Reduction of licence and related fees in response to COVID-19 coronavirus
12 month discount on licensing fees
On 31 March 2020, the Premier announced a COVID-19 economic and health relief package. One element of the Government’s package was the waiving of occupational licensing-related fees for a period of 12 months to assist small and medium sized businesses. The term “licensing-related” fees includes fees for various types of authorisations including licences, registrations, permits, certifications, and extends to incorporated associations and co‑operatives.
The Government recently clarified its intention that the waiving of licensing-related fees for a 12 month period is limited to single-year payments.
Licensing-related fees and charges
While the intention in relation to licence fees was being clarified, the Department stopped collecting payments. From 1 July 2020, the collection of the full current value of all licence-related fees will resume.
- One-year or annual licence fees and one-off transaction fees, such as for duplicate licences, will need to be paid until the Regulations are amended. Once the necessary amendment Regulations have been made, any of these fees that have been paid since 1 April 2020 will be refunded in full.
- Multi-year licence fees will need to be paid in full until the Regulations are amended. Once the necessary amendment Regulations have been made, any of these fees that have been paid since 1 April 2020 will be refunded 12 months’ worth of the fee paid.
Once the necessary amendment Regulations have been made, the following will apply:
- Until 31 March 2021, a fee, paid with the application, discounted by one year’s worth of the full fee, will be payable for any licences issued for more than one year; that is:
- the fee payable for a five-year licence will be discounted by one fifth (20%);
- the fee payable for a three-year licence will be discounted by one third (33%);
- the fee payable for a two-year licence will be discounted by one half (50%).
- Refunds equivalent to 12 months of the fee will be provided for fees paid for multi-year licences since 1 April 2020.
- Until 31 March 2021, one-year or annual licence fees and one-off transaction fees will be waived.
- Refunds will be provided for one-year, annual and one-off fees that have been paid since 1 April 2020.
Relevant refunds will be processed in due course. This process will not be able to start until amending Regulations are in place allowing us to refund the relevant amounts. Amending the Regulations will take some time.
We will be making arrangements for sending refunds as soon as possible after the laws have been changed. We may need to contact licensees to ask for their bank details so we can pay the refund. Once the amending Regulations are in place, we will be processing about 15,000 refunds to our various groups of licensees so we ask licensees for their patience during this process.
Plumbing notification and compliance fees
Fees for plumbing notification and compliance fees will be waived for a period of 12 months, starting on the day the new laws commence.
This includes all fees relating to notices of intention, compliance certificates, installation (fixture) fees, purchases of drainage plumbing diagrams, and reinspections that are listed in Schedule 1 of the Plumbers Licensing and Plumbing Standards Regulations 2000.
Any plumbing notification and compliance fees paid prior to the commencement of the new laws will not be refunded, irrespective of when the work was carried out.
Likewise, notices of intention and associated fixture fees lodged after the end of the 12-month period will not be waived, irrespective of when the work was carried out. Fees for reinspections will only be waived if the reinspection occurs within the 12-month period.
Under Western Australia’s self-certification framework for plumbing work, plumbing contractors are still required to submit notices of intention at least 24 hours prior to commencing major plumbing work, irrespective of the fees being waived, and to submit the associated certificate of compliance within five working days of completing that work.
The self-certification process is intended to protect consumers by providing certainty that plumbing work has been performed in accordance with the relevant standards. Penalties apply if these requirements are not complied with. Plumbing inspectors will continue to be actively enforcing these requirements during 12-month period.
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