In 2018, the Queensland Government enacted the Plumbing and drainage act that would repeal the 2002 Act.
What is the new Plumbing and Drainage Legislation?
The Queensland legislature decided to repeal the former ‘Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002’ and replaced it with the ‘Plumbing and Drainage Act of 2018’ (PD Act). As a result of this change, the ‘Plumbing & Drainage Regulation of 2019 (PDR)’ replaced the ‘Standard Plumbing & Drainage Regulation 2003’.
The PD Act has revamped the industry by focusing on safety and efficiency. Undoubtedly, the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2019 seeks conformity with modern demands and conformity with National and state codes of the building industry. In addition, the PD Act sanctions individuals, that operate illegally and contravene certain provisions, more severally. These changes in laws came after concerns raised by interested parties that the former Act was enigmatic and inadequate in making the functioning of the industry easier and efficient. Perhaps this was brought by the former legislations causing confusions through vague, repetitive and unnecessary provisions. Nevertheless, representatives from relevant government agencies and other interested parties participated in a review of the outdated legislation and assisted in finding solutions to shape the new laws in Queensland, as the responses received was internalised and processed by the Department of Housing and Public Works.
What are the relevant changes to the plumbing and drainage act?
Although the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2019, preserves the majority of the provisions from the former legislation, it will transform the industry by:
• Imposing severe penalties on individuals that conduct works without a valid licence. Penalties may include a period of imprisonment;
• Improving the readability of the Act as a whole to ensure simpler interpretations of the provisions;
• Improving the readability of the Act by removing duplicated provisions;
• Establishing simpler procedures and processes to administer and manage permits;
• formulating guidelines for interested parties that is in line with National codes;
• improving and maintaining the health and safety of the public community that is involved in plumbing and drainage services;
• creating an Act that is intelligible by removing irrelevant terminology and substituting them with suitable modern terms;
• And changes time frames to ensure the efficiency.
What is the effect and purpose of the new Regulations?
The regulations objective is to assist the Plumbing and Drainage Act become transparent and simpler for relevant parties to interpret and understand. Subsequently, the regulations assist the enactment and implementation of the PD Act by:
• Approving a working framework that is in line with national plumbing and drainage codes; and
• Approving a standard that is inclusive of Queensland codes and standards; and
• Assisting transition between the former provisions and former regulation to the new ‘PD Act’; and
• To assist authorising bodies, administer certifications efficiently by changing the required timeframes; and
• Acknowledging and managing the expected consequences for the industry, local government and other interested parties.
What are other notable reforms to the legislation in the trade industry?
The trade has further minor changes in the industry that brings Individuals with contractor, nominee supervisor or site supervisor licence types cleared from paying ‘Plumbing and Drainage Occupational fees’ for renewals and new applications. In a situation where the individuals do not hold any of the above-mentioned licences, but are in the possession of Plumbing and Drainage licences only, or individuals in possession of ‘Plumbing and Drainage Licences’ that extend to associated QBCC Licences, the individual would unfortunately miss the payment waiver and be required to pay fees.
What this means for you?
The new Act will ensure efficiency and incorporate the National Codes to ensure consistency throughout the trade industry. This shall serve the Industry with cost effective functioning and bolster the industry as it becomes easier and transparent for the interested parties of the industry. Subsequently, the Act attempts to make businesses simpler with very little prejudice and frustration. In addition to the above, the Act shall improve the readability for interested parties, and assist the industry in assessing and meeting their responsibilities with great accountability and understanding.
How can we help?
If you want to know how the implications of the New Plumbing and Drainage Act will affect your business, whatever the size or scale, please contact our Building & Construction Lawyers on (07) 3009 8444 or email us at [email protected].
Please note that this article has been prepared by Takudzwa Makusha, Law Clerk and settled by John Christian, Associate of Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyers. Its contents are for general information purposes only and does not by any means constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon.