Friday, September 11, 2009

Shocking hurdle past

The electricians came and checked our wiring (a requirement for selling) We passed the test no hassles. It's interesting as wiring in the back country (and plumbing and building and you name it) are things you do yourself. Sometimes that can be a very bad thing... but more often it's over-engineered. Gradually regulation is creeping out into the country (the wiring check for eg) and I must admit I find it rather sad. Okay the selling process does mean leaving it caveat emptor is a risk the buyer may have adopted a death-trap unwittingly, so fair enough. But I actually baulk a little at nannying people. It's hard and expensive enough to live in the back-blocks without adding a layer of beaurocracy that is cheap and probably necessary in cities. If you want to be stupid - well the cost of that was always removing you from the gene-pool. So now we really want to save idiots from themselves so can they breed more like themselves?

One of the horror-stories that 'we don't want you to emigrate' tell about Australia (along with the other perennial fave "The people are so unfreindly. No one ever invites you in to their house. Well, maybe it's them because so far in our little blunder around Tas we got fed tea and lunch and got several more invitations we couldn't take up. Haven't exactly found a shortage of friends yet either) is that the petty rules are smothering, and that the neighbours shop you. Now, we'll just to learn to live with it. But please, someone out there tell me an element of common sense comes into this? I can see it if you live Sydney or Adelaide or even a reasonable sized town. But I've fixed plumbing on fishfarms. If my loo breaks or pipe pops... I'm not expected to wait 16 hours to fly someone in and pay an arm and a leg for the flight to fix it am I? Please tell me this is another one of those 'the people are so unfriendly' stories and that some pragmantism rules. I know there are red lines, but surely there are practical ones?


  1. For repairs it might be an entirely different matter, but according to the Tasmanian Workplace Standards you need an appropriate licence to perform electrical, plumbing, gas or absbestos removal in any building project.

    [Has an Owner-Builder kit which might give you more information.]

  2. There is a difference between what you *should* do and what actually happens. Neighbours generally wouldn't care unless it affects them or you have a running feud with them.

    Electrical work requires an electrician, yeah, I'm not sure about domestic plumbing. I haven't heard that you need a licensed plumber for whatever. Basic repairs, replacing seal on toilets etc, no, or at least no one I know bothers. I could ask my mother though. She's (sub-contracted to) build a couple of houses recently so she'd know the practical application of state regulations.

  3. (note to self:avoid running feuds ;-)) That sounds fair enough. I'm Ok with on construction stuff being at the very least signed off. It was the idea of not fixing what's broken that struck me as ridiculous (and implausible- you can't expect a remote station to fly out someone to fix things - many hours or days later and at terrible cost). We very clearly need to stay inside the law. It's not something I'd break just because I can anyway (I last got a speeding ticket 28 years ago -which is pretty weird in itself) but I do worry about doing it in ignorance, and the expence of city-based beaurocracy.

  4. I have decided the owner-builder kit is worthy of a nomination for the Man booker prize.