Building inspectors are currently out in force targeting shonks and unlicensed contractors on local
construction sites, Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said today.

Mr Pitt said the Building Services Authority was launching a fresh crackdown on rogue operators
seeking to prey on consumers. It follows concerns over sub-standard work detected by a State
Government audit of damaged sites on the Cassowary Coast.

“BSA workers will be out at local building sites in the Cairns and Innisfail area checking that contractors hold the appropriate licences,” Mr Pitt said.

“They’ll be checking that compliant contracts are in place and that contractors have paid their home warranty scheme premiums.

“This is all about protecting homeowners and consumers from predatory activity. The last thing any home owner needs is a dodgy contractor, shonk or rogue operator carrying out work on their property.

“That’s why all consumers should follow one very simple piece of advice: if a builder can’t show you their licence, show them the door.”

Mr Pitt said BSA workers from Cairns and Innisfail would be carrying out the audits in the region over the next three weeks.

“Consumers should always check contractors have a proper licence before hiring anyone,” Mr Pitt said.

“People can carry out a free check on a contractor’s licence number and full licence history through the BSA. It’s as simple as doing a free online licence search at, or just dialling 1300 272 272.”

Mr Pitt said the audits cover all types of building work, from new construction to renovations and trade work.

“The BSA has been conducting bi-annual licensing audits since 2001. They have the support of
licensed contractors and industry associations, and the audits only target rogue operators. The vast majority of contractors and builders stick to the rules – we’re only targeting those who aren’t doing the right thing.”

Unlicensed persons suspected of unlawfully performing building work without the required licence are interviewed, and may face prosecution or disciplinary action. A typical fine for a first-time offender is $2,000, although the maximum penalty is $25,000 for an individual.

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