POLICE fear hundreds of people with limited English are working illegally on building sites across the state using dodgy construction induction cards after paying a Sydney man to sit their tests for the certificates.
Kelvin Fong, 37, was jailed for at least six months for procuring up to 400 construction induction cards — known as “white cards” — and Working at Heights Certifications for unqualified workers in what Magistrate Jennifer Giles described as a “breathtakingly serious offence” that “filled her with dread”.
“You have armed people whose English is poor and who are entirely unqualified to be on building sites and you have armed them to be there with numerous of our families, relatives and friends working on those sites,” she said last week.
One of the fake construction induction cards seized by police. Supplied
Fong obtained the certifications by completing online examinations from a Registered Training Organisation in Queensland, then charged his clients between $90 and $140 for each card.
He used the money, in part, to help him pay his mounting mortgage on his big Kellyville home in northwest Sydney.
The court was told that authorities were unable to track down most of the card holders — meaning there could be hundreds of people still working. Fong’s barrister Francois Salama told the court Fong committed the offences because he felt under pressure to pay back loans.
Fong will be eligible for parole on September 15.