flood australia
The flood damage bill is expected to be in excess of $2 billion. Image Supplied.
  • NSW damage bill expected to be over $2B
  • Work valued over $5,000 must be done so by a licensed worker
  • Warns scammer could 'show up' offering work

Last month, parts of New South Wales and Queensland suffered from extensive flooding. The storms were significant; at one point 10 million Australians were under a severe weather warning.

At the time, the flood damage bill was estimated to hit $1 billion. It has now this has risen to $2 billion.

As many households and businesses have begun to repair their properties, NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rose Webb has warned that, unfortunately, scammers often take advantage of vulnerable people in difficult times.

There have been instances whereby unlicensed tradespeople target affected communities offering repairs, concreting, landscaping and other services. Work that is valued at over $5,000 is required to be done by licensed workers.

“With the destructive floods across NSW, consumers are reminded that anyone who undertakes work to rebuild or repair damaged homes is required to have a valid licence.”

“Avoid workers who simply show up without contact to offer their services and consumers should also check with their insurance provider before authorising any home repairs.”

Rose Webb, NSW Fair Trading Commissioner

Ms Webb has provided advice on how to go about selecting tradespersons and contractors.

She suggests getting multiple quotes for a job and not hand any money over before meeting the tradesperson. In terms of money, Ms Webb recommends avoiding cash transactions on the basis that chargebacks may be available if the work turns sour.

Additionally, consumers should avoid traders that charge large deposits and written contracts should be provided before any work takes place. Also, don’t be shy about asking the trader for references and examples of past work.

“Lastly, it’s also a good idea to ask family and friends for a recommendation rather than choosing a trader from an advertisement.”

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