Individuals who repeatedly undertake unlicensed building work could now face jail time, after the Supreme Court in Brisbane handed down an injunction last week against a repeat offender.
For the first time, the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) has used new powers aimed at stopping repeat offenders from working in the building industry.
The QBCC Interim Commissioner Kellie Lowe said the Supreme Court granted an injunction preventing Ricky Allan Heath from carrying out, or undertaking to carry out, building work without the appropriate licence.
The court agreed with the Commission that fines would provide an insufficient deterrent to Mr Heath, who owes more than $11,000 in outstanding fines for previous offences and who is again under investigation by the QBCC in relation to building work.
“This is the first time the Commission has sought an injunction since it obtained the ability to do so in December, 2014,” Ms Lowe said.
“With the injunction in place, Mr Heath faces the possibility of imprisonment if he carries out or undertakes to carry out building work, without the appropriate licence.”
The new powers complement the Commission’s existing disciplinary options, which have seen courts issue more than $124,000 in fines to offenders so far this year.
Ms Lowe said the building regulator’s tough stance against unlicensed contracting, defective work and demands for excessive deposits helped to provide peace of mind to home owners.
“Unlicensed contracting and defective work have the potential to pose serious health and safety issues and create distrust and suspicion among home owners about contracting with the building industry,” Ms Lowe said.
“The Commission is determined to maintain the livelihoods of licensed contractors who do the right thing, and the peace of mind of home owners contracting with the industry.”
Anyone with concerns about building work can call the QBCC 24/7 on 139 333 or visit www.qbcc.qld.gov.au
Queensland Building and Construction Commission
Phone (07) 3613 3200