Review of QLD Electrical Safety Act

22 February 2024

An overview of key points from our submission to the Queensland Review of the Electrical Safety Act.

Last year, the Electrical Safety Office released an advisory note to those working on air-conditioning and refrigeration systems regarding the scope of work that can be performed under their restricted electrical workers’ licence. The focus came after two serious incidents involving air-conditioning and refrigeration technicians, including a tragic fatality.

AMCA subsequently contacted the ESO to clarify several aspects of the scope, which have now been updated on the website. Please ensure you are familiar with the scope and contact us if you have any uncertainties or concerns.

On a related matter, AMCA made a submission to the Queensland Review of the Electrical Safety Act a few weeks ago. This follows our earlier submission last year, after the release of a final report on the Act and a discussion paper.

The key points raised in our submission are outlined below.

Introduction of extra-low voltage work

The draft legislation introduces extra low voltage work into the definition of electrical work. This new scope is primarily designed to capture work on solar panels and batteries. As such, we understand this change to have no material impact on the scope of work currently performed by air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics (RAC) under the restricted electrical worker licence (REWL). Even so, we have requested the government provide further information, including examples, of the intended application to ensure no unintended consequences.

Like for like replacement

The draft legislation would introduce an amendment to section 19 (types of electrical work for this Act) to exclude like-for-like replacement of an appliance from the definition of an electrical installation. This is a positive amendment that will help to remove uncertainty that has frustrated industry practitioners for some time.

AMCA also encouraged the government to consider an additional exclusion from the definition of an electrical installation to cover work required to modify a connection cable to suit a new appliance (for example, installing or removing lugs to fit the terminal of the new appliance). RAC mechanics are more than qualified to perform this work, so an exclusion covering this work would again provide much-needed clarity.

Clarification about equipment wiring

AMCA Australia encouraged the government to more clearly recognise equipment wiring as a scope of work that can be performed by practitioners working under a restricted electrical work licence.

Performing this work is fundamental to the execution and fulfilment of an RAC mechanics skills, knowledge, and overall competency. It is also essential for a viable HVAC service and maintenance business operation. In accordance with AS 3000, the HVAC industry is very clear that installation wiring cannot be repaired or replaced by the holder of a REWL. However, repair or replacement of equipment wiring has long been considered within the scope of RAC mechanics, who receive extensive training in this type of work.

Got a question? Contact AMCA on 1300 475 615 or