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Beware of travelling conmen in the wake of disaster

Mr Bleijie said it was important people asked to see a Queensland Building Services Authority licence and proof of a business address before repair work commences.
Mr Bleijie said it was important people asked to see a Queensland Building Services Authority licence and proof of a business address before repair work commences. Max Fleet

SHONKY operators could be waiting in the wings to try to rip-off flood victims, according to Queensland Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie.

In a statement, from his office, Mr Bleijie said victims were more vulnerable because the disaster had caused some relaxation of cooling-off periods that would usually weed out offenders.

"These changes mean repair and recovery can start immediately which is particularly important for families who do not have a roof over their heads," Mr Bleijie said.

"Structural repairs and tree removals need to be done urgently so relaxed rules apply for this type of work."

"Travelling conmen follow closely in the wake of disasters, hoping to profit from tragedy and exploit tragic situations when communities are at their most vulnerable.

"These shonky traders generally perform substandard work or leave without completing the job and it is often impossible to contact them if something goes wrong with the repair."

He said these rules only applied if the area was included in Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, repairs were needed to fix substantial damage and the tradesperson had a relevant building or contractor licence.

Mr Bleijie said it was important people asked to see a Queensland Building Services Authority licence and proof of a business address before repair work commences.

"If a trader doesn't have a fixed business address, or says their offer is one day only, alarm bells should start ringing," he said.

"Never pay for anything upfront, not even materials."

Find out if a tradesperson is licensed to perform the work needed at on the BSA website.

To see if your area is covered by natural disaster relief arrangements, visit the Queensland Reconstruction Authority website.

Topics:  conmen disaster jarrod bleijie



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