NSW updates gas and electrical consumer safety laws
Effective from 1 September 2018, the NSW government announced changes to the Gas and Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2017 and its supporting Gas and Electricity (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2018.
What are the key points from the legislative changes?
The new laws outline the requirements in 3 key areas:
- Consumer safety standards:
- Minimum consumer safety standards must be maintained during gas fitting and electricity equipment installation
- All gas and electrical installations must have safety warnings, notices and instructions for use and safe disposal
- All faulty gas and electrical appliances that are seized as a result of inspections, must be adequately compensated for
- Compliance and corrective measures:
- All professionals aligned with the gas and electricity industry must adhere to the law and be complaint with its requirements
- Non-compliant parties who are responsible for gas and electricity offences can be issued with penalty infringement notices
- Fair Trading has the right to investigate, seize and remove uncertified electrical and gas appliances from retail sale
- Based on its investigations, fair trading can take steps to mitigate safety risks from incorrect installation of gas and electrical equipment
- There should be clear and comparable penalties for both gas and electrical equipment
- Updates to references and fees:
- References to the mandatory Australian standards for gas fitting and autogas commencing on 1 January 2019 must be duly updated
- Increases in CPI fees and displayed fee unit must be duly updated
What should strata property owners do?
Strata schemes tend to have regular scheduled maintenance and repair work to ensure the smooth running of shared amenities. Since state laws and regulations change from time to time, these changes can affect the schedule and timeliness of maintenance and repair work.
Property owners should take note of state legislative changes and keep track of gas and electrical maintenance work being carried out in their strata property. They should be aware of the Australian safety standards for gas and electrical fitting and maintenance and discuss their implications with their owners corporation so that their safety is not compromised.
If you find any faulty or unsafe gas and electricity equipment in your property, you can take it up with your owners corporation to get them corrected. If your concerns are not heeded by your strata committee, you can take the help of Fair Trading to get them resolved.
Check out the NSW legislation website for more details. If you have questions regarding the legislation changes or specific maintenance and repair work that could potentially put your safety at risk, you can get in touch with your strata manager.
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