Electricians offer flood victims free inspectionsBy Francis Tapim and Andree Withey, Thursday January 31, 2013 - 10:05 EDT
The Electrical Trades Union says a team of electricians is offering free inspections in Bundaberg, in south-east Queensland, for flood affected residents who cannot afford to pay for it.
Union state secretary Peter Simpson says he hopes other electricians in flooded regions will do the same.
"For the people in the Bundaberg area I can tell them we will have free electricians for pensioners and people on unemployment benefits," he said.
"We will have them up and running in the next week or so hopefully and we will have them out to help those ... guys out.
"It will be free, we will only have two to three crews at best but we have done it every flood and every cyclone for the last 10 years and we will be trying to do that again in Bundaberg and Maryborough hopefully."
The union is also warning residents to be wary of people doorknocking, looking for paid electrical work.
He says scammers were charging inflated prices in the 2011 floods.
Mr Simpson says anyone who wants to charge more than $300 for an inspection should be viewed with suspicion.
"Most contractors will do a test for a couple of hundred dollars ... it depends of the circumstances and depends on the area but if someone is rocking up to your door asking for several hundred or thousands of dollars I would be stopping straight away," he said.
"There were scammers last time and there will be scammers this time."
Meanwhile, police are investigating a suspicious fire in Bundaberg overnight.
It caused extensive damage to the Ovens Street unit about 7:30pm (AEST).
Police say two adjoining units also have minor damage.
The area has been under police guard and fire investigators are yet to determine the cause.
© ABC 2013
More breaking news
Large areas of southern Australia can expect a foggy start to the next few mornings, reducing visibility for the first few hours, even in the southeastern capitals.
The strongest southeasterly wind surge since last Dry Season has swept out any lingering sticky humidity from the summer over a large swathe of the central and eastern tropics.
As the mercury plummets across South Australia ahead of winter, coastal properties are preparing for the inevitable storm surges.