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INSIDE Melbourne Airport lighting the way Gaming the recruitment process ANZAC Centenary: A tribute to sparkies



At least the cables were cheap. You think? We think it’s time you got your priorities straight!

There are A-cables, B-cables and evidently also E-cables. For a second time in a matter of months we hear of hazardous, life threatening cables being sold and installed in Australia! This time it’s Ecables’ copper clad aluminium RE-110 insulated power cables that are being recalled. Its’ poor insulation can be damaged if exposed to heat above 50°C, risking fire and electric shock. So, stop trying to save nickels and dimes and put people’s safety first. Choose thoroughly tested A-cables from Prysmian. Australian made? Yes, of course. Want to know more: Ph: 1300 300 304 Fx: 1300 300 307 Email:


table of contents Average Net Distribution 33 224 CAB Audited as of September 2014

ANZAC centenary: a tribute


new SolarSafe initiative


Kyoto to host 2015 electrical industry conference 12 the buzz



impressive project – Melbourne Airport 18 benefit spotlight


meet a master electrician


regulator wrap up


letter of the law


the interview – Patrick Moore


gadget guide


techno biz


tech talk


workplace relations


all about ME


test drive – Mazda 3 Neo Hatchback


events calendar


shocking photograph


the last word



GENERAL ENQUIRIES Master Electricians Australia PO Box 2438, Fortitude Valley BC Queensland 4006 PHONE 1300 889 198 FAX 1800 622 914 EMAIL WEB






42 Follow us @MasterElectrics on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook masterelectricians or call 1300 889 198 The Master Electrician is printed on environmentally responsible paper sourced from FSC® certified forestry plantations. The paper is made with Elemental Chlorine Free pulps (ECF). DISCLAIMER: The statements and opinions expressed in this publication are offered solely in pursuance of the objects of the Electrical Contractors Association and Master Electricians Australia to provide an informative service to contractors in the electrical industry on legal, commercial and other issues and problems related to the industry. The Electrical Contractors Association and Master Electricians Australia are not aware that any person intends to act or rely upon such statements and opinions contained in this publication or the manner in which it might be possible to do so. The Electrical Contractors Association and Master Electricians Australia issues no invitation to any member or other persons to act or rely upon such statements or opinions or any of them and it accepts no responsibility for any of them. It intends by this provision to exclude, to the extent permitted by law, all liability for any such statements and opinions. The Master Electrician Magazine can be viewed online at

Traditionally, the new year is a time for making plans. If you are busy recruiting, how do you determine the best applicant for a job? On page 42, we uncover how the latest ‘gamification’ technologies can reveal new insights into candidate abilities and enhance the recruitment experience. As a host of solar companies bite the dust, MEA has teamed up with SolarSafe, a fantastic new initiative that will ensure property owners are able to turn to local Master Electricians members for help. Find out more on page 8. Finally, with the lazy days of summer now a distant memory, turn to page 12 to discover why Japan is the perfect destination for your next getaway, combining work with play at the MEA 2015 Electrical Industry Conference. Until next time.


The Master Electrician

Autumn 2015



CoolR /

100 years on, our ANZAC spirit still burns bright As the Gallipoli Centenary draws near, Lisa Carter takes a look back at the great Australian sense of larrikinism that shaped our WWI troops.

WE tend to describe ourselves as a pretty relaxed and laid-back bunch who love a good ale (or three), and tourists will often echo that sentiment, citing us as friendly folk who are welcoming and incredibly down-to-earth.

It’s glaringly obvious in many tradie workplaces around the country (how many older staff share in the traditional prank-playing on the newbie apprentices?), on sporting fields and in change-rooms, and is a common element in any Friday afternoon pub session.

But one characteristic continues to ring true when people describe our young lads: a sometimes irreverent streak of larrikinism. And while its meaning has changed somewhat since its first usage in the 19th Century, today, it conjures images of a cheekiness and a sense of fun.

And it’s something we will see played out again on April 25. The eye-watering ‘gunfire breakfast’ (nothing like a shot of rum in your tea to get you going), some traditional Aussie gambling with games of two-up, and a whole lot of breeze-shooting and revelry will follow the more sombre morning services across the globe


to honour the diggers who lost their lives during the Gallipoli Campaign 100 years ago. It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to salute our fellow sparkies who risked their lives during these dark days, and have since carved out a trade for themselves. When the war broke out in August 1914, the majority of these men were still just young lads – chasing skirts, getting into mischief, and having fun, but nonetheless growing up in an era quite different from that of today, with little money, poor housing conditions, and any number of social challenges. Former ‘Dark the Spark’ electrician Stuart Dark, who in 1968 was conscripted into the Australian military while working as an apprentice electrical fitter & mechanic, says the men and boys, himself included, who volunteered for both the Great Wars, the Vietnam, the Gulf and other conflicts, were just like any one of the young apprentices training through the years. After being flown to Singleton in NSW for recruit training, Stuart became a driver. He was posted to Holsworthy Camp and then ended up at Shoalwater Bay, charged with transporting the Foxtrot Gun: a 105 Howitzer.

the rest of us! The boys got a stick and poked the sleeping bag until the lizard latched on to it, and they eventually took it out to the scrub and let it go,” he said. Stuart’s uncle, William Dark, was one of those young, spirited men who signed up for the First World War decades before Stuart’s time in the military. William went on to become a soldier in the 41st Battalion and celebrated his 21st birthday on a ship bound for France. “He would have loved knowing that despite his young age, he was part of the Australian Imperial Forces that kept Australia safe and democratic, and would have been proud to see the ANZAC spirit alive and well amongst other young people all these years later,” he said. Chief Petty Officer of the Royal Australian Navy Reserve, Donald Currell trained as a sparkie after his conscription in the 1970s, and ended up spending much of his active service underwater as a submariner. The OAM recipient has been great mates with fellow sparkie Stuart for more than 20 years, after the pair met through their connections with MEA.

“I remember one of the other drivers deploying the guns during a war games exercise, and then deciding to take a short cut across a salt flat. Of course he didn’t get far, maybe about 10 metres from the land before promptly sinking to the tray in red slush! It took three trucks with winches to pull him out. What a laugh!” Stuart said.

Don’s story is similar to that of many young teens at the time. He was failing at school, but having a marvellous time playing sport and hanging out with his mates, much to the ire of his parents, who decided he needed the structure of the Defence Forces. That decision has ended up leading to a more than four-decade long association with the Navy.

“While we were posted there, two of the young Indigenous soldiers caught a giant lizard and put it in another soldier’s sleeping bag. He came flying out of his hutchie in terror, much to the delight of

“You had to be more disciplined and be trained not only to be a tradesperson but a sailor too – working seven days and sometimes up to 100 hours a week in the trade, with no unions or anything like The Master Electrician

Autumn 2015


Salute to a special sparky As we reminisce and reflect on the brave men and women who dedicated their lives to our country, we are reminded that they came from all walks of life, but eventually returned home to make a living. Master Electricians Australia (MEA) pays tribute to one of our own, Ernest Arthur Holt, our fourth Board President. Ernest was born on 28 December 1895 in Bristol, England and immigrated to Australia in the early 1900s. His family settled in Brisbane’s suburb of Red Hill and at the time of the outbreak of WW1, Ernest was employed as a mechanic. He enlisted into the 1st AIF in 1915, which saw him allocated to the Royal Australian Artillery and posted to the 5th Field Artillery Battery. He embarked overseas in November 1915 on board HMAT A34 Persic, and sailed from Sydney to serve in Egypt, France and Belgium. He was eventually promoted to Bombardier and returned to Brisbane at the end of the war, settling down for married life. It was during this period that Ernest qualified as an electrical mechanic and established Holt’s Electrics in South Brisbane. When WW2 began, Ernest again heeded the call of duty and at the age of 44, re-enlisted to serve as a Gunner with the 11 Field Brigade Royal Australian Artillery. He continued to grow Holt’s Electrics during this time, and served as the fourth President of the Electrical Contractors Association (now known as Master Electricians Australia) from 1942 to 1943. MEA would like to make a special salute to Ernest for his unwavering service to Australia, and to the sparkies across the nation who have served in the defence of this country.

that. In the heat of battle, you worked under pressure to stay afloat, putting out fires, plugging up leaks and restoring power and lights, as well as always looking after your mates so they would come home safely,” Don said. The two friends often reminisce about all the mischief they got up to during their respective times in the military, trying to out-do each other with stories of in-house shenanigans (that may or may not have been a little embellished over the years!). Both men relish the opportunity to get together with so many other retired personnel at annual ANZAC Day events. “Marching every year since I left the Navy in 1993, I’ve seen the ranks reduce in size, but at the same time, I’ve seen the crowds increase enormously,” he said. Recent treasures unearthed in Tasmania reiterate just how much larrikinism was alive and well among young soldiers at the onset of WWI. Rare home footage (from a number of sources) has been donated to the state’s archives, and is now on display at the Hobart Army Museum. One particularly rare piece shows members of the Tasmanian Expeditionary Force in 1914 having a little downtime. “Glasses of beer, guys pushing each other around and generally playing around, you really don’t see that kind of footage in most military films we see,” said Major Chris Talbot, the museum’s curator. Some of the other pieces were filmed in the 1930s and show returned servicemen marching, as well as valuable reunion footage. The 1914 film, however, contains some of the earliest moving images of the state’s soldiers bound for the Great War. “They’ve obviously completed their training, there’s a few guys standing on a wooden beer keg holding another wooden beer keg, obviously full of you-know-what. I don’t think much has changed in that regard, as young servicemen are always pre-disposed to a bit of fun when and where they can,” Major Talbot said. “It’s a magnifying glass on momentous events in our history, and was taken days or weeks before the first contingents of Tasmanians left for the Middle East. I do wonder, though, what these same men would have looked like on their return home, if they ever returned,” he said. Australia had been a nation for just 14 years and had a strong sense of Britain as the ‘Mother Country’, so the outbreak of war unleashed a wave of enthusiasm and support for Australia’s role. From newspapers to church leaders, politicians to community leaders, it was portrayed as a moral commitment for the young and healthy to enlist in a conflict many initially believed would be over

7 in a matter of months. While there is evidence not everyone was united in their support, the prevailing consensus was that it was an honour to become a soldier. But the excitement and adventure of war soon faded as the realities of what these men were facing began to hit home. According to Australian War Memorial figures, 8,709 of our men and boys were killed at Gallipoli, and tens of thousands more would die in battle by war’s end in 1918. It would prove the most costly conflict in Australia’s history. For a population of fewer than five million, 416,809 enlisted, around 60,000 of whom would be killed and 156,000 more wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner. Those who did return would never be the same. “I don’t think anyone knew what they were in for and what incredible hardship they would face, but they did so with a great sense of comradeship and bravery that would make them such renowned fighters,” Major Talbot said. The Centenary celebrations will resonate at various locations around the world. 8,000 Australians were chosen at random from an avalanche of ballot entrants to score a spot at Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey for the most poignant dawn service in the event’s history, and descendants of the soldiers who fought in the 1915 campaign have been invited to a special commemorative ceremony at the Cenotaph War Memorial in London’s Whitehall. Closer to home, hundreds of thousands more will rise before the sun on April 25 as a mark of respect for those brave diggers who were no different from any of our nation’s men and boys today when they signed up to fight, and to also honour the long line of servicemen and women killed in the line of duty in the years that followed.

Men and women who have since fought themselves – decades after their forebears – will pay their respects. Children whose greatgrandparents left behind their own parents to stand and fight for their nation will join others in honouring the lives lost. Descendants, relatives and friends, naturalised and Australian-born citizens, migrants, visitors and locals, we will all be silent, except for a lone bugler who will play The Last Post to remember the great sacrifice made on those shores a century ago.

The Master Electrician

Autumn 2015



The 21st Century’s solar market boom and bust, and what it means for you

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As a host of solar companies bite the dust and leave hundreds of thousands of consumers high and dry, Master Electricians Australia has teamed up with SolarSafe to ensure that property owners are able to turn to local Master Electricians members for help.

BOOM, then bust: it’s been the fate for many an investor or

entrepreneur, including as many as 75 per cent of solar installers who jumped on a raging raft of incentive programs. here and the world over. As few as 50 installers were on the books in Australia back in 2005, but that number grew to around 4,500 at the height of the rollout of solar financial incentives. This rampant growth wasn’t unique to Australia, either; the industry boomed globally, particularly in Europe and the USA, which forced a rapid

propagation of manufacturing facilities in China to cope with the increased demand. Co-founder and Executive Director of SolarSafe, Lucas Sadler said, “As with all recent policy-driven booms, when subsidies are stopped, demand also takes a dive. Europe and Australia have been the worst affected, and as the industry begins to feel the impact of mass company closures, it faces major warranty service issues.”


The figures are compelling: in New South Wales alone, almost 300,000 households had installed small-scale PV by the beginning of 2015, and as many as 1.4 million systems were installed nationwide as a direct result of feed-in tariffs. “There’s a growing list of companies closing down, going bankrupt and ending up in the hands of the liquidators, which now leaves hundreds of thousands of consumers across the country looking for alternate companies to provide warranty and maintenance services,” Mr Sadler said.

“There are many products out in the field that may not last the distance. Unfortunately, in our consumer society, lowest price is often the reason for saying yes to the sales person. At the time of sale, the customer chooses a cheap solar project with a newlyestablished solar marketing company instead of paying a premium price for premium products with well-established solar or electrical contractors. This sounds a little blunt, but consumers make these choices across all ranges of products every day,” he said.

Daman Cole, Australian Managing Director of Yingli Solar, one of the world’s largest solar panel manufacturers, has also expressed While the vast majority of installations have proven to be a concerns about safety, as well as consumers’ understanding great investment for owners, a comprehensive CHOICE survey of solar panel quality. Cole said, “As solar PV is a relatively of solar power system owners earlier this year revealed that new technology that is only now becoming mainstream, many around a quarter have reported minor issues since installation, customers are unsure how to judge the quality of their solar with the inverter the most likely installer and solar panels. component to need repair or Unfortunately, many people still replacement. Even though use the country of manufacture “... when subsidies are stopped, demand also problems with an inverter are as a guide to a product’s quality, takes a dive. Europe and Australia have been the easily fixed, any consumer whose but this is extremely misleading worst affected ...” because there are a wide range chosen installer has collapsed of manufacturers, from best may now be unable to rely on practice to inferior, within each country that make solar panels. their warranties or even schedule a simple inspection for advice on For the uninitiated, it can be hard to differentiate between an maintenance and care. experienced, reliable installation company and a fly-by-night “They simply don’t know where to turn now that things are going operation. Another issue is that many people put their faith in sour – their installer is no longer an option, so they try calling one of their 25-year performance guarantee, which, although valid, the industry bodies, such as the Clean Energy Council, but those is not clear about who can provide the local back-up support organisations aren’t in a position to offer that kind of advice as it’s from the manufacturer should a problem occur down the track, completely outside their realm of expertise,“ he said. particularly if the original importer or installation company is no longer around.” Phillip Leslie has clocked up almost 40 years in the electrical industry, the last 10 in the Energy Reduction and Renewable Energy Industry. As the Design Engineer for Living Power, a renewable energy engineering firm based in south-west Sydney, Mr Leslie has helped carry out a large number of private PV inspections.

To help provide customers with confidence in the safety and longevity of their solar investment, Yingli Solar has developed the YINGLI 4 YOU program in Australia, which includes a training program for solar installers focussed on improving installation and maintenance standards.

“While we’ve found the majority of projects to be satisfactory electrical installations, and some have been exceptional, we’ve inspected a few that were disasters. But those horror stories are mostly a result of people choosing an installer based on price alone,” Mr Leslie said.

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) maintains a good penalty regime for non-compliance on Standards and PV installation requirements: every installer in Australia begins with 20 points; defects will constitute a loss of points, with major defects attracting greater penalties. The Master Electrician

Autumn 2015

10 “Recently, we inspected a project that was such a poor installation that after submitting our report to the CEC, the installer lost all 20 points on this one project and is no longer accredited. But we do really need to remember that this the exception and not the standard,” Sadler said. Master Electricians Australia (MEA) CEO Malcolm Richards said that while good quality installations that meet the Australian standard will stand the test of time, sub-quality products and poorly-installed solar systems will prove dangerous if left unchecked. “In the past twelve months alone, we’ve seen the recall of two different brands of solar products which can cause fire or electric shock, we’ve seen the nation-wide recall on Infinity and Olsent cables, and we’ve now seen a recall in Victoria on unsafe Ecablesbranded cabling – all of which were imported products, and not compliant with Australian standards,” Mr Richards said.

SolarSafe is a service set up for property owners who have a solar system installed and wish to know how to get the best out of their systems; want to have their system serviced and maintained by a quality electrician; or need to address an issue with a system that was installed by a company that is no longer in operation.

MEA has now teamed up with Mr Sadler, as well as fellow SolarSafe co-founders John Horan and Scott Bird, to launch a program that will link recall-affected consumers with Master Electricians members to get issues – big and small – fixed as quickly as possible.

Master Electricians members who are qualified PV solar installers can also benefit greatly, adding new customers to their businesses simply by adding a solar check up to their call-out itinerary and directing current and future clients to the Solar Diary.

“We are incredibly limited when it comes to tracking these unsafe products down, so we’re working towards using the SolarSafe resource to help us build more of a database for solar installations, which will allow our members to act in a much faster manner in the event of another relevant recall,” Mr Richards said.

Master Electricians members can ensure they receive customer leads from SolarSafe by registering their interest and confirming their contact details by calling the Member Services Team on 1300 889 198.

“It is our responsibility to make sure that consumers are able to come directly to a Master Electricians member for the right advice, for their system’s upkeep, and for quality products.”

For more information on the SolarSafe program, you can head to the website


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Kyoto to host MEA’s 2015 Annual Conference Successful networking is all about going the extra mile — sometimes it takes a little more effort than chatting over cheese and wine!

REMEMBER the old saying, “it’s not what you know,

but who you know”? Well, this rings true in any business. Being successful means actively pursuing opportunities and following through with solid, strategic action to build long-term industry associations. But network connections alone are hollow without some knowledge to share around the table. From training courses to international forums, each year, Master Electricians Australia (MEA) provides invaluable opportunities for our members to improve their skills, build their knowledge, and make essential industry connections. The highlight on our calendar for 2015 is the MEA Annual Electrical Industry Conference, which is being held in September at the Hyatt Regency Kyoto, located in the traditional and historic heart of Kyoto, Japan. Kyoto served as Japan’s capital from 794 until 1868, and it is now Japan’s seventh largest city with a population of 1.4 million people. The city remains awash with remnants of its past glory, filled with countless temples and shrines that survive to this day. Kyoto’s collection of 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites would be enough to set it apart, but the city also boasts a geisha district, some of Japan’s most exquisite cuisine, and a whole lot of Zen. Not that it’s all temples and tradition; Kyoto also hosts its share of modern art and trendy dining hotspots. Think of it as the cultural yin to Tokyo’s yang, but with a fresh breath of innovation. That’s

why Kyoto is the perfect place for the MEA annual conference – a place to fire up the brain, refuel, and be inspired. At this year’s conference, members will have the opportunity to learn from the industry’s top contributors while experiencing traditional Japanese cuisine and the splendour of Kyoto’s ancient temples and unique wonders. The conference kicks off on 27 September. In the evening, guests will be treated to a traditional Japanese welcome reception at the breathtaking Gesshin-in temple and gardens. There, they will be mesmerised by Japanese music and treated to sake. The reception will continue into the night at one of Kyoto’s finest restaurants where drinks and canapés will flow as geisha entertain. On day two, the Annual General Meeting will be first on the agenda, followed by a lesson in Japanese etiquette and vocabulary. Konichiwa! The morning will be capped off by an informative business session with social media trainer Jordana Borensztajn. Guests will be treated to a traditional lunch, followed by an afternoon filled with leisure, traditional ceremonies, and sightseeing. The evening function will kick off with taiko drummers and include an interactive ninja show! On day three, delegates will be inspired at a business session on the grounds of Taizo-in, a 600-year-old Zen Buddhist Temple and the oldest and most prominent sub-temple in the district.

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The session will include speeches from industry professionals and a traditional lesson in ‘finding your Zen’ by the deputy priest at Taizo-in Temple, Reverend Daiko Matsuyama. In the afternoon, guests will have an opportunity to pay their respects to the electrical gods at the electrical shrine, before having leisure time to take in the sights and sounds of the area.

For any delegates wishing to bring their children along, that’s not a problem! The conference is a great opportunity for a family holiday. All children accompanying an attending adult will be treated to a fun-filled agenda packed with origami making, Japanese games, interactive learning sessions, martial arts, and traditional cooking lessons.

The final day of the conference will include one last business session with motivational speaker Rob Lilwall, who will share his extraordinary adventures as well as some life lessons on how to deal with obstacles when they are dealt to you. There are many optional morning and afternoon activities for all to participate in, including kimono dressing, tea ceremonies, and temple and shopping tours.

With all of this to look forward to, the 2015 MEA conference is an unmissable opportunity to network, wine and dine, and get your Zen on in one of Japan’s oldest traditional cities. We look forward to seeing you in Japan. Sayonara! Master Electricians members thinking about attending can find out more and register at


1800 225 063

The Master Electrician

Autumn 2015


the buzz

(From left to right) Philippe Ferragu, CGRO Hager Group, the representative of Bocchiotti group and Daniel Hager while signing the contract in December 2014.

Hager Group acquires cable management business On 1 January 2015, Hager Group took over the family-owned Italian company Bocchiotti. A leading supplier of innovative solutions and services for electrical installations in residential, commercial and industrial buildings, Hager Group is an independent family-owned and run company based in Blieskastel, Germany. Founded in 1965, Bocchiotti boasts over 50 years of experience in the production and distribution of solutions and services in the field of cable management and small distribution boards for domestic and industrial applications. “This acquisition reinforces our position in the field of cable management and means that we are gaining a fantastic addition to our present offer to provide better solutions to our customers,” explains Daniel Hager, CEO of Hager Group.

Most importantly, it will enable Hager Group to build upon its position within this segment in the French and Italian markets. At the same time, the takeover will allow the company to embark on new activities in North America, a region in which Bocchiotti is also active. “Our enthusiasm about this acquisition is mutual,” emphasises Cesare Bocchiotti, one of the two founders of Bocchiotti Group. “We are proud that our company is now becoming a member of Hager Group and joining a sustainably successful familyowned company. A family character, similar values and shared visions are important prerequisites for achieving integration and ensuring successful growth together.”

$10,000 fines for unlicensed fire-protection work at community centre International company Chubb Fire & Security Pty Ltd and one of its employees have been fined a total of $10,250 for offences relating to the unlawful installation of fire protection at a Brisbane community centre.

During a compliance audit, QBCC inspectors interviewed Chubb employee John Murtagh at a Brisbane community centre, where he was performing fire-protection work. Enquiries by the inspectors revealed that he did not hold the appropriate licence for the work.

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) took action against Chubb and its employee following an audit of fire-protection installation at building sites around Brisbane.

Mr Murtagh eventually pleaded guilty to one count of unlawfully carrying out fire protection work and was fined $2,750.

Fire protection licences have been required since 2011, in line with the findings of a report into the Palace Backpackers Hostel fire in Childers in 2000, when 15 people perished.

Chubb Fire & Security Pty Ltd pleaded guilty in November 2013 to one count of a breach of section 42D of the QBCC Act. That is, as a licensed contractor, Chubb engaged or directed an employee to carry out fire protection work, where the employee was not authorised to do so, and was fined $3,000.

QBCC Commissioner, Steve Griffin, said the penalty was a reminder to companies and individuals that fire protection was a serious matter and must always only be undertaken by appropriately licensed entities.

However, the Commission successfully appealed that decision in the Brisbane District Court, and Chubb Fire & Security Pty Ltd was subsequently fined $7,500 for the same offence in September 2014.

Australia’s online clearance house for the electrical industry


Innovative ‘reality showroom’ the go-to place in Northern Queensland Opened in mid 2014, the Haymans Energy Hub in Townsville has become the go-to place for lighting, audio visual, control systems, solar and water pumping solutions in Northern Queensland. The innovative Energy Hub is a ‘reality showroom’ consisting of a one bedroom unit complete with media room, state of the art control systems, an impressive visual and sound system that makes LED come to life for contractors, builders, architects and interior designers. Haymans have partnered with Clipsal, Melec, Gerard Lighting Group, Havit, Cougar, Eglo, Dialight, Avico,Robus, MeanWell and many more, to offer contractors a one-stop-shop, boasting a wide range of LED lighting for the domestic and commercial markets. The ‘reality showroom’ can be booked by appointment even after hours and on Saturdays, and is available exclusively to one client at a time, enabling staff to give their undivided attention to the client’s needs and the planning process.

A meeting area on site allows contractors and architects to sit down with their clients and work through plans while having electrical, lighting and control system solutions conveniently in one central location. The Energy Hub has earned a reputation for having one of the best ranges of LED strip lighting available in Australia and can save large to medium size commercial businesses thousands of dollars by offering their very own LED strip lighting design service free of charge. The range starts at 24w per 5 metres and goes to 192w per 5 metres with the latter an exceptional wall washer up to 10 metres above ground. The LED strip lighting is available in waterproof and non waterproof with a vast selection of colours and custom light bars.

Haymans Energy Hub, Townsville.

The Energy Hub also organises training opportunities such as the Platinum Installers course by Melec which enables contractors to add value to their business by supplying extra warranties on product at no extra cost to their customers. To assist contractors in making a sale, the Hub also offers their commercial clients finance on lighting and solar. The Energy Hub is located at 269 Ingham Road, Garbutt QLD. To make an appointment or for more information, contact Steve Reil on 0407 080 938.

Cable it right Quality means doing it right even when no one is looking. Engineering and Quality Director of Prysmian Cables Sandy Mennie says it’s now more important than ever to invest in quality when it comes to buying cable in the current market. Following on from the recent national recall for Infinity and Olsent cables, and the surrounding media publicity, Prysmian and the Australian Cablemakers Association (ACA) continue to raise awareness about the dangers of poor quality cables. Mr Mennie says it’s common knowledge that Australian conditions can be harsher than those in other places, so it makes sense to buy only cables that are manufactured and tested to Australian standards. Yet it seems that some businesses are more concerned with their short-term bottom line, even though this can create enormous expense for them and risk the safety of their customers later down the track.

“It’s hard to point the finger at anyone unfortunately the problem lies with the fact that the industry is self-regulated, there are no requirements for independent verification and approval that products sold in the local market actually comply with Australian Standards,” he says. “Even though defective cables can look perfectly okay, they can prove to be quite dangerous when connected to an electrical network.” The ACA is currently lobbying the various regulatory bodies to improve customer protection and safety, by making quality compliance one of its cornerstones. Mr Mennie says Prysmian fully supports this approach and encourages the elimination of poor quality, potentially dangerous, cables in the market.

“Implementing regulations within this industry is an arduous process, but with a united voice we will be able to achieve the protections needed for both consumers and the contractors who face significant expenses in the event of a recall. “Until reform is achieved, contractors can rest assured that Prysmian stands behind all of our cable products with complete confidence, and customers can too.” For more on Prysmian products and solutions visit or phone 1300 300 304.


Time for government action as another cable supplier liquidation leaves contractors and building owners in the dark Master Electricians Australia (MEA) is calling for urgent reform of electrical product safety certification after yet another dangerous product recall triggered the collapse of another cable importing company. Contractors and building owners may now face a hefty bill to remove dangerous cabling products that can cause fire and electric shock after the collapse of cable importer Ecables Pty Ltd. The company has been placed into liquidation after Energy Safe Victoria ordered a full recall of its ECABLES brand Copper Clad Aluminium RE 110 insulated power cables. Independent testing has found that the cables fail to meet the required standard, and that the insulation melts at less than half the temperature they’re rated to withstand. Testing showed that the cable was non-compliant because, due to a manufacturing fault, the cable’s insulation sheath had not been cross-linked. The insulation may become damaged at temperatures above 50 degrees,

exposing live electrical conductors. This in turn creates risks of fire, shock and electrocution. MEA Victorian State Manager, Simon Tengende says the company’s collapse is bad news for building owners and electrical contractors who installed the cable and may be required to remove it. “This collapse creates great uncertainty for both property owners and contractors as to how the cost of the removal and replacement of dangerous cable will be funded,” says Mr Tengende. “Most of all, this underlines the importance of choosing reputable tradespeople and insisting on quality products.” MEA encourages electrical contractors to carry insurance to cover the cost of recalls and urges them only to source products from reputable manufacturers and

suppliers who have the financial strength to meet the cost of product recalls. The ECABLES recall closely follows the national recall of dangerous Infinity and Olsent brand electrical cables, and highlights a potential problem with the certification process that allows importers or manufacturers to self-assess their compliance with the standard. “We’ve now had two major recalls of very dangerous products. This should prompt the electrical safety regulators to ask some very serious questions about how these faulty products are getting on to the market,” Mr Tengende says. MEA has raised this issue with the various state and territory electrical regulators, and will continue to push for a thorough review of the product certification process to prevent future incidents.

Have you made your digital resolution? Future-proofing your business in the digital age can be a tricky thing – as soon as you’ve caught up with the latest and greatest technology, another comes along and blows it out of the water. If you want to keep your business relevant in 2015, then it’s time to refocus and make a digital resolution for your business. Making a few small changes now can help you put your best foot forward, and set you on the path to a successful and safe year. Our top three digital resolutions can help you on your way. I will make my website responsive A responsive website is one that changes shape, size and sometimes content based on the type of device it is viewed on. This is great for your customers, as we know that they’re are browsing more and more across portable devices. We also know that search engines such as Google are penalising businesses that don’t have a responsive website, as well as those that have two different websites – one for desktop, and one for mobile. So, if you want to be seen online, 2015 is the time to take the plunge. Talk to your web developer to see if you can add responsiveness to

your website, or if it’s better to start fresh with a brand new one. I will change my account passwords More and more business activities are now online – everything from job and inventory management to customer databases and accounting systems are all available online. Unfortunately, this makes them more susceptible to attacks from the outside world To protect your data, be sure to update your accounts with the most secure passwords you can – we recommend using a random password generator to create a secure password of lower and upper case letters, numbers and symbols. I will write (and use) my online business plan In 2014, data and analytics erupted within big and small business. With a range

of digital analytics tools available, you now have the ability to measure your performance, but what good is that without goals to measure? For that, you need an Online Business Plan. Get started with the free templates available at the Electrician’s Digital Business Kit website. If you need help with any of these resolutions, visit the Electrician’s Digital Business Kit. The free website is full of resources to help you use digital tools in all aspects of your business. From Social Media Plans and tips on how to build a website, to using cloud technology, the Electrician’s Digital Business Kit has everything you need to move your business forward in 2015. Visit to access this free website today. The Master Electrician

Autumn 2015


feature impressive project

Dazzling light installation all part of the allure for Melbourne visitors Australia Pacific Airports, Melbourne has unveiled a dazzling, dynamic lighting installation unlike any other in the world that will give a warm welcome to even the weariest traveller.

MELBOURNIANS know a thing or two about beauty and culture. The Victorian capital is famous for creating fashionforward shows and show-stopping fashion, for offering multicultural gastronomy alongside its multi-dimensional culture, and for throwing a season-long party ever year dedicated entirely to dark horses and fabulous fillies. A visit to Australia’s cultural capital is a cosmopolitan affair, so a small team at Australia Pacific Airports, Melbourne decided it would be fitting to greet visitors in the same fashion: with a dynamic lighting installation like no other in the world. Boutique Melbourne-based practice, Mint Lighting Design was brought on-board alongside worldwide lighting manufacturer, ENTTEC, and together they created 12 individually-programmed

sites that now form a $2 million lighting experience that runs across the airport’s main terminal façade and forecourt. “While each site had its own unique challenges, and with white light banned from the design, the key was to develop a cohesive story, told with colour,” said Mint Lighting Design Director, Adele Locke, whose ambitious plan came to fruition with an official unveiling last year. Each site is programmed such that it supports a synchronised show across the entire installation — double-sided light projections dance along the curve of the elevated roadway; beautiful, twinkling and colour-changing lights turn the pedestrian bridges into works of art; and shell canopies and plane trees are lit up from within to create an ambient and entertaining transit experience.


“You can’t light a tree in the same manner in which you light a bridge. Existing lighting was not to be changed, so my creative design had to work around the existing structures and lighting and not impinge on the safety of travellers. Colour programs and change are carefully structured to ensure that the lighting is not distracting, yet still has enough movement to be beautiful and provide a joyous environment for those waiting for a ride,” Ms Locke said.

“I had to determine a way to use coloured light that was sophisticated, dynamic and, critically, not overwhelming for weary travellers.”

A ground-floor, interactive ‘Light Shower’ cascades over playful children and exhausted travellers alike, who can change the colour with the push of a button and bathe in calming blue light after a long flight.

ENTTEC founder and General Manager, Nicolas Moreau said the largest of the 12 sites was the 140-metre-long elevated roadway, which proved quite a challenge. Around 450 customised pixel bars were installed alongside each other to form this Roadside Linear Site.

“I had to determine a way to use coloured light that was sophisticated, dynamic and, critically, not overwhelming for weary travellers. “I’ve already seen children playing games in this unique space, chasing each other through the light and racing the changing colours. After hours on a plane, the chance for a child to run, play and explore is priceless for parents,” she said. The installation’s star attraction is its iconic, 14-metre-long ‘Melbourne’ sign in the airport’s central forecourt, which is designed to offer a warm (and unmissable) welcome to the more than 18 million travellers who pass through the terminal each year. The giant capital ‘M’ was even fitted with a whimsical on-off switch for the televised opening ceremony that few could resist flicking! The large-scale sculpture is filled with ENTTEC’s super bright pixel dots, which are often used for creating stage lighting effects, and is also fitted with the company’s innovative PLink system.

“Not only was a significant amount of light needed to light the roadway structure, a pixel pitch of 160 millimetres was required of full RGBW over the 300-metre run. Installation considerations were taken into account as access on the Melbourne Airport site is difficult. The products had to be designed so 450 of them could be installed and commissioned in just a few days,” Mr Moreau said. The canopies on the curved roadway were built using ENTTEC ET bars, specifically designed for outdoor use, and the 60-metre walkway bridges were installed with Plink injectors with 8PL60 pixel tape fitted into 8ES extrusions. Altogether, more than 40,000 individually programmable pixels were installed. “The associated control network is among the most sophisticated we’ve built in 15 years of worldwide installations,” he said. “It comprises five different technologies: wired DMX, Ethernet, fibre optic, wireless Ethernet PtP link, and wireless DMX links. The sheer The Master Electrician

Autumn 2015


“Each lighting site had its own challenge. Some could be lit ... using standard products, others required a custom engineered solution that utilised ENTTEC’s technology framework and R&D team to design and manufacture a luminaire.”

scale of the site and the number of control channels needed meant that we had to use every tool in the box,” Mr Moreau said. Almost 2150 individual products had to be designed and installed to bring Ms Locke’s design to life, but rather than be intimidated by its magnitude, ENTTEC’s design team were excited about the project’s incredible scope for creativity.

“Each lighting site had its own challenge. Some could be lit according to Adele’s wishes using standard products, others required a custom (c/w compression spring & bolt assembly) (c/w compression spring solution & bolt assembly) engineered that utilised ENTTEC’s technology framework and R&D team to design and manufacture a luminaire,” he said.


Mr Moreau and his team members, Juan Ramirez and Manmeet Singh, spent hundreds of hours perfecting the installation’s intricate programming. Unique, impressive displays for Australia Day, ANZAC Day, Chinese New Year, the Indian Festival of Lights, and Christmas have all been coded. 30MM SADDLE

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“By using light to tell a story across the site, as well as improving pedestrian navigation, such as blue lights over entrance doors and colour-coded lights for bus shelters, the people who work tirelessly in the forecourt providing information and support to travellers have more useful cues for giving directions. The sequence of colour change also provides them with a more playful work environment,” she said. The result is a spectacularly beautiful, but also practical addition to the gateway to Australia’s most cultural city. The installation creates a unique ‘sense of arrival’, which travellers, staff, and the designers themselves can now sit back and admire.

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Ms Locke said the display has benefits far beyond its aesthetic appeal.




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benefit spotlight

It’s all about the money. Or is it? MEA Fleet representative, Todd Kerr shows us that when it comes to this increasingly popular service, it’s okay to put all our eggs in one basket. He answers our top questions about how he’s helping businesses save precious time and money.

IN a nutshell, how does the MEA Fleet service work?

You could say MEA Fleet is like a consultancy service for clients who want to purchase a vehicle or a fleet of vehicles for personal or business use. We review the kind of vehicle the client is looking to purchase, research the price they may have previously been quoted for by their local dealer, and determine whether that price is an attractive or reasonable one. This saves our clients precious time researching or going from dealer to dealer; time that can be better spent on their business. How does MEA Fleet ensure clients are getting the best price for their vehicles? MEA Fleet consults a range of dealers who are experts on vehicle prices, and this helps us make informed recommendations to our clients on their purchases. As part of our research for clients, we ring all our dealers to compare prices. If we discover that the price a client has been previously quoted can be beaten by a local dealer, we return to the client and encourage them to tender the

deal there. This ensures that our clients receive the best deals, and that they purchase their vehicle from a reputable dealer. Basically, we ensure our clients walk away with confidence, the right information, and, ultimately, the potential to save their business thousands of dollars. What if I need to secure a loan before I can purchase a vehicle for my business? MEA Fleet can assist you with all aspects of purchasing a vehicle, including financing. A big part of what we do is arrange financing options that will best suit your business. This includes working with you on leasing asset loans, car financing, and more. There is a multitude of options avaiable that won’t break the bank, many of which our clients are initially unaware of. What if I am looking for a particular make or model of vehicle? We recently had a client who had spent hours searching for a particular car, but had come up empty handed due to the short


availability of the model. Using our extensive dealership network, MEA fleet was able to track down and locate his ideal car from a local dealer, as well as negotiate an attractive price for it. I’m in the initial stages of researching a vehicle for my business. How can MEA Fleet help me? Our experienced staff can offer advice on all aspects of purchasing your vehicle. Clients often call to run scenarios past us and get genuine advice on what vehicle would best suit their needs. We recommend the most suitable vehicle for you based on the type of business you run, who would be driving the vehicle, what the vehicle would be used for, and more. What does it cost to utilise the MEA Fleet service? The MEA Fleet service is offered to Master Electricians members free of charge as a member benefit. You can find out more about becoming a member and taking advantage of the MEA Fleet service and numerous other member benefits at To find out how we can best help your business send an email to or call 1300 889 198.

“I purchased a Hyundai iLoad through MEA Fleet and I think I would have saved around $15,000 over a five year loan period. I had been looking for a vehicle on and off for a few weeks. I had visited a couple of dealerships and was actually about to go ahead with a vehicle deal, but decided to contact MEA. It wasn’t until I spoke with Todd that I realised how much I could actually save. You just don’t have the time to be vehicle hunting when you’re running a business. If I had approached MEA Fleet first, I would have saved myself a lot of time and effort”. Brett Rezek, RZelectrics

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Autumn 2015


benefit spotlight

Your financial safety switch When troubling times hit, it can feel as though you’re alone in the dark. But there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel, so long as your financial safety switch is turned on.

THE majority of people believe that workers compensation is more than sufficient cover for themselves and their families should the worst happen. But the reality is that a whopping 75 per cent of injuries in Australia happen outside of work*. Few are aware that workers compensation won’t cover conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and depression, or that

compensation can be capped after 130 weeks and payments can be reduced after 13 weeks on a claim. As an electrical contractor, you simply can’t afford to be without insurance when you need it most. That’s why Concept Benefit Planning provides members with insurance solutions for every scenario, so that their financial safety switch is always turned on.

Concept Benefit Planning helps members prepare for any unexpected situation, giving you peace of mind at a time when your finances could be hit the hardest. BRT Electrical’s Brett Thiedeke experienced firsthand the security that comes from having a personal insurance solution. After hearing about a plumber who had contracted a disease that

25 unfortunately prevented him from working, Brett decided it would be wise to find personal insurance cover for himself, especially with staff, a home loan, and kids to consider. Brett’s decision turned out to be one of the best he had ever made.

carefully to help you develop a plan that best suits your individual circumstances. Once you are happy with the recommendations, they assist you with the relevant paperwork, right through to completion.

While preparing dinner for his family last year, Brett sliced the tendons in his dominant hand and was put out of action at work for four months. Fortunately, Brett had a personal insurance plan in place, and Concept was able to provide him with excellent advice that very weekend. Because Brett was unable to type or write, Concept sent a representative out to his home to complete all necessary paperwork for him.

As a corporate partner of Master Electricians Australia (MEA) since 1992, Concept have a unique insight into the needs of small, medium and large electrical contracting businesses. They understand the pressures, insurance needs, and types of products and benefits that are relevant to electrical contractors.

“The Concept representative liaised directly with my accountant and got my claim processed with urgency,” says Brett. “I was paid in full in advance, which meant that I even had cash over the Christmas break. “I always have a yearly check up with Concept to ensure that I only pay for the cover that I need, yet have adequate cover to keep my finances secure.”

No matter what your workplace situation is, Concept will take into account the unique risks you face to find a cover that is right for you. They are committed to helping you protect yourself and your family, and will regularly review your situation with you to ensure that your plan continues to meet your needs. When it comes to giving you the peace of mind you need in the workplace, Concept Benefit Planning is your financial safety switch.

For Brett, having a personal insurance solution in place meant that he had the peace of mind and security that he needed for himself, his business, and his family during a tough time. And Brett’s case isn’t unusual: tens of thousands of claims are paid out each year, and Concept frequently receives calls from electricians for both work and non-work related incidents. In 2013, Life Insurers paid $5 billion to claimants from various insurance policies, and over the previous eight calendar years, pay-outs have totaled almost $27 billion. Obtaining personal insurance tailored to suit your needs is easy. Concept Benefit Planning discusses your financial goals and listens

To speak to someone about your financial goals and specific income protection and life insurance needs, Master Electricians members can call Concept Benefit Planning on 1800 630 322 or email *Source: The Risk Store Industry Statistics 2013 This information has been prepared without taking into account your financial goals, situation, or needs. Before making a decision based on this material, you should consider its appropriateness in regards to your financial goals, situation & needs. A financial adviser can help you determine an appropriate amount and type of cover, and provide you with a Product Disclosure Statement.


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Autumn 2015


meet a master electrician

Master Electricians Australia’s 500th member in WA, Mauro Triventi, reveals his journey from growing up in a small town in central Italy, to establishing a name for himself in Perth as the owner of Fair Price Electrical Services.

How does it feel to be the 500th Master Electricians Member in WA? I am humbled to be part of this prestigious organisation, and I am proud to be the 500th member of Master Electricians Australia in WA. I know I have joined a special group of people in the organisation who are actually there to offer help and support.

I have been in the electrical contracting business ever since.

As a child, what were your career aspirations? As a child, I was always impressed by astrology, and consequently, I wanted to become an astronaut, but as I grew up, I realised the stars were too far away for my goal, and my parents encouraged me to search for a suitable trade that I would always keep.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? The rapport that develops between me and my clients, and training apprentices and seeing them achieving their goals under my guidance.

What inspired you to start your business? My dream was always to direct my own company one day. Firstly, to offer a personal service to my customers, and secondly, to have the opportunity to build my own little empire. At the age of 23, I decided to take up the challenge, and

What motto do you like to do business by? I aim to provide my clients the best service possible and the best quality of workmanship, while maintaining an honest relationship.

What’s your top tip for other electricians who are starting a business? To be successful, you need to have a passion for the industry and want to make a difference. It is important to have great confidence in training your staff and to make sure you keep a balanced lifestyle. When you aren’t working, what helps you wind down and relax? When I’m not at work, I like to spend

Name: Mauro Triventi Company: Fair Price Electrical State: Western Australia Status: 500th Master Electricians Member in WA

time with my grandchildren. I also enjoy playing tennis with my family members and kayaking in the ocean. What is one thing you could tell us about yourself that others would be shocked to know? I’m quite an open person, but not many people would know that I am a ‘Justice of the Peace’. Where would you like to go on holiday and why? I would like to travel around Australia to discover all the iconic places that this great country has to offer. In particular, I’d like to visit the undiscovered paradise of the North West of Western Australia to find out more about the culture and traditions. What is your favourite saying or quote? “Everything happens for a reason!” Even when the darkest moment presents itself, I believe there is always a positive outcome around the corner.

Experience a city with a spectacular contrast of traditional and modern culture, and the power to enthral. Join us in Kyoto, Japan for the 2015 Electrical Industry Conference.

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regulator wrap up the latest state news from regulators



ELECTRICAL SAFETY IN THE RURAL INDUSTRY The Electrical Safety Office (ESO) reports that electrical incidents in the rural industry often result from accidental contact with overhead powerlines while operating heavy machinery or moving irrigation pipes. To prevent a serious electrical incident, workers, machinery, and plants

must be kept at a safe distance from overhead powerlines at all times. Under Queensland’s electrical safety laws, exclusion zones are the minimum safe distances to be maintained from powerlines in all directions. The following table outlines the Exclusion Zones of power lines of various voltages. Electricians are reminded to be aware of the height of powerlines from the ground and where powerlines might be positioned in paddocks. Take into consideration the movement of powerlines in wind or on hot days when powerlines may sag. The best way to

stay safe is to maintain the greatest distance possible. Electrical safety in the rural industry can be managed by: • Meeting the requirements of Queensland’s electrical safety laws • Using the practical advice outlined in the codes of practice • Applying a risk management approach to electrical safety. Visit for more information.

POWER LINE VOLTAGE (1 kV = 1000 volts)



Up to 132 kV

Low voltage and high voltage powerlines usually on poles

3 metres

Between 132 kV and 330 kV

High voltage powerlines usually on poles and towers

6 metres

Over 330 kV

High voltage powerlines usually on towers

8 metres

*Note: The table above does not fully detail exclusion zone dimensions and other requirements. For further information, refer to Part 5 of the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013 and the Electrical safety code of practice 2010 – Working near overhead and underground electric lines.




INVESTIGATING ELECTRIC SHOCKS Over 90 per cent of the shock reports received by the Office of the Technical Regulator (OTR) relate to multiple earth neutral (MEN) shocks. The MEN system was introduced around 45 years ago because direct earthing was found to be unsuitable. The main earth conductor is connected to the main neutral conductor at the MEN link, thus, the consumer mains is used as a low impedance path to operate a protective device under earth fault conditions. MEN shocks occur when there is a high impedance connection somewhere in the neutral circuit to or within the distribution system, which results in the earth being

used as a return path for the neutral. Shocks received are often less than full mains voltage. When responding to electric shock incidents, electrical contractors are advised to ask customers what they were doing when they received the shock. If customers were in the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry when they noticed their lights dimming, an MEN fault is likely the cause. Under Regulation 70 (3) of the Electricity (General) Regulations, the network operator SA Power Networks (SAPN) must promptly investigate any accident that involves electric shock or electrical burns that may have been caused by the network, and report the results of the investigation to the OTR. You or your customer should call SAPN immediately if you suspect an MEN fault is the cause of a shock incident.

If SAPN finds that the problem is not caused by their distribution system, they will advise your customer to call you to investigate the cause within the electrical installation. You must then complete an electric shock and incident report form and send it to the OTR. Visit for more information.

BB60 / BB120

The Master Electrician

Autumn 2015


regulator wrap up FAIR TRADING


last year announced several significant changes to the home building laws aimed at modernising practices in the industry, increasing confidence in the sector, and strengthening consumer protection. “From today, builders and traders face up to 12 months in prison if they are repeat offenders of unlicensed contracting work or don’t have the required insurance,” Mr Mason-Cox said. “At its core, these new home building laws are about ensuring NSW consumers are appropriately protected, without creating unnecessary red tape and regulation that will stifle industry growth and investment.’’

New South Wales consumers will have greater protection from shoddy construction work under tougher new home building laws, which commenced on 15 January 2015. NSW Fair Tading Minister, Matthew Mason-Cox said the NSW Government

Mr Mason-Cox said new laws included changes to licensing and modernised industry practices in NSW, to bring them further in accordance with other jurisdictions. As part of the changes, minor residential work worth under $5,000 can now be carried out without a licence, reducing ‘red tape’ for builders, and consumers

who want to get minor work done around their properties. A key change in the new legislation is the recognition, for the first time, of fire safety systems and waterproofing as major elements in a building’s structure. “Importantly, consumers also continue to be protected by guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), which is enforced by NSW Fair Trading and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission,’’ Mr Mason-Cox said. “We believe these new reforms respond to the changing landscape of the NSW residential housing market, as well as bring the home building laws into the 21st century. “For the industry, these measures deliver a reduction in unnecessary red tape, provide clearer legal definitions, particularly in relation to defects, and ensure fewer disputes between homeowners and builders.’’ Visit for details on the new Home Building Act laws.

Master Electricians Australia (MEA) in conjunction with insurance brokers Comsure have developed an insurance package, that includes recall expense cover, to meet the needs of electrical contractors.

Is your business exposed? RECEnt RECAlls: • Ecables copper clad aluminum power cable • Uniquip Industries DC Isolator • Avanco DC Isolator Offered • Infinity brand cables. exclusiv ely to When a product is recalled you Master may be obligated to replace the Electric ians item at your own expense. m em b e rs that’s why you need recall insurance. CGU Insurance Limited ABN 27 004 478 371 AFSL 238291 is the issuer of the CGU Austbrokers Business Insurance policy. Any advice provided by CGU Insurance Limited is general advice only and does not take into account your financial objectives, financial situation or needs (‘your personal circumstances’). Before deciding whether to purchase any insurance policy, you should consider your personal circumstances and the relevant policy wording available at

Product recall expense cover differs from ‘trades insurance’ and covers the costs and expenses incurred from replacing recalled products, including billable hours*. Don’t leave your business exposed. For more information visit or call 1300 889 198.

*Subject to policy conditions & limitations.




MANDATORY POWER CABLE RECALL NOTICE Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) has issued a mandatory recall notice to Ecables Pty Ltd for copper clad aluminium (CCA) power cable with RE110 insulation sold between January 2011 and June 2014. The recall notice relates to all sizes and configurations of power cable with RE110 insulation, which includes all SDI sizes 10mm2 - 630mm2 and multicore 6mm2 - 50mm2, about 189km of which was installed in Victoria during the aforementioned period. Although ESV has had no reports of this type of cable causing a fire or electric shock, ESV is warning workers about the potential hazards of the cable. Electricians who have installed this product have been advised to return to the installation and

attach warning labels to the cable and at the switchboard while the recall process takes place. Testing showed that the cable was non-compliant because, due to a manufacturing fault, the cable’s insulation sheath had not been cross-linked. As a result, the cable’s mechanical properties are dangerously reduced at higher temperatures. This can expose live conductors if the cable is subject to pressure, such as from cable ties, the weight of other cables, or accidental penetration by foreign objects. Since the release of the safety alert and recall, ESV has been advised that ECables

has entered into voluntary liquidation. This means that electricians and property owners may have to pay the cost of replacing the cables. Electrical contractors are reminded to ensure they purchase from reputable sellers that have the financial stability to stand behind their product should something go wrong. Those who are affected by this recall may contact Ecables or the wholesaler that supplied the cable. Any unused product should be returned to the supplier. Visit for more information.

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The Master Electrician

Autumn 2015


regulator wrap up ENERGY SAFETY



Under the provisions of the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991, an apprentice electrician must hold an Electrician’s Training Licence before they can carry out electrical work. Employers are reminded it is their responsibility to ensure an apprentice has been issued an Electrician’s Training Licence by EnergySafety’s Licensing Office. The regulations also require that an apprentice’s safety knowledge be assessed prior to the issue of an Electrician’s Training Licence. The application, including a copy of the Apprentice Safety Assessment Guidelines and the Apprentice Safety Assessment Report and Test, can be downloaded from EnergySafety’s website at

Hard copies of the Apprentice Safety Assessment Guidelines can also be obtained from the Licensing Office. The supervisor, who must be an electrician with a valid licence, is required to conduct the interview and complete the Apprentice Safety Assessment Report when the apprentice has completed and passed the test. The report, together with the application form, application fee and proof of identification, must be returned to the Licensing Office. Where an apprentice previously held an Electrician’s Training Licence with another employer, they will need to re-apply so the licence can be re-issued under the new employer. When the Electrician’s Training Licence has been approved, a copy of the licence is sent to the employer. The licence details are to be entered in the employer’s register of electrical workers. Visit for more information.

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letter of the law

Change for the better? Update on reforms to the Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA) Two States on the Eastern Seaboard have recently implemented significant legislative changes to their security of payment regimes. Is it now the West Coast’s turn? In June 2014, the Building Commissioner, Mr Peter Gow appointed Professor Phillip Evans of Curtain University to review the Construction Contracts Act for Western Australia (The Act). Professor Evans confirmed that the aim of the Review is to ensure that The Act is providing the best possible protection for subcontractors, head contractors, and building owners while avoiding unnecessarily increasing the existing legal and administrative burden on businesses. In October 2014, Professor Evans released the Discussion Paper identifying key issues to be examined, which included: 1 Time limits within which an adjudication application can be made 2 Timelines for responses, determinations and extensions 3 Underutilisation of the Act’s provisions for payment claims

the comparable Acts are indistinguishable) may reduce the gap between the jurisdictions and avoid further individual reforms. It appears that the West Coast model is the preferred approach, as the WA Discussion Paper states: “The difficulty for Western Australia is that its model is considered by some legal academics to be largely better in practical operation than all other states. It is believed that little will be gained by adopting the majority legislative model as this is viewed as inferior in practice.” The consultation process is still in its initial stages and is pending further submissions, which will impact the approach taken by the Western Australian government in response when amending the Act.

5 The regulation of adjudicators

Although the view of many industry experts is that significant changes are not likely, it is important to monitor further developments and the overall implications for the industry in WA.

6 Exclusion of damages

This article was contributed by Doyles Construction Lawyers.

7 Inclusion of domestic building contracts

To be involved in the consultation process and provide your input on The Act, Master Electricians members can contact Master Electricians Australia by calling 1300 889 198 or emailing

4 Alternative dispute resolution for small claims

8 Exclusion of certain mining activities. In addition to the above, as there is currently no uniformity amongst the states and territories, the Discussion Paper queries the national landscape of the security of payment regimes. Various proposals to harmonise the national approach (given that the objectives of

For further information on how the payment legislation might affect you, please contact Doyles Construction Lawyers by emailing

The Master Electrician

Autumn 2015


the interview

Patrick Moore Ecologist Patrick Moore has been making waves since his university years. The self-confessed ‘Greenpeace dropout’ shares his journey, from chartering a fishing boat across the notoriously dangerous waters of the North Pacific to bring attention to nuclear tests, to running a salmon farm and advocating for forestry. After 15 years as a co-founder and leader of one of the most controversial environmental groups, Greenpeace, you parted ways. How hard has it been to watch Greenpeace change so dramatically from what you set out to achieve through it? Greenpeace was already changing when I left, after 15 years as a director and campaign leader. I remember one incident vividly: as I was arguing that it would not be wise to adopt a campaign to ‘Ban Chlorine Worldwide’, a fellow director of Greenpeace International said to me, “Oh Pat, we’re all ecologists, you know.” I realised that I was actually the only one of five directors that had any formal science education. That didn’t seem to hold any weight with the others, who were clearly more interested in politics than science – they voted to adopt the anti-chlorine campaign. So I finally had to leave after some years of soul-searching, as I saw my organisation drifting further into the use of misinformation, sensationalism, and fear tactics. It was a hard lesson, but I have become used to the fact that many organisations fall prey to political opportunism and the perpetual need to raise funds. In 1972, you gained a PhD in Ecology from the University of British Columbia. It was during your university years that you joined Greenpeace. What was it that shaped your environmental worldview and your subsequent involvement with the organisation? When I joined a little group in the basement of the Unitarian Church in early 1971, then called the ‘Don’t Make a Wave Committee’, I was doing my PhD in Ecology at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. I was the first student at UBC to choose ecology for a PhD thesis, before the word was known to the general public. My interest in ecology stemmed from a noonhour lecture some years earlier by Dr Vladimir Krajina. He opened my eyes to the infinite complexity of the universe. I had been raised in a secular household and had no interest in established religion, but ecology taught me that through science one could gain an insight into the mystery of life. I became a born-again ecologist and vowed to make it my life’s work. So I was not an ‘environmental pessimist’ from the start. When I was 15, my mother introduced me to the writings of the British philosopher, Bertrand Russell. He described his worldview as ‘logical positivism’, quite similar to author Matt Ridley’s current belief in ‘rational optimism’. When


my former Greenpeace colleague said to me, “Pat, the trouble with you is your glass is always half full.” I replied, “No Rex, it’s actually overflowing.” I became radicalised during my PhD years by the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the threat of all-out nuclear war, and the newly-emerging consciousness of the environment. The early Greenpeace members could be divided into the ‘Peaceniks’ and the ‘EcoFreaks’. I was more the latter, but sympathised with the former. We Eco-Freaks believed ‘the revolution should be a celebration’, while the Peaceniks were more sober and even pessimistic and angry. By 1982, Greenpeace had grown into a fully-fledged international movement across the world with more than $100 million a year in donations. You mentioned in your book that it was during these years that two things happened that paved the way for your transformation from a self-proclaimed ‘radical activist’ to a ‘sensible environmentalist’. What were they? In 1982, I attended a meeting of 85 international environmentalists in Nairobi, Kenya. It was there that I first heard the term ‘sustainable development’, now usually shortened to ‘sustainability’. Whereas environmentalists from the industrialised countries were generally anti-development, this was not tenable for an environmentalist from a developing country. The compromised term ‘sustainable development’ required accepting the real economic and social needs of people, along with a concern for the health of the environment. This term transformed my vision from pure

‘environmentalism’ to the task of balancing environmental, social, and economic priorities, and using science and logic to do so. By 1985, I was becoming philosophically alienated from my Greenpeace colleagues. I had begun to build a salmon farm with my brother and brother-in-law at my home village of Winter Harbour on Vancouver Island. I believed that aquaculture was a sustainable development; it takes fishing pressure off wild stocks, provides

“Nuclear energy produces no pollution into the air or water and there is enough nuclear fuel for thousands of years.”

year-round jobs in coastal communities, and produces one of the healthiest foods. I could not convince my fellow Greenpeace directors to adopt ‘sustainable aquaculture’ as a positive approach to getting seafood. I began to wonder what Greenpeace was actually ‘for’ rather than just ‘against’. Then the talk began of adopting a campaign to ‘Ban Chlorine Worldwide’. While it is true that chlorine and many of its compounds can be toxic, it is also true that chlorine is the most important element for public health and medicine. Adding chlorine to drinking water, and to pools and spas, was the biggest advance in the history of public health.

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Autumn 2015


And, the majority of our synthetic pharmaceuticals are made with chlorine chemistry. I could not convince the other directors that it was not sensible to take a black-and-white approach to such an important element. They voted for a total ban, I chose the sensible path and announced my resignation in early 1986.

“In 1982, I attended a meeting of 85 international environmentalists in Nairobi, Kenya. It was there that I first heard the term ‘sustainable development’, now usually shortened to ‘sustainability’...”

You mentioned in your book, Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist, that in your early days of Greenpeace, you ‘became radicalised and joined the group of antinuclear activists’. Today, you believe that nuclear energy is essential for our future energy supply. What role can nuclear energy have in the future of environmental sustainability?

We made the mistake in the 1970s of lumping nuclear energy in with nuclear weapons as if all things nuclear are evil. Nuclear medicine is a beneficial use of nuclear technology, and so is nuclear energy. Nuclear energy produces no pollution into the air or water and there is enough nuclear fuel for thousands of years. When the fossil fuels become depleted, which seems further away now than just a few years ago, nuclear energy will be the most important source of power to run our civilisation.

You are an advocate for environmental sustainability, basing your environmental policy on science and logic rather than sensationalism, misfortune and fear. Given your environmental stance, what technologies do you believe we should be encouraging in society? We should be encouraging hydroelectric energy where it is available, and nuclear energy where hydro is insufficient. But there is nothing wrong with fossil fuels such as natural gas and coal being used to produce electricity so long as state-of-the-art pollution control is employed. Transportation will be largely dependent on oil for the foreseeable future. We should encourage the use of geothermal heat pumps in buildings to provide heating, cooling, and hot water. We should be growing more trees and using more renewable wood.

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gadget guide



For an electrical contractor or small business owner on-the-go, an iPhone can quickly become an important extension of yourself and your business.

Schneider Electric has launched a range of high capacity, high efficiency external battery packs designed to provide safe mobile charging for all smartphones, tablets, and USB chargeable devices.

The robust iPhone aqua bag makes for an essential phone companion and the perfect solution for protecting your phone, so you can conduct business as usual regardless of where you are. Its durable PA/PE plastic splash proof tablet case comes with a zip lock seal that protects your phone from the elements and is 100 per cent touch screen conductive. The iPhone aqua bag comes with two tablet cases and one lanyard. RRP: $14.95 Visit

APP TO BRING FALLEN SOLDIERS TO LIFE The University of Western Australia is developing a new smartphone app that will make decades-old tales of fallen soldiers come alive. The software will allow users to access the detailed history behind the 1,600 memorial plaques that line the Honour Avenues in Perth’s Kings Park.

The lightweight external batteries enable a greater range of apps to be used for longer periods, including energy sapping applications using location services and GPS.

On-site users can simply point their device at their chosen memorial and the app will link up with photographs, documents, and previously untold stories of the soldier’s life and loves.

The external battery packs come in two sizes: the compact M5 (5000mAh) stores enough energy to charge the average smartphone twice, while the M10 (10,000mAh) provides either one full charge for a tablet or four smartphone charges.

Professor Julian Partridge spearheaded the project and is hoping to eventually expand the model to document the unique stories of Australian service personnel across the country.

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The Master Electrician

Autumn 2015


techno biz

HILTI CORDLESS COMPACT DRILL DRIVER With its lasting power, compact ergonomic design, and a kit tailored to the electrical trade, the Hilti SFC 22-A cordless drill driver is the perfect companion for any electrician. Light and powerful, it is ideal for repetitive overhead use in installation and maintenance work. Its small, well balanced design also makes it perfect for use in tight corners. The Hilti SFC 22-A has the rotary speed necessary for drilling and screw driving into steel. With up to 55 Nm of torque, the compact 22 volt drill driver takes tough drilling jobs in its stride: it can drill into wood with spade bits up to 24 mm, and handle hole sawing in diameters up to 80 mm.

The FLIR TG165 Imaging IR Thermometer is a powerful, affordable, compact tool that shows invisible heat patterns, gives on-the-dot temperature measurements, and conveniently stores images and measurement data for reporting. The TG165 eliminates the blind guesswork of troubleshooting by combining the precision of a single spot IR thermometer with the power of a thermal camera. This unique combination of technologies makes it easy to find invisible hot and cold spots from a safe distance, so you can investigate and solve problems quickly. It is designed to withstand a twometre drop, making it rugged enough for industrial professionals, while offering the simplicity valued by do-ityourself homeowners. Visit for more information.

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feature tech talk

Smoke Alarms – industry update Joseph Keller from the Fire Protection Association Australia takes an in-depth look at how smoke alarms work and what electricians can do to ensure this simple and inexpensive device continues to help save lives.

IF one piece of fire protection equipment is likely to save your life, it will be your residential smoke alarm. Accordingly, this simple and inexpensive device is a requirement of all new building stock under the Building Code of Australia, and this is complemented by gradual retrospective laws in most states and territories.

buildings by installing photoelectric or ionisation smoke alarms. Australian Standard AS 1670.1 for smoke detection as referenced by the BCA currently requires photoelectric smoke alarms to be installed in all sleeping areas and exits, as well as passageways, corridors, hallways, or the like that are part of a path of travel to an exit.

Today, having a working smoke alarm is a legal requirement in all Australian homes. Along with the ongoing educational work of fire agencies and organisations such as the Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia), such legislative requirements are aimed at a continued reduction in the number of residential fire deaths each year; however, residential fire safety is still an ongoing concern for the fire safety industry, authorities and the community. A significant number of fire deaths and injuries in Australia occur in residential buildings, far more than any other building type. Also, the speed at which fires develop is increasing due to the properties of materials and commodities now commonly found in residential buildings. This has the effect of reducing the time available to escape from a building.

Within the fire protection community, there has been an ongoing debate as to which type of smoke detection technology offers the optimal performance in providing sufficient early warning to occupants in residential buildings. The debate is due to the two different types of fires that can occur in residential environments.

The following are some important points for electricians to be aware of with regard to residential smoke alarms. Ionisation versus Photoelectric Currently, compliance with Australian Standard AS 3786 for smoke alarms as referenced by the BCA can be achieved in residential

Building fires can be identified as either smouldering fires or flaming fires. While there is no significant data to suggest that one of these fire types happens more frequently than the other, the types of materials found in homes, combined with likely ignition sources suggest the most likely fire encountered in a home will be a smouldering fire. This is most likely to occur while occupants are asleep, which is the most vulnerable time. Each smoke alarm type performs differently, as described below. Photoelectric Photoelectric smoke alarms contain a chamber with a light source projected into it. When visible smoke enters the chamber, it scatters The Master Electrician

Autumn 2015


tech talk and disturbs the light source, which is detected by a light sensitive receiver, causing the alarm to sound. Published research has shown that although photoelectric smoke alarms are superior to ionisation smoke alarms in detecting the visible smoke produced by smouldering fires, they can be slower to respond to flaming fires. Ionisation Ionisation smoke alarms contain a chamber that is charged with electrical particles, called ions, by a small amount of radioactive material. This chamber is sensitive to small particles of combustion (typically not seen by the human eye) that enter the chamber and disrupt the balance of ions in the chamber, causing the alarm to sound. Conversely, published research has shown that ionisation alarms are marginally superior to photoelectric smoke alarms in detecting flaming fires, which produce significantly less visible smoke than smouldering fires. FPA Australia asserts that all residential buildings should be fitted with photoelectric smoke alarms in order to treat the highest fire safety risk in residential buildings. FPA Australia will be providing a more in-depth article on this topic to Master Electricians members in due course. Interconnection Many models of smoke and heat alarms offer the optional function of interconnection. When an interconnected smoke or heat alarm actuates, it places a small voltage on the interconnect circuit, which in turn powers the sounders in all other interconnected devices. The only device that is actually ‘in alarm’ is the one in the area of fire origin, even though all are raising the alarm. Manufacturers specify the maximum number of devices that can be interconnected and exceeding this number may mean that the sounders will not function correctly and thereby not

provide sufficient warning to the occupants. Manufacturers also specify the types and models of device that can be successfully interconnected. As individual manufacturers have no control over their competitors’ product specifications or any changes that might be made no manufacturer can claim a universal interconnection capability. Manufacturers therefore preclude the interconnection of their devices with those of other manufacturers. The interconnection of non-related devices will void warranty, leaving the installer/certifier liable for the performance of the smoke alarm system. Simply interconnecting the devices and testing the interconnect function at time of installation does not provide an adequate assessment of long term reliability. Mains powered smoke/heat alarms typically do not use an isolation transformer when converting the 230Vac to 9Vdc. Instead, they use a capacitive/resistive circuit through a regulator and zener diode. This means the negative of the DC voltage is directly connected to the neutral of the incoming mains. The negative of the interconnect signal is therefore also directly connected to the neutral of the incoming mains. For this reason, when interconnecting mains powered smoke/heat alarms, the interconnect wiring must be treated as if it were at mains voltage and double insulation integrity must be maintained. Heat alarms are not early warning and should never be used as the sole form of detection; sole reliance on heat alarms reduces safe evacuation time because a fire will have generally reached the flaming stage before triggering a heat sensor. Heat alarms provide supplementary detection in areas where smoke alarms may be overly prone to nuisance alarms. Heat alarms must be interconnected to the installed smoke alarms to provide a general warning. This article contains extracts from FPA Australia Position Description 01 – Selection and Use of Residential Smoke Alarms. Readers can review this article and a range of other important technical documentation at To contact FPA Australia call 03 8892 3131.


Smoke alarms – Frequently Asked Questions When do Smoke Alarm Batteries Require Replacement Generally, smoke alarm batteries should be changed every 12 months. There are a number of models that are mains powered with rechargeable batteries, so there is no need to change the battery in these units. There are also 9 volt models with a 10 year nonremovable battery, and these also do not require battery replacement. Why is there a green light? The green light is to tell you that the external power, 240Volt AC or 12Vdc (dependent on model), is on. This is a requirement of the Australian Standard for Smoke Alarms (AS 3786). Why does the test button flash red? The smoke alarm performs a self-check approximately every 40-60 seconds. The red flash is to tell you that the alarm is normal. This feature may not be included on all smoke alarms. What does the ‘hush’ button do? If your smoke alarm sounds because of cooking, for example, the hush button will silence the smoke alarm for approximately

10 minutes. This gives you time to clear the cooking fumes from the room. The alarm will automatically reset back to normal after 10 minutes. How do I test a smoke alarm? All smoke alarms have a test button, which may be a separate, clear button in the centre of the smoke alarm or a part of the smoke alarm cover. Gently push the test button and hold for approximately 10 seconds. The smoke alarm will sound. Release the test button and the smoke alarm will continue to sound for a few seconds and then stop. Why do alarms chirp or alarm for no reason There could be many reasons for a random chirp; however, the most likely reason is something causing electrical noise or spikes. This could be caused by the switching on or off of lights, particularly fluorescent lights, or some other appliance, such as air conditioning, heaters, or fans. Electrical noises like this can also cause flickering patterns on your TV or crackling/humming in your stereo or radio.

The Master Electrician

Autumn 2015


workplace relations

Gaming the recruitment process for fun How do you determine the best applicant for your next job?

YEARS of experience and a gleaming resume don’t

always indicate the best possible candidate for the role or your team. Human Resource (HR) managers have long relied upon psychometric tests, such as cognitive ability assessments, to predict on-the-job performance. Now, the most innovative practitioners are looking to the latest ‘gamification’ technologies to reveal new insights into candidate abilities and capture the attention of candidates who are looking for an enhanced recruitment experience. The increasing prevalence of gaming culture in society, particularly among Gen Y employees, means gamification is becoming an expected part of working life. Although older generations of employers have always implemented competitions, teamwork exercises, and real-time feedback in the workplace, Gen Y now expects these initiatives to be technologically augmented. Gamification is big business, and it’s growing. Those companies with the right resources and a Return On Investment value model are turning everyday activities into engaging and purposeful tools.

It’s not easy or cheap to gamify processes, but it’s becoming increasingly popular, with the industry expected to be worth $2.8 billion in 2016. One Australian company, Revelian (formerly Onetest) has evolved its practice from pure online psychometric testing to gamification. The company’s latest game-based HR assessment tool, ‘Theme Park Hero’ uses advanced people analytics and represents the next evolution in psychometric testing. Gamification forms part of human-centred design, which considers why people engage in certain activities and shy away from others. Gamification programs are packaged as an engaging player experience, but are capable of providing highly detailed data about a user’s emotions, insecurities, and motivations. Revelian’s Head of Psychology, Cherie Curtis said the new gamified assessment, ‘Theme Park Hero’ provides both an immersive and engaging candidate experience and a unique insight that stretches beyond traditional recruitment processes.

43 In ‘Theme Park Hero’, candidates assume the role of Park Manager and overcome four challenging scenarios, including popping balloons at a charity event, planning and constructing a new water park feature, and fixing broken attractions. As applicants solve puzzles and complete the tasks at hand, Revelian’s proprietary system analyses multiple data streams for comprehensive insights into their abilities and potential.

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“By playing the game, candidates are likely to exhibit a realistic response to specific situations. The combination of an immersive environment and psychometric testing allows the player’s direct actions and choices to be translated into accurate performance data.”

The assessment involves associating words and colours, manipulating shapes, and creating patterns. Although the tasks may sound straightforward, they use well-disguised, proven psychometric models, and together, these timed tests evaluate mental agility, attention, and cognitive speed, among other traits. Gamification must also consider how to engage people in purposeful activity. Revelian’s Product Manager, Salih Mujcic said the game-based assessment was tested on 2,500 candidates. “We researched many games and puzzles in order to find a strong base that suited our needs as talent management professionals. We had to be careful with the style we chose, as gamification is co-dependent on many factors, specifically user experience and design, and is steeped in human psychology,” he said. Once HR managers learn how a candidate will approach and solve problems, they will be able to track essential and hard to judge qualities like efficiency, diligence, organisation, and social skills. New tools for the HR industry, like ‘Theme Park Hero’, that combine psychometric developments with emerging technologies enable more effective recruiting and greater efficiency for business. It’s an approach that is proving to be a game-changer for Revelian.

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The Master Electrician

Autumn 2015


all about ME New QLD State Manager Master Electricians Australia (MEA) is set to benefit from a new addition to its ranks with Gary Veenstra recently starting as the new Queensland State Manager for the organisation. With his background in the electrical industry spanning well over three decades, Gary contributes a wealth of industry experience to MEA. Gary began his career as an indentured apprentice electrician to RF Thom & Co in 1972 at the age of 17. He qualified as an electrical fitter/mechanic in 1975, then as an electrician in 1976, and finally as an electrical contractor in 1977. Being involved in the electrical industry certainly seems to run in Gary’s blood and in his family. “Both my father and father-in-law worked for North West County Council (North West Electricity/Country Energy/Essential Energy) and our son is an electrical engineer,” he says. With career highlights that include buying and managing electrical business RF Thom & Co with his family, moving to QLD 30 years ago and working for Lou J Murray & Co, Hager B&R, Rittal & Phoenix Contact, Weber South Pacific and more recently as Queensland Regional Sales Manager for HPM Legrand. Gary says he has hit the ground running and is looking forward to helping our members. “Over the coming months I hope to meet with many of our state’s members, to not only touch base with them but find out how myself, with the help of MEA, can continue to help them with their businesses.”

Queensland State Manager, Gary Veenstra

“It is time for me to give back to this industry that I love and I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my career with MEA.” MEA CEO Malcolm Richards says he has little doubt Gary’s knowledge and experience will benefit members across Queensland. “Gary begins his career at MEA with an added advantage – he’s been involved with the organisation since 1989,” he says. “We welcome him to the MEA team and I personally look forward to working closely with Gary.”

CONGRATULATING MILESTONE MEMBERS Master Electricians Australia would like to thank the following members for their loyalty to the association and commitment to the industry.

Congratulations to this quarter’s 25 year members:

Congratulations to this quarter’s 15 year members:

• Amh Electrical

• Hatfield Electrical

• Ross Greenwood Electrical

• Online Electrical Services Northern Tableland

• RT Brown Electrical

• Hudnott Electrical


Introducing Safety-TV Master Electricians Australia (MEA) is excited to launch a new video training platform, to more effectively train your staff in safety awareness. Safety-TV is a suite of high-quality safety training courses delivered via online videos. Delivering training by video not only allows students to view realistic scenes but is proven to increase knowledge retention. Topics include: • Asbestos Awareness • Confined Space Safety • Construction Fundamentals for Safety • Drug and Alcohol Awareness

With video learning proven to increase knowledge retention, this unique program can help you foster a positive safety culture and improve employee morale within your business. In turn, these benefits can increase productivity, efficiencies and profit margins, and help you meet your legislative duties. Master Electricians Australia is offering access to a variety of safety awareness courses via the Safety-TV platform to help promote a safety culture and reduce incidents within the industry. For more information on each course, visit www.

• Height Safety Essentials • Lockout Tagout • Manual Tasks for Industry • Noise and Hearing Loss Prevention


MEA is pleased to be able to offer Safety-TV free to all SafetyConnect subscribers.

• Risk Management Safety Essentials

Master Electricians members who are not in the SafetyConnect program can access Safety-TV at the discounted rate of $39.95 per course.

• Slips, Trips and Falls

Non-members: $49.95 per course

• PPE Essentials

• Understanding Eye Safety

Let us provide you with customers! Did you know as a Master Electricians member you have access to our sophisticated job lead service? The Find a Master Electrician system, is a simple, effective job allocation tool used to put members in contact with customers seeking MEA’s high quality contractors. How does this work? Simple! Customers complete the ‘Find a Master Electrician’ form on the MEA website. Then the system uses a google tool to calculate which member is closest to the street address entered. Job lead emails, consisting of the job location and description are then sent to the nearest member. If the

member then accepts the job, they must contact the customer within 24 hours and arrange for the work to be done. If it turns out the job is not feasible, you can reject it and MEA will be notified so we can reallocate to another member.Only members who have indicated that they would like to be part of the job leads system will receive allocations. Not sure if you are registered for job leads? Call the Member Services Team today to ensure you are registered and your details are up-to-date.

The Master Electrician

Autumn 2015


test drive

Mazda 3 Neo Hatchback Pack a lunch bag and some pyjamas, because the all-new Mazda 3 takes driving enjoyment to a whole new level, and you’ll never want to leave the comfort of its seats! Jude Richards test drives this metallic red beauty that isn’t just a lady’s car. Easy. That’s how I would describe the Mazda 3. And I’m not one to question something that makes life a whole lot easier! Coined as the spearhead for the Mazda brand last year, the 3 hatch has continued to wow many with its aesthetically pleasing looks and nifty features. The shiny, new, metallic red of the hatchback lends the car’s exterior a lightness and airiness, yet brings to mind the poised

readiness of an animal intrinsic to a sports car. Its cream leather seats were something I was initially very hesitant about – as a mother with children who love eating ice creams, it sounded like a disaster waiting to happen. But its light, stylish upholstery with black and red trim have proven to be not at all impractical and decidedly luxurious, giving the interior a special flare that you wouldn’t get from plain black leather. They almost make you feel like living in the car, and I know the kids enjoy them.


Aesthetics aside, the Mazda 3 makes for a smooth and comfortable drive. Having previously owned a Toyota Kluger, the Mazda hatch is certainly a smaller and more compact car, but this in no way hinders it from being used as a family car; it comfortably seated up to five with plenty of leg room. I found it a simple task to fold down a seat and easily fit my bicycle in the boot; however, it could get tricky for a family with younger kids who require multiple child seats. As a hatchback, the Mazda 3 may have less power in the drive than a bigger car, but you certainly don’t feel it. Its 2.0L engine gives plenty of extra kick, and it has a distinct edge over other bigger cars: its fuel economy. This was a pleasant surprise – I only need to fill up every 10 days now, as opposed to every five days in the bigger car. Another contributing factor to the great economy of the Mazda is its iStop function. When the car stops at a red light, the ignition automatically turns off, yet leaves its accessories running. A slight press to the accelerator or turn of the wheel and the engine quietly starts again. This function can be turned off or on as desired. The Mazda 3 comes with numerous features, some of them optional. I personally enjoy its electronic seats, which are a real plus when you have different people driving the car. I know having the driver’s seat rearranged is a pet peeve for many people, but with the touch of a button, the driver and passenger seats can be easily moved backwards or forwards, up or down. Its high-tech navigation system is another handy feature I have grown to rely on. With many navigation systems, an in-built safety function prevents you from activating the touch screen if your car is already in motion. The Mazda 3 retains this feature, but allows you to operate your navigation system with a dial-like control on the centre console that can be easily rotated. Another great feature of the car that appeals to me is that my text messages are delivered straight to the navigation screen so they can be easily read without ever needing to touch my phone. I can also dial a number by simply pressing the speak function on the steering wheel and saying aloud the name of the person I want to call. Such hands-free functionality not only creates a safer drive, but, as mentioned before, certainly makes life easy! Key information for the driver is presented in what is called the ‘Active Driving Display’, a Mazda first. Located on the dashboard, a digital tachometer shows your speed and navigation data in an easy-to-read display. Top on the list of the car’s features is its optional, all inclusive, and very impressive safety package, including blind-spot warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert (anti-collision sensors), and Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) boxes. The SCBS is a radar-based autonomous braking system that could potentially save you a lot of trouble by preventing a rear-ending (up to around 30km/h). Coupled with rain-sensing wipers (another favourite of mine), this zippy little car has definitely breached a new era of technology. As a hatch, it looks sleek and compact and drives like a dream. It has certainly proven itself to be much more

than just a lady’s car, and I know the men will enjoy this one just as much. Full specifications are available on the Mazda Australia website Priced from $25,177.

Mazda 3 Neo Hatchback • 6-speed Automatic • 2.0L I4 Petrol • Tachometer and electronic odometer/tripmeter • Advanced keyless push-button engine start • Front, side and curtain airbags • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) • Childproof rear door locks • Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio capability.

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The Master Electrician

Autumn 2015


events calendar MEMBER EVENTS AND WEBINARS TAKING PLACE THIS AUTUMN Contact your State Manager to find out more




17 March 2015 Newcastle Industry Forum #1

21 April 2015 Award interpretation, travel, apprentices and overtime Webinar

7 May 2015 Perth Industry Forum #2

18 March 2015 Sydney Industry Forum #1 19 March 2015 Perth Industry Forum #1 25 March 2015 Brisbane Industry Forum #1

22 April 2015 Brisbane Industry Forum #2 29 April 2015 Melbourne Industry Forum #1

7 May 2015 Adelaide Industry Forum #2 8 May 2015 Gold Coast Golf Day 19 May 2015 Newcastle Industry Forum #2 20 May 2015 Sydney Industry Forum #2 22 May 2015 Mackay Golf Day




25 March – 19 April 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Melbourne, VIC

3 April 2015 Good Friday

1 – 3 May 2015 V8 Supercars Perth Supersprint Perth, WA

27 – 28 March 2015 Mining Electrical & Mining Mechanical Engineering Convention 2015 Crowne Plaza, Hunter Valley, NSW

6 April 2015 Easter Monday 25 April 2015 Anzac Day 27 – 29 April 2015 22nd International Conference on Telecommunications (ICT 2015) Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney, NSW



27 September – 1 October 2015 Electrical Industry Conference Kyoto, Japan

4 May 2015 May Day (Northern Territory) 5 – 7 May 2015 CeBIT 2015 Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park, NSW 7 – 8 May 2015 Solar 2015 Conference and Expo Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, VIC 21 May – 15 October 2015 Traders Electrical Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide 27 – 29 May 2015 SPARC International Lighting Event Sydney Exhibition Centre, NSW


shocking photograph

Possum magic A contractor was asked to check out an exhaust fan that was installed in a home owner’s bathroom in Balwyn North, Melbourne. They were complaining that every time they turned the fan on, the safety switch tripped. After removing the fan, the contractor asked the home owner if they had heard noises in the roof and they mentioned they had a resident possum living in the roof space. The possum obviously had a taste for plastic! Thanks to Matt from Boss Electrics in Vermont, Victoria, $50 is on its way.

LIKE TO WIN $50? Send us your favourite picture (in high resolution of at least 1MB please) and if we publish it in The Master Electrician magazine, we’ll send you $50! Send your entries to for your chance to win.

Contracting Industry Redundancy Trust CIRT was established in 1990 to provide employers in the Queensland electrical construction industry with services to meet the changing requirements for redundancy. The Contributions are held in trust for this purpose. If you require specific information regarding contributions, payments and the benefits we offer, please either contact us on the numbers below or visit our website.


As a CIRT employer, you may be eligible for training subsidies from JETCO to assist in maintaining or upgrading the electrical industry related skills of your workforce.

Listed below are some of the courses that can be subsidised: Cert IV in Electrical Instrumentation


Cert IV in Hazardous Areas

First aid and Resuscitation

Low voltage switchboard rescue

And many more

For all CIRT and JETCO enquiries contact the administrators Brisbane Local Call Fax E-mail JETCO

(07) 3506 7788 1300 200 123 (07) 3506 7700 (07) 3506 7787

Postal Address: CIRT Administration C/- Malcolm V Leeke & Co PO Box 42, EVERTON PARK QLD 4053

The Master Electrician

Autumn 2015


the last word

Time to talk about training One of the most regular frustrations I hear from members revolves around the training system for electrical contractors. Many people tell me the apprenticeship system is antiquated and simply does not keep pace with the rapidly changing nature of the industry. As a result, the graduates we are receiving from training colleges are often not up to the quality standards contractors require. Quite frankly, it’s well past time the training system for our industry had a serious overhaul. We need more flexibility in the types of training delivered to new entrants to the workforce, and we need to have a good long think about the order in which training is delivered, and who does it. For example, does it really make sense that a first-year electrical apprentice is thrown immediately into the field, where they have the very real potential to kill themselves or others? A new lawyer or doctor doesn’t start their first day of training in the courtroom or the operating theatre. Should apprentice electricians spend a period of time ‘on the books’ before they are allowed into the field? Similarly, employers are responsible for much of the on-the-job training that our apprentices receive. Should they be required to update their skills, or do we risk people passing on bad habits and old (possibly unsafe) work

methods simply because “that’s how it was done when I was a lad”? The Federal Government is currently reviewing the role of existing industry skills councils, and moving towards taking a significant leadership role in this space in the future. It is welcome news that the Government is taking an interest in an issue that is so critical to the future of our industry and our national productivity. Without doubt, this is well overdue. But ultimately it is also up to us in the industry to let them know what we need to meet the requirements of modern electrical contracting. Unfortunately, we have been bred into a culture of all training being fully provided and managed by or through government, and we have allowed this to remain the case for far too long. We need the training system to be flexible, responsive and modern, so it’s up to us to make our position known to the powers that be. I can assure you that Master Electricians Australia has been a strong voice for reforms to training to ensure we have a modern, reliable and responsive system – one with the capacity to meet the needs of a future workforce. We will continue to advocate very strongly for a better training system in all our dealings with government. We need to make sure we keep pace with training needs,

or we run the risk that electrical contracting becomes the next blacksmiths. It’s up to all of us to make sure that doesn’t happen.


InstalTest Combo Single & 3 Phase Multi-Function Tester for All Your Electrical Installation Testing and Verification.

Replaces 5 instruments with 12 tests in one instrument.

Single & 3 phase installation testing to AS/NZS3017 covering earth continuity, insulation resistance, polarity, correct connections, fault loop impedance and RCD testing.

Optional 3 phase adaptors for safe, quick and reliable 3 phase testing from the 3 phase socket outlet - no need for probing!


COMBO 3125 $999 ex GST

Optional MI-TPI for 3 phase testing of RCDs, fault loop etc.

Call EMONA on tel: 1 800 632 953, email: or

No more ladders, rickety chairs or holes in the ceiling. NO MORE EXCUSES

with the n o tt u b a f o h c u to e Control at th tion lu o S K IN L io d a R 0 5 4 Brooks EIB

For further information call: Queensland Office: Candice on 07 3373 8222 Sydney Office: Sandee on 02 9684 1466 Melbourne Office: Vanessa on 03 9879 5294 Adelaide Office: Jo on 08 8347 0000 Perth Office: Damon on 08 6262 8095

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