You can buy just about anything electrical in Bunnings an Australian DIY store. Power points, light switches and more. You do not need to show an electrical trade licence. The one thing I know you can't buy anymore is an RCD, you would have to go to an Electrical wholesaler for one.
I really don't see the point in trying to restrict what electrical items people can buy. This topic has been raised just recently with the introduction of the new "Part P" of the building regulations in England.
Preventing non-licensed people from buying supplies will just penalize the conscientious DIYer who would have done a good job anyway, and will probably just encourage the "bodge it" brigade to use whatever old parts they can scavenge or obtain elsewhere. Prevent people from buying cable, for example, and they'll probably end up running fixed wiring with flex.
Hi there English, Welcome to ECN!. I see from your profile that you are from Melbourne, Australia. Always good to have you Aussie guys contribute here. What type are of RCD are you referring to?. Over here in NZ, the switch-board mount types have always been an Electrician-only thing here since thier introduction.
Just a secondary comment there English, I personally wouldn't like to see Home-Owners mucking around with switchboard wiring. I mean sell a guy an RCD that mounts on the switch-board he would get the idea that all switchboard work was OK for the Home Owner. Besides an RCBO requires a live feed from the Main Switch or a feed down-stream from there. What is the point of having Registered Electricians, if Mr Home-Owner can circumvent the Regs and AS/NZS 3000?
I really do feel that a person has every right to carry out whatever work he likes on his own house. Of course, there are plenty of people whose lack of knowledge and skill means that they really would be well-advised to leave well alone, but as a matter of principle I don't think the government has any business to restrict such work.
Put together "Englishman's home" and "castle" if you wish.
That would be pretty extreme if I couldn't even buy simple replacement parts like a lamp-socket the ceiling or a plug or switch to replace on a lamp or appliance.
What will happen instead is the make-do out of necessity, such as what someone else here said: pigtailing scavenged lampholders from discarded fixtures or cutting off a length of cord plus the molded plug to splice onto another appliance cord.
I've seen both of these examples one too many times, even on high-current devices like a refrigerator. And ONCE is too many.
What will happen instead is the make-do out of necessity
You've hit the nail on the head there!. A lot of the worst repairs I've seen in the time that I've been doing Electrical work, has been the result of either not having the right parts on hand, not being able to get them or being too miserly to pay someone to have it done properly. Thing is, most of the time, a repair is effected with the 1-piece toolbox (Roll of PVC insulation tape).