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PP 100019761 $9.90

VOLUME 12 | NUMBER 2 | MAY – JUNE 2015


Marmion, Harvey – Ministers write


Golden Gate guardian


Master Builders – Murdoch tackle waste


Proportionate liability and insurance

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contents M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

OUR COVER Brian Burke Homes again triumphed at the 2015 Housing Excellence Awards with the Top Home Award but there were other notable winners. See pages 34 - 38 for details.




President’s File ......................................................4

Opinion ................................................................10

Tool Safety ............................................................77

Director’s File .........................................................6

Building Business ................................................30

Sporting Surfaces ................................................80

Word from the Hill ..................................................7

Housing ................................................................40

Durability in Buildings ...........................................82


Insurance ..............................................................46

General News ......................................................12

Legal .....................................................................47

Industrial Relations ...............................................43

Branches .............................................................24

Health ...................................................................50 Membership .........................................................55

AWARDS Housing Excellence Awards ................................34

Personal Pars .......................................................60 Safety ...................................................................64 Technical .............................................................67 Training .................................................................71 Utilities .................................................................. 74


Crowther Blayne & Associates Pty Ltd Phone: 1800 222 757 Fax: 1800 063 151 Email: National Sales and Marketing Manager: Trish Riley Sales Manager: Daniel Rutland Executive Sales: Rose Delosreyes, Craig Flenley, Peter Shepherd, Stuart Tovey Email: Graphic Design Team: Andrew Crabb, Byron Bailey and Carol Taylor Editor: Samantha Regan Production Coordinator: Yvonne Okseniuk Printed by Newstyle Printing Master Builder is the official publication of The Master Builders Association of Western Australia. It is produced five times per year and published by Crowther-Blayne & Associates Pty Ltd. Master Builders Association of Western Australia was established in1898 and is the state’s oldest building industry organisation. The MBAWA is part of the Australia-wide Master Builder movement. Master Builder is produced to keep members informed of matters affecting them. Opinions and/ or statements in any editorial and/or advertisements are not necessarily those of the publisher and/or the MBAWA. The publisher reserves the right to reject any material deemed unsuitable for publication. Other than for the purposes of and subject to the conditions prescribed under the copyright Act 1968, no part of Master Builder may in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, microcopying, photocopying, recording or otherwise) be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted without prior written permission from the MBAWA or Crowther-Blayne & Associates Pty Ltd.

MBAWA BOARD OF MANAGEMENT: President: John Ripp Senior Vice President: Robert Spadaccini Vice President: David Crothers Treasurer: Chris Lillis Immediate Past President: Robert Shaw Board Members: George Allingame, Philip Kemp, Jason Kunkler, Andy Peppercorn, Dan Perkins, Jack Pleiter, Michael Vermey. SENIOR STAFF: Director: Michael McLean Contracts & Administration Manager: Charles Anderson Construction Director: Kim Richardson Membership Services Manager: Veronica Mill Housing & Business Development Director: Geoff Cooper Partnerships & Marketing Manager: Kelly Dewar-Matusik Events Manager: Pippa Tearne Technical Advisor: Romina De Santis Training Director: Neil Du Rand Safety Manager: Michael Fitzgerald Waste Reduction Consultant: Michael Norriss

HEAD OFFICE: 35-37 Havelock Street, West Perth WA 6005 Post: PO Box 167, West Perth WA 6872 Phone: (08) 9476 9800 (Country) 1300 550 262 Fax: (08) 9476 9801 Email: Website: MASTER BUILDERS TRAINING CENTRE 594 Hay Street Jolimont WA  6014 Phone: (08) 9441 8000 Fax: (08) 9441 8001 Email: REGIONAL BRANCHES: Albany-Great Southern: Linda Gibbs Ph 9841 6232 Bunbury-South West: Geoff Bosustow Ph 9721 6547 Geraldton-North West: Dianne Gilleland Ph 9921 5061 Esperance: Doug Backhouse Ph 0437 184 366 Kalgoorlie: Amy Bell Ph 0412 487 970 MEMBERSHIP INQUIRIES: Veronica Mill Ph (08) 9476 9800 SUBSCRIPTION ENQUIRIES: Master Builder is available for subscription at a cost of $55/year. Contact Membership Services Manager Veronica Mill via email at for further information.

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FOREWORDS president’s file M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

PLANNING FOR OUR FUTURE The Federal Government’s Intergenerational Report - released in March - makes for interesting reading. It highlights a number of things about Australia’s strong population growth and trends in the make-up of our society.

a sensible way to achieve this even though we still would be subject to individual peculiarities via different town planning schemes. Now that Council amalgamations are off the Barnett Government’s agenda, it is time to focus on meaningful planning reform. Why has it taken so long to exempt single detached residential dwellings that comply with the Residential Design Codes from the planning approvals process? Surely this is a no-brainer and should proceed immediately. John Ripp

What I found startling was the fact that Australia will need more than nine million new homes to meet the needs of the population projected in the Intergenerational Report. This means we will need more than double our current housing stock over the next 40 years to accommodate the expected 1.3 per cent annual increase in population growth. It’s a long-term growth story. Our local and state governments and their planning systems will play a crucial role in providing affordable housing options for future generations. Regrettably, if current planning approvals practices are anything to go by, I for one am not inspired with confidence!

In speaking to many builders on my travels around WA, planning is clearly the area that frustrates our profession the most. One of my own four-storey commercial developments has taken more than 11 months for planning approvals and has exposed a serious lack of infrastructure in the form of electrical and water supply. Then there are the fire protection systems that require special approval, not from a qualified consulting engineer, but from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services. Give me a break! Trying to explain these delays to clients and justifying the additional costs is impossible, but what are we as builders expected to do?

As a builder of both residential and commercial projects, I have experienced first hand on many occasions how an inefficient and out-dated planning system can cause significant delays and additional costs to a building project. And guess who pays? Master Builders supported the WA Government’s proposal for 30 metropolitan Councils to be amalgamated into about 15 because we wanted to have more consistency and accountability among them. Reducing the number seemed like

Acknowledging the Support of our 2015 Partners:

At a recent Master Builders’ breakfast forum we found out that we are set for ongoing demand for apartments to build on the 34 per cent growth we’ve seen since 2010. With more medium and higher density residential developments proposed, there is a real opportunity here for the WA Government to show some leadership on planning reform within its jurisdiction. A good start would be to make all planning requirements transparent and prescribe a tighter time-line for approvals. The State Government shouldn’t give up on planning reforms as a result of its problems in reducing the number of local Councils. Introducing a private certification regime for planning, just like it did for building, would be a welcome initiative as a first step. Now is not a time for our State Government to wave the white flag on all reforms. By focussing on planning reforms, it will re-energise and redevelop some of our ‘stagnant’ community centres and ensure our future economic growth. John Ripp



FOREWORDS director’s file M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

THE EIGHT PHASES OF OUR HOUSING AWARDS Master Builders’ housing awards showcase WA builders’ world-class workmanship. Because of fierce competition in the housing industry, the process of determining winners needs to be accountable and transparent.

all builders, not just Master Builder members. Although members pay less per entry, other builders can enter their homes. Categorising entries: Soon after entries close, our staff list details of each entry and review the contractual values of each category. If we receive many entries in a particular category we are likely to split it. During this phase staff also work out a judging schedule.

Michael McLean

Many people see only the awards presentations, but for some builders the journey to winning a Master Builders’ housing award could start years before. For our staff, it’s an eight-phase 12-month project. Determining categories: These are endorsed by Master Builders’ Housing Council. Each year, new categories are considered giving effect to either new construction forms (such as modular housing) or promoting new trends (smaller lots; a focus on waste management or recycling). Identifying sponsors, alliance partners: Professional, glamorous awards require sponsors or alliance partners who share our vision of excellence. We are fortunate to have a loyal group of partners who have supported us for years. Our principal partner Bankwest, for example, has been naming rights partner for the last eight years. Naturally, new sponsors wanting to showcase products or services always are welcome. Call for entries: The awards entry kit is circulated in July. What distinguishes our awards from others is that the competition is open to

Judging program: We had 25 judges this year, all registered builders. None judge homes or categories in which he or she tends to specialise. Importantly, this avoids any perception of conflict or bias. Judges have the same judging sheet to assess each entry based on construction aspects. Workmanship is the focus, not design or street appeal. Each judge inspects each house in that category and independently records marks. The marks are reviewed and entries ranked to determine up to three finalists, one of which will be the category winner. The highest scoring homes in each price category are reviewed to decide overall winners such as Best Display. As witnessed this year, the most expensive home doesn’t always win. Regional homes are judged through the year with the top home from each of our five regions competing for the Best Country Home award. Awards presentation: Much organisation and attention to detail goes into production of the Master Builders Bankwest Housing Excellence Awards. Our events team, Pippa Tearne and Monique Milne, work hard with DG Global to ensure everyone who attends the awards function has an enjoyable experience. There is a focus on the evening’s cuisine, entertainment and format. Marketing: Celebrating the success of award champions is important. For the last 16 years

Acknowledging the Support of our 2015 Partners:

we’ve been fortunate to have been involved with Home in WA, which televises some of our winners across the State through Channel 7 and the GWN network. The Sunday Times also promotes our winners and some entrants via its HOME Feature. Crowther Blayne produces the magnificent Winning Homes magazine, distributed at the awards and then in newsagents. Regional newspapers and other media, including social media, also are utilised. National awards: Master Builders Australia co-ordinates annual awards, to be held this year with our national conference on the Gold Coast in November. There are fewer National Awards categories and consequently our staff decide which homes - based on their scores - are entered. The national category entrants are judged on photos, judges’ comments and features of the entrants. As can be seen, the awards involve a comprehensive process. It evolves but has stood the test of time based largely on integrity and accountability. Builders are welcome to nominate to participate in judging. It is voluntary but based on feedback - extremely rewarding. Winning a Master Builders’ housing award is a great achievement reinforcing the builder’s quality of supervision and the workmanship of specialist trades. The awards also provide an independent barometer of how a builder’s workmanship compares with that of competitors even though the difference often is marginal. Most builders genuinely believe their entries are the best. Accepting a contrary opinion from peers can be testing. But like any elite competition, there can be only one winner in a strong field. That winner is your client – the homebuyer. Michael McLean

word from the hill FOREWORDS 7 M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

From time to time, Master Builder invites government members to contribute on current topics and developments. Nedlands MLA Bill Marmion entered Parliament in 2008 and since 2010 has held a number of Ministerial appointments. As Minister for Finance, the scissors are out as he tackles...

RED TAPE REDUCTION Have you heard claims we’re living in a ‘nanny state’, a place where rules are overly prescriptive and too much of a burden on businesses and communities? After a long career in civil engineering and consulting, I am in no doubt we need regulations and enjoy the security and legal protection that they can underpin. The building industry is a case in point: both builders and homebuyers benefit from knowing their rights and obligations in what is one of our most important pursuits, providing housing and construction in the fastest growing state in the nation. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make regulation smarter, faster and more responsive, especially across a sector that involves such a wide range of activities, from planning permits to plumbing and painting contractors. In fact, it’s imperative we cut red tape, while maintaining the regulatory security and certainty that makes Western Australia a magnet for investment and immigration, as well as one of the world’s best places to live. That’s why the State Government is making red tape reduction one of its top priorities and wants building industry input, to help ensure our new Reinvigorating Regulatory Reform program delivers real and ongoing benefits for WA businesses. Shortly after coming to power, we released the 2009 Reducing The Burden report. Ninety-six of its 107 recommendations have been actioned or completed, including many affecting the building and development sector through reforms across the departments of planning, commerce, lands, finance and environment.

Armadale homebuyer David Andrews (left) and Australian Institute of Conveyancers WA CEO Dion Desualdo (right) are backing Finance Minister Bill Marmion’s wide-ranging red tape reform program to reduce business costs.

‘red tape champions’ across departments, and reform key performance indicators for departmental director-generals.

and highlights the efficiencies that can be achieved when government and industry work together to cut red tape.

The Department of Finance’s Economic Reform unit will drive the program, with the focus on cost-cutting and convenience for businesses and the community by streamlining processes and breaking down barriers to entrepreneurship, employment and investment.

The conveyancing industry tells me these relatively simple changes are helping more and more Western Australians realise their housing dreams faster, while homebuyers have been delighted with the reform, especially when compared with the old manual process.

As Minister for Mines, I have overseen a red tape reduction program forecast to save the resources industry more than $30 million per year. As the new Finance Minister, I want to see that sort of innovation replicated across government.

So imagine what we can achieve together for the building and construction sector?

While the 2009 report yielded significant improvements, it goes without saying that there is much to be done. We live in times of accelerating change and rapid uptake of new technologies. What works now may not be the best way to manage things in the future.

A shining example of the potential has come from a collaboration between the Department of Finance’s Office of State Revenue and the Australian Institute of Conveyancers. State Revenue recently marked the one thousandth Electronic Valuation Request, an innovative enhancement of its Revenue Online system that has cut around 10 days off processing times for property transactions and helped free up homebuyers’ funds.

To keep up, our new plan will drive continuous innovation by implementing ‘red tape reduction report cards’ for Government Ministers,

That’s a saving of 10,000 business days in purchasers’ waiting time since the online system was upgraded in July last year

I want to hear from industry members and the community about what red tape challenges you have encountered, along with suggestions you may have for improving government regulation. The Department of Finance’s Economic Reform unit will take these ideas and work with the relevant agencies to reform systems, make compliance more convenient and cut the cost of doing business. I invite you to log on to and together let’s build a better Western Australia.


FOREWORDS word from the hill M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

With an ageing workforce and boom and bust cycles, the issues of skills and training are never far from the minds of building industry leaders. Here, Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey looks at the work she and her department have been undertaking to ensure one of industry’s great traditions, along with other programs, continue to deliver.

SUPPORTING APPRENTICES AND TRAINEES Under Future Skills WA, students have a choice of more than 600 of these priority courses in which they can enrol. This includes all apprenticeships and eligible traineeships.

Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey.

Since taking on the training and workforce development portfolio late last year, I have learned a lot about the sector, and have been encouraged by the number of apprentices in Western Australia who are taking up a trade in the building and construction industry. Statistics from the Department of Training and Workforce Development show that the number of apprenticeship commencements in building and construction trades increased by 28.6 per cent in the 12 months to 30 September 2014. Apprenticeship commencements in building and construction trades made up 29.1 per cent of all apprenticeship commencement in the 12 months to 30 September 2014. Further, building and construction trades made up 21.8 per cent of all apprentices in training, as at 30 September 2014.

Through our investment in training, we have also introduced several initiatives in recent months to assist apprentices and trainees further. This includes doubling the accommodation allowance offered to the State’s apprentices and trainees who travel to attend off-the-job training, where the training is not available locally. Increasing the allowance will help those students living in regional areas to stay in their training program, retaining the benefits of having locally-based tradespeople for the regional workforce. I was also pleased to announce in March a new scholarship program to encourage women into trade and industry areas with low female participation. The focus is on those occupations where women make up less than 25 per cent of the total workforce. The scholarships will provide new opportunities for women to take up training in a range of trade and industry areas, including construction and electrical.

With unprecedented growth in the residential sector, along with resilient commercial and civil construction sectors, there is demand for skilled workers in the industry, including apprentices and trainees.

Up to 400 scholarships, to the value of $3000 each, will be available to women over the age of 18 who have left school and undertake training at Certificate III level or above in specified qualifications. Eligible women undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship will receive $1000, with their employer given $2000 as an incentive and to assist with training costs.

To help industry meet its workforce needs, the State Government continues to invest in training that gives people the skills and qualifications that lead to jobs that are, or will be, in high demand in Western Australia.

Scholarship funds can be used towards costs associated with training, including learning resources, mentoring and fees. The scholarship can also be used to address specific barriers such as transport costs and childcare.

A key part of this investment has come with the implementation of Future Skills WA, which is designed to encourage students into State priority industry courses by providing a higher level of government subsidy and lower course fees. By 2017, the Government will subsidise, on average, more than 80 per cent of course costs.

While these new initiatives will have a positive impact on trade training, we will continue to support other pathways that can lead to an apprenticeship. This includes Vocational Education and Training in Schools and preapprenticeship programs.

Following a review of the pre-apprenticeship system last year, a revised WA Preapprenticeship Program for 2015 has been introduced. This will ensure the program continues to benefit students while also meeting the needs of industry. Among the changes, the new program will ensure students spend enough time in the workplace to develop essential skills and gain experience that will allow them to transition easily from school to work. Through the review, industry emphasised the value of the pre-apprenticeship program as a way for students to develop relevant skills. This greatly improves a young person’s overall employment prospects while also providing an alternative pathway to enter an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships and traineeships are a significant part of our training system and I want to make sure apprentices and trainees have the right skills to continue to meet Western Australia’s future workforce needs. I look forward to engaging with industry stakeholders to help further strengthen the training sector and deliver a job ready workforce.

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UPDATES opinion M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

Reform of infrastructure will attract investment to develop more quality homes and businesses in WA, says Master Builders’ housing director Geoff Cooper.


Geoff Cooper

Unfortunately, certainty is hard to find when comes to infrastructure investment plans by government agencies and utilities. In WA, sadly, we have little idea what infrastructure will be available to support investment in greenfield or infill developments in five or 10 years’ time. Can a government agency tell me with much certainty when rail will be in the area? Can they tell me what roads are going to be constructed and where? When is the next school planned to be built for a new development? We simply don’t know what is going to built, where it is going to built, when it is going to built, or how it will be funded. We do know that the higher risk associated with property investment due to uncertainty about infrastructure provision requires a higher return to investors. Thus we are paying more for infrastructure and property in WA due to a lack of infrastructure planning. Commonly in WA, government agencies and utilities announce future infrastructure plans with limited or no reference to other plans. The current WA Government infrastructure coordination group hasn’t delivered. Adding to the uncertainty for investors is our political system. Political parties have shown a ready willingness to change long term planning goals and incur unnecessary cost. As an example, in 2001 widening of the Narrows Bridge in Perth had barely been completed when a newly elected government decided major (costly) works then were required to accommodate a rail line running down the middle of the Kwinana Freeway. Irrespective of the other merits of the project, we ended up paying more for it because we didn’t have a long term plan.

Our infrastructure plans are also subject to sabotage by local governments who often take a ‘not in my backyard’ approach to density that would otherwise help support public transport-backed activity nodes that make projects viable. It was great to see the Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently call for a single body within government to oversee infrastructure planning in our State. The Chamber also called for private sector representation on this body. It is a helpful, insightful paper that advances the argument for immediate infrastructure reforms that will boost development opportunities and enhance our standard of living. But the paper fails to take the next step of recommending that an independent body take on responsibility for deciding on the infrastructure expenditure in WA. This new infrastructure body should be given an annual budget, set 3-10 years in advance, and allocate funds to projects per its published priorities. It could be called the Infrastructure Council of WA with government and private sector councillors. This key additional step would take infrastructure planning and delivery out of direct political control in WA. Unfortunately, our politicians have proved incapable of making balanced and impartial judgements on major infrastructure projects. They seem to look at marginal electorate polling, undertake extremely limited consultation, and announce their ‘costed’ policy in a media release during election campaigns. The newly elected Victorian Government has acted on an election promise to dump the major East-West Link infrastructure project that was already underway. The issue is in the hands of lawyers now, arguing over $1 billion of tax payers’ money and a large compensation claim. Our State Government apparently has sidetracked promised light rail projects in Perth. It seems that they hadn’t been properly planned either.

Many years ago, it was recognised that politicians were not the correct group to decide on interest rates. Short term political motivations were overruling prudent longer term decision making on this crucial macroeconomic policy setting. The reaction was to use the Reserve Bank of Australia board to make ‘balanced’ decisions. We need to look at a body independent of the immediate control of politicians to issue a transparent long term infrastructure plan in WA and prioritise investments over a long period. This crucial reform could unlock the development potential of our community to house and support the millions of extra people we will have in WA in the next three decades. It will attract domestic superannuation funding and foreign investment that is so vital to improving our standard of living.

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REPORTS general news M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

Participants in the NATSPEC Construction Information forum at Master Builders in March.


The Building Commission is enhancing its complaints system.

BUILDING COMMISSION COMPLAINTS SYSTEM ENHANCED Recent enhancements to the Building Commission’s complaints system will allow it to distinguish between complaints about registered and unregistered building service providers and capture more information about complaints in general. The Commission says it has an important role to play in assisting building service providers and consumers to resolve building disputes about regulated building services and home building work contracts. The enhancements to the complaints system will allow the Commission to better identify trends in the information it captures. In the first eight months of the 2014/15 financial year, the Commission received 580 building related complaints. Of those, 315 related to complaints made against registered building service providers.

The Commission also has commenced an initiative to communicate with builders who are subject to high numbers of complaints as an early warning service. It will provide the builders with a summary of the complaints received and guidance so they can target their resources to address problem areas. The Commission says, however, that its dispute resolution services are not just for home owners. Builders experiencing non-payment by clients under home building work contracts (those valued between $7500 and $500,000 and related to residential work) also can lodge complaints. More information about the building complaints process is available on the Building Commission website au/building-commission/building-complaint.

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson was the special guest at Master Builders’ March board of management meeting.

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson (left) with Master Builders’ president John Ripp at the Association’s March board meeting.


NATSPEC Construction Information convened a forum of key stakeholders at Master Builders in March discussing opportunities for, and barriers to, innovation in construction. With NATSPEC CEO Richard Choy leading the fray, the topic provoked a range of views and ideas from the attendees who included representatives of builders, architects, engineers and Government authorities Building Management and Works and Strategic Projects. Master Builders’ director Michael McLean, who represented the Association at the forum, says innovation is something the building and construction industry has relied on for decades to provide a more efficient, safer and productive industry. “Innovation can take many forms,” he said, “such as measures to improve energy efficiency and sustainability, initiatives to improve safety and health, agreements to enhance industrial relations, technology to work smarter, different procurement methods to reduce construction costs and times and research to compare the performance of various building materials and forms. The list goes on.” Mr McLean said three agreed outcomes of the forum were to focus on:

Association director Michael McLean reports that although council amalgamations no longer are proceeding, it was useful to get the Minister’s perspective on the process and why it failed. “More importantly to Master Builders is improving the planning approvals process in the context of conflicting town planning schemes,” Mr McLean said.

Refresher safety training every five years to raise safety awareness and standards. Industry safety awards to recognise individuals and businesses committed to safety.

“The Minister was also very supportive of Master Builders presenting a best practice award to local government authorities to recognise those councils that are customer focussed. Our board now intends to meet with WALGA president Troy Pickard to progress some of these issues.”

NATSPEC is a national not-for-profit organisation whose objective is to improve the construction quality and productivity of the built environment through leadership of information.

Creating an award to showcase the range of innovative thinking and solutions across the vast building industry.

general news REPORTS 13 M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

TWENTY YEARS UP FOR ABSOLUTE BALUSTRADES Master Builder member Absolute Balustrades is celebrating its twentieth anniversary in 2015. The family owned and operated business is based in Wangara. Its products include balustrade for balconies, staircases, pool fencing, fencing and gates and plantation shutters. After completing his sheet metal apprenticeship and spending the next 20 years developing skills and knowledge in the balustrade industry, Les Cowley established Absolute Balustrades in July 1995. His commitment to quality craftsmanship and compliance with Australian Standards enabled the company to become a leader in the market, winning the Telstra and WA Small Business Development Award for businesses with fewer than 50 employees in the North West metropolitan region in 1998 and 1999.

Absolute Balustrades celebrates 20 years in business in 2015.

Absolute Balustrades has opted not to take production to Asia and, instead, has held its own in the Perth market.

The company quickly grew to offer a wide range of aluminium, glass and stainless steel products. John Timms joined in 2002, contributing 38 years’ experience in the manufacturing, chemical, mining, mineral processing and construction industries. In 2008, continued success and growth led to a move to a purpose built office and factory in Inspiration Drive, Wangara.

“Importing glass from Asia would have cut costs, but it would have meant compromising on the high standard of quality that ABS is renowned for in the industry,” says managing partner Les Cowley. “Our regular clients are willing to pay that little bit extra for a superior product, excellent customer service and competitive lead times, from a trusted supplier.”

There have been significant changes to the balustrade market and to Perth since the company opened. The market has been flooded with imports from Asia, which, the company says, don’t always meet Australian Standards. Despite the tough competition,

With the construction industry slowdown in recent years, the company’s focus on high quality and service has been crucial to remaining competitive and winning contracts in a price sensitive market. According to Mr Cowley, the company follows three core

principles – quality craftsmanship, innovative design and impeccable customer service. He says these principles have gained the company its reputation among some of Perth’s top builders including BGC Construction, Pindan, Peter Stannard Homes, Alcock Brown-Neaves Group and Beaumonde Homes. “The continued growth and success of ABS is largely due to the team's extensive experience, reliability and commitment to customer service and quality products,” John Timms says. “Most of our employees have been here over 10 years and are experts in their fields.” Visit Absolute Balustrades’ showroom at 73 Inspiration Drive, Wangara, call 9302 1947 or visit the company’s website at

LANDGATE PROFILES PROPERTY MARKET Information regarding all property-related documents lodged with Landgate, together with information on new lot creations, is being published monthly by Landgate in its Business Activity Profile. Landgate, which describes the BAP as a barometer of the state of the WA property market, says that, at a glance, builders, developers, property professionals and the community can get a feel for what has been happening in the market, with annual and month-on-month comparisons. “It is an easy way to identify trends in lot creation, including subdivisional lots, strata lots and new lots,” Landgate says. “It also covers the number of documents that have been lodged and title search activity.”

The February BAP shows financial year-to-date figures for strata lot creation are at a six-year high, with 8205 strata lots created between July 2014 and February. A comparison of strata lots created for the month of February reflects a 27.52 per cent increase from 814 in February 2014 to 1038 this year. The 1038 figure is well ahead of the three-year February average of 787. Strata lots represented 39.17 per cent of all lots created in February (2650 lots). A continuing upward trend in the creation of strata lots supports the need for a robust and suitable legislative framework for strata in WA. The State Government has identified reform of the Strata Titles Act as a key priority and Landgate is leading the reform process, with outcomes due for release in 2015. Landgate’s

online FAQs give industry professionals and the community a simple overview on proposed reforms and the key benefits. Landgate’s valuer general regularly updates house price and lot development statistics to help property professionals and investors identify trends in the property market. Also available is a free Property Sales Alert service, to track sales activity for a chosen property address, street or an entire suburb. To read the latest Business Activity Reports and information on strata title reform, visit For more about Landgate’s products and services, call Emiria Nyakudarika on 9273 7346 or email emiria.


REPORTS general news M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

CHRISTMAS PLEA ANSWERED Attorney General and Minister for Commerce Michael Mischin.

In the December 2014-January 2015 edition of this magazine, Master Builders’ director Michael McLean set out a Christmas wish list which he hoped our State and Federal Governments would tackle. We are pleased to report that WA Attorney General and Minister for Commerce Michael Mischin responded in relation to matters within his control and is happy for his comments to be published. We thank the Minister and reproduce Mr McLean’s thoughts and the Minister’s remarks. McLean wished for: An overhaul of our planning regime which will exclude single detached Residential Design Code-compliant houses from having to obtain planning permits. How simple is that, but how long have we been waiting for this basic reform which will be a godsend to builders and clients? And: Expediting a review of the Residential Design Codes taking into account the trend towards smaller lots and more flexible new home designs. Then we can move on to private certification of planning approvals which will provide even more efficiencies in the building process. Mischin: As you are probably aware, the State Government is currently progressing significant planning reform through its planning portfolio, as outlined in Planning Makes it Happen, Phase Two – Blueprint for Planning Reform. On 18 November 2014, the Planning Minister announced the removal of the requirement for planning approval for R-Code-compliant single dwellings as part of a suite of reforms. I am unable to comment further on planning reform as it does not fall within my portfolio. Editor’s Note: wish granted during production of the December-January edition. The Government is committed to the continual improvement of the building control framework by introducing efficiencies that benefit all parties involved, where possible. An example of this is the recent Instant Start

initiative, which will provide greater certainty and streamline the building permit application process by allowing registered builders to start construction of single residential buildings upon lodging a certified building permit application while the application is processed by the local government. Having competent independent experts certify compliance with planning and building requirements will remove delays in starting works. The Instant Start initiative is expected to commence in May 2015. McLean wished for: The Barnett Government introducing a Code of Practice to determine parameters of acceptable industrial relations behaviour on public sector construction sites. The Victorian model is a good example. Taxpayers will be the ultimate beneficiaries. Mischin: The State Government recognises the significant contribution the building and construction industry makes to the State’s economy. The Government is committed to ensuring that the industry’s productivity is not unnecessarily adversely impacted by unlawful conduct, particularly on projects that are funded by the State. Accordingly, the Government is currently scoping the appropriateness and resource implications of re-introducing a State Building Industry Code of Practice and establishing a unit within an existing State agency to monitor the industry’s compliance with its provisions. McLean wished for: Resolving the future of housing indemnity insurance in WA. The Barnett Government wants to keep it in place to protect homebuyers but at what cost? Amendments to the 18-year-old scheme are necessary to make it fairer and more viable. Mischin: The Government is committed to resolving the future of home indemnity insurance in Western Australia. Last year Cabinet approved the extension of existing contracts with Calliden and QBE for the management of HII underwriting and claims in Western Australia for a further two years from 1 November 2014. During this two year period the Government will work with industry and insurers to make the product sustainable for the medium to long term by examining options to target the requirement for HII on areas of high risk for consumers

and to make the product more attractive for private sector underwriters. McLean wished for: Extending builders’ registration to the whole of WA. Tiered registration has been put on hold by the Building Commission. Both projects need to be progressed in 2015. Mischin: I expect reforms to extend builders’ registration to the whole of the State and to implement tiered registration to be progressed in 2015. McLean wished for: An outcome in 2015 in relation to [the Minister’s] far-reaching model Safety Bill tabled in State parliament. This is important legislation which requires careful analysis. Master Builders will be providing feedback after consulting members. We still aren’t sure whether the legislation is necessary even though many provisions mirror what exists in other jurisdictions. Mischin: Safety and health in the workplace is an important issue, and the State Government must be satisfied that the reforms proposed in the Work Health and Safety Bill 2014 (the Green Bill) will enhance, rather than compromise the safety of workplaces. Public comment for the Green Bill closed on 31 January 2015 and the MBAWA’s submission is acknowledged. An analysis of all submissions made in relation to the Green Bill is presently being prepared by the Department of Commerce to inform the State Government of the community’s views. A decision on the Green Bill will be taken when the State Government is satisfied that the proposed reforms are in the best interests of Western Australians. “I appreciate the MBAWA’s significant contribution to the reform agenda and look forward to continuing to work with [the] association in 2015 to develop and implement reforms to benefit both industry and the broader community in Western Australia,” the Minister’s correspondence concludes. Master Builders thanks the Minister for his responses and, indeed, looks forward to working with him and his Ministerial colleagues.

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REPORTS general news M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

FOCUS ON SIGNS LIVES UP TO NAME Master Builder member Focus on Signs racked up some impressive statistics as part of the recent Cockburn Gateway Shopping Centre expansion. Signage produced and installed by the company ranged from Braille signs to car park and street directional signs, illuminated directional signs, external 3D illuminated building signs and to the pylon signs. Standing at 22 metres, the main four legged illuminated pylon sign is six metres square and has seven internal working platforms making it the largest free standing pylon in the State. “It involved quite a varied amount of work and was challenging at times,” says Paul Louth, managing director of Focus on Signs. “We had no real construction drawings to work from when costing the project, making life a bit difficult. “In our industry, we are seldom given detailed drawings as signs are not your normal building products even though they are an integral part of the presentation and marketing. All that aside, we love a challenge and the bigger the project the better.” Focus on Signs is a small family operated business based in Wangara. Mr Louth says it is very fortunate to have staff skilled in project management, graphic design, boiler making, sheet metal, spray painting and large format printing. The company also has its own installation team, meaning it is not reliant on outside trades. Mr Louth has been working in Perth as a sign maker for 40 years and has seen a huge change in manufacturing designs from the days when most signs were simply sign written. “Today, most sign makers wouldn’t touch a paint brush other than to touch up scratches,” he said. This year, Focus on Signs will be working on an even larger project, the new International Airport. “We are contracted to manufacture close to 1000 directional signs and although we have no enormous pylon to build, this is the most challenging project we have ever encountered,” Mr Louth said. “But like every project, we just have to maintain our standards and ensure we are in constant communication with the builder.”


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REPORTS general news M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5


Builder member of the Building Services Board John Mitchell (left) with George Allingame (centre) and David Crothers at Master Builders’ March meeting.

MITCHELL REPORTS ON BSB Master Builders’ life member John Mitchell, who has represented builders on the Building Services Board for the last four years, attended the Association’s March Board meeting to give an update on BSB operations. “With the term of current BSB members due to expire in August, it is important for Master Builders to consider who might be most suitable and available to represent builders on this important Board should John Mitchell decide not to continue,” says Association director Michael McLean. Mr Mitchell reported that the BSB has 12 scheduled monthly meetings annually and infrequent out-of-session meetings. The latter usually are highly focussed and conducted by email. Meetings last between four hours and approaching a full day. Mostly they last about five-and-a-half hours and this is taken to be a full day.

Sergeant Kevin Briggs, known as the Guardian of the Golden Gate, was the high profile speaker at a recent MATES in Construction WA lunch.

Sergeant Kevin Briggs, known as the Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge, told a packed MATES in Construction WA fundraising lunch in March that listening was a key to preventing people from jumping off San Francisco Bay’s famous bridge. "We need to listen to them. We need to give them time. High emotions equals low rational thoughts," he said. "As humans, we cannot remain on an emotional high for a long period of time. We need to prolong a conversation. We go with that." Mr Briggs, a former soldier and later a California Highway Patrol officer, stopped upwards of 200 people from jumping off the famous bridge. Only two people decided to jump after he interceded. He told the lunch that the US needed exactly the same organisation as MATES in Construction. "We need to get people before they step over the bridge, get them at the construction sites," he said. He spent 20 years patrolling the Golden Gate Bridge and talked regularly to people contemplating suicide. "When you're talking to someone, it's about them, not you,” he said. “I don't talk about me. It's all about them. That's all it takes for a lot of folks. You just listen. I didn't save anybody. They come back alone. It's their decision." In retirement, Mr Briggs focuses his efforts on suicide prevention.

Mr Mitchell said meetings, usually on Tuesdays, currently are held at the West Centre in Hay Street, West Perth. However, this is increasingly difficult as the Building Commission is located in Cannington. In future, the BSB might meet at the Cannington office. Typical issues considered by the BSB include refusals of registration and disciplinary matters. The BSB has delegated some registration powers to Building Commission officers but notes these delegated decisions, keeps abreast of media releases, debates registration issues and determines BSB policy and disciplinary matters. Members of the Building Services Board are chairman Steve Carulli, deputy chairman and building surveyor Helmut Schwanke, Mr Mitchell and Laurie Kruize (builder members), Faye Stewart and Fiona Duffy (painter members), Mark Donnelly (building surveyor) and Joanne Motteram and Genevieve Cleary (consumer representatives). Moshe Gilovitz is executive officer and Elizabeth Bleakley board secretary.

Speaking after Mr Briggs at the lunch, MATES in Construction WA CEO Godfrey Baronie said that his organisation can visit commercial and residential sector construction sites to train workers. Master Builders’ housing director Geoff Cooper said he encourages all builder and subcontractor members to contact MATES to get behind the program. “You never know when the training could save one of your workers’ lives – it is a really worthwhile exercise that is provided at no cost to employers in the building industry,” he said. “I highly recommend that you speak with Godfrey, Shannon or another MATES’ staff to arrange a workplace visit. Their office number is 9463 6664.” If you are in need of help due to suicidal or depressive thoughts, call the MATES in Construction 24/7 HELP LINE on 1300 MIC 111 (1300 642 111) to speak to one of the MATES team. Calls are confidential. MATES understand the problems experienced by people in the building and construction industry because they are from the industry. They are about ‘mates helping mates’.

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CONSTRUCTION TRAINING FUND CASH INCENTIVES FOR EMPLOYERS Members of MBA know how the Construction Training Fund can reduce the costs of employing apprentices in WA’s building and construction industry. The Training Fund has introduced a range of new incentives for eligible employers of apprentices in construction trades, with up to $21,000 in cash now available to help reduce the costs of adding a new apprentice to your business. The minimum standard grant available to an eligible employer is now $4,000 (for a 12 month traineeship), rising to a maximum of $10,000 for a 48 month apprenticeship in core construction trade areas. In addition to the standard grants, the Training Fund provides a one-off bonus to an eligible employer of up to $4,000, depending on trade qualification. A further bonus of $2,000 is available to an employer of an apprentice that has successfully completed a recognised Certificate II VET-in Schools or pre-apprenticeship qualification. Existing allowances for employment of indigenous and regional trainees/apprentices remain, bringing the maximum grant available to a total of $21,000. The new grants are available to employers of trainees/apprentices registered with the Department of Training & Workforce Development on or after 1 July 2014. Direct indenture employers receive the grant in

three equal instalments. The first is paid after probation and six months of employment; the second at the halfway point of the indenture and the final payment is made after successful completion of the qualification. Trade and/or VET-in Schools/Pre-apprentice bonus payments are paid to the employer together with the first instalment. You’ll also receive the benefits of the grant from the Training Fund if you host an apprentice through a Group Training Organisation (GTO). The GTO claims the grant and any bonus payments on your behalf and puts this funding towards the cost of employing and training the apprentice. This will result in a net reduction in your net costs of hiring an apprentice through the GTO. Look for the note on the GTO’s invoice that shows your apprentice is being supported by the Construction Training Fund. Visit or call 9244 0100 for more information about the Construction Training Fund’s apprenticeship grants and other support programs for the construction industry. It’s your training fund.

Apprentices bring leading edge skills to your business and they help strengthen the building and construction workforce. That’s why the Construction Training Fund provides up to $21,000 in grants for you to reduce the cost of training each apprentice you employ. For details on eligibility, visit or call 9244 0100.

Receive up to $21,000 to help train an apprentice. GC_CON051

CON051_Apprentice Grants_180x126.indd 1

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REPORTS general news M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT TO LIFT FUTURE PRODUCTIVITY Master Builders Australia says the recently released Intergenerational Report emphasises increased investment in infrastructure as an essential underpinning of future productivity and living standards. “The Report shows that Australia’s population will grow by 16 million people over the next 40 years,” the organisation said. “We need greater investment in high quality urban infrastructure, including roads and public transport to avoid choking our cities, and congestion negatively impacting on commerce, labour mobility and housing settlement patterns.

“More classrooms, hospital beds and roads connecting work to home also will be needed to provide more liveable and connected communities. The Intergenerational Report projects a dramatic contraction in the tax base, reinforcing the need for reforms to ensure community infrastructure can be funded and delivered for better value to taxpayers. There needs to be more work done to examine how the private sector, superannuation funds and government can more effectively partner to deliver vital infrastructure investment.”

NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION CODE NOW FREE ONLINE Building Commissioner Peter Gow says the free online NCC paves the way for greater productivity.

The 2015 National Construction Code, which is officially adopted on 1 May, is now available free online. The NCC brings the Building Code of Australia and the Plumbing Code of Australia together in a single, consistent performance standard and when Australian Building Ministers agreed to the online release, builders and plumbers were freed up from having to pay almost $400 for a hard copy of the document.


WA’s Building Commissioner Peter Gow says the reform paves the way for more innovative and productive building and plumbing industries in WA. Eliminating costs associated with buying the Code will make it more accessible to all who need to use it, including the building and plumbing industries, small businesses and consumers. “The redrafting and reformatting of the NCC to suit free, online delivery is a great opportunity to link it to other electronic systems such as building information modelling and online approvals,” Mr Gow said. The Australian Building Codes Board also is moving from a one-year to a three-year NCC amendment cycle, starting in 2016.

The biennial Master Builders National Conference will be held on the Gold Coast in November with a focus on leadership.

Construction Awards will be presented as part of the National Conference on the Saturday evening as the grand finale.

Organisers say it is unlike many traditional industry conferences which concentrate simply on technical sessions. The Master Builders National Conference ‘Building Australia’ aims to assist members to make informed decisions in continuing to grow their businesses while also developing and maintaining an ethos of strong leadership attributes.

The conference program and registration including partners and social program launch in mid-May along with a Super Early Bird end of financial year special registration price of $770 (ending on 30 June), a saving of $300 on the standard rate. For more information, visit national-conference.

High profile speakers will examine the industry outlook and topics relevant to today’s building and construction. The Master Builders Excellence in Building and

The free 2015 NCC includes Volume One (Building Code of Australia for Class 2 to Class 9 Buildings), Volume Two (Building Code of Australia for Class 1 and Class 10 Buildings), Volume Three (Plumbing Code of Australia) and the Guide to Volume One. The 2015 edition has been available free online for some time in readiness the 1 May adoption. Those wanting to access it online must register on the Australian Building Codes Board website at Further information, including frequently asked questions, is also available on the website.

general news REPORTS 21 M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

Master Builders’ waste reduction consultant Michael Norriss (centre) will work with Murdoch University students to redesign waste disposal processes.

MASTER BUILDERS-MURDOCH UNI STUDENTS BUSTING WASTE Murdoch University environmental engineering students will be tackling real life construction waste issues on building sites thanks to a partnership with Master Builders and the Waste Authority. The seven third and fourth year students have visited three Right Homes’ sites in the Perth metropolitan area to review construction waste processes. They have been asked to redesign the processes to ensure that less waste goes to landfill. If successful, the students’ waste management designs could be adopted. The construction industry has been encouraged to increase the recycling of waste by the recent doubling of the landfill levy rate from $28 per tonne to $55 per tonne. Further staged increases will see the levy increase to $70 per tonne in July 2019. “In the wake of the levy increase, we want to be able to go out to our members and assist them with information on the best waste practices available and this is where the students come in,” says Michael Norriss, a waste reduction consultant from Master Builders. “The students will be required to undertake research into how waste is currently disposed of on construction sites, identify what materials can be recycled and

investigate the best practices in construction site recycling. We want them to find recycling practices that are the least time consuming, the cheapest and the most energy efficient. We want them to work with recycling companies to identify recycling opportunities for materials that might not be widely known about or utilised.” Mr Norriss said Right Homes is a market leader in sustainable homes and is keen to do the right thing in recycling, not just for business but for ethical reasons. “We hope any refinements to their practices because of the students’ work will be relevant for the rest of the industry,” he said. Professor Bogdan Dlugogorski, dean of the School of Engineering and Information Technology, said, the project aligns well with the school’s aims and objectives because students need industry-focussed learning experiences to prepare themselves adequately for the workplace. The students themselves are excited about the opportunities raised by working on the project. “Hopefully with good design we can help the construction industry reduce waste, save money and help the environment,” says

Amar Zaghy. “It’s also a real life experience which is going to help us all after graduation. I’ve never done anything like this before so it’s incredibly interesting.” Fellow student Damien Arnaud said he was pleased to be working on such a big issue for the construction industry. “Landfills only have a finite amount of space and better management practices will have less impact on them, the environment and on builders,” he said. “I worked on domestic waste management for a company in Indonesia for a summer job so I have some experience of the sort of challenges we’ll face on this project. This, however, is on a much larger scale.” The partnership between Murdoch and Master Builders came about because of Environmental Engineering course leader Dr Martin Anda’s connections with the construction industry. Questions regarding the students’ work can be forwarded to Master Builders’ marketing manager Kelly Dewar-Matusik on Kelly@, while concerns relating to better waste disposal should be forwarded to Michael Norriss on


REPORTS general news M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

CHINESE ASBESTOS HIGHLIGHTS NON-CONFORMING PRODUCTS consequences such as house fires caused by early break down of electrical cables. Master Builders Australia CEO Wilhelm Harnisch has highlighted industry fears over non-conforming building products.

Master Builders Australia has raised concerns over imported non-conforming products with the recent revelation of Chinese products containing asbestos being just another example. CEO Wilhelm Harnisch says there also are problems with imported steel and glass products and electrical cables. Regulators and importers had to play their part in overcoming the problem and a multi-layered response was needed. A paper on non-conforming products produced recently by Master Builders Australia says non-conforming products are not always obvious to builders, suppliers and consumers at their time of acquisition, supply or installation. Deficiencies in the products might become apparent only after many years, including after their failure and attendant

The paper says the presence of nonconforming products in the building supply chain is a serious problem for industry, for property owners (both residential and commercial) and for regulators and reflects a number of shortcomings. Notably, regulatory supervision of building supply is regarded as patchy, at best and regulatory intervention tends to focus on specification, installation and certification, with insufficient attention given to manufacture or point-of-sale. “There is no single system in place in Australia which identifies products as being ‘safe’ and ‘fit for purpose’ with ease and confidence by users (whether builders, suppliers and consumers),” the paper says. The result is an increase in public and workplace safety problems (and associated liabilities for property owners and employers, public and private) caused by, for example, falling windows and signage, and work during construction phases.

The paper notes several approaches have been suggested to address the nonconforming product problem. One approach, proposes the establishment of a product certification under which: • All products used in regulated building work are assessed against Australian Standards (or equivalent) to a level determined by their risk profile. • All products found to meet the Standards are marked or recorded in a clear and consistent way. • The product assessments can be verified and are audited. • The system is monitored and enforced by a single Australian Government agency. • The system is funded by manufacturers by way of an industry-wide levy. • Product recall insurance is required for all manufacturers/retailers of high risk products operating in the Australian market. • Retailers would be required to keep a register of all high risk products sold. • Section A 2.1 of the National Construction Code, dealing with suitability of materials, should be amended to provide greater certainty regarding compliance options.

WATER CORPORATION APPLICATIONS A MUST FOR BUILDING, RENOVATING Water Corporation has reminded builders and renovators to submit a building application prior to beginning construction work.

• The right water and sewer connections will be available to service the building or development.

It says those who don't gain the necessary approval by submitting a building application and paying the associated fees could face a $7500 fine. Illegal buildings also can affect the future sale of a property.

Building applications should be lodged through Water Corporation’s online system, BuilderNet. Electronic copies of architectural floor plans or site plans need to be attached to the building application. For more information or to lodge a building application through BuilderNet, visit or phone 13 13 95.

The Corporation says applications allow it to check building drawings and plans for approval. Applications are necessary before construction of houses, extensions, additions, alterations, sheds and workshops, retaining walls and pools. Plans are checked to ensure: • Water, wastewater and drainage services are protected and can be accessed easily for maintenance and emergencies.

general news REPORTS 23 M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5


The Federal Government’s Re:think tax discussion paper released recently is timely and should provide the opportunity to take a fresh ‘big picture’ look at how effectively the tax system works and how it will support Australia’s standard of living in the future, according to Master Builders Australia. “As the Intergenerational Report highlighted, Australia needs a tax system that can support improvements in economic growth, productivity and workforce participation as well as helping to underpin solutions to crucial social policy issues such as housing affordability,” Master Builders Australia CEO Wilhelm Harnisch says. “The tax discussion paper, followed by the Tax White Paper process and proposals that may be taken by the Government to the 2016 Federal Election are as important to the building and construction industry as the industry is to Australia’s future prosperity,” he said.

“Construction businesses want to see a reduction in the corporate tax rate which is too high and inhibits investment, particularly in the global economic context where competition for investment will only intensify.” Mr Harnisch said there had been much discussion about the tax treatment of housing and this would continue as housing affordability increasingly becomes a major social and economic problem. “The informed view says that housing supply is the problem and [this is] where the focus of any policy response should be,” he said. “To improve the long term viability of the tax system, the tax discussion paper must focus first and foremost on the big picture which must necessarily include a thorough examination of what the future architecture of the GST may look like. Government spending priorities must also be included in any discussion on future revenue sources.”

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REPORTS branches M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

New apprentice Alex Criddle (third from left) with host employer Nathan Welshman (second from left) and members of the Great Southern Branch committee on strategies to boost apprenticeships (l-r) Peter Adams, Andrew Penson, Nathalie Wauters and Brad Eastough.

WorkSafe inspectors Joseph Anthony and Gary Delamotte met with members of Master Builders’ South West Branch committee.

GREAT SOUTHERN TACKLING APPRENTICE SHORTAGE Master Builders’ Albany-Great Southern Branch committee looking at strategies to boost apprenticeships has been working quietly to improve the uptake of apprentices particularly in the wet trades. The committee reports some success over the past few months, a recent example being Alex Criddle who started an apprenticeship as a wall and ceiling fixer with Skill Hire and host employer Nathan Welshman. Mr Criddle says he is excited to see a future career and regular income. “It’s great to return to a completed job – it makes me feel proud that I did the work,” he said. “If it not perfect I will make sure it is next time.”

Mr Welshman said it is important he can train apprentices his way. “I see it as an investment in the future and it’s a way of taking the pressure off me. Knowing I have Alex for four years is a big plus – no working on the weekends. I see that when he has mastered a few skills and can work on his own I can take on another apprentice.” The apprentice strategies committee has a number of committed members from different industry areas: Great Southern Institute of Technology’s Brad Eastough, residential builder Murray Philip, commercial builder Nathalie Wauters, employment and recruitment providers Andrew Penson and Peter Adams and Leon Wynn of Great Southern Aboriginal Corporation.

WORKSAFE AT SW BRANCH Local WorkSafe inspectors Joseph Anthony and Gary Delamotte met representatives of Master Builders’ South West Branch committee in March in light of recent regional and metropolitan electrical safety incidents. Master Builders’ regional manager Geoff Bosustow says that recent findings have highlighted some inadequacies but WorkSafe is keen to work alongside the building and construction industry to develop standard procedures for work on construction sites. He said the meeting is the first of what will become regular industry updates and information exchanges between WorkSafe and local South West builders. The WorkSafe website, worksafe, has plenty of helpful information to assist businesses maintain high safety standards.

The competitors might have got a bit hot under the collar but the Great Southern Branch’s March golf day nevertheless was a great success for both golfers and the event’s sponsors.

Above: Picking up some diverse skills for an administration assistant, Master Builders’ Jack Powell prepares for the golf day dinner onslaught. Right: Great Southern Branch golf day winners (l-r) Andrew Mexsom, Danny O’Neil and David Mexsom from Statewide Building Certification WA.


Held on Black Friday, hats and sunscreen were the order of the day for the sunny shotgun start, but by noon the temperature had reached 39 degrees. Exhausted players shuffled into the Golf Links Golf Course rooms for a reviving lunch before venturing out again to complete the day’s play. Statewide Building Certification WA tamed the difficult conditions to finish as the round’s best team. “Members and sponsors came together to enjoy a day of food, fun and golf,” says regional manager Linda Gibbs. “Sponsors supplied great items for the giveaway bags. Albany Toyota sponsored the $10,000 hole-in-one prize, Albany Retravision helped with prizes and Stiebel Eltron supplied a water filter as a door prize.”

branches REPORTS 25 M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

Zorzi South’s 2014 South West Best Country Home.

SOUTH WEST EXCELLENCE AWARDS WRAPPED UP As Master Builder Magazine was being prepared for publication, the Association’s South West region Building Excellence Awards were about to reach their climax with the annual presentation, again this year at Bunbury’s Lighthouse Beach Resort. Regional manager Geoff Bosustow reports. “Recently I was fortunate enough to attend the Master Builders-Bankwest Housing Excellence Awards in Perth which featured metropolitan homes along with the best of residential construction from each of our representative regions, Kimberley-Pilbara, GoldfieldEsperance, Great Southern, Mid-West and South West.

“The overall winners from each of these regions competed for the title of Country Home of the Year. This year the South West was represented by Zorzi South with a magnificent home built to perfection in Eagle Bay. During the last seven years, six South West projects have taken home this prestigious award, confirmation that quality trades working together are constructing some of the best projects in the State here in the South West. “The standard of entries for this year’s South West Building Excellence Awards once again has been extraordinary, demonstrating the continuing pride and dedication to quality work of Master Builder members across the trades and in both residential and

commercial construction. It again has been a very difficult challenge for our judging panel of registered builders with margins between winning and finalist projects being very close in a number of categories. “With another year of judging now behind us, and only the gala presentation to go, the South West Branch committee and staff look forward to displaying our worthy winners in the next issue of Master Builder Magazine.”


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Serena Giudice was among the winners at the 2015 40 under 40 awards. Picture: Attila Csaszar. Charity Mezger (Hot Cleaning Services) and Julie and Laurie Dines (Ocean Air Custom Airconditioning Solutions) at the Geraldton Midwest Branch industry function.

NEW EXHIBITORS AT GERALDTON SHOWROOM MEETING An industry gathering of the Geraldton Midwest Branch in February was a chance for members to meet two new Master Builders’ showroom exhibitors, Stiebel Eltron and Ocean Air Custom Airconditioning Solutions, and longtime member Hot Cleaning Services. Ocean Air Custom Airconditioning Solutions is a family-owned business with Laurie and Julie Dines priding themselves on providing aftersales support, seasonal servicing, warranty backup and maintenance programs. Stiebel Eltron, celebrating its ninetieth anniversary this year, was represented at the meeting by Peter Higgins and Paul Crockett. Their company’s products, sold in more than 120 countries, include water heaters, heat pumps and under floor heating.

Hot Cleaning Services, owned by Charity Mezger, is an award winning business providing commercial and residential cleaning. Branch regional manager Di Gilleland says the showroom exhibitors form an integral part of the Branch and provide builders and the community with a service not available in most other regions. “The specially designed showroom serves a dual purpose,” she said. “During breakout sessions from the training rooms for morning tea and lunch and at sundowners, for example, attendees enjoy the showroom facilities and view what industry products are on offer.”

TEN YEARS UP FOR ROSS Master Builders’ Geraldton Midwest Branch committee member Ross Conti received his company Conti Homes’ 10-year membership certificate at a recent industry sundowner in Geraldton. Mr Conti has been a great supporter of the Midwest Branch both at a local level and further afield. Last year he and wife Anely travelled to Broome to assist regional manager Di Gilleland with the annual Kimberley-Pilbara Building Excellence Awards and other concurrent events. Mr Conti is pictured with Branch chairperson Serena Giudice.

GIUDICE BACK IN SPOTLIGHT Geraldton Midwest Branch chairperson Serena Giudice is in the spotlight again. The 2014 Master Builders Australia Young Builder of the Year has been named among the WA Business News 2015 40 under 40 award winners. The awards, established in 2002 to recognise and celebrate business entrepreneurs under the age of 40, focus on personal determination, commercial drive and professional achievements as well as philanthropic pursuits. Ms Giudice says the calibre and talent of the winners on the night was exceptional. “To be counted as one of them was a huge honour, but also very humbling,” she said. “There are so many young people succeeding and using that success to contribute back to their communities, it was really lovely to see.” She thanked RSM Bird Cameron for nominating her and praised her family, subcontractors and staff, attributing her success to them and their support. She also acknowledged Master Builders. “My personal involvement with the Master Builders Association is something I’m really proud of,” she said. “They are a fantastic not-for-profit organisation that works hard to help members across Australia.”

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Kimberley Green Construction’s Peter Green with the 2015 Best Country Home Award presented by Victoria Gash of MBA Insurance Services. Master Builders’ president John Ripp shares the moment.

The Best Country Home glazed masterpiece.

KIMBERLEY GREEN’S FIRST FOR THE KIMBERLEYS Kimberley Green Construction’s Riverfarm Road, Kununurra project has been awarded the prestigious Best Country Home Award at the 2015 Master Builders-Bankwest Housing Excellence Awards. Geraldton Midwest Branch regional manager Di Gilleland, whose beat takes in the North West, attended the HEA awards at the Crown Grand Ballroom and says it was an emotional experience for all. “Having met many personal challenges along their journey, this home was truly a labour of love for Peter and Noelene Green and is a credit to all involved,” she said. “Congratulations to the Greens and their family,

to architect Greg Eastman from Geraldton and to the many trades and others who contributed to this accolade.” It is the first time in the awards’ 35-year history that a home from the Kimberley-Pilbara region has been given the title. Perched over the Ord River in Kununurra, the innovative home fended off stiff opposition from other regional winners.

The home already had received a range of accolades at the Master Builders-Bankwest Kimberley-Pilbara awards in May last year, when it was awarded the region’s Best Country Home and Best Contract Home over $1 million. Other awards were Best Appointed Bathroom, Best Appointed Kitchen and Excellence in Glazing, Wall and Floor Tiling and Carpentry.

Built extensively in glass and taking four years to complete, the project challenged the skills of all involved. The judges acknowledged the achievement, commenting it was a testament to the endurance of the builder and local trades.

The other Best Country Home finalists, drawn from the regional Building Excellence Awards, were Zorzi South (South West Region), BD Partington Building Contractor (GoldfieldsEsperance), Schalger Homes (Great Southern) and Zorzi Builders (Geraldton Midwest).


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Attendees at the Women in Building and Construction dinner.


REGIONAL STAFF MEET Staff from Master Builders’ four regional Branches met in Perth in February for the first of their 2015 bi-annual conferences with

March’s Geraldton Midwest Branch Women in Building and Construction dinner gave attendees the opportunity to share experiences and forge a ‘united force’.

events in a male dominated industry,” she said. “Simply discussing these topics in an open environment allowed ideas and solutions to flow freely.

Regional manager Di Gilleland says topics addressed at the dinner included challenges faced by women in the building industry, identifying positives and overcoming barriers.

“It was an absolute winner. The topic for the next dinner will be a joint decision arising from outcomes of this event.” Lysaght and Laminex sponsored the dinner.

“Attendees came from varied corners of industry and were amazed how much they all had in common when faced with day-to-day

metropolitan staff and Association alliance partners. Pictured are (l-r): Linda Gibbs (Albany-Great Southern Branch regional manager), Di Gilleland (Geraldton-Midwest regional manager), conference guest Scott Thompson (Construction Training Fund), Amy Bell (Kalgoorlie regional liaison officer), Doug Backhouse (Esperance regional liaison officer) and Geoff Bosustow (Bunbury-South West regional manager).

The managers met with about a dozen guests during the conference as well as holding sessions with key Association staff and MBA Insurance Services. They wrapped up their conference with more than 50 outcomes for metropolitan and regional staff to follow up and after the intensive two days were guests at the Master Builders-Bankwest Housing Excellence Awards at Crown Perth.

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AMY RINGS THE BELL FOR GOLDFIELDS’ BUILDERS Master Builders has appointed Amy Bell as its new regional liaison officer in Kalgoorlie. Ms Bell moved to WA with her husband Dan in 2008 from New Zealand. Master Builders’ director Michael McLean says it is important to have a presence in the Goldfields as well as in Esperance to represent builders, specialist contractors and suppliers. “Although the building industry is rather depressed in Kalgoorlie at the moment, it will recover as it always has in the past,” Mr McLean said. “We are pleased to have Amy on our team as, through her husband’s business, she understands how the building industry operates and is keen to get out and meet other members.

Amy Bell has been appointed as Master Builders’ Kalgoorlie regional liaison officer. She is pictured at the recent Housing Excellence Awards with husband Dan, a Kalgoorlie contractor and Master Builder member.

“Master Builders offers any business involved in the building industry a huge range of services, from insurance to networking, training and safety advice, so we need someone on the ground to promote those services.”

Ms Bell, who recently returned to Kalgoorlie after an intensive two-day induction in Perth, said she was amazed with the level of support and range of services offered to members in both Perth and regional areas. “I am really excited about working for the Association and am confident I can succeed in this challenging role,” she said. “There are always a lot of changes confronting the building industry, like energy efficiency ratings for renovations, bushfire zones, new safety regulations and workplace relations reforms. Our organisation is actively involved in all of these and is ideally equipped to help builders.” Ms Bell replaces Colleen Horton and will work closely with Esperance liaison officer Doug Backhouse to represent members of the Goldfields-Esperance Branch.
















Photograph by Peter Barnes.











Our total seismic solutions help make the best buildings even better.


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DEMAND IS BUILDING Perth’s swathe of medium and high-density housing projects is creating jobs for skilled tradies and construction professionals, according to recruiting experts Hays Construction. The firm’s David Irvine shares his insights on the skills in demand and trends driving current vacancy activity. Perth’s construction industry is buoyant and creating jobs for qualified and experienced tradespeople and construction professionals. Driving this activity is WA’s growing population, which is creating huge demand for residential properties ranging from single, double or triple storey dwellings through to high rise apartment projects. As a result, construction jobs are moving away from regional resource-based projects to Perth-based commercial and residential projects. New apartment sales hit a decade high in Australia in 2014. The increasing popularity of apartment living is being driven by the squeeze on housing affordability, the changing lifestyles of the baby boomers and generation Y’s preference to live close to ‘knowledge-worker’ jobs at an affordable price. There is also significant demand from foreign investors.

This is good news for Perth’s construction industry, and is the reason that companies are gearing up for more construction activity. As larger projects begin, we see an increase in demand for site staff. Interestingly, while the construction industry has traditionally utilised temporary recruitment services due to the project nature of the industry, the trend is now for employers working on these larger residential projects to recruit permanently. We are, however, also seeing a slight increase in demand for temporary staff on smaller residential projects. So what does all this activity mean in terms of skills in demand? One of the highest areas of demand is for contract administrators. Given the increasing number of commercial construction projects, especially high rise residential buildings, these candidates will remain in high demand. The residential property market also needs project managers, especially those with experience working on projects valued between $5 and 10 million. At Hays Construction we’re also seeing demand for finishes forepersons, again as a result of the surge in residential developments.

This has seen the competition for experienced high-rise finishes forepersons reach unprecedented levels. Given the cost savings that estimators can deliver, these candidates are in high demand for project roles in the commercial, civil and infrastructure market. Perth’s buoyant construction industry also is creating high demand for electricians, carpenters, plumbers, glaziers and fixers. Last but not least, brick/block layers are in extraordinarily high demand given Perth’s booming residential market and the existing skills shortage in this area. For more information on the skills in demand or recruitment trends, see our latest Hays Quarterly Report, or contact David Irvine, state business director of Hays in WA, on 9254 4505 or Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.


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SuperStream is a Federal Government initiative that requires employers to follow new standards for the electronic generation of superannuation contributions and payment data and notification of new members. The new standards aim to improve the efficiency of the superannuation system, to improve the timeliness of processing of rollovers and contributions, and reduce the number of lost accounts and unclaimed monies.

process. If you use a payroll system, it is worth contacting your supplier to ensure they have a solution for you that will allow easy compliance. A list of service providers developing solutions and products for SuperStream compliance can be found at If your current provider is not listed, it might be important to contact them about this. If you outsource your payroll, talk to your accountant or external provider about their plans for your company’s SuperStream compliance.

What does this mean for builders? All Australian employers are obligated to meet the new requirements. For employers with 20 or more employees, full compliance is required by 1 July. For employers with 19 or fewer employees, full compliance is required by 1 July, 2016. Therefore, depending on the number of employees you have, your start date will vary. However, the actions you will need to take will be the same. How do I ready my business? There are many ways construction companies will be able to comply with the SuperStream requirements. The simplest way forward will be to find a solution that integrates with your payroll

Alternatively, if your company’s default super fund assists you with your contributions, touching base with them and how they will handle the new requirements might be the way to go. If you have 19 or fewer employees, you might be eligible to use the ATO’s Small Business Superannuation Clearing House. I have a solution, now what? Review the date that full compliance is required of your company and set a date for when you will start making super contributions using your new method. The ATO suggests companies have this happening well before the required compliance dates to avoid complications. Your new way of superannuation processing also might require

the collection of further information from your employees. Your solution provider (software provider or accountant or default fund etc.) will be able to inform you of the extra information you will need to collect. Remember, if you have a payroll system in place, it will likely require upgrading/updating prior to being SuperStream ready. You might need to complete the update in order to have the correct fields to store the new employee information you have collected as well as to have the functionality required to complete the actual SuperStream process. Check with your solution provider to ensure your company completes the required steps in the right order for minimal impact to your business. If you would like to discuss your company’s payroll or software requirements, contact Levesys on 07 3004 6100 or at

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Greg Dudley

Neil Cribb

In the past, many underperforming companies managed to slip under the radar and escape insolvency. With market conditions changing, these businesses need to change course if they want to avoid going under. In 2014, many indebted companies were able to repay the interest on their debts but not able to reduce the actual debt itself or invest in maintaining or updating equipment or make strategic investments. Low interest rates let these zombie companies maintain their commitments to their financiers. As such, it is unlikely that these financiers will seek to enforce their security any time soon and this is how zombie companies will continue to battle on. The number of zombie companies might even increase, given there is no expected increase in interest rates in the near future. There are four signs, which indicate a company might be heading for zombie-status. Covering the bare minimum Companies that can only cover the bare minimum, such as running costs and interestonly repayments, might be heading for zombiestatus if they can’t improve their position in a reasonable time frame. Paying interest but not the debt After paying initial costs such as rent and wages, companies at least should be able to repay interest on outstanding debts. However, if the business is incapable of paying down the actual debt to an agreed timeline then it might already be a zombie. So, unless their operating practices improve dramatically, they are likely to become insolvent in the end regardless of bailouts and support. Put a hold on growth Zombie companies generally are not able to invest in new business or hire new staff. When organisations need to put a prolonged stop to growth and expansion, especially if market conditions are average, this can be a warning sign.

Financiers will be reticent When companies have reached the point where they are covering only interest and not paying off the actual debts, smart financiers and investors will become more hesitant to continue funding the business. This might in turn lead to additional debt from alternate sources (e.g. creditors including the ATO) which might go largely unpaid if the company is declared insolvent and will leave lenders and investors without their money. Some companies need support or even a bailout because of extraordinary circumstances, while others simply need a longer foundation period before they can start to turn a profit. But when an organisation consistently underperforms financially and is doing the bare minimum to meet its financial obligations, it could be a sign that the business is about to reach zombie status.

When this happens, there are two options. The first is to try to save the company with an overhaul of management practices and operational procedures. The second is to put an end to the cycle and shut down the business. Either way, zombie companies cannot be allowed to continue to wander aimlessly, potentially taking others down with them. For more advice on this issue, contact RSM Bird Cameron turnaround and insolvency directors Greg Dudley ( or Neil Cribb ( on 9261 9100.


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All a-glow for the 2015 Master Builders-Bankwest Housing Excellence Awards night.

Housing Minister Colin Holt was a guest of honour at the Master Builders-Bankwest Housing Excellence Awards at Crown Perth’s Grand Ballroom.


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Master Builders’ senior vice president Rob Spadaccini addresses the Awards audience.

Versatile MC Tim Campbell swapped official duties to also entertain those taking to the kaleidoscopic dance floor.

Nearly 800 builders and guests swapped high-vis for tuxedos and gowns and headed to Crown Perth’s Grand Ballroom in February to find out the winners of the hotly contested 2015 Master Builders-Bankwest Housing Excellence Awards.

Master Builders’ housing director Geoff Cooper says the awards offer home buyers the opportunity to find a quality builder of display or custom homes that can meet their budget in their region.

The evening celebrated excellence in residential building throughout metropolitan and regional WA. Overcoming fierce competition from a field of more than 340 entries, Brian Burke Homes won the Bankwest Top WA Home for the fourth year running.

The awards are unique in that they recognise the best builders based on their construction excellence and quality of workmanship. A team of 25 experienced building judges inspect nominations in a variety of categories which include individually designed contract homes, display homes, renovations and modular homes.

Another major winner was Homebuyers Centre, creating history by being the first builder to be awarded the Overall Best Display Home for an entry in the lowest price category (The Poseidon, under $190,000).

The enthusiastic awards night crowd came ready to glow, partying along to Tim Campbell who showed off his diversity by carrying out the MC duties as well as performing hits from his ‘High School Disco’ album.

Taking home major prizes on the night were: • Sunday Times Best Display Home: Homebuyers Centre (Poseidon, Jindalee). • Jackson McDonald Best Alterations and Additions: Zorzi Builders (Cottesloe). • Bankwest Best Customer Service – SmallMedium Builder: Genesis Homes Master Builders. • Bankwest Best Customer Service – Volume/ Project Builder: Blueprint Homes. • Bankwest Best Customer Service – Supplier: Midland Brick. • Hays Best New Builder: Dorrington Homes. • Home in WA Project Builder of the Year: Aussie Living Homes. • MBA Insurance Services Best Country Home: Kimberley Green Construction (Kununurra). • Bankwest Top WA Home: Brian Burke Homes (Mt Pleasant). For a full list of the winners and photos from the night, visit or Master Builders’ Facebook page.



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The winning home’s imposing entry.

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Brian Burke Homes’ top entry in the 2015 Master Builders-Bankwest Housing Excellence Awards.

Upstairs are two minor bedrooms with their own ensuite, the laundry, another study and a large gym. Mr Burke said the piece de resistance is the sweeping master suite with its exquisite bathroom, massive dressing room, office, bar, lounge and bedroom. The Top Home was judged by Kevin Sale, a Master Builders’ past president, and three expert judges. Their decision in giving Brian Burke Homes the award was underpinned by the quality of the finishes.

Brian Burke Homes (with Master Builders’ president John Ripp, left) celebrate their win.

In taking out the Bankwest Top WA Home at Master Builders Housing Excellence Awards, Brian Burke Homes was awarded the housing industry’s top honour for 2015. The company has won the top home title for four years running. Managing director Michael Burke says the award is “validation for the consistent hard work put in by our team in the office, the very hard working supervisors and leading hands, the tradesmen and our suppliers.” “Together with our wonderful clients, we all share the vision of creating the absolutely best built home we possibly can and we leave no stone unturned in pursuing that goal,” he said. “To win the top prize for four consecutive years and 12 out of a possible 22 years is a triumph for all those people.

“It’s equally rewarding to see over the years that even the homes that don't win are finalists in their own right, battling it out with our homes that do win. That tells me our consistency across the board is well and truly there which has got to give our clients a lot of confidence.” The winning home in Mt Pleasant features a formal porte cochere that presents to an equally formal entrance and a stunning spiral staircase that winds its way around the lift shaft. Also incorporated are a masculine and ornate study and a huge guest suite. A games room opens onto the pool. There is also a gourmet kitchen, a huge sunken family area and the dining room which in turn opens up to the superbly fitted out alfresco.

“This house ranks as one of the best houses built in recent years,” Mr Sale said. “Very few builders in Australia have the tradesmen, supervision, experience and discipline to achieve the standard that has been delivered in the construction of this house. The time spent in obtaining the level of finish is to be admired.” It was a big night for Brian Burke Homes which also took out awards for Best Contract Home $2.5-4.5 million and Best Contract Home Over $4.5 million and excellence awards for plastering, painting, cabinet making, floor and wall tiling and ceilings. A list of all the award-winning builders at this year’s awards can be accessed at


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HOMEBUYERS CENTRE CREATES HISTORY For the first time in the 35-year history of the Housing Excellence Awards, a display home in the lowest priced category has been honoured as the Overall Best Display Home. Homebuyers Centre achieved the first at the 2015 Awards in February. Master Builders’ housing director Geoff Cooper says it was an exceptional win for Homebuyers Centre, with the Jindalee home also winning Best Display Home Under $190,000. “This is a remarkable achievement. Master Builders’ awards recognise quality construction and quality workmanship, so to take out an overall award at a low price point is a credit to the builder’s construction team,” he said. Homebuyers Centre building manager Pete Robbins said the award was testament to the company’s diligent site managers and trades who continue to excel well past industry expected standards. “We are extremely proud of the homes that we produce for our customers, with high levels of quality workmanship achieved as a result of stringent quality control checks and measures administered by all members of our team,” he said. “To be recognised by our industry peers in the homes that we consistently deliver, we could not be prouder of this award.”

Homebuyers Centre’s Pete Robbins (centre) celebrates the company’s history-making display home win with Sunday Times HOME editor Sandra Peterson and Master Builders’ president John Ripp.

The winning home – Poseidon – has a modern facade and three generous bedrooms. The flowing entry leads to a polished main bedroom with large walk-in-robe and ensuite, and to the open plan living area. Other features are high ceilings, a gourmet kitchen, an alfresco area and a separate laundry. “The WA public are fortunate to be able to select a display home under $190,000 that has such a high standard of finish and presentation,” says awards judge Kevin Sale. “The builder is to be congratulated on the quality work.” For the second year in a row Homebuyers Centre also won the Excellence in Recycling Award for its work in actively reducing, reusing and avoiding waste on site. The relaxing alfresco area is a feature of Homebuyers Centre’s Poseidon display home.

“The company has used different recycling methods to divert waste from landfill and minimise the impact of rising landfill levies in Perth,” Mr Cooper said.

Images: courtesy Gold Coast Tourism

BUILDING AUSTRALIA Master Builders National Conference ®

Jupiters, Gold Coast,12-14 November 2015

Register Super Early and Save $300 The Master Builders biennial National Conference is heading to the Gold Coast in November, for what will undoubtedly be the industry event of the year once again. Unlike many traditional industry conferences that have a program full of just technical sessions the Building Australia conference stands out amongst the rest. The Master Builders National Conference ‘Building Australia’ focuses on leadership and assisting members to make informed decisions in continuing to grow their business whilst developing and maintaining strong leadership attributes within their business ethos. With high profile speakers that will examine the building industry outlook and topics relevant to today’s building and construction industry. The conference program and registration including partners and social program will launch in mid-May along with a Super Early Bird end of financial year special registration price. Super Early Bird $770, 20 May to 30 June, Save $300 on the Standard rate by registering super early! The Master Builders Excellence in Building and Construction Awards will be presented as part of the National Conference on the Saturday evening as the grand finale to an exciting conference on the Gold Coast…………We look forward to seeing you there!



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Suggestions of a glut in Perth’s apartment market are not matched by facts, says Master Builders’ housing director Geoff Cooper.

APARTMENTS: THE MARKET WILL PREVAIL Master Builders’ housing director Geoff Cooper doubts there will be an oversupply of apartments in Perth.

There is no current glut of apartments in central Perth. Recent research, released by Master Builders and Y Research, shows that only 3.8 per cent of existing stock in 19 central Perth suburbs currently is available for lease. This is the first time this research has been done in Perth and it revealed a total of more than 19,000 apartments in buildings of three or more storeys in 19 central suburbs at December. The low vacancy rate has been achieved despite a 34 per cent increase in supply of inner city apartments since 2010. The interesting question is whether there is a looming oversupply. This year will see the largest single year increase of apartment supply on record – 1613 apartments will be completed in Perth’s inner suburbs. This is 52.2 per cent higher than the previous record of 1060 apartments in 2010.

The new research outlines that there are 121 apartment projects either under construction, development approved or actively progressing through the development process across the researched area. On completion, these projects could add a further 10,685 apartments to the inner Perth market by 2020. This would represent a 56 per cent growth in the supply of apartments. But these figures do not necessarily mean that there will be oversupply to the market in approaching years. First, the 34 per cent increase in supply since 2010 has not seen high vacancy rates. So the market has comfortably absorbed the increased supply in recent years in Perth. Next, the overall number of apartments remains as only a modest percentage of the housing stock in WA. Interestingly, in the past 12 months units and apartments have accounted for more than 20 per cent of new dwelling approvals in WA. While this is a record high for WA, it remains one of the lowest amounts in Australia with the rate in the mature Sydney and Melbourne markets well above 50 per cent. A small shift in consumer preferences towards apartment living would see the additional supply readily absorbed.

The increased amenity in many inner areas of Perth could support the value shift. Major WA Government projects, such as Elizabeth Quay, the new football stadium in Burswood, the Eastern Gateway, Northbridge Link and changes to Perth’s retail and hospitality offerings also are making the inner city a more attractive residential address. In any event, there is a natural restriction on supply in the market, and this is the financiers. Financial backers of developers and builders do not want to invest in projects which remain vacant or unsold. Financiers, therefore, are requiring high levels of presales before providing funding. Developers themselves also are ensuring that projects are underpinned by sales. This is a safety valve to help lessen the chances of oversupply. Put simply, if there isn’t demand for the product, a lot of future planned projects will not proceed. So there is evidence to suggest that the increased proposed supply will not lead to oversupply. Contact Master Builders to purchase the research for $1100 (or $770 for Association members). Send any comments or thoughts to

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Landgate says WA is expected to be home to more than 3.5 million people by 2031 resulting in the need for more accommodation options and the necessity to prepare for increased demand for sustainable housing. The authority says that in January it recorded its highest number of new lot creations in six years and it also has seen consistent spikes in strata lots since October 2014 – demonstrating there is already a growing demand for strata lots and strata developments. Landgate chief executive Mike Bradford says this also reflected the increasing demand for sustainable living. “Strata lots created increased by 42.15 per cent in October when compared to the previous month,” he said. “The profiles in January and February 2015 once again report overall increases in new lots created, both strata and subdivisional. “The activity in strata titles particularly underlines the popularity of strata developments and adds weight to the importance of the Strata Titles Act reforms being undertaken by Landgate.”

Landgate says shortcomings of the Act are causing delays in the building of large, complex developments and the redevelopment of existing schemes where the site is being underutilised. In the absence of a suitable WA regime that gives flexibility for more innovative developments, developers also are choosing to build in the Eastern States. Landgate has been developing proposals to update the Act to improve shared living environments, provide more options for owning and using land and buildings and to create better industry standards for strata managers and dispute resolution. It says the reforms are not aimed at changing current strata owners’ land titles and boundaries, but do aim to improve the way strata schemes work. After more than 18 months of stakeholder engagement, a consultation paper outlining proposed changes to the Act was released for public comment for a three-month period from last October. The reform project team currently is collating and analysing the feedback to develop recommendations to put to government. It is anticipated consultation outcomes will be shared with stakeholders in the next couple of months. Mr Bradford said it is hoped the reforms will address current shortcomings and encourage investors to see WA as a viable and preferred place to invest and build.

SUSTAINABLE DESIGN AND BUILD NEWCOMER LAUNCHED In addition to its registered builders, the company includes individuals with more than 70 years combined experience in sustainable design, engineering, project management and interior design disciplines. The company says that from day one, clients will deal with the actual design specialists for whom sustainability is fundamental to home design and building. The personalised service will provide an integrated process resulting in innovative and affordable solutions. According to Master Builders’ director Michael McLean, the housing industry has come a long way with sustainable designs and construction over the last 10 years. At the Custom Green sundowner launch (l-r): Master Builders Australia general manager operations Donna Anthes, Dylan Price, Craig Saunders and Kate Meyer (Custom Green) and Master Builders’ director Michael McLean.

New design and construct company and Master Builder member, Custom Green, was launched in March, distinguishing itself from the competition by an absence of sales consultants and a reliance on professional expertise.

"Custom Green's focus on sustainable building solutions provides prospective home buyers with a lot of options for their new homes,” he said. "I wish the team at Custom Green all the best with their new business and in helping to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable building practice." Custom Green designs aim to produce long-term rewards, such as reduced energy bills, a smaller carbon footprint and less waste, for the same price as a standard house.


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HOUSING CHALLENGE IN INTERGENERATIONAL REPORT Intergenerational housing affordability is a major challenge for government, according to Wilhelm Harnisch.

Master Builders Australia CEO Wilhelm Harnisch says the nation will need more than nine million new homes to meet the needs of the population projected in the Intergenerational Report released in March. “Australia will need to more than double its current housing stock over the next 40 years to accommodate the expected 1.3 per cent in annual population growth,” he said. “The key challenge will be to tackle intergenerational housing affordability in order to preserve home ownership as a fundamental pillar of Australian economic and family life over the next 40 years.” Mr Harnisch said the report also highlighted that more brownfield sites will be essential to meet increased demand for multi-density housing, particularly as baby-boomers seek to increasingly ‘right size’ in response to their changing lifestyles. “This will demand a serious commitment to reforms to counter supply side impediments that drive up house prices,” he said. “Master Builders supports the importance the Intergenerational Report gives to reducing red and green tape and regulatory duplication at state and local government levels. State and, particularly local, governments will play a crucial role. Master Builders backs the view of the Intergenerational Report that more accountability and less waste and duplication must be required from these levels of government.” Mr Harnisch said Master Builders Australia’s submissions to the White Paper on Reform of Federation and the Harper Review of Competition Policy called for reforms that will reward local councils for efficiently releasing more brownfield and greenfield land for housing development, including through national competition style payments from the Federal Government. Earlier, Mr Harnisch said his members backed the Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens’ remarks on measure to ensure that first home buyers are not locked out of the housing market. “The nation has an obligation to ensure that home ownership remains an achievable aspiration for first home buyers,” he said. “To meet this responsibility we must build an adequate supply of new housing to exert downward pressure on house prices and to ensure that the intergenerational home ownership gap does not widen for first home buyers. “Master Builders’ Pre-Budget Submission calls for reforms to increase the housing supply and improve affordability without negatively impacting the Budget, reforms such as providing competition payments to state and local governments to undertake genuine structural reforms that result in more efficient building approvals and land release processes.” He said reducing charges imposed on brownfield developments would encourage more medium and high density housing close to existing transport and other community infrastructure. “Master Builders Pre-Budget Submission also calls for the adoption of an Eight Point Affordability Plan to tackle other supply side constraints that unnecessarily hold up the release of more land for greenfield housing developments,” he said.

NBN CO PRE-INSTALL REQUEST PORTAL NOW AVAILABLE NBN Co’s new online automation portal for network termination device (NTD) pre-installation requests is now live. The new portal allows for online submission of NTD pre-install requests for new development sites with the requests automatically received and more smoothly and quickly processed. NBN Co is encouraging builders, developers, authorised representatives and others in control of new development sites to request a preinstallation of NBN in-home equipment. This is expected to minimise disruption to residents moving into new homes and simplifies the developer's project and site management activities. Pre-installation of NBN in-home equipment should be arranged to take place at least 20 days ahead of the estimated home completion date, so that once residents have moved in all they need to do is contact their preferred retail service providers to get connected to the NBN. The preinstallation will take approximately one hour. The following information will be required: • Confirmation of authority of all owners and occupiers to make the request. • Confirmation of the agreement of all owners and occupiers to waive their right to be given notice by NBN Co of the pre-installation under Schedule 3 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. • Premises address or addresses. • Development estate name and stage number. • Confirmation that power is available. • Date by which the premises will be at secure/lock-up stage. • Estimated completion or handover date. • Confirmation that a ‘Lead-in Conduit’ has been installed in accordance with NBN Co guidelines. • Preferred installation date. • Confirmation that estimated completion/handover to the resident will not occur until after the preferred installation date. • ‘Onsite’ contact and confirmation of permission to submit the contact’s details. To submit NTD pre-install requests visit preinstallrequest. For queries regarding the pre-install process, visit where there also is a frequently asked questions section.

industrial relations UPDATES 43 M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5


NOTHING TO HIDE? The Victorian CFMEU is appealing to the High Court to avoid being required to hand over mobile phone records of officials allegedly involved in a Melbourne construction site dispute banning Boral concrete deliveries. If there’s nothing to hide, why appeal to the High Court to keep records confidential?

DUMMY SPIT A CFMEU organiser has allegedly gone on site demanding the builder ban non-union members using site sheds, throwing out non-members’ food, ranting about nonmembers being bludgers and padlocking the sheds against non-members. Immature behaviour like that has no place in the modern workplace or responsible union movement but is rewarded by the Labor Opposition, Greens and some cross bench Senators.


Master Builders’ construction director Kim Richardson says cross bench Senators should heed industry calls for restoration of the ABCC.

Master Builders has called on cross bench Senators to pass the Bill to restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission which, when Master Builder magazine went to print, still was stalled in the upper house. The Association’s construction director Kim Richardson says the need for the return of the ABCC has been spelt out clearly in the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption. He said Commissioner Heydon, in his Interim Report in December, had made damning findings against the CFMEU and its conduct in the construction industry including: • The union deliberately ignores the rule of law which is treated as an irrelevance. • Union members prefer to lie rather than reveal the truth and betray the union. • Those who speak out about union wrongdoing are vilified by the union, and their reputations become the subject of baseless slurs.

“These interim findings echo those of the 2002 Cole Royal Commission into the Construction Industry and countless other inquiries over the past three decades,” Mr Richardson said. “A constant of these inquiries is the conduct of the CFMEU, and its forebears, which shows the law is treated with contempt and the union leadership sees itself accountable to no-one. “The Bill to restore the ABCC does no more than require the CFMEU to comply with the rule of law, as other responsible unions do, but the union, along with the Labor Opposition and Greens, oppose this as being too onerous.” Mr Richardson said the Senate should remember it was the Hawke Government in 1986 which deregistered the former BLF for its conduct undermining construction industry stability. “It is a precedent which showed real political leadership. It was based on what was in the best interests of the nation,” Mr Richardson said. “The Senate, particularly the cross bench Senators, must look at what is in the best interests of the construction industry and all who work within the industry, and vote for the ABCC to be restored.”

A union movement national ‘day of action’ in March was a fizzer in WA. Fewer than 100 people rallied, despite union claims of more. The focus was in Melbourne with other states reporting poor turn outs, though the ACTU claimed major attendances sweeping capital cities.

PLEASE EXPLAIN! FWC dismissed a bullying claim by one of a national bank’s in-house lawyers who claimed in part not to understand what a performance improvement plan was, following work performance counselling by the employer. A lawyer contending not to understand what a workplace document meant? Not the best defence when being reviewed for poor performance.

NO TICKET NO ENTRY A NSW union official, refused a federal right of entry permit by the FWC due to his long criminal record, raised a defence for the convictions that he suffered from a mental illness. What was the union or official thinking?

FRENCH UNIONS REVOLTING French unions are accused of turning off the lights during a speech by the Prime Minister in January in protest over economic reforms, including winding back electricity generated by nuclear power and replacement with renewable energy. One power union claimed cutting nuclear-generated electricity increases greenhouse gas emissions. A union supporting nuclear power, mon Dieu!


UPDATES industrial relations M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

FEDERAL COURT UPHOLDS NON-UNION AGREEMENT Master Builders’ construction director Kim Richardson has praised as common sense, a February Federal Court judgment overruling a Fair Work Commission Full Bench decision to reject a non-union enterprise agreement. “The history of this matter goes back to 2012 when the employer reached an agreement for a non-union agreement with a small group of employees engaged at that time,” Mr Richardson said. “The CFMEU objected to the Commission approving the agreement and a Fair Work Commission Full Bench upheld the union appeal. “The import of the appeal decision was that only union enterprise agreements would be approved, as for some reason, the Full Bench signalled non-union agreements were not reliable. Oddly,

the appeal decision pointed to future employees, that is, not employed at the time of making the agreement, having an interest in the agreement approval, but being denied a say in the approval.” The lack of involvement by future unknown employees made the agreement invalid. “This convoluted FWC reasoning was described by some as the ‘unknown unknown’ case and was viewed with surprise and as unhelpful by employers,” Mr Richardson said. “The blatant support by FWC for only union enterprise agreements also was raised by some commentators as unacceptable.” The Federal Court decision was openly critical of the Fair Work Commission, observing it was required to facilitate enterprise agreement under the Fair Work Act not try to control it. The Court also noted the Commission’s preference of union agreements was misconceived under the Act. “This is a common sense decision which the FWC needs to take note of,” Mr Richardson said. “The FWC has been criticised from time to time for overt bias against non-union agreement making with the Federal Court now pointing this out.”

DISMISSALS NEED CORRECT PROCEDURE A recent Fair Work Commission decision involving dismissal of a manager of a retail outlet again has shone a light on the need for employers to apply correct procedures in terminating an employee’s employment.

In this case, the Commission found the employer simply told the manager his employment was ended due to poor work performance with no opportunity provided to the manager to defend or challenge the employer’s claims.

The manager was dismissed for poor work performance. In addition, after having dismissed the manager, the employer found inappropriate material breaching the employer’s mobile phone use policy on the manager’s company-provided phone.

Previous case law involving unfair dismissal shows employers need to apply the concept of ‘natural justice’ as part of the dismissal procedure. That means the employer advises the employee of the concerns, sets out what improvement the employer is looking for in performance, sets a reasonable time frame for improvement, imposes a review period, advises the employee a poor review may result in termination of employment, and importantly, allows the employee opportunity to provide a defence against any claim of poor work performance. The employer is not bound to accept the employee’s defence but at least must allow the opportunity to provide the response

In considering the evidence, the Commission found the employer justified in dismissing the manager including the discovery of the mobile phone material. However, the Commission also looked at the employer’s process in ending the employment and found it seriously flawed. The consequences of that resulted in the Commission finding the manager unfairly dismissed. The decision sets out the two-part test employers need to follow to avoid unfair dismissal of an employee. First, the reasons for dismissal must be valid, and second, the process applied by the employer must be correct. Employers need to be mindful of the obligation to meet both planks of the unfair dismissal test to successfully defend themselves against claims of this type.

As this case demonstrates, absent that natural justice aspect to the dismissal, the employer faces a difficult task in overcoming an unfair dismissal claim. Each matter needs to be assessed on its own merits and employers are recommended to seek expert advice before dismissing employees to minimise the risk of claims of either unfair or unlawful dismissal.

industrial relations UPDATES 45 M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

UNIQUE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY CHARACTER MUST DRIVE CHANGE Master Builders Australia’s industrial relations director Richard Calver says contractors want substantial change to the workplace relations system.

Master Builders Australia’s initial submission to the Productivity Commission inquiry into the workplace relations’ framework, lodged in March, calls for substantial change to the current system. The organisation’s national industrial relations director Richard Calver said recommendations for change were put forward at the same time as industry specific reform Bills were being debated in the Senate. “The Productivity Commission in its report on Public Infrastructure already has highlighted the need for the building industry’s workplace relations to be singled out and for the reform broom to sweep a clear path through the corruption, unlawful industrial action and coercion that is only too often a part of everyday workplace relations in the industry,” Mr Calver said. “Master Builders has argued for changes to the broader workplace relations laws that will require participants to be more accountable and to take responsibility for their actions. Lack of certainty caused by unlawful industrial action hurts the community. Disputes and the risk of disputes raise the risk and cost of new ventures. The most important function of the law is to lower the risks of uncertainty

in making long term plans. The reforms proposed to the broader workplace relations framework take that theme from the building and construction industry specific reforms that are currently before Parliament.” Mr Calver said Master Builders Australia’s submission calls for change that would better assist direct employer and employee engagement. “The best form of workplace relations empowers employers and employees to speak directly. Master Builders’ call, re-articulated in this latest submission, is for a separate, well empowered independent watchdog to be established for the building and construction industry. To the fullest extent possible the workplace relations system must provide structures where employers and employees obtain solutions to issues that arise from conflict via negotiation at the workplace rather than through the involvement of third parties. That is especially the case when those third parties often act in their interests rather than in the interests of those they represent,” he said. “The call for greater engagement between employers and employees is different from Master Builders’ call for third party intervention via a newly created ABCC to shape the system by which the rule of law operates. The industry’s watchdog is not subject to the same pressures as participants in the industry. Clients, including governments, will not select contractors with industrial problems which is a major reason that contractors’ vulnerability to

the actions of the building unions is enhanced in the industry and where there is a pressing need for a strongly empowered agency to hold unions to account.” Mr Calver said that in the face of the unions’ desire for control, small business had no prospect of resisting unreasonable union demands, unlike the countervailing power exerted by an industry watchdog. “Consumers and the public who rely on the industry for the creation of infrastructure often do not get proper value for money,” he said. “At the end of the day, the contractor assumes the costs and risks associated with unlawful industrial conduct. This cost is inevitably passed on to the consumer and creates a further disadvantage for potential developers wanting to invest in the building and construction industry. That is why building and construction industry workplace reform is an issue that affects everyone. “Workplace reform is not an issue for the community to shy away from – it is simply too important to the creation of the community’s infrastructure at an affordable cost. The passage of the Bills that would bring about reform to the industry’s workplace relations remain Master Builders’ first workplace relations priority. In addition, we have set out 33 recommendations for change to the current workplace relations system that would create a more balanced and workable system.”


UPDATES insurance M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

BEWARE CONTRACTING OUT OF PROPORTIONATE LIABILITY State manager Nick Vernon heads the WA office of MBA Insurance Services where the experienced brokers can provide invaluable help on matters such as proportionate liability and contracting out.


Proportionate liability legislation is applicable in every Australian State and Territory and came about in response to the liability insurance crisis in 2001. Basically, it enables the courts to apportion the responsibility for a damages claim among wrongdoers to the amount the court considers just. When doing this, the court examines the extent to which each wrongdoer’s actions contributed to the loss or damage. In the past, wrongdoers were jointly and severally liable meaning a claimant had the option of suing any one person to claim 100 per cent of the claimant’s loss or damage. It was then up to those who had been sued to cross-claim or seek contribution from others who might also have been responsible for the claimant’s loss or damage. This meant the claimant could pursue the person with the deepest pockets and that person would have to pursue everyone else who was responsible. If any of the others was bankrupt or insolvent, the person with the deepest pockets had to wear the loss. Sometimes a person might also assume 100 per cent of liability under a contract. This is common in many commercial contracts whereby one party agrees to indemnify another for any loss caused by the actions of the first party. It also occurs for ‘hold harmless’ clauses. For example, a construction project might have a number of professional consultants performing services in connection with the project. Before the proportionate liability legislation, developers would often contract with a project manager and pass the entire project risk to that project manager by way of the contract. The outcome was that if a claim for property damage due to negligence or defective work was brought against the developer, the project manager would be 100 per cent accountable for the loss or damage even through the project manager’s failure to review the work of the other consultant(s) was only a minor cause of the damage. What is ‘contracting out’? Parties to a contract can agree between them that the proportionate liability legislation will not apply. They also can agree to indemnify one another on a basis that does not reflect proportionate liability principles. This is called ‘contracting out’. In NSW, Tasmania and WA, parties can contract out of the legislation and exclude its operation.

This is because insurers can take into account an insured’s claims history and the inherent risks of their profession, business or trade and don’t need to load the premium to take account of unknown liability for the incompetence or reckless behaviour of others. This also assists to reduce premiums and make liability insurance more affordable. The insured benefit because they are only liable for their share of the loss or damage they caused and where some wrongdoers are insolvent or uninsured, the insured need not pay more than that for which they are responsible. What impact does it have on insurance policies? Usually an insurance policy will exclude a claim where the insured has entered into a contract that changes the insured’s legal liability to other than what would have applied at law. This is referred to as a ‘contractual liability’ or ‘assumed liability’ exclusion. It is often found in professional indemnity and other legal liability policies. If the parties contract out of the proportionate liability legislation, there is an argument that one party has agreed to assume greater liability to indemnify the other party in a way that is not consistent with the first party’s liability at law. If an insured agrees to contract out, this might trigger the contractual liability exclusion. There is a risk that the insurer will not pay a claim if the insured has agreed to contract out and this has extended the insured’s legal liability beyond what it would have been at law. How do you protect against this? Contributory negligence principles should be incorporated in any indemnity or ‘hold harmless’ clauses in contracts, or the contract should state that the liability of the parties is to be determined in accordance with the relevant proportionate liability legislation. Arbitration and alternative dispute resolution clauses should expressly refer to proportionate liability.

If the contract contains indemnity clauses that do not reflect proportionate liability principles or if it does not preserve the operation of the legislation, the parties can be deemed to have contracted out of the legislation.

Speak to your broker about your exposure and coverage for contractual liability. MBA Insurance Services are the specialist construction industry brokers and have vast experience with construction contracts and proportionate liability clauses. MBAIS can arrange market leading policy wording that covers you for contractual liability and therefore mitigates your risk to contracting out of the proportionate liability legislation.

Who stands to benefit? Both insurers and the insured benefit from the proportionate liability legislation. Insurers are in favour of it because it reduces the quantum of liability claims and assists them to more easily price liability insurance.

The wording of many off the shelf policies and insurance arranged by less experienced non-construction brokers will exclude claims arising out of contractual liability. It’s important to check your cover and if in doubt speak to a construction insurance specialist at MBA Insurance Services.

insurance / legal UPDATES 47 M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

FACELIFT FOR ONLINE DOCUMENTS Master Builders’ contracts manager Charles Anderson.

Master Builders is addressing changes to the way it makes contracts available for completion online. Association contracts manager Charles Anderson says the changes will make it easier and more convenient to use the online process. “We’ve listened to users and are looking at improvements such as automatically populating fields, drop-down menus and the ability to produce draft versions,” he said.


Juanitta Evans

Juanitta Evans has left her role as Master Builders’ receptionist, but has not been completely lost to the Association. She is settling into her new position as assistant account executive with MBA Insurance Services. Ms Evans, who has an extensive background in customer service in both the airline and hospitality industries, had been in charge at reception for about 10 months. She was happy to make the move into the insurance industry, in particular, the building and construction area, when administrator Kristina Humble left MBA Insurance Services recently.

Master Builders makes its popular lump sum residential contracts, the Home Building Works Contract for projects up to $500,000 and the Residential Building Works Contract ($500,000 and above), available online. They allow for completion of fields which otherwise would be hand written in hard copies and then the printing of the complete contract by the user. An agreement for commercial projects, Medium Works Contract, and the general purpose Cost Plus Contract also are online. Mr Anderson said further improvements to the service are planned.


UPDATES legal M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

THE PERSONAL PROPERTIES SECURITIES ACT: DON’T BE LATE – REGISTER YOUR INTEREST IN TIME! days or more must be registered on the PPSR. The amended legislation will mean that those goods will only be PPS leases where the term of the lease exceeds one year. Basil Georgiou

Matthew Lang

The Personal Properties Securities Act 2009 (the PPSA) has been in force since January 2012. However, there are still many cases in which companies are losing their interest in assets because of a failure to register those interests. This article outlines the basic concepts of the PPSA legislation and what interests you should register, and highlights the serious consequences of failing to register an interest, or of registering an interest out of time. Overview of the PPSA Under the PPSA legislation, security interests should be registered, or ‘perfected’, on the Personal Property Securities Register (the PPSR). Generally, if a security interest is perfected then it takes priority over other unperfected interests or interests that were registered later in time. A security interest is defined as an interest in personal property that in substance secures payment, or the performance of an obligation by another party. The PPSA applies to nearly all personal property, which means all tangible and intangible property, excluding land and fixtures to land. Some examples of security interests that can and should be registered on the PPSR include: • Interests created by leases. • Hire purchase agreements. • Charges. • Retention of title arrangements. • Step in rights. (The High Court of New Zealand in McCloy v Manukau Institute of Technology [2013] NZHC 936, provided that a Principal’s right to ‘step in’ to a contract was a right capable of being registered on the New Zealand PPSR. While the case is not binding in Australia, a similar conclusion is likely to follow under the Australian PPSA.) The latter two issues are particularly important to the construction industry. It is also worth noting that soon-to-be introduced legislation will amend the definition of a PPS lease. Currently, goods with a serial number (such as certain motor vehicles) that are leased for 90

security agreement instead of the required 20 days. As a result, Doka lost the benefit of its security interest, and Doka’s formwork ‘vested’ in Relux. The value of Doka’s lost formwork was approximately $1 million.

Although registering your interest in personal property on the PPSR is a way of prioritising your claim to that property, recent case law in Australia shows that even registering your interest does not necessarily guarantee that you will maintain the benefit of your security interest.

While it may seem wrong that a company can lose assets that it legally owns, cases such as Carrafa highlight the ‘draconian’ reality that it can and does happen.

What can go wrong? One of the key concepts of the PPSA that many people struggle to accept is that the PPSA does not care who the legal owner of personal property is. If you have not registered a security interest over an asset that you own (such as equipment you have hired out to a third party), or you are late in registering your interest, you are at risk of losing ownership of that asset.

What should you do to protect your assets? As outlined in this article, the PPSA is a complex piece of legislation. Even if you have registered your interest, it might be that it was out of time, or was not sufficient to perfect the interest. If you are concerned that you have an unregistered or unperfected security interest, it is highly recommended that you seek legal advice. As can be seen from the Carrafa case, it is not always a smooth process, and the consequences for incorrectly registering can be devastating.

In the recent Victorian case, Carrafa & Others v Doka Formwork Pty Ltd [2014] VSC 520 (Carrafa), Sifris J stated that the PPSA can lead to “seemingly draconian” outcomes, such as the loss of ownership of an asset. In Carrafa, Doka hired out their formwork to Relux, a construction business that specialised in pouring concrete slabs. While Doka did register their interest in the formwork, the registration was one day later than required. The complexity of the PPSA is highlighted in Carrafa because the relevant registration requirement is not actually identified in the PPSA legislation itself, but arises from the application of related legislation, the Corporations Act, particularly s588FL. This section of the Corporations Act provides that: • If a secured creditor fails to register its interest on the PPSR within 20 business days of the security agreement; and • The debtor company has administrators or liquidators appointed, or enters into a DOCA (deed of company arrangement) within six months of registration on the PPSR, then; • The security interest will vest in the insolvent company and the secured creditor loses its goods. Unfortunately for Doka, Relux went into administration within six months of registration on the PPSR and Doka had registered its interest in the formwork 21 days after the

This article was prepared by Jackson McDonald partner Basil Georgiou, special counsel Matthew Lang and solicitor Crissa Ballios. For more information, they can be contacted on 9426 6611.



UPDATES health M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

WHO GETS SKIN CANCER? WHY MEN ARE AT GREATER RISK THAN WOMEN Australia has some of the highest skin cancer rates in the world. In fact, at least two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70. Skin cancer is also the most common type of cancer in Australia, with data showing that of all the Australians living with cancer in 2011-12 nearly one in three had skin cancer. The risk is higher in men than in women, with 70 per cent of men likely to be diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70 compared to 58 per cent of women. Sadly the mortality rate is also higher for men who make up 69 per cent of skin cancer deaths. The rates for melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer are also higher in men, with men having a one in 14 chance of being diagnosed with melanoma before the age of 85, whereas women have a one in 24 chance. One reason that men are at higher risk is because of the greater percentage of men performing outdoor work. In fact, it is estimated that around 200 melanomas and 34,000 keratinocytic skin cancers each year are caused by occupational exposure in Australia. It is estimated that outdoor workers receive between five and 10 times more UV

exposure each year than indoor workers, greatly increasing the risk of both basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. Others reasons for the higher risk in men can be the increased involvement in outdoor leisure activities such as fishing, sport and socialising combined with inconsistent sun protection practices. Sports like cricket tend to have quite good sun protection measures including long sleeved shirts, long pants, broad brimmed hats and the use of zinc cream on the nose and lips. Perhaps this is because it is played during the middle of summer and Australians are conscious about getting burnt during the long-playing sessions. However, too often this level of protection is not used in other outdoor activities where the risk is just as high. For example, when fishing many people wear caps instead of broad brimmed hats, leaving the ears, neck and part of the face exposed. Also many do not consider the impact of UV radiation reflection from the water, failing to apply sunscreen to areas at risk such as under the chin and the back of the ears. However, it is never too late to reduce your risk of skin cancer, both at work and during leisure time. • Firstly, understand when you are at risk by using the UV index. Any time the UV level is

three or above, you require sun protection. Check out the MyUV website for more information. • Secondly, make sure that you are consistent with your sun protection and don’t just rely on sunscreen which can easily rub or sweat off. Get some lightweight long sleeved cotton shirts and pants which have a UPF 50+ rating to give you the highest level of sun protection as well as a good quality broad brimmed, bucket or legionnaire style hat. • Finally, make sure that you check your skin regularly to see if there are any changes. Early detection is the key to reducing the impact of skin cancer, so checking your skin regularly and ensuring that you waste no time in having anything suspicious checked by your doctor could really be the difference between a good or bad outcome. Skin cancer is almost entirely preventable, and each of us has the power to control the risk by choosing to employ sun protection measures and regularly checking our skin for changes. When you are at work or enjoying your leisure time check the UV index, and if it is three or above, make sure you slip, slop, slap, seek and slide in order to reduce your risk of skin cancer in the future.

HEALTHIER WORKPLACE JUST A CLICK AWAY Healthier Workplace WA has announced that its popular Health and Wellbeing Coordinator Training is now available online at http:// The online training is free and a great alternative to existing Healthier Workplace WA workshops, webinars and ‘lunch ‘n’ learns’. It covers the basics of workplace health promotion and is a professional development option for those who are unable to attend Healthier Workplace WA face-to-face sessions or for workers in regional or remote locations. The self-paced online training consists of four modules with each module taking about 20 minutes to complete: • Module one – introduction to workplace health. • Module two – motivating your staff to be healthy. • Module three – best practice workplace health promotion. • Module four – planning your program.

At the completion of the online training, participants gain access to the Healthier Workplace WA Health and Wellbeing Action Pack containing tools and resources to kickstart a workplace health and wellbeing program. As well, participants receive a Certificate of Completion to display in the workplace. “We also offer free advice, information and support on workplace catering, active commuting, quit smoking courses and alcoholrelated issues in the workplace,” Healthier Workplace WA manager Hayley O’Connell says. “And we have advisors who can meet with you to discuss how you can make your workplace healthier.” If your workplace already has a health and wellbeing program then apply to ‘Get Recognised!’ To find out more about workplace health and the recognition program, call Healthier Workplace WA on 1300 550 271 or visit




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*Recommended drive away price for the Master L1H1 SWB 135 diesel with non-metallic paint. Valid for vehicles ordered between 01/03/2015 & 30/04/2015 while stocks last. Renault reserves the right to vary, extend or withdraw this offer. Offer available to ABN holders only and excludes fleet & government buyers. Offer not available for Govt. and fleet buyers. Renault reserves the right to vary, extend or withdraw this offer. Warranty valid for 3 years or 200,000km (whichever comes first) from new. Demonstrator vehicles receive balance of new vehicle warranty. ^First 3 scheduled maintenance services capped at $349 per service on new and demonstrator Master models, based on standard scheduled servicing from new and on normal operating conditions. Scheduled maintenance services required every twelve (12) months or up to 30,000km (whichever occurs first) on Master. However, Master is subject to adaptive servicing requirements, as determined by the Oil Condition Sensor, and may require servicing prior to the standard twelve (12) months or 30,000km service interval. If Master is not presented within three (3) months of when the scheduled service is required, right to that capped-price service under the program is forfeited.


UPDATES health M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5


Fit4Work program collaborators (l-r) Michael McLean, Angie Paskevicius and Ralph Dawson.

Master Builders, Holyoake and the Construction Training Fund are collaborating to help address alcohol issues among apprentices.

initiating difficult conversations, responding to incidents, supporting apprentices and ongoing management.

Research conducted last year (Du Plessis, Corney, Green and Burnside, 2014) indicated that apprentices generally are prone to consume alcohol at risky levels. The report revealed that more than 60 per cent of apprentices in the Australian construction industry scored high in the harmful alcohol consumption category.

Under the auspices of Master Builders, a Registered Training Organisation, the programs are subsidised by the Construction Training Fund for eligible workers in the construction industry. Holyoake says its objective is to promote self-responsibility, and to help keep apprentices safer and more productive.

“Raising awareness of the specific risks associated with alcohol use, and education about industry alcohol and drug policies, would seem to be the appropriate first lines of defence to minimise harm,” the research said. In response, Holyoake has developed a special Fit4Work program for construction apprentices to promote self-responsibility, and to help keep them safer and more productive. It also has developed a Fit4Work program for managers of apprentices. This program covers aspects such as the signs of substance misuse,

“Apprentices are a vital part of the construction industry so we want do everything we can to ensure a safe environment,” Master Builders’ director Michael McLean says. “The two-hour training program developed and to be delivered by Holyoake will play an important role in raising awareness among apprentices and their employers about alcohol-related issues.” CTF provides funding support for training of eligible workers in the construction industry, and will subsidise the Fit4Work programs to reduce the costs of training delivery. Executive director Ralph Dawson highlighted his organisation’s commitment to the funding.

Holyoake CEO Angie Paskevicius says businesses are encouraged to make the most of the collaborative initiative. “It will go a long way towards managing the impact of substance misuse on apprentices, their families, friends and employers,” she said. Holyoake has been a leading provider of alcohol and drug treatment services since 1975. It offers a range of Wellbeing@Work programs to enhance wellness and safety in corporate organisations. Holyoake is also member of the Master Builders Health Alliance, and is pleased to work with the Association to address apprentice-alcohol issue. For more information: Call Holyoake on 9416 4444, email or visit

health UPDATES 53 M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

THE HISTORY OF SLEEP Sleep... we all love getting our eight hours but it hasn't always been done the same way. Let's take a look back.

piped through its interior, to help combat the bitterly cold winters. Travellers lodging at hotels throughout northern China still can experience a night on a Kang stove-bed.

While today we’re constantly having the magical eight-hour sleep figure drummed into us, in a pre-industrial world, this wasn’t always the case. Historical documents indicate that before the industrial revolution, a segmented sleep pattern was considered the norm. This involved ‘first sleep’ of around four-and-a-half hours, followed by a period awake of one or two hours before a second period of sleep.

The charpai is a traditional Indian and Pakistani woven bed where the sleeper reclines on a suspended hammock of knotted ropes enclosed within a wooden frame. Low to the ground, nothing lies between the ropes and the occupant, making for a breezy, massaging slumber.

Iconic American architect Frank Lloyd Wright followed this school of sleep, explaining to a friend, as documented in Mason Currey’s Daily Rituals, that he promptly fell asleep until 4.00 am, before waking until 7.00 am with a clear mind. After coming up with his best ideas for a few hours, he would turn back in for another nap.

In Japan, the futon is a soft, padded mattress placed on a tatami floor for sleeping. Rolled up during the day, it’s a simple, comfortable alternative still widely used today. Requiring a regular beating to keep the padding aired, Japanese use special rake-like bamboo tools for the task. If travelling through Japan, book a night at a traditional Japanese inn (ryokan) for the full futon experience.

The siesta-filled sleep pattern is another alternative to its continuous counterpart. Taking a nap during the middle of the day is still common practice in many parts of the world as a respite from the heat and to break up the less active part of the day. It typically comprises a one or two-hour sleep in the early afternoon, accompanied by a night sleep of around six hours. Cities where the siesta ritual is in full swing are ghost towns to explore in the middle of the day as everyone is getting some collective shuteye. Beds of the world In the West, we’ve been bedding down on a mattress and pillow for centuries. Let’s take a look at traditions from around the globe. The traditional bed of northern China is the Kang stove-bed, an elevated clay platform that accommodates multiple occupants. A wood or coal fire typically provides the heat,

You also could try a night sleeping at minus five degrees in an ice hotel in Arctic Norway. Cloaked in furs, sleeping bags, a balaclava, hat and scarf, you can drift off snugly on your frozen platform for the night. Embracing chilly winters to the full, igloo hotels offer travellers an opportunity to nod off in the true Arctic environment. Hammocks have been the bed of choice for Central and South Americans for centuries. Made from fabric, rope, cloth or twine, they’re typically hung between trees or posts for an elevated, gently swinging snooze. Adopted later by sailors because they maximised available space, they’re now frequently used on camping trips.


UPDATES health M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS ROUND AT THE FOOTY The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia is encouraging men to be proactive about their health and know their general ‘score’. It is urging men to talk to their doctors about determining the risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer, stroke and prostate cancer. The Foundation’s Know Your Score campaign was launched in 2014 in partnership with the West Australian Football Commission. Its message is ‘Know Your Score – Talk to your Doctor and keep yourself in the game’. The campaign encourages men to take responsibility and be more proactive about their health. This includes a long-term plan to raise awareness among the football and wider communities about prostate cancer, one of the most serious men’s health issues in Australia. Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men, with 20,000 new cases diagnosed nationally each year. Every three hours a man in Australia dies of prostate cancer. More men now die of prostate cancer than women die of breast cancer. The Know Your Score initiative is a call to action for Australian men to know their general ‘score’ or deal with their health at the appropriate age, especially in regard to major health risk areas. This includes talking to their doctor about determining their individual risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer, stroke and prostate cancer. The Football Commission again is partnering with PCFA to dedicate a round of WAFL games to men’s health during Men’s Health Week, 15-21 June. WAFL clubs are unanimously supporting the Know Your Score Round, dedicating each of the four games played on 20 June to raising awareness of prostate cancer and encouraging men to be more proactive about their health. PCFA will be working with each of the WAFL clubs to promote the Know Your Score campaign at the games and the public also will be able to donate to PCFA to assist in the fight against prostate cancer and support the men and their families in WA dealing with the disease. Interactive score cards, available for a donation at WAFL games on 14 June, or free with the Football Budget, will get spectators involved in supporting their teams. The two-sided goal/point cards can be held up when the spectators’ team scores, or when a player is attempting to score, creating a vision of blue for prostate cancer. Know Your Score patron Glen Jakovich says that being a professional athlete, he knows the importance of being proactive about health and wellbeing.

Know Your Score patron Glen Jakovich.

“I have been touched by cancer in my family, and I want to do everything possible to be here to watch my children grow up,” he said. “Keeping on top of your health should be a priority for everyone and it is an invaluable investment for your future.” PCFA recommends men over 50, or 40 if they have a family history of prostate cancer, should talk to their doctors about being tested for prostate cancer as part of an annual health check. The Foundation also recommends men should make an individual informed decision about testing based on discussion with their doctors. For information or to donate to the Know Your Score campaign, go to

membership UPDATES 55 M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

LORD MAYOR HEADLINES APARTMENT RESEARCH PANEL A high-powered discussion panel, including Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi, was a feature of the breakfast launch of the Perth High Density Apartment Market Report at the Duxton Hotel in February. Along with the Lord Mayor, Paul Blackburne (Blackburne Property Group), Nick Allingame (Pindan) and Andrew Boulhas (Psaros) discussed the main points of the research report and gave their own insights into the Perth inner city apartment market. The exclusive research by Master Builders and Y Research indentifies the number of apartments in 19 key suburbs (including Highgate, Perth CBD and Canning Bridge) with vacancies, rentals and development outlook. The research required physical visits to 531 buildings, discovering more than 19,000 apartments in the survey area. Copies of the report are available for purchase by emailing

Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi and Paul Blackburne were panelists at the launch of the Perth High Density Apartment Market Report.

About 120 guests attended the breakfast launch which was supported by Bankwest, Hanson, Hays, James Hardie, Levesys, Telstra, LandCorp and Western Power.

LISA HUTCHINS: BANKWEST’S HOME LOAN SPECIALIST Bankwest home loan specialist Lisa Hutchins is keen to assist Master Builder members with competitive rates on home and personal loans.

On Ms Hutchins’ achievement, Bankwest says: “She is one of the most proactive home loan specialists we have, driving our referral programs with Master Builders, Rugby WA and Workperks across the State.

Master Builder members receive competitive rates on home and personal loans, insurance and financial advice through Bankwest’s referral program and referral commission supports the WA construction industry through apprenticeship and career promotional programs.

“She has been the absolute driver behind the self-generated success she has achieved this year. Her dedication to take banking to our customers and build strong relationships with our external customers has seen her consistently achieve targets every quarter.”

Home loan specialist Lisa Hutchins is the bank’s go-to person for help with competitive rates on home and personal loans. She has worked with Bankwest for the past 15 years, four of which have been in her current role. She recently was selected from a group of 300 colleagues to be awarded Bankwest’s 2014 Heroes Award. The award recognises those who have worked in line with the Bank’s strategic priorities and values to drive them towards achieving their vision.

Ms Hutchins conducts many site visits through the year with the referral program. She is more than happy to meet at customers’ premises; otherwise meetings also are held at Master Builders’ West Perth office. As a principal sponsor of Master Builders for the past nine years, Bankwest has played a pivotal role in ensuring members receive the best home and personal loans possible.

“Business owners should take the opportunity to speak to Lisa about home loans for their staff, and Lisa will be happy to visit and talk about the great products and rates available,” says Master Builders’ housing director Geoff Cooper. “I have recently moved my home loans to Bankwest, and I encourage all members to have a look at what is on offer. Bankwest offered me a very competitive home loan rate. As an added benefit, a referral fee will help promote careers in the building industry.” To book an appointment with Lisa Hutchins, contact her on 0467 807 662, or at lisa.


UPDATES membership M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

HEALTH COVER TAX TIME INFORMATION This tax time, whether you’re looking at getting health cover for the first time or are looking at renewing your current cover, Medibank can help you understand the benefits and implications of your choices. Here’s a brief overview of the things you need to know. • The Lifetime Health Cover loading can be applied on top of your premiums if hospital cover is taken out later in life and generally starts to be applied if you don’t have cover on 1 July, following your thirty-first birthday. • The rebate is an incentive for individuals and families to take out private health insurance. Depending on your income and age the Australian Government Rebate can help reduce your premium, so you might pay less while getting the benefits private health cover has to offer.

• You can switch to Medibank from another health fund without re-serving any waiting periods you have already served.* • There is a Medicare Levy Surcharge, which, depending on your income, might apply to you if you don’t have appropriate hospital cover for you and your dependants. When you choose Medibank hospital and extras cover, you’ll become a member of one of Australia’s largest health insurers. Your claims process will be quick and easy and you’ll get access to a range of great services including the Gymbetter, the ability to speak to a Medibank nurse on a 24/7 Health Advice Line, online tools, and mobile health apps. It also means choosing a health partner which can help you understand and navigate the often confusing world of health insurance. It


means being in the know about things such as Lifetime Health Cover loading, Australian Government Rebate changes and the Medicare Levy Surcharge. And most importantly, remember the ongoing corporate discount and great joining offers available to you, simply for being part of Master Builders. For more information, contact Medibank on 131 680, ask in store, visit corporate. or email *Disclaimer: if those services also were included on your former cover, you join within two months of leaving your old fund and you have already served the applicable waiting periods.


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membership UPDATES 57 M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5


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UPDATES membership M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

Member * Member Savings Scheme* Savings Scheme Master Builders Members can save through our growing Master Builders Member Savings Scheme.

Exclusive discount on regional accommodation Exclusive discount on regional accommodation


10% off daily accommodation rate 10% off daily accommodation rate

Members have access to an exclusive discount on accommodation at Oaks Broome and Oaks Cable Beach Sanctuary. Visit Master Builders website Members for details.have access to an exclusive discount on accommodation at Oaks Broome and Oaks Cable Beach Sanctuary. Visit Master Builders website for details.

Principal Partner Principal Partner

Help Apprentices with every loan taken out Help Apprentices with every loan taken out Bankwest business banking has lots of choices for business finance for members. For every home or business loan through Bankwest a % will be put Bankwest business bankingand hascareer lots of promotion. choices for back in to the Apprentiship business Gary finance for members. For every home or Contact Murphy, Business Development business loan through Bankwest a %and will Private be put Manager for Commercial, Business back in toon the0407 Apprentiship careerinformation. promotion. Banking 879 684 and for more Contact Gary Murphy, Business Development For discount home loan rates and product features, Manager for Commercial, BusinessPaul and Burnett Private speak to Bankwest representative, Banking on 0459 on 8020407 312.879 684 for more information. For discount home loan rates and product features, speak to Bankwest representative, Paul Burnett on 0459 802 312.


Hyatt Regency Hotel Perth is offering Master Builders members 10% off its Daily Accommodation Rate. To make a reservation phone 13 12 34 and HyattforRegency HotelBuilders Perth isRate’ offering Master ask the ‘Master subject to Builders members 10% off itsfor Daily Accommodation availability. Join Club Hyatt yearly membership Rate. To make reservation phone 13 12 34 and at a discount ofa10% for Master Builder members. ask for the ‘Master Builders Rate’ subject to availability. Join Club Hyatt for yearly membership at a discount of 10% for Master Builder members.



Master Builders Members can save through our growing Master Builders Member Savings Scheme.



Save 55% on your monthly fees with a Caltex StarCard Save 55% on your monthly fees with a Caltex StarCard You might not care how long it takes to record your fuel receipts, but someone in your business does! Do them a favour - get a fuel card that gives you You not careATO howapproved long it takes to record your one might easy to read, monthly invoice. fuel receipts, butupsomeone in your business does! Plus, if you sign under Master Builders’ account Do them favour get monthly a fuel card you you’ll savea55% on -your fees,that andgives receive a one easy read, ATO approvedpetrol monthly 3.5c/ litre to discount on unleaded and invoice. 4c/ litre Plus, if youonsign up under Builders’ account discount diesel petrol.Master Whether you have two you’ll saveor55% your monthly and receive a vehicles 200,onthere’s a Caltexfees, StarCard to suit 3.5c/needs. litre discount onwebsite unleaded and 4c/ litre your Visit our for petrol more information. discount on diesel petrol. Whether you have two vehicles or 200, there’s a Caltex StarCard to suit your needs. Visit our website for more information.

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Evaluate your current business model, receive a business improvement Evaluate your current strategy valued at $990 business model, receive a business improvement strategy valued at $990 RSM Bird Cameron offers members a free Business Assessment to evaluate your current business model and provide a business improvement RSM Birdvalued Cameron offersMembers memberscan a free Business strategy at $990. also access Assessment to evaluate yourcurrent current free assessments of either your taxbusiness planning model and(valued provide business improvement strategies at a$400), the benefits of self strategy at $990. Members canthe alsopotential access managedvalued superannuation funds and freeuse assessments of eithertoyour current tax planning to gearing strategies invest in property within strategies (valued $400), the benefits of self the fund (valued at at $800), a free subscription to managed superannuation funds and the potential the SME Pathways electronic newsletter or a free to usefinancial gearing strategies invest in property within initial services to consultation to discuss the fund (valued $800), aplanning free subscription to your financial and at retirement requirements the SMEatPathways electronic newsletter or a free (valued $400). There is also a free business initial financial advice hotline -services call 1800consultation 154 245. to discuss your financial and retirement planning requirements (valued at $400). There is also a free business advice hotline - call 1800 154 245.

Employees of members receive an ongoing 8.3% Employees of discount members receive an Members can receive ongoing 8.3% discount ongoing 8.3%andiscount

when you join Medibank Corporate cover. You also have access to a 24/7 health advice line, Members receive anand ongoing 8.3% discount cover for can ambulance, no hospital excess when you join Medibank Corporate cover. You for children. This offer extends to employees of also havecompanies. access to a 24/7 health advice line, member cover for ambulance, and no hospital excess for children. This offer extends to employees of member companies.

membership UPDATES 59

Secure competitive insurances with a construction sector specialist




M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

Secure competitive insurances with a construction sector specialist, MBA Insurance Services. Using its construction market leverage, benefit from attractive premium pricing and better policy terms for your business and personal insurances. A strong service is part of this broker’s commitment to Master Builders members. Contact MBAIS now on 1800 150 888 to discuss your premiums and insurance needs.

Jackson McDonald/Master Builders Legal Hotline offer up to 15 minutes of immediate, free legal advice. The Hotline complements Master Builders’ ongoing services of standard form contracts, insurance products and safety training and auditing. When legal issues arise, the Hotline will offer quick and knowledgeable initial guidance. A 7% reduction on normal fee schedules also applies for members.

easifleet is the expert in private and corporate vehicle solutions. Their extensive buying power allows them to purchase vehicles at the lowest fleet prices. While these fleet discount prices are usually reserved for private salary packaging customers, easifleet is partnering with Master Builders to offer access to huge savings when purchasing or leasing your next vehicle. They can also offer an ongoing discounted finance rate if finance is required. Better yet, they can source your vehicle, liaise with the dealer and organise settlement and delivery free of charge.




Save thousands on Fleet pricing


7% reduction on normal fee schedules

Exclusive range of products with genuine discounts

10% discount from their standard terms of business

10% - 25% off the standard price of popular items

For all your recruitment needs, talk to the world leading specialist recruitment company and enjoy a 10% discount from their standard terms of business. Contact Mark Lawton (Construction Labour hire) on (08) 9259 4513, Lee Plant (Commercial Building) on (08) 9486 9553, or Natalie Punshon (Office Support) on (08) 9322 5383.

OfficeMax is offering Master Builders members 1025% off the standard price of many popular office and stationery items. By buying through Master Builders, you will enjoy the benefits of combined purchasing pricing for the extensive range offered by OfficeMax. For further information please phone Bronwyn Nicolaas-Ponder on mobile 0488 625 234 or email bronwyn.nicolaas-ponder@officemax.

Master Builders has partnered with Telstra and Insight Communications to offer market leading telecommunication products and services. Speak to Master Builders Telco about our exclusive range of telecommunications products with genuine discounts. Master Builders also has a dedicated help desk to ensure you save money and time. Call us now on 1300 881 372 or email phonesales@

$400 discount when purchasing a 3 minute advertorial production Home in WA is the Master Builders’ very own TV series and is into its 15th series! Members can receive a $400 discount when they purchase a 3 minute advertorial production. Your business will get state-wide TV coverage, on both GWN7 regional and Channel 7 in the metro area. This year, you will also be supplied with a free advertorial production YouTube link to post on your website! Phone Ron (Dingo) Reddingius on 0417 279 103 or (08) 9246 5442 or watch the show on the website.

* Scheme participants will generally require proof of membership through our membership card or other verification. We remind members that all benefits are subject to terms and conditions specified by the service provider and may be withdrawn at any time. It is recommended that you contact the service provider advertised to confirm the most recent offer available.


UPDATES personal pars M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

Lloyd Jenkins has been appointed managing director with CBRE. He previously headed up BGC’s modular division.

Master Builders’ principal partner, Bankwest has launched a new advertising campaign featuring John McEnroe and a ‘Making Banking Easier’ theme. Bankwest research indicated that customers valued the importance of ‘easy banking’. The feedback Master Builders gets from staff and members who have transferred business is that Bankwest really does make banking easier.

Tim Marney has been appointed chairman of the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre’s Advisory Board.

Adjunct Professor Warren Kerr (Hames Sharley) has been elected as Warden of Convocation (UWA’s Graduate Association) and reappointed as a member of UWA’s Senate.

Congratulations to Dianne and Murray Rzepecki (ReddiFund) on their ruby wedding anniversary.

The 500 Club has appointed Leanne Drewitt as chief executive officer to replace Margaret Coulthard who has retired after 20 years’ distinguished service. Ms Drewitt previously was employed by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association. Master Builders wishes Margaret and her husband Bob an enjoyable retirement.

Condolences to Corrado, Paul, Eric and Wally Zorzi and their family on the passing of Ada Zorzi – the matriarch of the Zorzi family. Ada, who died in January aged 87, was married to Corrado for 66 years. Ada’s influence had a lot to do with the values and pride that the Zorzi Group instil in their quality workmanship.

Paul Smedley has left Perkins Builders as has Kitty Murphy who was employed as a safety advisor.

Stuart Nahajski has been appointed general manager regional with Landcorp. Mike Maloney is now working part-time with Landcorp in a strategic project advisory role. We believe Mike’s golf has improved considerably.

Rebecca Rogers has taken over from Tommy McBride as the relationship manager for Bankwest responsible for Master Builders’ accounts.

Phillip Griffi ths has been re-elected chapter president of the Australian Institute of Architects in WA.

Peter Darlaston from Sydney was relieving Jeff Radisich at Fair Work Building and Construction while Jeff recently was on three weeks’ annual leave.

Joe McGuiness has been employed by CTF as a fi eld officer.

Condolences to Vince Scarvaci (Brikmakers) and his family on the passing of his mother in March, aged 92.

Congratulations to Lend Lease on being awarded Australia’s first 6-star green star rating for the Alkimos Beach housing estate project.

Dario Amara has been appointed chairperson of Whittens. Glenn Swift is the general manager.

Cbus Superannuation has appointed Elisa Gallichio as general manager, employer relationships, based in Melbourne.

Master Builders’ executive assistant Skye McCartney is back at work following the death of her mother in March.

Condolences to former Master Builders’ fi nancial controller Jill Timmins on the passing of partner of 17 years, John, in March.

Darren Wallis has joined LandCorp in the capacity of manager sales. He had been at Peet and previously with Stockland. LandCorp says he will be a great fi t for its sales team, bringing to his role, a focus on sales and private sector experience during changing market conditions.

Professor Ken Maher from the University of NSW Built Environment has been elected president of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council.

Jill Dixon has left ReddiFund as its business development manager to work with CCI.

Nick Herron has been elected president of Queensland Master Builders following the conclusion of Derek Pingel’s 10-year reign in the role. Nick is the managing director of Herron Coorey Building Contractors and an active QMBA member since 2001. Master Builders WA acknowledges Derek Pingel’s fi ve two-year terms as president of QMBA.

Amanda Gohr has resigned as the general manager, commercial marketing and communications at West Coast Fever. Master Builders has a strategic alliance with West Coast Fever and encourages members to support the team in its endeavours, after an outstanding start to the season, to make the fi nals for the fi rst time this year.

Congratulations to Craig Saunders and his team on the launch of their new building company, Custom Green which has a focus on helping prospective home-buyers build more sustainable homes.

DG Global, the organisation that Master Builders uses to produce its events, has employed Steve Smith as general manager. Mr Smith is based in Melbourne but visits Perth regularly to attend marque events such as the Master Builders-Bankwest Housing Excellence Awards. Pictured with Mr Smith (second from left) are Pippa Tearne (Master Builders’ events manager), Kylie Brown (DG Global’s producer) and Master Builders’ director Michael McLean. Members interested in engaging DG Global to produce their major events should call Mr Smith on (03) 9686 1955 or 0405 761 076.

personal pars UPDATES 61 M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

VALE RICHARD GILLARD Condolences to Brent, Travis, John and Heath Gillard and the family of Richard Gillard (Gillard Builders) who passed away in February, aged 67, after a short illness. Described as one of nature’s gentlemen and quiet achievers, Richard was a keen baseballer, footballer, lawn bowler and ardent Eagles supporter. Gillard Builders was formed in 1977 and has operated from four different offices, now being located in Wembley. Over the last 38 years, Gillard Builders has built many landmark buildings and houses, including the Mausoleum at Karrakatta Cemetery. Richard is survived by wife Milena, three children (two of whom work in the family business), seven grandchildren and two brothers (one of whom was his business partner). A huge number of family, friends and business colleagues turned out to Richard’s funeral at Pinnaroo Memorial Park to celebrate his life.


Scott Thompson has left the Construction Training Fund to return to Echuca in Victoria for family reasons. He was employed at the CTF for more than three years in a training support officer role where he made excellent presentations to schools about careers in the building industry. With his infectious personality and knowledge, Scott was also effective in the mentoring of young apprentices. He is pictured at the recent Master Builders’ regional managers conference with Di Gilleland.

Darryl Lathwell has been appointed group general manager with Perkins Builders which includes Commercial Aquatics Australia and an interest in Perkins Total Project Delivery. Mark Parish, who previously held this position, has been appointed business development manager following Rod Sproule’s retirement. Master Builders wishes Rod (pictured) a long and healthy retirement and is pleased to have him on the judging panel for the Master BuildersBankwest Excellence in Construction Awards again this year. Rod is a former managing director of Consolidated Construction. Master Builders Australia has appointed Donna Anthes to the newly created position of general manager operations. One of Ms Anthes’ responsibilities is to review the products and services provided by Master Builders’ national office in conjunction with the needs of its state and territory member associations. Ms Anthes kicked off an Australia-wide familiarisation program with a visit to WA in February. She was keen to visit one of Master Builders’ regional branches while in WA and is pictured with (l-r) Association director Michael McLean, South West Branch chairman John Buckingham and local regional manager Geoff Bosustow.


UPDATES personal pars M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

NEW ED FOR ACT MASTER BUILDERS The board of Master Builders ACT has appointed Kirk Coningham as the organisation’s executive director following John Miller’s resignation to pursue other interests. Mr Coningham is a former executive with Leighton Holdings. Raised in Canberra, he saw active service with the Army in Cambodia before working as a diplomat with DFAT, including a posting in Jakarta. He also has worked in leadership positions with the Australian Federal Police, the Commonwealth Public Service and the Australian Medical Association. Most recently, he worked as chief of staff to former Leighton CEO Hamish Tyrwhitt, where he also led government and industry relations for the global Leighton Group. Jo Alilovic has returned to Jackson McDonald’s workplace relations team following a period of maternity leave.

Mr Coningham has strong connections with the Canberra community and in the construction industry nationally. Master Builders WA director Michael McLean welcomed the appointment and also paid tribute to Mr Miller, saying he had been an excellent contributor to the Master Builder movement since taking on the ED role from David Dawes about eight years ago.



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personal pars UPDATES 63 M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

A quite moment for events assistant Monique Milne, a contrast to the busy Master Builders’ events schedule.

PEN PORTRAIT: MONIQUE MILNE With dozens of member functions, celebrations and ceremonies attracting attendances totalling in the thousands throughout the course of the year, it’s challenging work for Master Builders’ small events team. Events assistant Monique Milne is a familiar face at most events and despite the sometimes frantic pace seems to be able to maintain her serene disposition.

How long have you worked for Master Builders? Three years in November. What were you doing before joining the Association’s staff? I was working at a furniture and interior design specialist store while also studying interior design. Why did you move? A great opportunity as an events assistant came up at Master Builders and I couldn’t pass it up. How do you feel you’ve settled in your role? It took me an entire year to find my feet. After I had experienced each of our annual events once, things came a lot more naturally and now I’m comfortable knowing what I need to do. It’s a great learning experience. That being said, no two events are ever the same so I’m always being kept on my toes.

What do you like about working at Master Builders? I didn’t entirely understand how broad the building and construction industry was before I started in my role at Master Builders. Now I have a fair understanding of a range of different aspects of the industry and I’m gaining a lot of valuable experience. I love working on the awards especially; they’re a year long process so we get pretty attached to them. I get excited whenever I see Master Builders Award Winner signs and logos used! When you’re not at Master Builders, what keeps you busy? I’m quite a homebody so I spend the majority of the time at home with my boyfriend; in saying that, I’ll never pass up an opportunity to go out to dinner (or breakfast for that matter... as long as it has salmon in it). I try to visit my family and friends as much as I can and good food and wine are always a plus.

What are you working on at the moment? We (your friendly events team) have just wrapped up the Housing Awards and are already knee deep in Construction Awards entries. We’re also in the process of revamping the awards program as a whole so watch this space as we have some very exciting things planned!


UPDATES safety M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

Domestic socket-outlet device/power board.

BEWARE ELECTRICAL HAZARDS ON SITE Concerns have been raised with regard to electrical safety on construction sites, in relation to both overhead power lines and portable electrical equipment. It is unfortunately a condition of human nature to become complacent over time and this, of course, increases the likelihood of accidents occurring. It is up to all in the construction industry to ensure they are working safely and in accordance with current legislative requirements. Employers and main contractors carry a greater burden insofar as legislation requires them to make sure all employees and contractors are working safely and meeting their obligations under the duty of care. In many circumstances it is site supervisors or managers who must enforce such safety requirements on site, acting as the main contractor’s representative. An understanding of safety requirements and safe practices is critical if key personnel are to protect workers, and ultimately the reputation and viability of businesses. Recent site safety inspections and audits conducted by Master Builders have also highlighted safety concerns involving electricity

on construction sites. The following information addresses the most frequently observed issues in this area, which are: • Operating plant and/or equipment too close to overhead powerlines. • A lack of basic controls, such as warning signs, where there are overhead power lines near a construction site. • Untagged portable electrical equipment. • Damaged and/or faulty electrical equipment in use on site. • Unsafe use of electrical appliances/ equipment on site. • Domestic electrical appliances being used on site. Definitions The following definitions are provided in relevant Australian Standards and/or the WA Occupational Safety and Health Regulations. • Appliance: an electricity consuming device, other than a lamp, in which electricity is converted into heat, motion or any other form of energy, or is substantially changed in its electrical character. • Fixed appliance: an appliance which is fastened to a support or otherwise secured in a specific location.

• Hand-held appliance: a portable appliance intended to be held in the hand during normal use, the motor, if any, forming an integral part of the appliance. • Overhead power line: an overhead line for the transmission of electrical energy. • Portable appliance: either an appliance which is moved while in operation or an appliance which can be moved easily from one place to another while connected to a power supply. • Stationary appliance: either a fixed appliance or an appliance having a mass exceeding 18 kilograms and not provided with a carrying handle. Working in the vicinity of overhead power lines Regulation 3.64 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations specifies the minimum safe distances to be maintained from overhead power lines as follows: • 0.5 metres from a live insulated overhead power line or aerial bundled conductor line of a voltage of not more than 1000 volts. • 1.0 metre from a live uninsulated overhead power line of a voltage of not more than 1000 volts. • 3.0 metres from a live overhead power

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Extension lead exposed to mechanical damage.

Domestic double adaptor.

Two damaged leads joined together.

The Regulations also require that a person who, at a workplace, is an employer, the main contractor, a self-employed person or a person having control of the workplace must ensure that an employee or any plant or material used or controlled by an employee does not enter the danger zone of an overhead power line.

• When used in domestic housing construction, be confined to not more than one storey up or down from the storey of the switchboard from which they originate and be mechanically protected at the transition between storeys and in places where damage is likely to occur. • Not be joined together such that the total length of any such combination exceeds the recommended maximum length of 35 metres, including the length of the power cord on the tool or portable outlet device. (Based on a typical heavy duty extension lead with a conductor area of 1.5 square millimetres.)

Switchboards and distribution boards In general, all switchboards must be: • Installed in accordance with AS/NZS 3000. • Readily accessible and must be protected from damage during the course of the construction or demolition work.

Portable socket-outlet assemblies Portable socket-outlet assemblies must comply with the requirements of a Class H portable residual current device to AS/NZS 3190 or those of a socket-outlet assembly to AS 3439.4.

In multi-level buildings, distribution boards must be positioned in a manner which eliminates the need for flexible cords (extension leads) or cables to be run between levels. This requirement need not apply to work in lift shafts, stairwells, service shafts, formwork, external staging or sub-mains of construction wiring.

Where not specifically stated as requirements of these Standards, portable residual current devices or socket-outlet assemblies must include the following: • The enclosure must be constructed of a suitable impact resistant and durable material and must be of Class II (double insulated) construction. • Socket-outlets mounted on the assembly must comply with Australian Standards, must be protected against damage by suitable means such as covers or extended sides and must have an IP rating appropriate for the environment.

line, whether insulated or not, of a voltage exceeding 1000 volts but not more than 33,000 volts. • 6.0 metres from a live overhead power line, whether insulated or not, of a voltage exceeding 33,000 volts.

Cord extension sets (extension leads) Cord extension sets must: • When used in multi-storey buildings, be confined to the storey of the switchboard from which they originate, except in lift shafts, service shafts, stairwells, formwork or external staging.

Non-compliant repair and plug to power lead.

• The flexible cord supplying the assembly must be of the heavy duty sheathed type, must be of a maximum length of 1.8 metres and must be fitted with an approved type plug. • The assembly must incorporate overload protection with a rating no greater than the rating of the flexible cord supplying the assembly. • All socket-outlets mounted on these assemblies must be protected by a residual current device with a maximum rated residual current of 30 mA, which operates in all live (active and neutral) conductors. Note that domestic type power boards or power outlet devices must not be used on construction sites. Testing and tagging of portable electrical equipment The Regulations require that all portable electrical equipment used on construction sites be inspected, tested and tagged every three months in accordance with AS/NZS 3012. For advice and assistance with safety on your sites contact Master Builders’ safety manager Mike Fitzgerald on 9441 8000 or email Images in this article, collected by the Association’s safety team from three different sites on one day, show examples of some of the issues identified in the text.


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REPORT REINFORCES IMPORTANCE OF SHARED SAFETY COMMITMENT Master Builders Australia CEO Wilhelm Harnisch says a Work Safe Australia report shows the building industry is continuing to improve safety.

Safe Work Australia’s report Work Health & Safety Perceptions, Construction Industry, released in February, reinforces the importance of employers, employees and contractors having a shared commitment to improving safety on building sites, according to Master Builders Australia. CEO Wilhelm Harnisch says the report provides a valuable snapshot to assist industry better understand the range of issues that have an impact on safety. “The report confirms that the building and construction industry takes safety extremely seriously and highlights where the focus needs to be for safety outcomes to continue to improve,” he said. “Eliminating the use of alcohol and drugs is an important example, as is increasing awareness that improving safety must be a responsibility shared by both employers and employees.” Mr Harnisch said Master Builders will continue working with Safe Work Australia, the Federal Safety Commissioner and industry to fine tune work health and safety practices to enhance safety. “It should be noted that Safe Work Australia has identified the construction industry along with many other industries where safety outcomes can be improved,” he said. “While the report is based on a limited sample of industry respondents and its findings are ‘only indicative and not conclusive’, it nevertheless shows where the industry is doing well in continuing to improve safety and where there is room for improvement.”

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Requirements for Building Permits to carry out building work are different to traditionally defined building work and to the concessions provided by Local Authorities under WA’s previous building control regime. Master Builders’ technical adviser Romina De Santis explains.


Master Builders’ technical adviser Romina De Santis.

The Building Commission recently provided clarification on the requirement for Building Permits for fitout work, solar panel installations and, most recently, roof cladding replacement. Given the frequency of clarification the Building Commission has provided since the implementation of the recent Building Act, it is probably helpful to builders to get the facts on the matter straight. Not only does this clear up any confusion and take the guesswork out of deciding whether or not to obtain approvals for building work, it also protects you, your client and building occupants from penalties or legal action at a later date for non-compliant or nonapproved building work. There are a few steps to follow to determine if a Building Permit is required. (Note that a Building Permit is not a planning approval, and as independent processes, the landowner or occupant must ensure that all necessary approvals are in place.) Firstly, section 3 of the Building Act 2011 defines building work: Building work means – a. the construction, erection, assembly or placement of a building or an incidental structure; or b. the renovation, alteration, extension, improvement or repair of a building or an incidental structure; or

c. the assembly, reassembly or securing of a relocated building or a relocated incidental structure; or d. the changing of ground levels of land for the purposes of work of a kind mentioned in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) to an extent that could adversely affect land beyond its boundaries; or e. site work on any land for the purposes of, or required because of, work of a kind mentioned in — (i) paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d); or (ii) paragraph (a) or (b) of the definition of demolition work; or f. other prescribed work, g. but does not include work of a kind prescribed for the purposes of this definition as not being building work. Once you have determined that what is proposed falls within the definition above, the next test is found in Schedule 4 of the Building Regulations 2012. The Schedule lists a number of exempt structures and building work that does not require a Building Permit. However, some of these structures still might require planning approval, so it is best to check with the Local Authority what approvals or applications are required. Under the Town Planning and Development Act or local Town Planning Scheme or Policy, some exempt building work or structures might be defined as Development that require Development Approval. Although a private building surveyor can provide advice on the requirements for a Building Permit, the decision rests with the relevant permit authority that has the power to investigate unauthorised building work and prosecute a person for carrying out building work without a Building Permit. It is important to note there are hefty penalties for carrying out building work without a permit.

Using the most recent industry bulletin published by the Building Commission as a case study to explain the requirements of the Building Act and Regulations, does the re-roof of a residential building require a Building Permit? The answer is “yes”… and “no”. Replacing the roof covering will not increase or decrease the floor area or height of the building, nor is the work structural or changing the classification of the building. Generally, it is done using material similar to the material being replaced. However, some questions you would need to answer to check if the re-roof requires a Building Permit are: • Is the building subject to an order, agreement or permit under the Heritage Act? • Is the material profile changing? • Is the material changing from metal-deck to tiles or tiles to metal-deck? Answering yes to any of these questions is likely to trigger the requirement for a Building Permit. This is because a different profile might require closer/different support spacing, a heavier material might require additional structural support, and lighter material might require additional tie downs against wind uplift. Even if a Building Permit is not required, the owner must ensure the building work complies with the applicable building standards (Building Code of Australia, referenced Australian Standards). Keep updated with Building Commission publications (Industry Bulletins and Advisory notes) by subscribing, or visiting the website: References: Industry Bulletin 53 www., Building At 2011, Building Regulations 2012.


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NATIONAL TECHNICAL COMMITTEE MEETS Technical advisers from among the nine Master Builders Associations met face-to-face at Master Builders South Australia in March.

TECHNICAL ROUND TABLE SESSIONS DRAW STRONG RESPONSE Master Builders’ 2015 Technical Round Table forums for residential builders have drawn a strong response from Association members and have canvassed a range of current topics. Issues discussed include non-conforming building products, water-proofing of wet areas, BA20 compliance requirements and balustrade compliance – with a particular focus on glass balustrades. On the topic of waterproofing, Association members provided their experiences on improved performance in wet-areas and addressing common complaints by way of simple design and installation techniques. Master Builders Queensland has been working with the national Master Builders Australia office on the problem experienced throughout the country with non-conforming building products. Master Builders WA’s technical adviser Romina De Santis says the issue is complex, and is not likely to be easily resolved. “Members are strongly advised to request product compliance certificates where they are unsure or have doubts about the quality of the product supplied by the client,” she said.

“Double check the compliance of products with their suppliers and manufacturers. There have been a number of product failures, for example, Infinity cable. In the first instance, the builder is likely to be responsible for faulty or non-compliant products installed or used in a building.” The Technical Round Table discussion on balustrading covered the need for builders to check the compliance of glazed balustrades on balconies and stairways. Often compliance is not verified by the contractor. AS1288 has specific compliance requirements for glazing used for balustrading, for handrail design and for installation. “Check with your supplier and installer on the compliance of their products, and independent testing of the glass and designs used,” Ms De Santis says. Further Technical Round Table meetings are scheduled with the next on 16 June, targeted at non-residential builders. Register interest by contacting Master Builders’ events team at

Master Builders WA technical adviser Romina De Santis described it as a valuable exercise. She met with acting national technical director Brent Davies, Brendon Corby (South Australia), Tony Mitchell (Queensland) and Tony Bugeja (Victoria). They discussed the Master Builder movement’s position on a number of technical matters including: • Access for People with Disabilities requirements and review. • Compliance with energy efficiency provisions of the building code and condensation in buildings. • Changes to the National Construction Code. • Non-conforming building products. Ms De Santis said the meeting provided a perspective on issues which have an impact on the building industry nationally but also was an opportunity to share state experiences and establish a stronger rapport and exchange of ideas and information among the technical advisers.

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RENAULT’S MULTI-PURPOSE MASTER DUAL CAB READY FOR ANYTHING Renault is homing in on its target of being the most successful European LCV brand in Australia, aiming to emulate the 17-years of unbroken leadership it is enjoying in the European LCV market.

The PRO+ launch coincides with the arrival of the refreshed Master large van and Cab/Chassis range, and the new mid-size Trafic van available in two lengths.

Underpinning this success is a dealer programme dedicated to meeting the needs of customers who rely on their trucks to get their jobs done.

The Master Dual Cab is one of the most versatile and driver-friendly vehicles on sale anywhere. It’s a 7-seater people mover, a 2-tonne Ute or a 3-tonne tow vehicle for your tools and toys all in 1.

Renault knows there’s a big difference between customers who buy LCVs and those who buy passenger cars, so each group gets a unique focus. The new Renault PRO+ LCV dealer concept, which has just opened at Brighton Renault in Melbourne, and Main North Renault in Adelaide, moves customer service for LCV buyers to the next level. Each Renault PRO+ dealer has a full range of Renault LCVs on display, including converted vehicles, and that’s not just a Cab/Chassis with a tray, but, for example, could be a tipper body, a box van, or a van fitted up with internal racking. Renault PRO+ dealers each have an LCV expert on hand to talk product as well as the ins and outs of conversions and bodywork. When it comes to servicing, Renault PRO+ dealers are open extended hours that are convenient to business customers, and there are service loan vehicles available to keep you mobile. Several more PRO+ dealerships will come on line through 2015.

Even if you’re not toting 6 mates all the time, the spacious cabin with heaps of headroom means lots of comfort for friends or family when heading bush or beach. With the huge payload and towing capacity, no toys need be left behind. And its new generation high efficiency twin turbo engine sips fuel even when churning out 360Nm of torque. With up to 30,000km between dealer visits and Renault’s impressive capped price servicing at $349 for the first 3 scheduled services, plus the standard factory warranty of 3-years/200,000km, you’ll be able to get an awful lot of things done while being protected by Europe’s number 1 LCV brand. Find out how the Renault Master Dual Cab can boost your work/play lifestyle at or see your nearest Renault dealer. There are now 46 dealers nationwide, so there’ll be one near you.


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GRANSDEN CONSTRUCTION TOPS IN LIVEABLE HOMES Gransden Construction has won the Most Liveable Home Award at the 2015 Master Builders Bankwest Housing Excellence Awards in February.

more liveable does not necessarily need to cost more, and has added benefits for moving furniture and adding a valuable selling point to a home.

The award is sponsored by the Disability Services Commission and rewards a builder that has considered accessibility and adaptability of a new home or renovation to maximise space and enable people of all abilities to live or visit in comfort.

“We must remember Australia’s population is aging,” she said. “To retrofit many existing homes for suitable bathroom access and movement through a home for a person with disabilities can be very expensive, and sometimes, not possible. With some forethought, this can be avoided.”

Master Builders’ housing director Geoff Cooper says that among other things, the judges look for wide flat level entries, easy access to toilets, hobless showers and wide hallways and doorways.

Ms De Santis said the Gransden Construction home was awarded the title as it provided the occupants with clever and thoughtful inclusions to make the home liveable.

The Association’s technical adviser Romina De Santis, one of the judges for the Most Liveable Home Award, said making a home

“This enables occupants to age in place, or in the unfortunate event of a temporary or permanent disability, accommodates minor

modifications for full access throughout the home with the inclusion of a lift, wider doorways and passageways, flush door thresholds and hobless wet areas to reduce slips, trips and falls,” she said. “All of this is achieved without spoiling the respectful way the building has to ‘touch to earth lightly.’ It provides a high level of sustainability in the design and construction, through locally sourced materials and waterwise garden. It was a finalist in both of the energy efficiency and waterwise awards also.” Visit the Liveable Homes website for more information on simple ways to make your home or design more liveable.

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Ray Kershaw of Mondo Exclusive Homes.

Given feedback from builders that a good bricklayer does not necessarily mean a good business manager, the Australian Brick and Blocklaying Training Foundation set out to produce a flyer to assist new bricklaying contractors. ABBTF WA manager Dean Pearson reports he approached Master Builder member Ray Kershaw, whom he describes as a highly motivated 31-year-old with a strong ambition to be the best quality builder he can, for some business tips for brickies. In 2009, Mr Kershaw was named Master Builders’ Ric New Rising Star, an annual award to a high achiever aged up to 25 who demonstrates outstanding potential, work ethic and commitment in WA’s building industry. Mr Kershaw’s firm, Mondo Exclusive Homes, has won several industry awards in recent years and was a finalist for the Best New Builder Award at February’s Master Builders-Bankwest Housing Excellence Awards. “He has some great tips for bricklayers that make very good business sense,” Mr Pearson says. “Starting out, he did a carpentry apprenticeship and as such, is very passionate about how to conduct a successful business. His advice is gold because it comes from his combined experience as tradesman and builder.”

Whether for bricklayers starting out in business or other trades and contractors, Mr Kershaw’s advice should prove valuable. Contracting business management • Be sure to present detailed invoices on time to the builder for works completed; provide as much detail as possible with the correct calculations. Some more professional trade contractors send invoices electronically and include professional development and achievement details such as “Member of...”, “trade qualification…” and “Winner of the… Award”. This helps build a positive profile and gives builders confidence they are using the right tradesman. • Take time to familiarise yourself with the plan, details, schedule, purchase order and induction documents prior to starting the job. Modern day residential homes have varying degrees of complexity encompassing engineering details, zone and environmental requirements. Doing a job correctly will ensure a profit; however, making a mistake might cost you money, future contracts and your reputation. • Ensure you have workers’ compensation and work liability insurance, an ABN, GST registration and other trading documentation in place. New contractors should at least engage in a basic business management course to get an idea on how to run a


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business. Courses are available in WA through a variety of training providers, some with reduced fees for new contractors postapprenticeship training. • Engage an accountant or at the very least, a bookkeeper. An Insurance broker will help get the right cover for your business at competitive rates. Building contractor associations such as Master Builders might also be able to help with these services. Communication and presentation • Invest in online communications and access wherever you are. A tablet, Smartphone and perhaps a personal computer enable you to communicate well, trade and compete effectively. It is much easier to manage contracts, contacts and business details this way. Accessing and communicating engineering details is made easy with online access. Paper plans are also likely to be a thing of the past soon. • Label and badge your vehicles, clothing and correspondence, including business cards. This demonstrates professionalism and if correctly promoted also might generate new business as well as secure your existing clients. • Consider developing a website or Facebook page, a hard-copy work portfolio, references and other marketing materials. In difficult times this will help you secure work and in good times promote confidence to builders, customers and other clientele. It also will act as a library to help others make informed decisions on what can be achieved in brick and thus create more work opportunities. • Keep the site clean as well as your tools and vehicle. Image is everything and it will reduce the risk of incidents!

• When you are on site, whether communicating verbally or electronically, good manners matter and cost you nothing. It helps you build a relationship with the builder and directly with the customer. • Punctuality and commitment to being on the job at the agreed time is very important. Chopping and changing your time on the job, or being unreliable is very damaging to the relationship and trust between you and your builder and direct customer. People have long memories! Other opportunities • If you have completed an apprenticeship or obtained a qualification via RPL, don’t be afraid to tell others. This is particularly so if you have just spent the last 3-4 years as an apprentice. Promote your qualification when bidding for work and be sure to use it in your marketing and even administrative communications. • Join associations, engage in professional development and don’t stop learning. The more knowledge you have the better you’ll be at communicating and problem solving. Plus, expectations change and staying up to date is important. Should you want to become a builder, extra training will pay back in spades. • Be aware that when you’re on sites, you’re representing builders in how they build and the quality of product offered to their consumers. Buying a home is a major investment. Clients want the assurance they are getting a good product and the builder has good tradesmen on the job. Anything and everything you do on site will be seen by others and might not only affect the builder’s reputation but yours too – yes people talk in our industry!

• Rates and extras will always be contested. However, be aware that builders need security in the tradespeople they partner and as such you should strive to develop trust with a builder of your choice. Many will reciprocate in your favour when the industry is in downturn. So think twice before jumping ship for a higher price – last on first off! • Job profitability can increase with small changes to how you undertake basic tasks. For example, are the mixer, sand and water in a good position in relation to the bricks and the slab? Running out of brick ties, cement or sand perhaps? Anticipate this, call the builder or the builder supervisor ASAP as opposed to having a day at the beach! Are your tools clean or are there two kilos of dry mud cemented onto the shovel? Are you forever cleaning the cavities having slapped on too much mud, too fast? In conclusion, what Ray Kershaw and many other builders are looking for from new and existing contractors are tradesman who are reliable, respectful and who show a high degree of professionalism. Plainly this comes from embracing new communication technologies and old fashioned values!

GOVERNMENT AIMS FOR MORE WOMEN IN NON-TRADITIONAL JOBS The Construction Training Fund is collaborating with the WA Government to fund a new scholarship program to help women enter nontraditional roles in WA’s workforce. The scholarship program was launched in March by Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey. As part of the program, the Construction Training Fund will provide a number of scholarships worth $3000 each year over the next four years, to support the employment of new female apprentices and trainees in a range of construction trades. Eligible employers will receive $2000 as an

incentive to employ a female apprentice and the new female apprentice will receive a scholarship of $1000. Applications for the scholarships are available from the Department of Training and Workforce Development website at

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INTERGEN REPORT HIGHLIGHTS BUILDING INDUSTRY CHALLENGES 1,050,000 people employed in building and construction, representing about nine per cent of total employment. Master Builders Australia CEO Wilhelm Harnisch says the Government must invest in skills training.

The Intergenerational Report, released in March and outlining the challenge of encouraging greater participation in the workforce as Australians live longer, poses questions for the building industry. According to Master Builders Australia, innovative approaches will be needed to both skilling and up-skilling to ensure the building and construction industry attracts more young people while also dealing with the challenge of an increasing number of aging workers. CEO Wilhelm Harnisch says the industry is the largest employer of skilled tradespeople in the Australian economy, with approximately two-thirds of the workforce employed in skilled roles. In November 2014, there were just over

REWARD FOR TOP STUDENT Master Builders’ construction director Kim Richardson presented Jan Gabriel Nibberlink with the Curtin University School of Management prize for the most outstanding third year student in the Bachelor of Applied Science (Construction, Management and Economics) at the University’s prize-giving in February. The award was sponsored by Master Builders.

“Over the next decade, the industry will require an additional 300,000 workers to meet forecast demand for construction work valued at $2.8 trillion,” Mr Harnisch said. “The Intergenerational Report projects that a lower proportion of Australians will be working over the next 40 years, particularly in comparison to those aged over 65. This poses a particular challenge for the building industry where there is predominance of blue collar workers and their physical capacity to continue working beyond the age 50-55 is limited.” Mr Harnisch said that to meet the needs of the industry, and both younger and older workers, the Government must heavily invest in post-secondary education, particularly skills training.”

“The current apprenticeship system is in need of a major review to make sure young people can be attracted to work in the trades, employers can be supported to take more apprentices on and the training system can deliver flexible and effective skills for the future,” he said. “As the report highlights, increased rates of workforce participation among older workers and those in non-traditional roles, such as women in construction, also are needed. “Assistant Minister for Education Simon Birmingham’s important reforms to advance the future skills agenda are a good start.”


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Right Homes won the Waterwise Award at this year’s Master Builders Housing Excellence Awards. Among other water saving principles, the Como project features a waterwise garden

WATERWISE GARDENS ADD APPEAL TO HOMES Perth is renowned for beautiful weather and clear skies, but the story to secure water supplies in the region’s drying climate is also world renowned. Water Corporation’s work with its customers to deliver its Water Forever strategies has garnered attention across the world, from the USA to Portugal. Water Forever is based on a three-pronged approach – working with the community to reduce water use, increasing the amount of water recycled and developing new water sources. Consumers’ water use plays a vital role in Water Forever. Over the last decade water saving efforts of residential, business and industrial customers have contributed about 105 billion litres of water saved each year – roughly equivalent to the entire capacity of the Southern Seawater Desalination Plant. Residential water use accounts for around 71 per cent of total water use, and more than 40 per cent of that is used outside the home. This means the building industry plays a key role in helping Western Australians build waterwise homes which help achieve Water Forever. As building codes have changed, the importance of choosing water efficient fittings, fixtures and appliances for a house has been well publicised, but what about outside the home? A garden can help sell a home just as much as a kitchen or bathroom, so factoring

in waterwise principles outside the home can be an easy and inexpensive way to add longterm appeal. A waterwise landscaping package can not only help sell a house, but also generate repeat business. With a few simple steps the property can have a garden that is low maintenance, attractive and will thrive in WA conditions. A waterwise garden is a balance between plants, lawn and hardscapes, such as paving, to provide a fit for purpose space for your client or prospective buyer. A waterwise garden can live with less water and still look great. Below are some key tips for creating an attractive waterwise garden. • Choosing the right design. The Garden Design page of Water Corporation’s website has examples of waterwise garden designs for households across the State. The garden designs can be found at • Soil. Good soil is the foundation of a healthy garden. There are various soil improvement products that can be added to soil to improve its water and nutrient holding capacity. • Plants. Choose waterwise plants suited to your region – they look great, thrive in our climate and require less water. • Grass. Choose drought tolerant lawn. Warm season grasses respond well to WA’s hot summers.

• Mulch. Apply a 5-10 centimetre layer of chunky Waterwise Approved mulch to the garden. Not only will this help to retain water in the soil, it will help prevent growth of weeds in garden beds. • Watering. Install an automatic irrigation system that is suited to the specific needs of the garden. Use hydro-zoning to group plants with similar watering needs and ensure the irrigation system is watering effectively by having it installed by a Waterwise Garden Irrigator. Waterwise gardens are easy to maintain and use less water, which makes them appealing for prospective buyers. Water Corporation is asking builders to help make waterwise gardens the new norm in our drying climate. Need some advice? Water Corporation’s Waterwise Specialists include trades such as plumbers, garden irrigators, irrigation design shops, garden designers and landscapers. They are professionals who build waterwise principles into their day-today business to help save water for their customers. Find a local Waterwise Specialist at

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WHAT IS YOUR LIFE WORTH? For over 18 years Roof Extenda Pty Ltd has been known for their second to none superior products! New Product:


> Entrepreneurial flair, examples of lateral or creative thinking, outstanding potential and achievements of a young person (35 years and under) to the building industry in WA.

> Practical applied achievements, rather than academic performance.

PRIZE > In addition to the Ric New Medal, a return economy class airfare from Perth to London and $2,000 expenses.


Our fixed single point fall-arrest safety anchor, designed for use on timber roof trusses/rafters, has been tested for static and dynamic load capacity in accordance with the new AS/NZS 5532:2013 standards


> Outstanding potential, work ethic and commitment of a young person (25 years and under, other than apprentices) to the building industry in WA.

> Achievements (rather than academic performance), overcoming adversity and potential contribution to the building industry. PRIZE > $2,000 plus unique trophy


For more information: Phone: 03 5978 8755 Fax: 03 5978 8016 Email: Website:


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WORKING SAFELY NEAR THE WESTERN POWER NETWORK When planning a job, what needs to be taken into account so that the construction team is working safely around the Western Power electricity network? The Western Power network is made up of a number of assets with which construction workers could interact on a day-to-day basis. Interaction with these assets has the potential to cause a serious or fatal injury, or significant damage to the electricity network, construction equipment or to the environment. Common electrical infrastructure that you may interact with includes: • Overhead powerlines. • Network power poles. • Switchgear enclosures. • Transformers. • Substation buildings. • Pillars (green domes). Overhead powerlines When you think of interaction with Western Power assets, your first thought might go to underground assets. In fact, incidents involving contact with our overhead network outnumber those with our underground network, so it’s particularly important to plan for, and be aware of, potential interactions with overhead powerlines and poles. Remember to always look up, look down, look around and know the location of any overhead powerlines. It is important that you and your equipment and materials stay outside the Danger Zone. Examples include when: • Operating elevating equipment such as trucks, cranes and excavators. • Towing or carrying high loads. • Trimming trees and working on gutters or roofs. • Erecting scaffold.

Where’s the Danger Zone? The Danger Zone is a specific area surrounding live electrical apparatus that people, equipment and materials must not enter. The size of the Danger Zone is determined by the voltage of the electrical apparatus. The Danger Zone is set out in the WA Occupational Safety and Health Regulations (OSHR). The OSHR should be applied in conjunction with any standards and regulations applicable to your industry to allow you and your business to ensure adequate risk assessment procedures and processes are followed prior to working around electrical assets. If your work enters within the Danger Zone or you make contact with the network, you may be prosecuted and made liable for any damage to the network.

Planning for safety If you are planning to build or develop land, you should consult the relevant local government, architect, civil, structural or electrical engineer or project manager, to assess the risk specific to your project and any restrictions on land use. Western Power strongly recommends that you also engage a qualified and competent service provider before you start. Dial Before You Dig Contact Dial Before You Dig (1100 DBYD or visit to identify the indicative location of Western Power’s overhead and underground network. If you would like the Western Power team to deliver a ‘Working Near Electricity’ presentation tailored to your work activities, please contact

safety tools FEATURE 77 M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

TOOL SAFETY Battery powered power tools have become the tools of choice in the tradie’s tool bag. But as the number of serious injuries associated with their use rises, it is apparent many users aren’t treating them with the respect they deserve, warns TY GRAHAM

It wasn’t that long ago when the apprentice electrician would have to auger holes through wall studs with a brace and bit to run his wiring, or the cabinetmaker would secure cupboards to the wall by screwing in slotted woodscrews with a spiral ratchet screwdriver. Happily, power tools finally consigned such forms of hard labour to history, which meant multiple power leads snaking their way across a construction site became as common as hot pies in a smoko room. But now the next stage in the evolution of hand-held tools has arrived in the form of the battery powered hand tool – the new tool of choice for most trades on a construction site.

But while they may be making life far easier for all types of trades, using them still has risks. As the growing number of serious incidents and injuries reported to WorkSafe confirms, operating battery powered hand tools should never be taken lightly. Users must be informed, instructed and in some cases trained to be competent in the operation of the tool. Here are some of the most commonly used battery power tools being used on construction sites and reasons why they need to be treated with respect.


FEATURE safety tools M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

Drills and impact drivers Drills and impact drivers are the most common battery powered tools on any site and there is no shortage of tradesmen wanting to have the biggest and most powerful tools available. But the biggest are also the heaviest. Some 18 volt units fitted with a large capacity battery can weigh more than 2.5kg. It’s not a tool you would want to carry around all day. Why not halve the weight by using a 12- or 14-volt drill or driver with smaller batteries? The high torque in the modern battery drill has resulted in a rise in the number of sprains and fractures to fingers, hands and wrists from the bit jamming and the drill spinning out of a worker’s hand (when drill rather than clutch settings are used). Another common problem with drills and drivers is worn or poor quality driver bits which have a tendency to slip off screw heads and stab the worker, resulting in a puncture wound. Young workers, such as apprentices in particular, suffer more drill and driver injuries than other workers. Impact wrenches Battery powered impact wrenches, also called battery rattle guns, are often the favoured tool for structural steel and concrete panel erectors for tightening fasteners.

Angle grinders Angle grinders (240V) are one of the most dangerous hand-held tools commonly used in construction and one with the potential to cause fatal injuries for the operator or nearby workers.

Again, the most powerful tools are the most popular, which have led to numerous fastener failures due to over-torque. Some modern trade quality battery rattle guns deliver 1000+ Nm of torque, which far exceeds the maximum torque for most bolts and concrete anchors.

The most common cause of injury is being hit by flying projectiles when discs shatter, or the operator being struck by the blade when the grinder kicks back.

Rattle guns are also heavy, and some can weigh more than 5kg. So, when buying one, take advice from specialist power tool suppliers about the most appropriate rattle gun for your application. They may recommend a smaller model, so not only will you have less weight to lug around, it will most probably be much cheaper.

Kickback is a sudden uncontrolled movement of the grinder out of the cut towards the operator when the disc jams or binds. As the operator is frequently bent over or in line with the cut (called the line-of-fire) the spinning disc strikes them in the upper chest, neck or head, which can result in serious or even fatal injuries.

Saws Many tradies are opting to buy battery power tool kits, which include tools they have never used before, such a circular saw. But unlike carpenters, most construction trades receive little or no formal training in power saw use. This is despite the fact that being hit with a power saw blade will almost always result in a serious injury.

Operators should be trained in the safe use of the angle grinder including how to avoid positioning themselves or others in the line of fire.

As battery powered circular saws are generally small and lightweight, some workers treat them like toys and often use them without adequately supporting or securing the material being cut. They may be small but they generally still require two-handed operation and the material being cut needs to be adequately supported, not just held by the operator or another person. Because they are less powerful than mains-operated saws, they are much easier to jam during the cut. Unlike the motor of a 240-volt saw, which will buzz and burn out quickly when stalled, the motor in a battery saw will just stop even if the trigger is held on.

The high torque allows angle grinders to perform a variety of cutting and grinding tasks. This has made the 9” angle grinder the default tool for steel and masonry cutting, even when there are more appropriate and safer task-specific cutting tools available, such as rebar cutters, concrete pipe cutters and metal cold saws. If angle grinders are appropriate for the task, ensure the smallest grinder practicable is used, any discs fitted are good quality and comply with the grinder manufacturer’s specifications (such as having the correct RPM rating and mounting hole) and are suitable for the materials being cut. Even battery powered angle grinders have potential to cause serious injury and should not be used one-handed as they have enough torque to shatter discs and kick back. Workers should be instructed on and have an understanding of the kickback quadrant of the grinder.

A number of workers have suffered serious hand lacerations when they have pulled the jammed battery powered saw free while keeping the trigger on because, once free, the blade has started spinning again and run across their free hand.

Maintenance Battery powered tools must be maintained in a good mechanical condition so they are safe to use.

To reduce the likelihood of saw jamming, always use good quality blades suitable for the material to be cut. And never force the saw - allow it to cut at its own rate.

Mains power tools need to be tested and tagged on a regular basis to ensure their safety but battery powered tools don’t have that official safety net to remind their users to have them checked out.

safety tools FEATURE 79 M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

However, it is important they are inspected regularly to ensure the safety features operate correctly and the tool has not been mechanically damaged. Personal Protective Equipment Whatever power tool is being used, appropriate PPE must be provided and used by the operator and others in the vicinity when necessary. This might include: • Safety glasses with almost all power tools, or full face protection where required • Hearing protection when using tools such as grinders, circular saws, hammer drills etc • Non-flammable clothing (for example, remove nylon safety vests when grinding) And finally Battery powered tools are making life far easier for all types of trades on the building site. However, their use remains a high-risk activity and operating them should not be left simply to common sense. Users must be informed, instructed and in some cases trained to be competent in their operation. Always use the right tool for the job and make sure the material being cut, sawed or drilled is firmly secured, even if the work is only minor. If necessary, workers should be supervised to allow the work to be done safely – especially young or inexperienced power tool users – to ensure shortcuts are not taken Before buying battery powered tools consider and, where necessary consult workers on, the actual work to be done with the tool and select the most appropriate tool for the application. Remember, safety is everyone’s business on the construction site because everyone deserves to get home safely at the end of the day. Ty Graham is the director of Hazardous Industries at WorkSafe Victoria

CHECKLIST FOR ALL HAND HELD POWER TOOLS • Must be maintained in a safe and mechanically sound condition (regularly inspect them for damage and alterations) • Two-handed tools should be used with two hands, even if they are light-weight • High torque tools should be used two-handed (always fit and use the side handle when supplied) • Guards must not be removed • Appropriate PPE must be used • The biggest and most powerful tool may not be the best for your task • Must be used in line with the manufacturer’s instructions • Users should be competent in their use and must be provided with information, instruction and when necessary training • Inexperienced users should be supervised until they are competent • Stay out of the line-of-fire when using saws and grinders • Angle grinders should not always be first choice for cutting steel or masonry/concrete if safe alternatives are available (smaller grinders are easier to control than a nine inch grinder) • Cutting blades should be good quality and appropriate for the material • Driver bits should be good quality and in good condition CHECKLIST FOR BATTERY POWERED POWER TOOLS • Battery power tools are not toys • Weight of tools and batteries should be a consideration when buying them • If you are unfamiliar with how a new battery powered tool operates, seek advice • Battery circular saw motors are more prone to jamming in the cut than full-size saws. The motors will stop if the blade jams, but will restart immediately once freed if the trigger is held on so take special care • Battery circular saw blades are often on the left side of the saw rather than the right side (as with full size saws) so be aware of their handling characteristics


FEATURE sporting surfaces M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5





Historically in Australia, natural grass sports fields have been developed over community open space that in many cases were reclaimed tip sites, giving rise to problems later involving compaction and drainage. In recent years, synthetic surfacing has replaced natural grass in a variety of outdoor sports due to all weather playability and lower maintenance costs. For a club whose revenue is weather dependent, this is an important factor. The sport which led the field with the changeover to synthetic playing surfaces was hockey. As long ago as 1988 the FIH, the international governing body for hockey, introduced a set of specifications for performance requirements, which has greatly improved playing standards. In 2001 FIFA - soccer’s governing body - introduced a scheme to standardise the quality of artificial turf installations. The IAAF publishes specifications for performance requirements for the almostubiquitous synthetic polymer athletic running tracks. The World Bowls Board has set guidelines for synthetic bowling greens in response to the increasing transformation of bowls greens to synthetic grass. Nowadays,

For the end users of sporting facilities, i.e. players and spectators, the playing surface is generally the only feature they notice. For builders however, it is what goes on beneath the surface before any ball is played that is of the utmost importance for the success and longevity of the surface.

it is estimated that less than 1% of tennis is played on natural grass courts, with Wimbledon being the only Grand Slam played on grass. Artificial turf has come a long way since its introduction 30 years ago, now looking and playing similarly to real grass. In addition, indoor sports are played on a variety of surfaces including timber, vinyl, linoleum, rubber, composites, textiles and carpet. Builders of indoor sports surfaces have to take into consideration the load bearing capacity of players and equipment, including spectators and bleachers. Australian Standards AS 3541.1 (1988) Synthetic Sporting Surfaces Part 1 – General principles and HB49.2-1993 Sporting Facilities Manual – Sporting Surfaces cover aspects of indoor sports construction. No matter what type of surface is chosen, the baseworks are of prime importance. For outdoor playing surfaces, considerations such as the type of drainage required, construction materials needed, surface preparation and finish, as well as on-going maintenance, must all be allowed for in order to achieve a successful outcome with minimum delays.

sporting surfaces FEATURE 81 M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

Site 1: Excava

tion and Earth


Acrylic surfaces are suitable for home, school or club use and are fair to all types of players, whether amateur or professional, as they give a consistent bounce and are skid resistant. Acrylic surfaces are all-weather, durable, easily cleaned and require little maintenance. The shock-absorbing properties of cushioned acrylic reduce fatigue on legs, ankles and feet, reducing injury and improving player performance. Site 1: Synthetic Grass

Tennis Court

The two most common bases to which acrylic court surfaces are applied are asphalt and reinforced concrete. The basic application of the acrylic onto these surfaces is very similar, however the baseworks preparation for each is different, thus the need for advisable recommendations for the respective bases. Synthetic grass courts are made of polypropylene or polyethylene yarn or fibres, which are partly filled with specially graded sand, and are typically laid over an asphalt or reinforced concrete base. They tend to play at a medium pace, suiting many social players, have a high durability and are low (but not no) maintenance. Synthetic grass courts are popular because they have the look and feel of natural grass, with good traction and shock absorption helping to prevent injury, require no watering and can be played on in all weather. Synthetic grass surfaces are available in a wide range of colours or colour combinations. They are suitable for both private and commercial use. Most synthetic grass courts will provide in excess of 10 years of commercial intensity play before needing replacement.


ilisatio ite Stab

Site 2: S

Site2: Acrylic Tennis Court Facility

EXAMPLE – TENNIS COURT SURFACES The most important decision for a customer or facility to make is choosing the court surface which suits their individual requirements. Surfacing options include grass, synthetic grass, clay, synthetic clay, and hard court – both cushioned and non-cushioned. In making that decision, there are a number of factors to take into consideration, including bounce, ball speed, playing styles, the physical location of the court/s as well as the available budget. If choosing a synthetic surface, the user may choose to replicate the performance of clay, grass, hard court or indoor carpet. Other factors such as climate and ongoing maintenance costs should not be overlooked in the decision-making process. The Australian Open is currently played on a blue-tinted cushioned acrylic or ‘hard court’ surface. There are in fact a number of specifications of cushioned or budget non-cushioned acrylic surfaces, as well as a wide range of colour choices, including two-tone.

As with any product, there are a number of options for synthetic grass, depending on your budget. The range of synthetic grass surfaces is extensive and changing rapidly due to technological advances. In order to evaluate different surfaces, the following criteria can be used: Denier: weight of fibre, in grams, of 9000 metre length; Pile Height: length of fibre above backing; Total Carpet Weight: weight of fibre, plus primary and secondary backing; Stitch Rate: number of stitches per metre width (sometimes calculated as number of tufts per 1 m²); Face Weight: weight of fibre above backing, in grams; Gauge: number of rows per metre width; Primary Backing: polypropylene fabric into which fibre is tufted; Secondary Backing: rubber latex or similar to lock fibres into place; Lines: to be manufactured from the same specification as synthetic grass material; Carpet Rolls: each roll to be manufactured from the same production run, to ensure uniformity. A note of warning – with the availability of cheaper artificial grasses hitting the market, horror stories have begun to emerge of unscrupulous or uninformed operators laying artificial turf over such unstable bases as crusher dust. There is currently no Australian Standard for construction of tennis courts, but elements of such a project are covered by relevant Standards, e.g. lighting and fencing, design, parts of the construction process, selection and use of materials and management practices. The Sports Contractors Association, the not-for-profit industry body for tennis court and sports field construction in Australia, publishes a 30-page “Guide Specifications for Tennis Court Construction” which is available free of charge on their website The Guide is written by experienced builders for the benefit of builders and installers. It also includes a summary of the Fencing and Lighting Standards mentioned above. Membership of the Sports Contractors Association is open to builders, sub-contractors, suppliers and consultants within the sports field construction industry in Australia and New Zealand. For more information see the website or call the national office on 1800 208 202.


FEATURE steel M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5


Steel is used in all residential and commercial buildings in Western Australia, from the commonly seen Colorbond® roofing to bearers, joists, bolts, nails, tie down straps, bracing rods, lintels, verandah posts, light steel frames and the less visible structural steel beams and columns providing strength to the overall design. Steel has the advantage of being relatively easy to specify and design for structural integrity for engineers, but many designers do not understand the need to include full and proper corrosion protection detailing to meet the durability requirements of the BCA. Indeed, Table in Volume 2 of the 2015 BCA (protective coatings for steelwork) provides only minimum advice for builders and designers, sometimes leading to poor application of structural steel components. A recently released Australian Standard, AS/NZS 2312:2014, Guide to the protection of structural steel against atmospheric corrosion by the use of protective coatings (available in two parts with part 1 dealing with paint systems and part 2 dealing with hot dip galvanizing) promises to provide significantly enhanced information on developing complete corrosion protection for the structural steel used in commercial and residential buildings alike. This article will deal with part 2 (hot dip galvanizing) of the new Standard. AS/NZS 2312 part 2 provides designers with answers to the six key questions that must be understood when considering durability of a structural steel member: 1. The design life of the component, including the ease of maintenance 2. The site specific corrosivity category 3. The available options and their life to first maintenance 4. The effect of connections on durability 5. The need for painting the component 1. Design Life The normal design life for buildings is assumed to be 50 years, with some components of that building which are not accessible or not economical to replace or repair required to last the design life (for example, lintels) while other components of the building which have

moderate ease of access but are difficult or costly to replace or repair (for example, roof cladding) are required to last only 15 years. The tables in AS/NZS 2312 part 2 provide guidelines for the durability of common galvanizing systems and a selection can be easily made based on the design life requirements (see Table 1). 2. The site specific corrosivity category AS/NZS 2312 part 2 provides simple descriptions of the corrosion environment within common regions of South Australia and generic advice for the less populated area. In addition, the SA Government has produced detailed maps showing the corrosion environment in most SA locations ( and search “corrosion environment maps”). The designer can use the Standard to align the durability requirement of a component from the BCA with the corrosivity category of the environment. Typically an R3 durability component will be required in a moderate environment (C3 corrosivity zone), while an R4 durability component will be required in the severe environment (C4 corrosivity zone. 3. The available options and their life to first maintenance The Standard provides durability estimates for a wide range of common galvanized products (as shown in Table 1). For example, a batch hot dip galvanized steel component produced to AS/NZS 4680 with a coating mass of 600 g/m2 will have an estimated durability of a minimum of 40 years to a maximum of more than 100 years in a C3 category, which is typical of most of Adelaide more than 100 metres from the coast and this product can be reasonably assumed to provide 50 years of service life in this environment. By contrast, the corrosion protection offered by a Z350 purlin is expected to be 10 – 29 years in the same category, meaning it is more likely to be suitable for applications requiring a 15 years design life – unless maintenance is easy to carry out. As noted earlier, building designers should be aware that Table in Volume 2 of the 2015 BCA (protective coatings for steelwork) provides options that need to be assessed against

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M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5

STRATCO RAPID FIX PURLINS Stratco continue to demonstrate their commitment to local manufacturing and the future of the Western Australian construction industry. Stratco is an Australian-owned retailer, manufacturer and marketer of building and hardware solutions. For over 66 years they have supplied a comprehensive range of quality products to the building/construction industry, and trade and retail customers across the country. With a dedicated research & development department, an experienced engineering team and industry leading material and structural testing facilities, Stratco innovate, engineer, manufacture and test a wide range of products to Australian standards for Australian conditions. Stratco have the widest range of products available across every category, locally made here in Western Australia and supported by a network of metropolitan and regional centres that stock a comprehensive range of timber, heavy building and hardware products completing the Stratco product offer. To further enhance their service offer, Stratco have recently invested in advanced manufacturing and material handling technologies, and a data entry and order management system that can be fully integrated with their customer’s detailing software. This provides steel fabricators and builders increased efficiencies throughout the purlin ordering, delivery and installation process, and the ability to respond effectively to the increasing challenges within the construction market. Stratco have the most comprehensive range of standard C and Z-sections manufactured in Western Australia. This includes their MaxiPurlins for greater spanning ability and down-turned lip options. In addition, Stratco have the experience to produce custom profiles for specific applications to optimize the strength and material usage of the material. Preferred by Riggers, Rapid Fix is the best bridging system on the market as it is easier, quicker and safer to install. With industry leading structural and material testing facilities, all Stratco products are tested to Australian Standards by our own team of qualified engineers and independently certified. This ensures traceable material (AS1397) and product compliance and allows Stratco to offer superior technical support, after sales support, and a warranty backed by the manufacturer. To ensure maximum efficiency and quality is achieved from their purlin line Stratco has made a significant investment in twin axis dynamic punching, rapid change roll forming and a new automated stacker. This has achieved an increased line speed of 30% that provides customers with shorter, more flexible lead times, minimizes the potential for damage and has significant improved safety. In addition they have reorganised their yard with new racking and implemented customer specific mark numbers and pack labeling to ensure accurate and efficient delivery and loading of roofs, improved manual handling safety on site and simplified installation.

Stratco has implemented an exclusive data entry and order management system for our purlin mill that can be fully integrated with Tekla software and other steel detailing programs so drawings can be uploaded directly into their manufacturing system. This significantly reduces the time required to get your orders into the system, eliminates the potential for errors, assists in the administration of ordering, delivery and installation of purlins, and more efficiently handles detail changes throughout the process. Once the data is in the system Stratco can shuffle schedules to your requirements to ensure the most efficient production/delivery times for each job. Purlins can be packed by grid, eliminating need to break packs and rebundle purlins on site. Stratco manufacture the most comprehensive standard range of purlins and girts in WA, and Rapid Fix is the preferred bridging system of riggers. We also have the expertise and confidence to produce nonstandard profiles to customer specifications. With the investment in advanced manufacturing technologies and a data entry and order management system that can be fully integrated with your steel detailing software, Stratco can provide you with new levels of efficiency, accuracy and service.

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FEATURE steel M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5




AS/NZS 4680

AS 1397





C2 78->100
















CX 2-6



























AS/NZS 4792










AS 4750









Table 1 Durability of selected hot dip galvanized coatings on structural steel from AS/NZS 2312 part 2

the application of the component. For example, in a “moderate” environment, defined in the BCA as more than 1 km from breaking surf or more than 100 m from salt water not subject to breaking surf or non-heavy industrial areas (a C3 corrosivity category in Table 1), the minimum protective coating for hot dip galvanized steel is 300 g/m2 which will provide an estimated design life of 20 – 60 years, meaning major maintenance would be required for many building locations during a 50 year design life. In the more corrosive “severe” environment defined in the BCA as being within 1 km from breaking surf or within 100 m of salt water not subject to breaking surf or heavy industrial areas (a C4 corrosivity category in Table 1), the minimum protective coating quoted for hot dip galvanized steel remains at 300 g/m2, even though the life is reduced to 10 – 20 years, so these components would be typically unsuitable for most structural applications. Designers can avoid durability issues by using materials that deliver thicker, hence more durable galvanized coatings in applications where a longer design life is required by the BCA. These can be simply calculated using AS/NZS 2312 part 2. 4. The effect of connections on durability Site welding of galvanized components is usually not recommended as the repairs required are less reliable, and therefore a reduction in the durability is often seen. However, methods for repair are detailed in the Standard and these include organic zinc rich epoxies and inorganic zinc silicate paints which must be applied to at least the same thickness as the original galvanized coating and to a clean steel surface free of weld slag and spatter.

5. The need for painting the component Sometimes a hot dip galvanized component will need painting; for aesthetic reasons or to provide extra corrosion protection when galvanizing alone is insufficient. Advice on preparation is provided and some common decorative and industrial painting systems are shown. It is important to recognise that painting of hot dip galvanized steel is undertaken by a protective coatings expert, not a house painter – indeed painting galvanized steel with enamel paints without a suitable primer will result in failure as these materials are not compatible. In summary AS/NZS 2312 part 2, can assist building designers choose the appropriate corrosion protection that meets the needs of the building owners, providing maximum durability that meets the requirements of the BCA. Advice on selecting the right hot dip galvanized coating and more information on the new Standard, AS/NZS 2312 part 2 can be obtained from the GAA ( There are two hot galvanizing companies located in the Adelaide metropolitan region; Adelaide Galvanisers ( and Korvest Galvanisers (

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2015 Master Builders Western Australia Magazine May-June  

The Master Builder Magazine is an established and trusted medium that delivers timely and reliable information to Western Australia’s buildi...

2015 Master Builders Western Australia Magazine May-June  

The Master Builder Magazine is an established and trusted medium that delivers timely and reliable information to Western Australia’s buildi...