Valley home-owners warned

By ADRIAN MILLER

CLARENCE Valley residents have been warned to check the credentials of any builders and trades people they use following the conviction of an unlicensed Grafton pool builder.

Rebecca Payne was convicted in Tweed Heads Local Court earlier this month on four offences relating to the Home Building Act. She was convicted for the contracting of residential building work involving the installation of swimming pools while being unlicensed.

She was ordered to pay $5,022 in fines and costs.

This followed an action two months ago in Grafton Local Court, where Ms Payne was convicted and fined $2,000 for a breach of the Fair Trading Act in relation to accepting money for the installation of a pool without any intent to provide the goods and services.

NSW Fair Trading Minister Diane Beamer said Ms Payne was caught after complaints from Grafton and Gulmarrad homeowners.

She said the licensing requirements of the Home Building Act existed to protect consumers and ensured professional standards in the building industry.

She said the Department of Fair Trading was vigilant in enforcing the act.

"This case may seem tough, but there is no tolerance for unlicensed residential building work and the risks it poses to consumers," she said.

Ms Beamer said the message to building consumers was to make sure they check builders and trades people are fully licensed before they enter in to contracts or pay a deposit.

Licence checks can be made by contacting Fair Trading on 13 32 20, or on-line at www.fairtrad- ing.nsw.gov.au



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