New QLD Plumbing Laws for Brisbane Property Owners


From 1 November 2012, a new category of plumbing and drainage work called, ‘notifiable work’ commence.

 What is notifiable work?

Notifiable work must be performed by a plumber or drainer licensed by the Plumbing Industry Council, but will not require permits or mandatory inspections by local government.

Notifiable work will include most plumbing and drainage work performed in existing homes including:

  • kitchen and bathroom additions and renovations
  • installing or replacing hot water heaters including electric, solar or heat pump hot water heaters
  • installing fixtures such as toilets, showers and sinks in an existing home
  • extending or altering pipe work.

 How will this benefit me?

It will be cheaper and faster for most routine plumbing work to be performed in Queensland.  Previously, plumbing work such as a bathroom or kitchen renovation would have to go through local government approval and inspection processes. This could cost up to $1600 and take up to 20 business days for permits and inspections.

Under the new process, a plumber or drainer simply has to notify the Plumbing Industry Council that this type of work has been performed within 10 business days of completing the work.

The changes allow licensees to perform a wider range of plumbing work that does not require approval or notification. For example, a plumber can install, repair, remove or replace an apparatus such as a pump or water saving device without needing to notify the Plumbing Industry Council or local government.

 What is the new process?

When a plumber or drainer performs notifiable work, they must submit a Form 4–Notifiable Work to the Plumbing Industry Council. Forms can be submitted either electronically or manually to the Plumbing Industry Council.

When a licensee submits the form electronically, they must send you either an electronic or a paper copy of the Form 4 once it is lodged. This will include information about where and when the work was performed and what kind of work was performed.

Licensees who wish to lodge forms manually will be given a book of forms by the Plumbing Industry Council. The licensee must provide you with a copy of the completed form.

You can check if your form has been lodged with the Plumbing Industry Council online at by providing your address and the unique identifying number on your copy of the form.

 Will the work be checked?

To ensure that plumbing and drainage work continues to be performed to a high standard, both the Plumbing Industry Council and local governments will audit notifiable work.

Your local government may contact you to arrange an inspection of the work. If you have concerns about the work that has been performed on your property, you may contact your local government to arrange an inspection.

Alternatively, you may lodge a complaint with the Plumbing Industry Council if you are concerned that the work is non-compliant or otherwise defective. The Plumbing Industry Council appoints investigators to look into complaints regarding work that is non-compliant, defective or has been performed by a person without an appropriate license. There are a range of penalties that may apply in these instances. To lodge a complaint, contact the Plumbing Industry Council (details below) or complete a complaints form by visiting and searching for ‘plumbing complaint form’.

 Checklist for consumers

 Does your plumber or drainer have a valid Plumbing Industry Council license? To check if your plumber or drainer is licensed, you can call the Plumbing Industry Council on 1800 682 021.

  • Has the Form 4 been lodged with the Plumbing Industry Council?
  • Has your plumber or drainer given you a Form 4?

 Plumbing Industry Council

1800 682 021—Licensing – 1800 264 585—Notifiable work – email -website