Prosecution-focused Regulator driving up wiring costs - electricians

Master Electricians Australia RSS Feed

11 May 2015

Master Electricians Australia (MEA) has warned that a heavy-handed, prosecution-at-all-costs approach to the WA electrical industry by Energy Safety WA would force up the price of electrical wiring without improving safety standards.

MEA Western Australia State Manager Tony Mancini said a recent $68,000 fine received by a contractor - who is not an MEA member - for an administration error had sent shudders through the electrical industry.

Mr Mancini confirmed that the organisation was committed to the highest levels of safety and quality workmanship, however this was only achieved by education and training, not prosecution.

“The problem with this heavy-handed approach is that additional compliance costs for contractors are bound to be passed on to consumers, both directly and also through higher associated costs such as insurance premiums,” he said.

“Worryingly, there is currently a push for even more severe legislation to make life even more difficult for contractors, driving many businesses out of the industry or underground”.

“While the regulator is raising revenue by grinding business owners into the ground, the problem with this approach is that it does nothing to improve electrical safety for property owners and residents.

“Master Electricians Australia would like to see the regulators spend more time and resources on educating all contractors, simplifying legislation and ensuring changes to regulations are widely known and understood.

“This approach would not only be a welcome shift from the might of the State Government attacking small businesses, it would actually achieve something positive through higher quality standards across the board.

“And it would leave the regulators free to focus their compliance efforts on genuinely serious safety breaches such as unlicensed work and defective product imports.”

Tony Mancini is available for interviews.
Contact SAS Media & Communications on 07 3171 2960 or 0467 792 013.