New claims result in fresh builder warning (Mark Edward Straw – Complete Ceilings and Renovations Pty Ltd)

Consumers are again being warned to be cautious in their dealings with unregistered builder Mark Edward Straw, who may also be using the alias Mark Edward James and is trading as Complete Ceilings and Renovations Pty Ltd.

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety is investigating several new complaints against Mr Straw. The complaints allege contractual and registration breaches including:

  • demanding and receiving excessive deposits for home building work;
  • demanding and accepting non-genuine progress payments;
  • carrying out unregistered building work; and
  • failing to pay subcontractors who have carried out work for him.

Mr Straw has been the subject of several public warnings and prosecutions by the Department over the past five years. He was successfully prosecuted by Consumer Protection in March 2014 and by the Building Commissioner in December 2016. Consumer Protection issued warnings about Mr Straw’s conduct in June 2013 and November 2015.

The types of work carried out by Mr Straw include bathroom and ceiling renovations.

“Mr Straw is not a registered builder and is not entitled to carry out building work valued over $20,000,” Building Commissioner Ken Bowron said.

“Consumers can conduct a registration check on our website before they engage the services of a builder.

“If the home building work is valued between $7,500 and $500,000, the consumer should also familiarise themselves with the protections afforded to them under the Home Building Contracts Act. Under the Act, it is an offence for a builder to demand or receive a deposit in excess of 6.5 per cent of the total contract value; or to demand or receive progress payments for work that has not been carried out or goods not delivered to site.

Residential building work in excess of $20,000 also requires home indemnity insurance to be in place before any work commences and for proof of that insurance to be provided to owners before any payments are demanded.

“Mr Straw’s conduct has been of ongoing concern to our Department and I strongly advise consumers, subcontractors and suppliers to exercise caution in their dealings with him.”


Media Contact: Phone 0466 409 828 or

Building and Energy
Media release
09 Feb 2018

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