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The following article is a general news item provided for the benefit of members. Its contents do not necessarily reflect the views of the Safety Institute of Australia.
Date: 
Tuesday, 16 April, 2019 - 11:30
Category: 
Incidents & prosecutions
Location: 
Queensland

A man who posed as a qualified electrician to get work in homes around south-east Queensland has been fined $100,000 in the Brisbane Magistrates Court.

Amilcar Appel posed as a qualified electrician on the online marketplace Airtasker and advertised electrical services to households in the greater Brisbane area between November 2015 and June 2017.

However, he had never held an electrical contractor licence or any qualifications to perform electrical work.

The Electrical Safety Office (ESO) received a complaint about Appel’s work after a licensed electrician found substantially defective work in a home which Appel had been paid to complete through Airtasker.

An ESO investigation established that Appel had conducted similar unlicensed and non-compliant electrical work at a further eight addresses through Airtasker.

Appel, who failed to make an appearance in court, was convicted and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine for 13 offences under the Electrical Safety Act 2002:

·         Four section 40C (category 2) offences concerning particularly dangerous electrical work performed by the defendant which exposed individuals to a risk of death or serious injury.

·         Eight section 55(1) offences relating to the performance of electrical work while not holding an electrical work licence.

·         One section 56(1) offence relating to conducting a business or undertaking including the performance of electrical work while not holding an electrical contractor licence.

While issuing the fine, Magistrate Belinda Merrin noted that, while no-one was killed or injured, the potential consequences were significant.

She also noted Appel had not cooperated with the investigation and there was no indication he felt remorse for his actions.