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In our September issue... 

  • Plumbing and drainage inspection requirements- the Beaches estate, Catherine Hill Bay
  • Important reminder- overflow relief gully location requirements
  • New program to manage repetitive non-compliance
  • Updated Regulation
  • Important reminder for gasfitters following a coronial inquiry
  • Have your say on home building compensation insurance

You can let us know your feedback on this enewsletter by emailing Newsflush@finance.nsw.gov.au  


Plumbing and drainage inspection requirements- Beaches estate, Catherine Hill Bay 

Inspection clipboard

Beaches estate is located in the southern region of the Lake Macquarie local government area approximately 15 kilometres south of Newcastle. Lake Macquarie City Council is the authority responsible for conducting all onsite plumbing and drainage inspections for the Beaches estate. Information on the required inspections, documentation and fees can be found on the Lake Macquarie City Council website. To book an inspection, contact Lake Macquarie City Council on 02 4921 0333 or by email council@lakemac.nsw.gov.au.

Please note that to organise the inspection of work not defined as “onsite plumbing and drainage” under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2011 (e.g. stormwater) you should contact Lake Macquarie City Council or the appropriate Principal Certifying Authority (PCA).

Catherine Hill Bay Water Utility Pty Ltd is the Network Utility Operator. It has a Network Operator's Licence to operate potable water, non-potable water and sewerage infrastructure for the Catherine Hill Bay scheme.

Retail supply services for the scheme will be provided by Solo Water Pty Ltd under a Retail Supplier's Licence.

The Beaches estate locality plan

The Beaches Locality Plan


Important reminder- overflow relief gully location requirements

Blocked pipe

The minimum height of an overflow relief gully below the lowest fixture connecting to the drain, and the minimum height above the surrounding ground, is generally well understood among licensed plumbers and drainers.

However, NSW Fair Trading have noticed that increasing numbers of overflow relief gullies are being installed in non-compliant locations such as underneath timber decks or other obstructions. This is a reminder for plumbers and drainers that they must be installed in accessible locations where it is possible to observe discharge. There must also be at least 2m of clear space above the top of the gully grate.

The installation standard for overflow relief gullies is listed at Section of AS/NZS 3500.2:2015 which states:

The overflow relief gully shall be located

(a) within the boundaries of the property;

(b) external to the building;

(c) so that the top of the gully is accessible and positioned where any discharge will be noticeable; and

(d) with clear access for more than 2 m above the top of the gully grate, and not be enclosed.

Overflow relief gully under deck diagram

Overflow relief gully under deck diagram


New program to manage repetitive non-compliance


NSW Fair Trading is introducing a new program to more closely manage licensees that are regularly observed to be non-compliant with the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2011. The program will initially focus on licensees who have 3 non-compliances in the same month.

Why are we doing this?

NSW Fair Trading is committed to creating a fair and competitive market for the plumbing industry. We need to understand the cause of the repetitive non-compliant behaviour, in order to assist licensees to identify and implement improved business processes to comply with the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2011.

What will be done?

Individual licensees will be requested to come to NSW Fair Trading’s offices for an education discussion. In the discussion NSW Fair Trading inspectors will review the licensee’s previous conduct and describe how this differs from what is required under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2011. The licensee will then be offered the opportunity to explain their conduct and provide further background on the compliance issues that NSW Fair Trading has identified. NSW Fair Trading will conclude the discussion by working with the licensee to identify the cause of their compliance issues and devise an action plan to ensure that they don’t occur in the future.

If the licensee’s non-compliant conduct continues in future months NSW Fair Trading may take any or all of the following compliance actions:

  • issue a Penalty Infringement Notices (PIN) for each offence
  • conduct a formal interview
  • issue a Notice to Show Cause against the licence holder.

Updated Regulation


The new Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2017 commenced on 1 September 2017. The Regulation supports the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2011 and allows NSW Fair Trading to effectively regulate onsite plumbing and drainage work state wide.

The key changes to the Regulation are:

  • revising the fee structure for audit inspections of onsite plumbing and drainage work in the areas where Fair Trading is the inspection authority
  • increasing the deadline to submit a notice of work to the regulator (for work not involving an alternative solution) from 2 days before work commences to just before work starts
  • reducing the maximum penalty payable for certain administrative penalty notice offences,
  • minor drafting changes to update requirements.

Please note that the new fee structure published in the 2017 Regulation will not commence until 1 July 2018. Further information on the implementation of the new structure and changes to MyInspections will be provided in early 2018. 

You can view the Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2017 on the NSW Legislation Website


Important reminder for gasfitters following a coronial inquiry

Gas Outlet

In December 2014 an explosion in a granny flat resulted in a man suffering burns to 75 percent of his body. The explosion was a direct result of liquid propane gas (LPG) pooling and being unintentionally ignited. The Coroner has recently completed an Inquiry into the event and found that gasfitting work conducted at the premises was non-compliant.

The pressure test conducted by the gasfitter did not comply with Australian Standards and the gasfitter did not check whether appliances were connected. As a result of these failures the pressure test failed to identify a major defect in the system.

This incident serves as an important remind to gasfitters to take care in their work. Gasfitters are required to ensure the following processes are complied with:

  • the gas installation, gas containers, gas regulators and gas appliances connected to the installation must be physically inspected
  • the pressure test must be conducted in accordance with AS5601-2004
  • an installation must only be certified if there is strict compliance with all regulations.

At the completion of all gas installation work or inspections, a signed Certificate of Compliance is to be completed and submitted to NSW Fair Trading.


Have your say on home building compensation insurance


The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) is seeking feedback on proposed standards for the reformed NSW Home Building Compensation Scheme.

The NSW Government recently passed legislation to overhaul the home building insurance scheme (formerly known as Home Warranty Insurance).

NSW builders and tradespeople (such as plumbers, carpenters and electricians) must take out insurance for each residential building project if the contract price is over $20,000 (including GST), with some exceptions (e.g. tradespeople subcontracting to a builder).

SIRA has released two papers to explain what is happening and ask questions about insurance premiums and eligibility. It will consider all feedback to help determine how the new scheme will operate from early next year.

To have your say and find out more, visit the consultation webpages on the SIRA website. Comments close on 15 September 2017.