Regulator holds building and plumbing practitioners to account

Construction and plumbers who broke the rules were fined nearly a quarter of a million dollars by the state regulator last fiscal year.

In 47 separate cases, fines totaling $226,550 were issued as a result of disciplinary action imposed by the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) during FY2020-21.

The VBA conducted nearly 1,200 building and plumbing investigations in the past fiscal year, resulting in 41 plumbers and 38 construction workers being referred for prosecution.

In addition, the VBA has held plumbers accountable by requiring them to return to the site to correct 1,080 cases of defective plumbing through rectification notices.

A critical enforcement action, a rectification notice gives plumbers 14 days to correct their non-compliant work.

Of the 1,798 construction complaints received in the past 12 months, non-compliant construction work was the most common, while of the 1,721 plumbing complaints received, poor workmanship was the most common cause of complaint.

VBA Director of Compliance and Enforcement David Brockman said the VBA takes an evidence-based approach to its compliance and enforcement activities.

“The VBA complaint process can involve a number of steps and different outcomes are possible if a building code violation or violation is identified,” said Mr. Brockman.

“We consider, among other things, the seriousness of any criminal offenses committed, the practitioner’s disciplinary history, and the potential risk to life and property when taking enforcement action.”

An important function of the VBA is to supervise and supervise the behavior and ability of registered construction and plumbing practitioners to practice, helping to ensure the safety and well-being of Victorians.

A VBA prosecution is a criminal proceeding and the ability to issue criminal charges is an important regulatory tool for the VBA.

In 2020-21, 11 practitioners were suspended from registration, ten practitioners had their registration withdrawn, eight practitioners were subject to conditions and five practitioners were disqualified for disciplinary action.

“The vast majority of builders and plumbers in Victoria are doing the right thing, but our investigators and inspectors work diligently to ensure that when rules are broken, practitioners are held accountable,” said Mr. Brockman.

The Prosecution and disciplinary record records disciplinary action taken against registered construction professionals, construction companies and plumbers in Victoria.

To find a registered or licensed building and plumbing company in Victoria, visit vba.vic.gov.au/find

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