The on-the-spot fine for unlicensed plumbing work will double from July 1. Picture: FILE
The on-the-spot fine for unlicensed plumbing work will double from July 1. Picture: FILE

Fines double for dodgy plumbing

DODGY plumbers and DIY warriors will be slugged higher fines for unlicensed plumbing work under new Queensland laws from July.

The Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018 doubles the maximum on-the-spot fine that local governments can issue for unlicensed plumbing work from $1305 to $2611.

A Housing and Public Works Department spokeswoman said penalties under the new legislation had "increased in response to industry concerns about a lack of deterrence".

"Fines associated with Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs), which can be issued by Local Governments as on-the-spot fines, have doubled under the new Plumbing and Drainage Act," she said.

"The maximum fine which can be imposed by a court for performing unlicensed work is $21,540.75 (165 penalty units).

A third conviction can by punished by up to a year's imprisonment."

Brisbane City Council City Planning chair Matthew Bourke said protecting Brisbane's drinking water and wastewater systems was important.

"Plumbing something incorrectly to the home plumbing that ends up flowing back into drinking water can be quite serious, or businesses even, dealing with potentially dangerous chemicals and the like," he said.

Brisbane City Council City Planning chairman said incorrect plumbing can lead to “serious” problems for the drinking water supply. Picture: FILE
Brisbane City Council City Planning chairman said incorrect plumbing can lead to “serious” problems for the drinking water supply. Picture: FILE

A Brisbane City Council spokeswoman said Queensland Urban Utilities regulated Brisbane's sewer network, which included sewer connections to private property.

"Council administers the State Government's Plumbing and Drainage Act, which includes the installation of private plumbing and drainage installed within properties," he said.

"In accordance with the State Government's plumbing laws, Council carries out site inspections on all assessable plumbing and drainage work to ensure it operates safely and in accordance with the Plumbing and Drainage Act."

The maximum fine which can be imposed by a court for unlicensed plumbing work under the new legislation is $21,540.75. Picture: FILE
The maximum fine which can be imposed by a court for unlicensed plumbing work under the new legislation is $21,540.75. Picture: FILE

The new rules also demand Brisbane City Council fast-track permits, by reducing the turnaround for commercial permits from 20 business days to 10 and domestic permits drop to two business days.

The legislation also introduces inspection certifications, which plumbers can take to a tribunal, to give them the opportunity to quickly question rulings inspectors make on site.

Home-owners and residents will also be able to move into homes in multi-dwelling developments more quickly with new final inspection certificates.

For example, in a townhouse development, residents can move into the homes as they are completed, rather than waiting for the entire project to be complete.