I found the following article by James Nason in the Queensland Country Life. I thought that this was probably the ultimate in stupidity as far as legislation goes, them common sense kicked in and I realised that somewhere out there are even crazier laws, inflicted on us by even more idiotic politicians.
RURAL fencing contractor Charlie Martin couldn't believe it when he won a tender to build a fence around the Cooktown rubbish tip, but was told he couldn't proceed because he didn't have a builder's licence.
Citing "bureaucracy gone mad", Mr Martin said he had since been advised he could be fined $6000 because he had worked for several years as a full-time fencing contractor without the necessary Queensland Building Services Authority builder's licence.
Worse, he says, is that he has been forced out of business until he can get the appropriate licence, which he has been told requires him to complete courses on building sheds and laying
slabs, all so he can continue his work as a rural and wire fencing contractor.
Mr Martin said he had done government work before, but this was the first time he had been advised he needed a builder's licence.
He said he has been forced to shut down his business and sack two full- time staff, and was facing an uncertain future, as debts recently accrued to buy new fencing equipment, including a
Dingo mini-earthmoving machine, had mounted up without any income coming in.
Despite more than 30 years' experience in rural fencing work, including more than 20 years as a former Cape York cattleman and since then as a full-time fencing contractor, Mr Martin
said his application for a BSA licence was rejected.
He was told he required TAFE accreditation for a structural landscaping course, which included landscaping, carpentry and bricklaying.
The Queensland Building Services Authority told Queensland Country Life this week that the Queensland building Services Authority Act of 1991 required that any person who constructed a fence valued at $1100 or more required a BSA licence.
However, BSA general manager Ian Jennings said a further clause made special allowances for rural work. That clause stipulates that if a fence is constructed on agricultural or pastoral land, to be used for agricultural or pastoral purposes, and is not valued in excess of $27,500, a BSA licence is not required.
The value of a fence is considered to be the "fair commercial cost of thelabour and materials for the fence, even if the materials are supplied by the owner or the labour is done for less
than the market rate". Queensland had the most rigorous regulatory framework of any State, Mr Jennings said. This was designed to protect consumers and keep the industry safe.
The cost of acquiring a BSA builder or trade contractor licence ranges from $439 to $964 and from $142 to $428 to maintain annually.
Mr Jennings warned that penalties would soon increase to $18,750 for an individual, and $93,750 for a company.
The authority was originally set up to “protect people from shonky builders”, however the granting of a licence does nothing to guarantee a good job. It seems that over the years they have expanded their authority, which is usual for government agencies as well as the usual increase of costs to those affected, which are passed on to the consumer.
Now they have sent their tentacles into every aspect of any kind of construction, and are probably looking for more. Fencing my house yard cost more than the minimum limit even without my labour considered, so I am a lawbreaker, but isn’t it comforting to know that the state is there to protect me from my shonky work.
After all "This was designed to protect consumers and keep the industry safe."
This is what happens when governments really believe in themselves. The premier this occurred under is Peter Beattie who is well known for his comment on the Traveston Crossing Dam; “feasible or not, we will build this dam....”
He has recently retired after doing a deal to have as a replacement his deputy Anna Blyth, in line with the old political adage, “When you retire get a replacement who is more incompetent than yourself so you look better.”
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