Plumber speaks out amid lead poisoning fears

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched to determine why Wide Bay residents weren't told their hot water could be contaminated until six months after a plumber's work was found to be faulty.

This is after residents were warned Dundowran- based plumber Brett George Hogan, through his business Hot Water One, had exposed up to 800 customers between the Sunshine Coast and Bundaberg to lead contamination by using the wrong solder.

It has since been revealed the QBCC was aware of the potential problem as early as September last year.

Queensland's housing minister Mick deBrenni last night confirmed he had met with the state's building watchdog to find out why it took so long for the public to be told about the potential dangers lurking in their hot water systems.

Mr De'Brenni said the Queensland Building and Construction Commissioner had told him the "internal handling of the issues hasn't met his expectations".

The minister said he "expressed clearly that the Government and community expects the QBCC to move very quickly when there is any risk at all to public safety".

Mr Hogan told the Chronicle yesterday he would appeal the commission's decision to strip him of his plumbing licence.

He claimed he was unfairly targeted by the commission.

"The investigator didn't mention to me the non-compliance solver, they sat on that for six-and-a-half months but went on national news before they tested the water," Mr Hogan said

"They're testing the water now, but they held the press conference yesterday after six-and-a-half months.

"We're devastated, we didn't sleep last night, wondering what we're going to do today, so what we've done today is answer people's questions."

A spokeswoman for the QBCC last night rejected Mr Hogan's claims.

She said the QBCC had dealt with Mr Hogan a number of times since receiving complaints in late 2014.

She also confirmed 28 properties were subject to an investigation by QBCC between September and December last year.

Water samples from 4 of the 8 properties where soft lead solder had been identified is currently being tested by Qld Forensic and Scientific Services.


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