Unlicensed tradesman penalised for dangerous fan installation – media release

An unlicensed tradesman whose failure to properly secure a series of ceiling fans posed a serious safety risk to his customer has been penalised more than $10,000.

In the Adelaide Magistrates Court, 51 year old Kawana Rothes George admitted to breaches of the Australian Consumer Law and the Plumbers, Gas Fitter and Electricians Act 1995.

Media release – Unlicensed tradesman penalised for dangerous fan installation (PDF 122KB)

Public warning against online ticket reseller – media release

South Australia’s consumer watchdog has warned members of the public to be extremely cautious in buying tickets from online reseller Viagogo.

Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Dini Soulio said Consumer and Business Services had received 80 inquiries from South Australians who had paid the site for tickets to events including upcoming Bruno Mars and Adam Lambert concerts

Media release – Public warning against online ticket reseller

Unlicensed air-conditioning contractor to pay – media release

A South Australian air-conditioning contractor has been ordered to pay more than $34,000 in compensation and fines in the Adelaide Magistrates Court.

Kain Selby-Fullgrabe, 43, sole director of Town and Country Building Management Pty Ltd, pleaded guilty to breaches of the Australian Consumer Law (SA) in the Adelaide Magistrates Court this week for aiding and abetting the company to take deposits from consumers and failing to provide the goods and services within a reasonable time.

The company also pleaded guilty to charges of carrying on business as a building work contractor and electrical contractor without a licence and five counts of accepting payment for services and not providing those services within a reasonable time.

The court heard that, on five separate occasions between September 2014 and January 2015, Selby-Fullgrabe, who lives in the Adelaide Hills, provided quotes and took deposits for the installation and removal of air-conditioning units in Adelaide and on Yorke Peninsula but failed to provide the goods and services.

The matters were escalated to Compulsory Conciliation Conferences held by Consumer and Business Services, where Selby-Fullgrabe agreed to refund the deposits, but failed to do so.

In sentencing submissions, counsel for the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs submitted there were aggravating factors that highlighted the seriousness of the offending, including Selby-Fullgrabe’s acceptance of deposits from clients, and refusal to engage with them when work was not commenced.

Mr Grasso recorded convictions on all counts against the company and Mr Selby-Fullgrabe personally. He imposed one penalty against the company of $10,000, and a separate penalty of $10,000 against Mr Selby-Fullgrabe, prosecution costs of $800, and also ordered that Mr Selby-Fullgrabe pay compensation to each of the consumers totalling $13,786.

Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Dini Soulio, said Mr Selby-Fullgrabe’s actions were serious and that the convictions should send a significant deterrent to tradespeople who might be minded to take deposits from consumers and not follow through with the services contracted for.

To check whether a builder is licensed, visit the Consumer and Business Services website at www.cbs.sa.gov.au. To report any concerns about a builder or contractor, contact CBS on 131 882.

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Product safety standard on portable ethanol burners – CBS news

In March 2017 Federal Small Business Minister Michael McCormack imposed a national interim ban to prevent the supply of certain types of decorative alcohol-fuelled devices, also known as ethanol burners.

It was implemented after serious injuries were reported, raising concerns about their safety.

The national interim ban comes to an end on 14 July 2017, and will be replaced by a safety standard from 15 July 2017.

The new safety standard:

  • prevents the supply of table top devices (devices which weigh less than 8 kilograms or have a footprint less than 900 square centimetres); and
  • requires freestanding and fixed devices to meet a stability test, come with a fuel container with a flame arrester (or an automatic fuel pump system) and display warnings on the device about refuelling hazards.

Products intended for cooking or heating are exempt from the safety standard.

The safety standard gives device suppliers three months to transition from the national interim ban to the new requirements in the safety standard.

Mr McCormack noted that some suppliers of safe devices are intending to develop a voluntary standard with Standards Australia which will provide additional protections for consumers, a move that is welcomed and strongly supported.

Retailers and suppliers can go to the ACCC’s product safety website to get further information on the new safety standard.

Consumers seeking to purchase decorative alcohol-fuelled devices should check  that the device complies with the safety standard.

Those concerned about products they have previously purchased should visit the Product Safety Australia website for information about the safety standard, consumer rights and how to use burners safely.

Read the national media release – Safety standard for ethanol burners (PDF 113KB)

Unlicensed car dealer slugged $3000 – media release

A 35 year old Salisbury Downs man has been fined $3000 for selling used cars without a licence.

Under South Australia’s Second-hand Vehicle Dealer Act, anyone who buys or sells more than four used cars within a period of twelve months must hold the relevant licence.

In the Elizabeth Magistrates Court, Feras Said admitted to selling six used cars over an eight month period for between $2500 and $6500, and offering to sell a seventh without holding the relevant licence.

Read more – unlicensed car dealer slugged $3000