Compliance is the only language that matters

A Brisbane plastering company was recently convicted and fined $40,000 for hiring a number of unlicensed workers to perform plastering work valued over $2.5 million.

In Queensland, plastering work is defined as building work that requires a Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) licence.

QBCC compliance officers attended the Brisbane building site, interviewed the site manager and obtained evidence showing a contractual arrangement between the builder and the offender.

A QBCC compliance officer subsequently obtained witness statements and supporting documents from the builder in charge.

During the investigation, it was found that the director of the offending company only spoke Mandarin, so an interpreter was employed to help conduct the interview with the director.

The investigations identified the following offences:

  1. Contravention of Section 42(1) of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 – Unlawful Building Work
  2. Contravention of Section 67G(3) of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 – Contract failing to comply with the formal requirements of section 67G(4)
  3. Contravention of Section 50D (1) of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 – Pretending to be a licensee.  

The director of the offending company had previously held licences with the QBCC, however their licences were cancelled and they were excluded from holding licences.

The evidence obtained showed that the offender had knowingly breached their lawful requirements despite their previous interactions with the QBCC.

A brief of evidence was compiled by the QBCC containing witness statements and associated evidence and a complaint and summons were issued on the basis of those facts.

The matter was heard in Redcliffe Magistrates Court in November last year, where the offender pleaded guilty to all three charges.

A penalty of $40,000 plus costs was handed down and a conviction was recorded.