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Media releases
16 December 2011

Adelaide ‘plumber and gas fitter’, Simon Blake Brownrigg, has been ordered to pay over
$30,000 in fines, fees and compensation, Consumer Affairs Commissioner, Paul White said today.

Last week, Mr Brownrigg was convicted of three counts of breaching the Plumbers, Gas Fitters and Electricians Act 1995 and two counts of breaching the Fair Trading Act 1987.

Most seriously, he was convicted for breaching a 2008 District Court order that prohibited him from entering into any further contracts as a plumbing contractor until further order, the first ever conviction for this offence.

Mr Brownrigg was also convicted of one count of carrying on business as a plumbing contractor without a licence, and one count of carrying on business as a gas fitting contractor without a licence, contrary to the Act.

“Although registered to perform plumbing work, Mr Brownrigg allowed this to lapse for about a year, during which he performed much of the unlawful work. Further, he was served a court order in 2008 preventing him from entering into further plumbing contracts because of his financial history,” Mr White said.

“In addition, Mr Brownrigg has never been licensed to carry on business as a gas fitter or registered to perform gas fitting work.

“Three of his gas fitting jobs were defective and two of these had gas leaks, which had the potential to cause serious health and safety risks for the victims,” Mr White said.

He was also convicted of two counts of breaching the Fair Trading Act 1987 – falsely representing to consumers that he held a licence under the Plumbers, Gas Fitters and Electricians Act 1995.

“Mr Brownrigg used an expired licence number on two invoices that he supplied to his victims, implying that he was licensed and therefore lawfully able and qualified to do the job,” Mr White said.

The Commissioner said the conviction was a win for the South Australian community as well as his victims.

“This man was a repeat offender, extracting a total of $154,677.90 from seven contracts with his unlawful conduct,” Mr White said.

”It is imperative that consumers take the time to research traders before entering a contract. All licensed plumbers and gas fitters appear on the licensed contractors’ register on the CBS website.

“Instances of dodgy or unlicensed work should be reported to CBS.”

To report concerns about suspected unlicensed traders, or to lodge a complaint, contact CBS on 13 1882 or visit www.cbs.sa.gov.au.