Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson has said that the NSW Government is taking action to protect bushfire victims from unlicensed builders performing illegal work.
In NSW, tradespeople need a licence for any residential building work valued at more than $5,000, and all specialist work regardless of the value. Anderson cautioned against using any unlicensed tradespeople offering cheap, quick, cash-only repairs and stated that any builder caught will be subject to disciplinary action. Maximum penalties for those who are not licensed are imprisonment and fines of $22,000 for an individual or $110,000 for a corporation.
“Only experienced professionals know how to navigate the many possible hazards caused by fires, so it’s essential all work is carried out by licensed tradies. We’ve made it easy to know whether someone is qualified or not by developing an online licence check tool, so be vigilant, verify their licence, ask for references and request a written contract for any work over $1,000,” Anderson explained.
Last year, NSW Fair Trading building investigators conducted over 400 site inspections targeting unlicensed work, and they will be undertaking unannounced compliance blitzs in bushfire affected communities over coming months.
“I understand people are eager to have their properties cleared as soon as possible, however I also encourage you to apply for the free, safe and efficient clean-up service organised by the NSW government before hiring a contractor,” urged Anderson.