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    Government Services, Building Industry and ICT
    The Honourable Simon Finn

    Fresh crackdown on shonks, unlicensed contractors at Queensland building sites

    Government Services, Building Industry and ICT
    The Honourable Simon Finn

    Thursday, June 09, 2011

    Fresh crackdown on shonks, unlicensed contractors at Queensland building sites

    State Government inspectors will be out in force on Queensland building sites from Tuesday (14 June) in a fresh crackdown on shonks and unlicensed contractors.

    Building Industry Minister Simon Finn said the random Building Services Authority (BSA) audit would target rogue operators and unlicensed contractors seeking to prey on consumers.

    Mr Finn said an 80-strong BSA workforce would conduct the audits throughout the State during the next three weeks.

    “These BSA teams will be out in force checking that contractors are appropriately licensed,” he said.

    “They’re out there also to ensure that home warranty scheme premiums have been paid and that compliant contracts are in place.

    “This is all about protecting home owners from dodgy contractors, shonks and rogue operators."

    Mr Finn said the BSA audits also protect licensed contractors against unfair competition, while ensuring building standards are maintained.

    “We want to send out a very clear message to contractors that they need to hold a proper licence to carry out building and construction work,” he said.

    “The message to consumers is just as clear: if a builder can’t show you a licence, show them the door.”

    The latest Statewide audit follows inspections of Cyclone Yasi-damaged sites on the Cassowary Coast in late May.

    Mr Finn said the Cassowary Coast audit detected five suspected unlicensed contractors who are being investigated and face a minimum $2000 infringement notice and demerit points.

    “This Statewide audit will cover all types of building work, from new construction to renovations and trade work,” he said.

    “The BSA has been conducting bi-annual licensing audits with the support of licensed contractors and industry associations since 2001.

    “The vast majority of contractors are doing the right thing - we’re only targeting those who aren’t sticking to the rules.”

    Mr Finn said consumers could check a contractor’s licence number and full licence history by conducting a free online licence search at www.bsa.qld.gov.au, or by calling 1300 272 272.

    He said the Statewide audit includes 20 two-person teams in the greater Brisbane area, nine two-person teams on the Gold Coast and five two-person teams on the Sunshine Coast.

    There will also be teams operating out of BSA regional offices in Innisfail, Cairns, Mackay, Maryborough and Rockhampton, Mr Finn said.

    Unlicensed persons suspected of unlawfully performing building work without the required licence are interviewed, and in appropriate cases are later prosecuted or disciplined.

    A typical fine for a first-time offender is $2,000, although the maximum penalty is $25,000 for an individual.

    Minister’s office 3225 2987