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Company breaches water efficiency and labelling laws

Date Published: 
23 December 2010

A Queensland company has agreed to improve its business practices and provide awareness training to staff after the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) Regulator determined that the company had failed to comply with national water efficiency labelling and standards legislation at two of their business premises.

Bathroom supplies company, Highgrove Trading Pty Ltd, has given an enforceable undertaking to the WELS Regulator after the federal environment department found that the Ashmore and Bundall business premises in Queensland were supplying products not registered or labelled as required under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005.

Department spokesman Mark Kwiatkowski said the undertaking was a good alternative to pursuing the matter in potentially lengthy court proceedings, and meant these business premises and their staff would better understand their legal obligations.

"This is a reminder to all suppliers of nationally regulated domestic water using products that our department takes suspected breaches of the legislation seriously," Mr Kwiatkowski said.

"Companies supplying products such as clothes washers, dishwashers, tapware 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 for a reason - to ensure that consumers are appropriately informed and can make smart choices about water use and water efficient products."

Under the agreement, the company will undertake the following activities in the Ashmore and Bundall business premises:

  • improve its 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 and undertake a range of product auditing and related reporting measures; and
  • be subject to regular auditing at its 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.