbing businesses were unknowingly performing unlicensed work and were exposed to fines totalling around $54 million,” he said.
“Malpractice Mander and the lackadaisical LNP could have crushed the entire plumbing industry in Queensland.”
Mr de Brenni said removing the duplication of fees for plumbing and drainage licences was an election commitment of the Palaszczuk Government.
“Labor is making the entire building industry regulatory system simpler and fairer,” he said.
“We are waiving this duplicated charge because earning an honest living should be simple and sensible – that’s what we’re delivering.
“This is especially important for the plumbing industry as it contributes so much to the economy, employment and health of our state.
“This is yet another sign of the Palaszczuk Government delivering for the industry which can now look to the future with confidence,” he said.
The new nil-cost fees were developed in consultation with peak plumbing bodies, including the Master Plumbers Association of Queensland and the Plumbers Union of Queensland.
Penny Cornah, Executive Director of the Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland, expressed ‘special thanks’ for addressing the licensing anomaly.
“From 1 March plumbers and drainers that hold an occupational and contractor licence won’t have to pay two fees,” she said.
“This is a positive outcome for business in Queensland but there’s more to be done.
“The MPAQ will continue to push for the next stage of reform – including the critical issue of security of payments.
“It’s been a pleasure working with Minister de Brenni – the Minister always has the industry’s best interests at heart.”