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Work & Business Licenses
Media releases
11 September 2017

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 Fitters and Electricians Act.

The court heard that George, who had never held an electrical contractor’s licence and was not qualified as an electrician, was hired to install three ceiling fans but failed to install the joists needed to help secure them.

As a result, one fan fell through the ceiling and was left dangling from its electrical wires. In addition, George hadn’t earthed any of the fans – as required by law – leaving his client at risk of electrocution if they came into contact with conductive parts of the fan.

The court was told George had misled his client into believing he was qualified to do the work by using a fake licence number on his Certificate of Compliance, and had a history of engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct.

In handing down his sentence, Magistrate David White noted that “electrical work performed by unlicensed and unqualified people can have catastrophic consequences”.

“Electrical work needs to be completed by those who are properly qualified and licensed,” Mr White said.

“The risks to the community of poor electrical work in terms of property damage and personal injury are obvious.”

Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Dini Soulio said the nature of George’s offending was serious.

“This man was unlicensed and unqualified and his work was of such a poor standard that it caused a serious risk to his client’s safety,” he said.

“It’s a stark reminder of the importance of using licensed, properly qualified electricians.

“I would urge anyone thinking of hiring an electrician to check the CBS public register to ensure they are licensed to do the job.”

George was fined $9,100 and ordered to pay $800 in prosecution costs and $300 in compensation to his client.

To check the public register, head to the CBS website at https://secure.cbs.sa.gov.au/OccLicPubReg/LicenceSearch.php.

To report a concern about a contractor, contact CBS on 131 822.