Duanne, 24, can’t help but smile as he’s awarded the ‘Master Plumbers Apprentice of the Year’ Award. There is just one very big problem… as his text messages to clients are laid bare

By Lucy Manly for Daily Mail Australia

06:32 Oct 28, 2023, updated 08:50 Oct 28, 2023

  • NSW Fair Trading warns against fraudulent traders
  • Duanne Hevers, 24, is not a licensed plumber
  • Do you know more? Email: [email protected]

In a smiling photo, charismatic western Sydney plumber Duanne Hevers holds up his prize – a power drill and a certificate naming him Master Plumber Indigenous Apprentice of the Year.

There’s only one problem. Duanne, 24, is not and never has been a licensed plumber, according to the NSW Fair Trading Commissioner – who has warned Australians: “Do not engage with Duanne Hevers.”

Former bosses and customers of Hevers across Sydney have spoken out to Daily Mail Australia about the alleged “fake trading” as authorities raise the alarm that Hevers “may be attempting to trade without a license”.

Alleged victims have alleged to Fair Trading that Hevers chases residential building work that requires a license and then “makes false and misleading statements in order to obtain money from them”.

Text messages obtained by Daily Mail Australia show the would-be plumber harassing a former customer for money over a period of several months – and at one point even daring to “take further action” when he didn’t receive any money.

“I have asked you several times to collect my personal belongings and clear my payment… If it is not resolved by 8 p.m. I will take further action,” one text said.

Duanne Hevers is the subject of a public warning from NSW Fair Trading. Above he is holding the “Master Plumber Apprentice of the Year” award in his hand. Duanne harassed a former employer about his possessions after he was fired and demanded he fix his salary or he would “take further action.”

“Hi mate, normally I wouldn’t do this and I apologize for any inconvenience (sic) but for Monday I need to order some equipment for the concrete slabs and such. Is there any chance you can please pay/transfer $950 ASAP so I can continue work,” reads another.

Another message to the same customer requested an urgent transaction for $980 for a purported order of tanks and pumps before providing his personal banking information.

“I need to ask you to make a bank transfer of $980 as soon as possible just to cover the cost of materials. We would be very happy, thank you very much and see you tomorrow.”

Hevers’ former bosses have made a number of allegations against him. Some claim they and their clients are tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket.

Daily Mail Australia reached out to Hevers for comment with detailed questions but received no response.

Duanne was last spotted by a disgruntled ex-employer at a West Tigers game in April. NSW Fair Trading is concerned that Western Sydney plumber Duanne Hevers (pictured 2 from left) may attempt to trade without a license

In March, NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Ms Natasha Mann warned consumers not to do business with Hevers, which had been trading in NSW without a license under the business name Fairwater Plumbing.

“Based on complaints received from consumers, NSW Fair Trading is concerned that Mr Hevers may be attempting to trade without a license.”

“Consumers have complained that Mr Hevers is pursuing residential construction work that requires a permit and is making false and misleading statements in order to obtain money from them.”

Sources said Hevers had recently advertised his plumbing services on community sites and the online marketplace Airtasker.

In NSW, a license is required for all specialist work such as electrical, plumbing and air conditioning work, regardless of cost.

Additionally, a license is required for all other residential work valued at more than $5,000.

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