$56,000 in fines and restitution for unlawful building work

2 April 2020

A man who pleaded guilty to 20 charges relating to unlawful building work on the Sunshine Coast has been convicted and fined more than $37,000, and ordered to pay more than $19,000 in restitution to two of his victims.

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) brought the charges against Lube Petreski for offences committed between 2017 and 2019.

The charges included unlicensed building, taking excessive deposits for work and failing to have a contract in place.

QBCC Commissioner, Brett Bassett, said the public needed to have confidence in the building industry, and anyone trying to rip off families or small businesses would face the full force of the QBCC’s powers.

“Families and small businesses are suffering significant economic impacts from the coronavirus pandemic, and the QBCC will do all we can to ensure home owners receive value for money, and local businesses are paid monies they are owed.”

Mr Bassett said that the seriousness of the offences was noted by the magistrate, who said they significantly affected the vulnerable, including retirees and people of modest means.

“Unlawful building work can also potentially threaten public safety and expose current and future home owners to defective and incomplete work.

“Mr Petreski should have been aware of the requirement to be licensed because he had held a QBCC licence until we cancelled and excluded him from 2009 to 2014 because of a bankruptcy event,” Mr Bassett said.

In an unusual step, owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the Brisbane Magistrates Court hearing into this matter was held via telephone on 27 March.

BACKGROUND

The offences related to work at residences at Pelican Waters, Noosaville, Birtinya and Narangba, and included concreting, paving, landscaping and drainage work.

Mr Petreski was ordered to pay restitution of more than $15,000 to one of his victims and $4,000 to another.

The 20 charges included:

  1. 10 counts of unlicensed contracting - [contrary to section 42(1) of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (QBCC Act) ]
  2. 4 counts of demand or receive deposit exceeding regulated amount - [contrary to schedule 1B, section 33 QBCC Act]
  3. 4 counts of commencing to provide contracted services before the contract complies with the requirements - [contrary to schedule 1B, section 30(b) QBCC Act]
  4. 2 counts of claim a progress payment under a regulated contract not proportionate to value of subject work - [contrary to schedule 1B section 34 QBCC Act].
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