Unlicensed construction industry workers caught out

SEVEN fines of $2277 were handed out last week to unlicensed workers in the region in a major crackdown in the building industry following Cyclone Marcia.

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) conducted the three-day blitz on 148 construction sites in Rockhampton and Yeppoon where 468 interviews were carried out.

Rockhampton's Affordable Quality Homes director Scott Kilpatrick said he wasn't surprised unlicensed workers were caught.

"Sometimes when things like cyclones and natural disasters occur, they attract lots of people who claim to be contractors but aren't," Mr Kilpatrick said.

"I think the aim of the review was to find those people who were still gaining work from the cyclone but who didn't have the correct qualifications, and QBCC were reasonably successful in finding those people.

"I think some of the insurance companies were trying to encourage cheap labour and we did have a flood of trades from out of town come here for work. The same issue happened after Cyclone Yasi; suddenly people couldn't get work in their home towns because it had been contracted to outside workers.

"It's important for consumers to ensure their contractors have actual qualifications to do the job they've been hired to do."

QBCC commissioner Steve Griffin said it was encouraging that only a small number of unlicensed workers were found after such a thorough audit.

"The QBCC owes it to the locals affected by Marcia to take a tough stance on anyone carrying out unlicensed work," he said.

"They give the many hard-working people in the building industry who do the right thing a bad name."

QBCC also reviewed 26 shared pools at short-term accommodation properties in the area and found only 10 complied with the pool safety standard.

"Pool safety is of paramount concern to the community, with too many drowning tragedies in our back yard pools and, as of November 30, a single safety standard for swimming pool barriers will be enforced," Mr Griffin said.

SAFETY CHECK:

To check if your pool complies with QBCC safety standards, visit qbcc.qld.gov.au


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