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Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Housing and Public Works > Construction > Building and plumbing > Plumbing and drainage > Notifiable work > Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Since the introduction of notifiable work, there have been a number of questions were raised. Here we answer the most frequently asked questions and explain some of the terms used in the schedules of work.

Who has to sign a Form 4?

The form must be signed by the responsible person – this can be either the person who performs the work or an appropriately licensed supervisor. Where a provisional licensee performs the work, the responsible person is their licensed supervisor, except if the work relates to a solar or heat pump water heater and the provisional licensee has the required endorsement.

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What if I do more than one category of work in one job?

Where more than one category of notifiable work is performed on a premises under a single transaction, only one Form 4 needs to be lodged.

In determining whether a combination of work forms part of a single transaction, the following factors are considered to be relevant:

  • whether the work was included in a single work order or quotation
  • when the work was completed and ready to be used by the occupant of the premises
  • when the licensee issued an invoice for the work.

For example, if a licensee undertakes a bathroom renovation and also installs a new hot water heater on the same premises as part of a single transaction, only one Form 4 is required.

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What if more than one licensee works on a job?

In this case, one licensee can submit a Form 4 on behalf of the other licensees. The licensee that submits the form will be the responsible person for the work.

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I do a lot of maintenance work for real estate agents. To whom should I give a copy of the Form 4?

The form should be given to the owner or another person or entity who contracted the work. This may be the owner or occupier of the property, a property manager or body corporate.

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What is classed as emergency work?

Emergency work is plumbing and drainage work that must, because of a failure in plumbing or drainage, be performed to stop a continuing risk to health and safety or damage to property. For example, this could involve emergency work for a combined sanitary drain which would otherwise require compliance assessment. This provision allows a licensee to perform work in an emergency which would normally require an application to the local government.

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Can I request a local government inspection?

Yes. However the local government may charge a cost recovery fee for the time taken to perform the inspection. This is a matter for each individual local government.

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Will my work be inspected?

To ensure that plumbing and drainage work continues to be performed to a high standard, local governments will audit work to ensure it is compliant. Licensees and owners or occupiers will not be required to pay fees for audits as the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) will provide funding to local governments for this purpose.

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What happens if a customer complains about my work?

If a consumer has concerns about plumbing and drainage work, they can either contact the local government for an inspection or lodge a complaint with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC). The QBCC appoints investigators to look into complaints about work that is noncompliant, defective, or has been performed by an unlicensed person.

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What happens if the local government finds my work to be defective?

Local governments will be able to issue rectification notices to licensees if an audit inspection finds defective work. The licensee must rectify the work within the time period stated in the notice (of no less than five days).

Penalties apply for not complying with a notice unless there is a reasonable excuse. Examples of this include travelling overseas or interstate or working in a distant location. Also, the excuse provisions may apply in circumstances where the licensee is unable to rectify work within a short timeframe due to illness. These notices may also be appealed to the Building and Development Dispute Resolution Committees.

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If I am investigated what are the penalties that could apply?

There are a range of penalties that may apply where a licensee performs work that is noncompliant, defective or performed without an appropriate licence. A full list of penalties is now available on the Queensland Building and Construction Commission​ website.

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Is a building with a mezzanine floor or split level balcony considered a storey when I determine if the building is two storeys or more?

No, a mezzanine or split level internal balcony is not classified as a storey.

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What if the building has a basement – is the basement counted as a storey?

No. For the purposes of notifiable work a building of one or two storeys is from finished ground level upwards.

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Can I perform underground drainage on a class 1 dwelling extension?

Yes, it is highly recommended that you obtain an as-constructed drainage diagram from the local government prior to undertaking the work. An as-constructed drawing showing the dimensions of the new work must be lodged with the Form 4.

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How will I know if a domestic building has a combined drain?

If you suspect that the building has a combined horizontal drain you should request information from the local government before proceeding with work.

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I am installing individual sub-meters in an apartment building. Do I have to inform the water service provider before I connect the meter and connect to the water service provider’s water supply infrastructure?

Yes. The installation of water meters must be approved by the water service provider prior to the installation.

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I have been asked to add an additional toilet and shower to an existing home in a unsewered area. Can I do this under notifiable work?


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A builder wants me to quote on the installation of fixtures and fittings for a two bedroom extension to an existing home in an unsewered area. I am concerned that the existing wastewater system will not handle the additional hydraulic load. What do I do?

It is a requirement that the building certifier obtain advice from the local government regarding the suitability of the existing wastewater system. You can contact the certifier or the local government for further advice.

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What does ‘connected to trade waste’ mean?

A trade waste drain is a drain for conveying commercial waste, grease, chemical waste, high temperature waste or hazardous waste. A grease trap, oil separators or cooling pits may be required to prevent contaminants polluting the drainage network. Installing or relocating a fixture connected to trade waste will require local government approval prior to commencement of the works.

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Last updated 27 March 2018    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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