Court fines Perth plumber for failure to fix leaks
A recent order against a Perth plumber has served as a cautionary tale for consumers to solicit reviews before engaging contractors to complete repairs.
Matthew Continibali, based in the northern suburb of Landsdale, has been ordered to pay almost $3,500 in fines and costs for failing to fix a drainage leak when required, resulting in two additional inspections by the state’s plumbing regulator.
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At the Perth Magistrates Court on 13 November 2023, Mr Continibali who traded as Outlook Plumbing, pleaded guilty to breaching Western Australia’s plumbing regulations following legal proceedings by the Plumbers Licensing Board.
The court heard that Mr Continibali had been engaged as a plumbing contractor to undertake sanitary drainage plumbing for a home under construction in Brabham.
Mr Continibali signed off on a compliance notice for the work in September 2022. But only two months later, leakage was revealed during an inspection by Building and Energy on behalf of the Plumbers Licensing Board.
At that point, Mr Continibali was issued with a notice instructing him to rectify the issue and ensure the drainage was made watertight. Yet a subsequent inspection found that that leaking was still occurring.
In December 2022, Mr Continibali told the board that the issue had been resolved. However, once again, inspections found the drainage was still not watertight. Compliance was eventually confirmed by another inspection in February 2023.
Mr Continibali was fined $1,500 for failing to comply with a rectification notice – an offence under the Plumbers Licensing and Plumbing Standards Regulations 2000 – and ordered to pay $1,982.30 in costs.
In deciding on Mr Continbali’s penalty, the court said it took into account the public health risks associated with defective sanitary drainage plumbing work and the time and cost impacts of repairing leaks, particularly after subsequent building work.
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