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Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Housing and Public Works > Construction > Building and plumbing > Plumbing and drainage > Penalties for plumbing law breaches

Penalties for plumbing law breaches

The Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018 (PDA) and the Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2019 outline strong penalties for breaches of the plumbing laws.

A breach of the law may result in:

  • prosecution in the courts (maximum penalty units)
  • on-the-spot fines (penalty infringement notices).

To protect public health and the environment, there are strong penalties for unlicensed plumbing work and offences that endanger health and safety.

The maximum penalties for unlicensed work align with similar offences under Queensland’s building laws to create consistency across similar legislation.

Sliding scale offences

There are 4 sliding-scale offences relating to unlicensed work:

  • Carrying out work without appropriate licence (section 56(1), PDA)
  • Supervising or directing work without an appropriate licence (sections 57(1), 57(2) and 57(3) PDA).

People who continue to perform work without a licence face increased (sliding scale) penalties for second and third convictions.

  • For people who perform, direct or supervise unlicensed work: penalties for the first and second offence start at 250 MPU and 300 MPU respectively.
  • For repeat offenders (i.e. a third or later offence) or where the plumbing or drainage work is grossly defective and likely to endanger public health and safety: the penalty is 350 MPU or 1 year’s imprisonment.
  • For offences that deal with safety issues: many of these penalties are 250 MPU (e.g. unauthorised removal of a temperature control device).
  • For a disciplinary breach: the maximum penalty imposed by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) is 100 MPU. This aligns with the penalty for noncompliant plumbing work.


Last updated 30 June 2019    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)


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