Poor plumbing practices see plumbers fined, suspended

Plumber fixing pipe
The Victorian Building Authority has found 15 plumbers guilty of 31 charges relating to illegal or non-compliant plumbing work. The disciplinary action comes amid efforts to boost the level of compliance in the industry.

The Victorian Building Authority has disqualified one plumber for two years and issued fines totalling $33,524 against fifteen, following a series of inquiries held in the first half of 2019.

In total, the VBA found the plumbers guilty of 31 charges relating to illegal or non-compliant plumbing work.

Six of the fifteen plumbers were found to have carried out work they were not appropriately registered or licensed to do.

The remaining plumbers were charged with a range of offences, including:

  • failure of compliance certificate requirements
  • failure to comply with rectification notices
  • failure to notify the VBA that works were available for inspection; and
  • failure to lodge sanitary drainage plans with relevant water authorities.

The VBA’s Executive Director of Operations, Mark Rossiter, said the charges were part of the VBA’s ongoing efforts to boost the level of compliance in the plumbing industry.

“Our role as a regulator is to protect consumers, safeguard the reputation of registered or licensed plumbers and maintain proper standards in the plumbing industry,” said Mr Rossiter.

“Plumbers who carry out non-compliant work and tarnish the professional reputation of their industry colleagues can expect to hear from the VBA, and to be held to account.”

Over the past financial year, the VBA received 1877 plumbing complaints from consumers, with the majority of these resulting in rectification work. Approximately 30 per cent of the complaints triggered VBA investigations, again leading to rectification.

The VBA advises anyone looking to engage a plumber to check their registration or licence by going to vba.vic.gov.au/check.