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Unlicensed electrical work leads to hefty fine in Townsville


9 November 2020

A Townsville man who carried out electrical work has been fined $11,500 for not holding an electrical contractor’s licence.

Steven John Anderson pleaded guilty this week in the Townsville Magistrates Court to breaching Queensland’s electrical safety laws. The court heard that on at least 18 occasions in three years, he carried out electrical work while not holding an electrical contractor’s licence. On four of those occasions, he also performed electrical work while not holding an electrical work licence that authorised performance of that work.

An Electrical Safety Office investigation found that between 5 May 2016 and 27 May 2019, Mr Anderson carried out the work contrary to s.56 of the Electrical Safety Act 2002. Four times between December 2017 and August 2018, he performed electrical work contrary to s.55 of the Electrical Safety Act 2002.

The investigation revealed the work involved installing electrical wiring, cabling and conduit, as well as electrical equipment, including air conditioning units, light fittings, solar panels, kitchen equipment, electric roller shutters and power outlets. Mr Anderson had two prior convictions for a contravention of s.56 of the Electrical Safety Act 2002.

The court heard that since the offences however, Mr Anderson had obtained both an electrical contractor’s licence and electrical work licence. The magistrate acknowledged that the offences were of a regulatory nature, with no allegations of safety concerns with respect to the work done. A fine of $11,500 and costs of nearly $1,600 were ordered.

Head of Queensland’s Electrical Safety Office Donna Heelan said while the central issue involved a failure to undertake the necessary paperwork to obtain or maintain the licences, rather than a lack of qualifications, the offender in this case had been dealt with twice before on similar matters.

“It is critical that Queensland’s licensing obligations are met because members of the public are entitled to the protections offered by a regulatory regime and safety laws,” Ms Heelan said.

“The risks of unlicensed electrical work are well documented and life threatening.

“The fact is that our licensing requirements are simple to comply with and provide a level playing field for all those workers and businesses doing the right thing by their clients. Carrying out unlicensed electrical work is just not on in any situation.”

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