Register your business for Building Better Schools

South Australian businesses are encouraged to register their interest to supply goods and services as part of the Building Better Schools infrastructure upgrade program.

Building Better Schools is a $692 million investment by the state government to upgrade 91 public schools across South Australia. Upgrades will be tailored to the needs of each school and will vary in scope, providing opportunities for businesses of all sizes across the state to be involved.

Being part of the Building Better Schools program is a great way for South Australian businesses to contribute to their local community.

Register with the Department for Education and Child Development.

While registrations from architects seeking work as part of phase 1 have now closed, they are welcome to register for future opportunities.

Read more – Industry seeks to maximise local participation in Building Better Schools


Agent’s conflict of interest – also known as beneficial interest or 24G

From 29 January 2018 there will be more stringent guidelines that deal with circumstances where a real estate agent or their associate wants to buy a property the agent has appraised or is authorised to sell.

A summary of the changes is provided below.

  • Definition of an associate

The definition of an associate will be expanded significantly to apply to all employees of an agency, as well as relatives of those employees.  Step-relations will also be classified as relatives.

  • Using the corporate entity

Directors of real estate agencies will be discouraged from using the corporate entity as a vehicle to gain a beneficial interest through the introduction of a vicarious liability provision, unless it is proven that due diligence was exercised and the director could not have prevented the commission of the offence.

  • Liability of general managers and managers

Both general managers and managers of individual real estate branches will be liable for the actions of their employees in certain circumstances, unless they can rely upon the general defence that exists in the Land and Business (Sale and Conveyancing) legislation. This encourages high level management to ensure that offences are not committed within their agency.

Managers of individual branches (as opposed to general managers overseeing the corporate entity) will not be liable for transactions occurring in other branches.

  • Penalties

Penalties will increase from $20,000 to $50,000 for many offences.

Aggravated offences will be introduced for each existing offence, with penalties of up to $100,000 or 2 years imprisonment. Offences will be aggravated if vendors are aged over 70, are under guardianship, or are suffering from a mental incapacity.

  • Time limit for prosecution

The time limit for prosecution proceedings to be commenced will increase from two years to five years, and up to seven years in extenuating circumstances, to allow for the lengthy nature of property transactions.

 

Please refer to the associate table (PDF 64KB) for more guidance.

 

Where there is a beneficial interest

The agent must disclose the conflict of interest to the vendor and seek approval from the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs by way of online application.

Where possible, agents should aim to have settlement of their property before 29 January 2018 or from March onwards. For settlement that occurs from 29 January to 28 February an application to obtain beneficial interest will need to be completed at least three weeks prior to the settlement date to allow enough time for CBS to give the application due consideration.

For more information see apply for a 24G exemption.


Bait advertising and underquoting

Bait advertising and underquoting can have a significant and detrimental financial impact on consumers. The real estate industry is often where the financial impact can be the most considerable.

South Australia has been at the forefront of laws that protect consumers from misleading advertising with regard to price in real estate. These laws have been enforced with a strong compliance element ensuring the legislated protections are adhered to.

The CBS Compliance and Enforcement unit regularly check advertisements published online, in social media and newspapers. They also regularly attend open inspections and auctions to make sure advertising and contracts align to avoid misleading prospective purchasers

Media release – Crackdown on dodgy land agents (PDF 356KB)


Advertisements must include a licence number

Many tradies, real estate and second hand vehicle dealers companies and individuals invest in advertising to get their name and brand out in the community to bring in work. But some may not realise that they’re breaking the law if their ad doesn’t include their licence number.

Consumer and Business Services (CBS) has been monitoring advertisements placed by the building trades in recent months and alarmingly more than 60% of ads don’t comply. CBS compliance officers have checked ads published online, in social media and newspapers across the state.

Individuals and businesses in the the real estate, second hand vehicle dealers industries and the building and related trades found not to include a licence number in advertising will face compliance action, which may include a warning letter, expiation or prosecution. Penalties for failing to advertise with a licence number apply.

The requirement to include the licence number applies to all forms of advertising. This includes their own website, flyers, business cards and vehicles as well as paid ads on television, radio, online or in a newspaper.

In addition to the licence number, building contractors must also include the licence name in all advertising and on a prominent sign on all sites where they are performing building work.

Licensees that act outside the scope of their licence, when contacted by CBS, usually stop advertising or take steps to get the appropriate licence. In more serious cases, particularly where there has been detriment to consumers, CBS will take court action.

Companies and individuals are also reminded of their advertising obligations under Australian Consumer Law. An advertisement must not be misleading or provide false information about things such as:

• actual experience in performing certain work
• customer reviews
• special offers
• affiliation with a particular organisation.

For more information see the guide ‘Avoiding unfair business practices’.

Report any suspected activity around unlicensed trading or advertising at cbs.sa.gov.au/contact-us.

 


Online employee notification system – gaming venue

Schedule 1 of the Gaming Machines Act 1992 requires gaming venues to notify Consumer and Business Services of all gaming managers and employees. The Barring and Online Employee Notification (BOEN) system is used to upload employee declaration and consent forms when complete.

Licensees are responsible for ensuring that all gaming managers and employee forms have been uploaded before starting any shifts. If a person is employed at more than one venue, the licensee of each venue needs to notify the commissioner separately via the BOEN system. Penalties apply for licensees that do not comply.

The employee declaration and consent form (form 21) (PDF 185KB) is available from the Independent Gambling Authority website together with more information about the BOEN system and how to make an application.


Planning ahead for funeral costs

You may have seen those ads on TV telling you how affordable a funeral plan can be. They say you can put money aside now to make it easier for your family later. There are a number of ways you can pay for a funeral, but not all of them will be suitable for you.

Before you buy a funeral product, check if you already have some kind of funeral cover. If you have superannuation or health insurance these may include a life insurance policy which will pay a funeral or death benefit. If you decide to put more money away for a funeral, there are a few different options.

Savings

One of the easiest ways to pay for a funeral is to set up a savings account so you can save as much as you want, when you want. If you put away $20 each fortnight then you would have over $1,000 after two years. Importantly, with a savings account you don’t lose your money or your cover if you stop making payments.

Funeral insurance

Buying funeral insurance will mean regular ongoing payments. But it’s important to remember that insurance is not savings. If you miss a payment then your policy will usually end. You won’t get back what you’ve already paid, and you’ll no longer be covered, so your family won’t receive a pay-out when you pass away.

Before buying funeral insurance you should ask:

  • For how long will I need to make payments? If the policy requires regular payments until you pass away, you might pay a lot more than the amount your family will receive.
  • Are there circumstances where they won’t give a pay-out? E.g. if you pass away 12 months after signing up, will the policy pay out any money to your family?

Funeral bond

A funeral bond is a bit like putting money in the bank. All the money – plus any interest earned – will go to your family to help pay for the funeral. But it’s important to look at the costs and features, and be aware that there will be different rules with different companies.

Find out if you have to pay a certain amount upfront, how much the fees and charges are, and when you have to pay them.

Pre-paid funeral plans

This option allows you to pay for your funeral in advance through your funeral director, and you can choose the type of funeral you want. You can either pay in full, or you can pay a deposit and then regular payments over time. The payment plan can only be for three years at the most.

Your payments don’t increase over time, and you pay for the funeral at today’s price – even if the funeral is another 30 years away.

If you are likely to move house – maybe interstate – check if your plan can be transferred to another funeral director. Ask if there will be a transfer fee. If you don’t transfer your contract when you move interstate, and your funeral director is unable to provide the service, then the money will be paid to your estate.

Funeral directors are not allowed to look after your money themselves. They must give all payments to an investment manager, who must then invest the money in an approved investment. Your money is kept safe, even if the funeral company goes out of business.

For more information

See the pre-paid funerals factsheet or visit the MoneySmart website. If you have any concerns about a funeral product, contact Consumer and Business Services on 131 882.


Resources for teachers

Help your primary and secondary students to learn about their consumer and financial rights.

Resources for Years 5 to 10 have been mapped to the National Consumer and Financial Literacy Framework and the Australian curriculum.

The units of work cover topics such as:

  • Different ways to pay for goods and services
  • The importance of personal money management
  • Understanding how markets work
  • Advertising and market pressures to consume
  • Sustainable consumption
  • How to identify common scams and avoid them
  • Understanding how business and charity organisations raise funds
  • Ways to deal with common problems (e.g. a faulty product, or an unsatisfactory service).

These resources are available from the national Consumer Law website.

Other helpful materials for young consumers:

Mobile phones and tablets – What to look out for when purchasing – brochure (115 KB PDF file)

Video – Internet shopping explained: in memes!

It’s OK to walk away – rap song for Indigenous consumers

Buying a used car (PDF 84KB)

Video – Buying a used car


Simplify Day

Simplify Day is the government’s red tape reduction initiative. Its purpose is to engage the community and the public sector workforce on how we can make government more efficient.

Simplify Day – 10 August 2017

Read the 2017 Simplify Day report

Second hand vehicle dealers

Dealers trading from more than one premises now only need to pay one SHVD compensation fund fee each year. Other changes included a reduction in the prescribed amount dealers must contribute to the fund and a reintroduction of the dealer’s handling fee to assist with the costs associated with the transfer of a vehicle’s registration.

The requirements on some prescribed notices have been changed to increase transparency for consumers and potentially save licensed dealers a combined total of more than $120,000 each year.

The updated Second-hand Vehicle Dealers Regulations 2017 (PDF 260KB) commenced on 1 September 2017.

Land agents licence exemptions

Announced as part of Simplify Day 2016, high-end and related commercial property owners will be exempt from holding a land agent registration, reducing the regulatory burden for the commercial sector and encouraging investment in our state.

The Land Agents (Simplify No 2) Variation Regulations 2017 were made on 8 August 2017 to coincide with Simplify Day 2017 and the exemptions for commercial property managers commenced on 1 November 2017.

Vendor’s statement

Information required for the Form 1 vendors’ statement will be reviewed to ensure the need for disclosed information is relevant while continuing to protect the consumer. The review will investigate other accessible options for providing the information to consumers and involve extensive consultation in 2018 and beyond.

Associations

Announced as part of Simplify Day 2016, the review of the Associations Incorporation Act 1985 is now complete. This is another step towards reducing administrative burdens for running an association. The government is currently considering the timeframes for legislative amendments.

Simplify Day – 15 November 2016

Read the 2016 Simplify Day report

Non-active partners – exemption

A non-active partner may apply for an exemption from holding a CBS building, plumbing, gas fitting or electrical (trade) licence. A non-active partner is a registered business partner who does not independently quote, contract, perform or supervise licensed work or actively manage any trade work. Non-active partners are often spouses of licensed contractors undertaking administrative duties only such as book keeping, advertising, purchasing etc.

Non-active partners must not have been previously suspended or disqualified from an occupation or business under any Australian law. They also must not have been deemed insolvent or bankrupt as an individual or director of a company in the past five years.

Licensees that are limited to operating in partnerships are ineligible. This limitation is listed on your card or you can check the public register or call us to verify. The continuing licence holder may need to upgrade their licence.

Applying for an exemption  If you are applying for a new licence a non-active partner will need to apply online for an exemption from holding a licence (use the ‘apply for an exemption’ button below). You will only need to do this once when you are applying for a new licence and there is no cost for this application.

If you are a non-active partner and want to surrender a current licence as part of this process , use the ‘apply to surrender your licence’ button below to apply.

Change in circumstances  You will need to notify CBS if your circumstances change. You may need to hold a contracting licence to quote, contract and perform work and a supervisor or worker registration if you physically perform the work.

False information – Penalties of up to $50,000 and a possible prison term apply if you provide false information or work as an active partner without a licence. CBS encourages you to report anyone working without an appropriate licence at cbs.sa.gov.au/dob-in.
Apply to surrender your licence (currently LICENSED)

Apply for an exemption (currently UNLICENSED)

Building and other trades

Penalty fees for the late renewal of occupational licences have been removed. Final notices will be sent without additional fees and the licence cancelled if not renewed.

Conveyancing

Body corporate conveyancers no longer need to seek the Commissioner’s approval to operate in partnership, removing administrative red tape for both conveyancers and the government.

Gaming

Bookmakers no longer need to obtain permits to operate at particular race meets, removing administrative red tape for both bookmakers and the government – excluding bets made by phone or electronically – eg over the internet.

Second hand vehicle dealers

With the support of the Motor Trades Association,  dealers no longer need to seek the Commissioner’s approval for business premises. This is replaced by a simpler notification requirement. Dealers will also no longer need approval to trade at temporary premises, such as a trade shows or events provided they are less than seven days.

Penalty fees for late renewal licences will also be removed.

Compensation claims against the Second-hand Vehicles Compensation Fund will now be made to the Commissioner. While claimants no longer need to apply to the Magistrates Court, a right of appeal remains if there is a disagreement to the decision of the Commissioner.

Apply now

 

Visit Simplify Day on the Department of Treasury and Finance’s website for more information.


Buying a used car?

You might save a few dollars if you buy from a private seller, but there are more risks than buying from a licensed car dealer.

Used cars – don’t miss out on warranty protection.

Transcript – warranty protection

Used cars – avoid hidden damage when buying a vehicle.

Transcript – hidden damage

Used cars – make sure your car doesn’t get repossessed.

Transcript – repossessed

Checklist – before you buy:

  • Set a price limit you can afford. Allow for stamp duty, transfer fees, registration and insurance.
  • Take your time. Don’t be rushed or pressured.
  • Shop around for the best deal.
  • Have the car checked by a qualified independent mechanic before you buy
  • Don’t sign anything until you’re sure the car is okay and you really want to buy it
  • When you buy a car it will need to be registered in your name.

If you buy from a car dealer:

  • Understand your rights and the dealer’s obligations
  • Check what is covered by the warranty
  • Inspect the white display sheet on the car
  • Have everything you negotiate with the dealer in writing
  • Check the dealer’s licence is up to date

If you buy privately:

  • Is the seller the registered owner? If not, is there a genuine reason?
  • Check that the car hasn’t been stolen, flood damaged or written off, and that no money is owed on the car. Visit the Personal Property Securities Register

For more information

Helpful links

 


Plumbers licence – name change

To help consumers understand what services a plumber is licensed to perform, Consumer and Business Services (CBS) has worked closely with the plumbing industry to review and simplify plumbing licence names.

The revised licence names won’t change the scope of work that the plumber could perform before the changes.

The new plumbing worker registrations include:

  • Advanced plumber – can perform any plumbing work
  • Restricted advanced plumber – can perform plumbing work as per their plumbing specialty
  • Plumber – must work under the direction of an Advanced Plumber or Restricted Advanced Plumber per their plumbing specialty
  • Restricted plumber – must work under supervision eg an apprentice or an overseas trained plumber undertaking Australian context gap training

For example:

Current licence New licence
Plumbing Workers Registration
Can provide technical direction and able to certify
OR
Can perform any plumbing work
Plumbing Worker Registration
Advanced plumber
Can perform any plumbing work
Restricted Plumbing Workers Registration – Water Plumbing Work Restricted Plumbing Worker Registration
Restricted Advanced Plumber
Can perform water plumbing work
Restricted Plumbing Workers Registration – Sanitary Plumbing – Under technical direction Restricted Plumbing Worker Registration
Plumber
Can perform sanitary plumbing work under the direction of an appropriately registered plumbing worker
Restricted Plumbing Workers Registration – While employed under a contract of training, limited to any plumbing work under the supervision of an appropriately registered plumbing worker.  Does not include the installation, alteration, repair or maintenance of fire sprinklers Restricted Plumbing Worker Registration
Restricted Plumber
While employed under a contract of training, limited to any plumbing work under the supervision of an appropriately registered plumbing worker. Does not include the installation, alteration, repair or maintenance of fire sprinklers

 

Clarification of plumbing terms (no change to scope of work)

Plumbing Work Plumbing work means sanitary plumbing work or draining work or water plumbing work or the installation or testing of backflow prevention devices.
Sanitary Plumbing Work Sanitary plumbing work means the installation, alteration, repair, maintenance or disconnection of pipes or equipment to receive and convey wastewater to sanitary drains (including associated plumbing ventilation equipment and pipework), and includes work of a class prescribed by regulation.
Draining Work Draining work means the installation, alteration, repair, maintenance or disconnection of sanitary drains or stormwater drains, and includes work of a class prescribed by regulation.
Sanitary drain means pipes and equipment to collect and convey wastewater from a sanitary plumbing installation to an on-site wastewater treatment facility or a public sewerage or effluent disposal system; and
Stormwater drain means pipes and equipment to collect and convey stormwater to a public stormwater disposal system.
Water Plumbing Work Water plumbing work means the installation, alteration, repair, maintenance or disconnection of water pipes or equipment (including water heaters) to be connected directly or indirectly to a public water supply system, and includes work of a class prescribed by regulation (includes the Installation and commissioning of fire hydrant and hose reel systems).
 Backflow Prevention Work Backflow prevention work consisting of the installation, alteration, repair, maintenance or disconnection of testable backflow prevention devices.
Fire Protection Fire protection work means the installation, alteration, repair, maintenance or disconnection/reconnection of fire protection pipes or fire protection equipment to be connected directly or indirectly to a public water supply system.
Irrigation Work Irrigation work means the installation, alteration, repair, maintenance or disconnection/reconnection of dedicated non-pressurised irrigation pipe work and equipment connected downstream of a backflow prevention device, master valve or solenoid valve.

Please contact CBS via occupational@sa.gov.au or phone 131 882 should you have queries in relation to the change of plumbing names.