Public warning about fencer, Graham James McKenzie | Queensland Building and Construction Commission
Public warning

Queensland’s building industry watchdog has issued a Public Warning about unlicensed fencer Graham James McKenzie, for alleged offences including taking excessive deposits and failing to perform any work.

Mr McKenzie’s trading names include Phoenix Fencing Constructions, Top Gun Fencing and McKenzie Fencing.

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) has launched legal proceedings against Mr McKenzie and urged property owners to avoid using him or any companies associated with him.

The QBCC is investigating an owner’s allegation that they paid a $10,000 deposit to Mr McKenzie in May for a retaining-wall project quoted at about $30,000 but work is yet to start.

QBCC Commissioner, Brett Bassett, said enquiries have also commenced into allegations that Mr McKenzie took four deposits in 2019 totalling almost $17,000 but did little, or no work.

Mr Bassett urged owners to only ever use QBCC-licensed contractors for building or renovation work, including fencing work, regardless of the size of the project.

This is the second recent QBCC Public Warning about a fencer, following the QBCC’s warning in November about Matthew Geoffrey Rixon.

In related news, a Gold Coast home owner who recently hired a fencer via an online service was left with a repair bill bigger than the cost of the original job, after the fencer botched and then abandoned the job, and also flooded the owner’s backyard.

The QBCC strongly encourages consumers to always use the free licence check on the QBCC website to confirm if a person is appropriately licensed.

The QBCC website also offers a free Find a Local Contractor search to help consumers locate a local, licensed and skilled tradesperson.



Generally, if the cost of building work is $20,000 or more, the maximum deposit allowed is 5 per cent of the total contract price (including labour, materials and GST).

If the contract price is between $3,300 and $19,999, the maximum deposit is 10 per cent. An exception applies where more than 50 per cent of the value of the work is to be performed offsite (e.g. for kitchen renovations where the modules are custom-made in a factory), in which case the contractor is permitted to take up to 20 per cent deposit.

For jobs priced at $3,300 or less, the QBCC generally recommends no more than 20 per cent. For all contracts priced at more than $3,300, the number and timing of progress payments is a matter of negotiation between the owner and the contractor.

However, all progress payments must be related to the amount of work performed on site. For example, the contractor can't claim more than 50 per cent of the contract price, including the deposit, until at least 50 per cent of the work has been completed on site.

Last reviewed: 4 Jan 2021 Last published: 4 Jan 2021
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