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Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme

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Companies breach water efficiency and labelling laws

Date Published: 
26 June 2012

Eight companies from Victoria and Western Australia have agreed to improve their business practices and provide awareness training to staff after failing to comply with national water efficiency labelling and standards legislation at their business premises.

The failures to comply were determined by the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) Regulator, within the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. The Regulator has the option to use administrative actions, such as enforceable undertakings, as an alternative to prosecution, to help manufacturers, importers and retailers to meet their legal obligations under the WELS Act.

The eight companies to give an enforceable undertaking to the WELS Regulator for breaches under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005, are:

    • Bathrooms and kitchen products supplier, Potter's Bathrooms and Kitchens Pty Ltd. , The WELS Regulator found that the Keilor East premises in Victoria was supplying products not registered and labelled as required under the Act.
    • Building materials retailer, Swan Hardware & Staff Pty. Limited. The WELS Regulator found that the Mitcham premises in Victoria was supplying products not labelled and supplying WELS products with information inconsistent with information in the WELS Standard as required under the Act.
    • Retail bathroom equipment supplier, S.N.P. Enterprises (WA) Pty Ltd. The WELS Regulator found that the Malaga premises in Western Australia was supplying products not registered and labelled as required under the Act.
    • Plumbing supplies retailer, Regal Cement and Sales Pty Ltd. The WELS Regulator found that the Malaga premises in Western Australia was supplying products not registered and labelled, misusing the WELS Standard and information and supplying WELS products with information inconsistent with information in the WELS Standard as required under the Act.
    • Plumbing hardware retailer and wholesaler, Shiv Investments Pty Ltd. The WELS Regulator found that the Osborne Park premises in Western Australia was supplying products not labelled and supplying WELS products with information inconsistent with information in the WELS Standard as required under the Act.
    • Plumbing hardware supplier, Beri Distributors Pty Ltd. The WELS Regulator found that the Osborne Park premises in Western Australia was supplying products not registered and labelled as required under the Act. Tiles, bathrooms, kitchens retail and renovation company, Select Corporation Pty Ltd. The WELS Regulator found that the Cannington premises in Western Australia was supplying products not registered and labelled and also supplying WELS products with information inconsistent with the WELS Standard as required under the Act.
    • Bathrooms supplies retailer, Lake Tamblin Pty Ltd. The WELS Regulator found that the Midland premises in Western Australia was supplying products not registered and labelled and also supplying WELS products with information inconsistent with the WELS Standard as required under the Act.

Companies supplying products such as clothes washing machines, dishwashers, toilets, urinals, taps and showers must register and label their products in line with national laws. The laws also apply to products being sold through avenues other than shopfronts, such as showrooms, warehouses, by auction, mail order and via the internet.

These laws are in place to ensure that consumers are appropriately informed and can make smart choices about water use and water efficient products.

Under the agreement, the companies will undertake the following activities in their business premises:

      • improve business practices to ensure that all products subject to the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme are supplied in accordance with the legislation
      • implement a record system for WELS products
      • deliver a compliance training program to staff
      • undertake a range of internal product auditing and related reporting measures
      • be subject to independent product auditing at their cost, to both assist and ensure future compliance.

The WELS Scheme and legislation aims to conserve water supplies by reducing consumption, promoting efficient water use and water saving technologies and ensuring consumers have access to rated and labelled water efficient products.

The maximum penalty for an individual offence under the Act is $33,000 for a corporation and $6,600 for an individual.