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Work & Business Licenses
Media releases
31 March 2017

An unlicensed building contractor who took money from six unsuspecting consumers has been penalised nearly $30,000 for breaches of consumer and building work contractor laws.

In the Adelaide Magistrates Court, 39 year old William Alexander Roch pleaded guilty to breaches of the Building Work Contractors Act 1995 (SA) and the Australian Consumer Law.

The court heard Roch had accepted money from six consumers for a range of jobs – including installing fences, doing painting work, building a pergola and installing security screens and doors – and either didn’t start or made minimal progress in doing the work.

At the time of the offences, Roch didn’t hold the relevant contractor’s licence, and he ignored repeated requests from customers to complete the work.

Magistrate Susan O’Connor told Roch he had treated consumers as “dupes”, using the money to buy drugs.

“This is not only a clear breach of our consumer protection laws, it also shows callous disregard for those consumers who had paid money in good faith to have work done around their homes,” Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Dini Soulio said.

“I’m pleased to see the courts recognise the seriousness of this kind of behaviour, and respond appropriately.

“In this case, the contractor was unlicensed – and I would again urge all consumers to check the public register to ensure the person they hire is actually qualified and holds the relevant licence to carry out the work.”
Roch was fined $18,000 and ordered to pay a total of $9130 compensation to the six consumers.

To find out whether a contractor is licensed, visit the Consumer and Business Services website at https://secure.cbs.sa.gov.au/OccLicPubReg/LicenceSearch.php or call CBS on 131 882.