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Companies breach water efficiency and labelling laws

Date Published: 
12 December 2011

Seven companies from New South Wales 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 seven companies to give an enforceable undertaking to the WELS Regulator are:

  • Bathroom showroom, Just Bathroomware Pty Limited. The department found that the Drummoyne premises in New South Wales was supplying products not registered and labelled, and supplying WELS products with information inconsistent with information in the WELS Standard as required under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005.
  • Cabinet and kitchen manufacturer, Budget Kitchens & Plumbing Supplies Pty Limited. The department found that the Canterbury premises in New South Wales was supplying products not registered and labelled as required under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005.
  • Water filtration and bathroom products supplier, Kaddle Pty Ltd. The department found that the Wangara premises in Western Australia was supplying products not registered and labelled as required under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005.
  • Hardware and timber retailer, Bunnings Group Limited. The department found that the Midland premises in Western Australia was supplying products not registered and labelled as required under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005.
  • Retail bathroom centre, Apollo Investments (WA) Pty Ltd. The department found that the Osborne Park premises in Western Australia was supplying products not registered and labelled and misusing the WELS Standard and information as required under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005.
  • Bathroom fixtures, tiles and accessories retailer, Randall Nominees 2001 Pty Ltd. The department found that the Midvale premises in Western Australia was supplying products not registered and labelled as required under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005.
  • Bathroom accessories supplier, Manifis Station Pty Ltd. The department found that the Mt Hawthorn premises in Western Australia was supplying products not labelled as required under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005.

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.