Licensed plumber convicted and fined $20,000 for illegal work in Melbourne’s east

Thursday, 1 November 2018

A licensed plumber working in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs has been convicted and fined $20,000 by the Frankston Magistrates’ Court for three breaches of the Building Act.

Nathan Trewin, of NBT Plumbing, was hired to install a Braemar ducted gas heater and add-on refrigerated cooling system at a property in Mooroolbark in August 2016.

He was paid $14,000 for the work, which was completed illegally and later found to be defective.

An investigation by the Victorian Building Authority in March 2017 identified several faults with the installation, after the property owner lodged a complaint about the work with the VBA.

During its investigation, the VBA found Mr Trewin was not qualified to install the heating and cooling system, as he was not licensed in the mandatory classes of mechanical services work or refrigerated air-conditioning work.

He also failed to supply the owner with two compliance certificates – one for the ducted heating system, and one for a gas cooktop he installed at the Mooroolbark owner’s previous address in Ringwood.

Mr Trewin did not respond to the VBA’s request to attend a disciplinary hearing into his illegal plumbing work, forcing the VBA to begin proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.

He was scheduled to appear in the Frankston Magistrates’ Court on 16 August 2018, but did not attend or appoint legal representation. The matter proceeded ex parte.

Mr Trewin was fined $15,000 for working without a registration or licence in an appropriate class of plumbing work. He was also fined $5,000 for failing to provide compliance certificates for his work in Ringwood and Mooroolbark.

Convictions were recorded against all three charges.

The Court also ordered Mr Trewin to pay the VBA’s legal costs of $1,007.

The VBA’s Chief Executive, Sue Eddy, said all practitioners should know whether they are registered or licensed to carry out certain types of plumbing work.

“If you are not registered or licensed to do a certain job, your client needs to know, so they can make other arrangements,” Ms Eddy said.

ENDS

Download the VBA’s media release.

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