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Court backs electrical regulator decision on unlicensed operator


29 March 2021

Action taken by the Queensland Government against a rogue operator accused of performing unlicensed electrical work has been supported in court today.

The state’s Electrical Safety Office (ESO) was granted an injunction in the Southport Magistrates Court preventing Michael Emmanuel Kelly from doing further electrical contracting and electrical work in Queensland.

Following an investigation by the ESO, it was alleged Mr Kelly contracted for and performed electrical work without appropriate licences between 21 March and 19 October 2019, using AirTasker to advertise.

Queensland’s independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor reviewed the evidence and issued a complaint and summons for seven contraventions of the Electrical Safety Act 2002.

On 9 March 2021, Mr Kelly was served with a complaint and summons for the following contraventions:

  • one of s56 of the ES Act – unlicensed electrical contracting
  • three of s55 of the ES Act – unlicensed electrical work
  • three of s30/s40C of the ES Act – failing to comply with a duty to ensure work was conducted in a way that was electrically safe – Category 2 offence.

Mr Kelly had previously ignored directions in improvement notices issued to him requiring him not to perform electrical work or electrical contracting without an appropriate licence.

According to the Head of ESO Donna Heelan, unlicensed electrical work is illegal and dangerous.

“Once again, we’ve had to go to court to stop these people potentially putting Queenslanders’ lives at risk,” Ms Heelan said.

“However, we are doing all we can to shut down rogues in the industry who are unlicensed.

“Don’t be fooled by cheap or easy online offers. When you’re in the market for an electrician, always look for their electrical contractor licence number in their advert and check they have a current licence.”

Electrical contractor licence numbers can be checked through the ESO’s online licence search facility. If the electrical contractor isn’t in the database, call the ESO on 1300 632 993.

“And for those contemplating some moonlighting, if you’re caught doing electrical work without a licence in Queensland you face on the spot fines and possible prosecution,” Ms Heelan said.

For more information on safe electrical work, visit Worksafe.

More prosecutions are at