If you're an unlicensed electrician or an unregistered
engineer, then maybe not - at least according to a recent decision
of Agripower Australia Ltd v Queensland Engineering and
Electrical Pty Ltd & Ors ("AgriPower
The Supreme Court determined that an adjudication decision made
under the Building and Construction Industry Payment Act
2004 (Qld) ("BCIPA") was void, due
to the illegal construction contract that underpinned the payment
The construction contract was found to be illegal because the
conducted a business or undertaking that included the
performance of electrical work while unlicensed, in breach of the
Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld) ("ES
performed professional engineering services while unregistered,
in breach of the Professional Engineers Act 2002 (Qld)
There is no provision in the ES Act that expressly prohibits a
contract being entered into, or performed, in contravention of the
ES Act. The Court found that in considering the electrical safety
of members of the public, there is a strong indication that a
contract entered into with an unlicensed person is prohibited. In
the PE Act, there is an express provision that disentitles an
unregistered engineer to payment under their contract when, in
performing professional engineering services, they allowed
themselves to be held out as a registered professional
The Court noted that the BCIPA operates only when there is a
construction contract of which the terms as to payment are
If you are unregistered or unlicensed, then you should consider
what steps are required to get registered or licensed and under
what circumstances you will need it.
Read your relevant legislation, particularly regarding
unregistered or unlicensed offences. You'd hate to perform all
of that work and not be entitled to claim for payment (or enforce
your contract at all).
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Warranties can be risk-shifting mechanisms when the party giving the warranty is not the party at fault for the defect.
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