In fact, in NSW (and probably other states), at the very
moment there are radio commercials saying how dangerous it is to attempt your
own electrical repairs. It was these commercials which in part prompted this
feature. The same commercials, incidentally, state that one in five "handymen"
do exactly that. Naughty, naughty.
Like all other states, Queensland law says that you have to
call a licenced electrical contractor to do any electrical work involving fixed
wiring. Unlike most other states, in Queensland you cannot even repair plug-in
appliances (such as jug elements, etc). But we are getting ahead of ourselves.
Now let’s suppose that a handyman, unlicensed, does some
electrical work. It may be absolutely exemplary but by definition (and law!)
such work is declared "dangerous" and cannot even be tested and certified after
the event by an electrical contractor! There have been prosecutions, for example
in the Northern Territory where a contractor did certify work done by an
unlicensed person. The contractor was fined and lost his own licence.
It doesn’t matter that work may have been done to a higher
standard than the electrical contractor would have done it. At the risk of
earning the wrath of every sparkie in the land, they are normally working at the
maximum speed to the minimum acceptable standards, simply so they can earn a
But even the very best quality unlicenced work can never be
Now, if you were across the pond in New Zealand, such actions
are quite legal. In fact, in New Zealand you can not only change a power outlet
or light fitting, you can add additional power outlets, even rewire your entire
home if you want to right back to (but not including) the switchboard. The NZ
power authorities actually publish information to help the do-it-yourselfer do
it him (or her) self.
If you don’t believe us, have a look at