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Registered by Australia Post Publications No. PP100007372

inside Using the right tools to build a business Nurturing the next generation of sparkies Behind the scenes with Cowboy Michael Morgan



The next step in alarm volution

It’s what we do and all we have done for the past 40 years Tried - Tested - Trusted


table of contents Average Net Distribution 31 901 CAB Audited as of March 2015

all about ME


Hager’s commitment to integrity pays off


using the right tools to build a business



training in the emerging energy storage industry 11

A new year signals a fresh


wave of well-intentioned

employee spotlight


impressive project


maximise your membership


industry chatter


conquer a physical challenge and reap the health benefits


nurturing the next generation of sparkies


meet a master electrician


the buzz


gadget guide


the interview – Michael Morgan


But it’s not all doom and

your top 3 tech questions


gloom! This edition of

if it’s not approved, don’t install it!


The Master Electrician is

letter of the law


workplace relations


social snaps


enhance your sight on-site


the last word



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

Editorial Contacts & Contributors EDITOR Malcolm Richards ASSOCIATE EDITOR Elise Hodge ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES Master Electricians PHONE 1300 889 198 EMAIL DESIGN AND PRINT POMO 1300 762 865

the booze, chow down kale and start crazy fitness regimes. By the time February comes around, many of us are already digging into the chocolate we vowed we wouldn’t,


and pressing snooze on the incessant ring of the alarm bell that’s signalling a trip to the gym.

bursting with tips and tricks


to help you get back on track and navigate 2016 successfully. On page 20, we chat to three sparkies who give us their insight into the unique ways they run their businesses.

Like us on facebook

General Enquiries

resolutions – we cut out

Over on page 14, we look


at one impressive project that’s taken Adelaide by storm with its art-deco style

Follow us @MasterElectrics on Twitter

and complex electrical

Become a Fan on Facebook masterelectricians

And on page 34, we 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

fit out.

gain insight from the 24-year-old who made the try that clinched the NRL Premiership, North Queensland Cowboy Michael Morgan. Enjoy.

The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016


all about ME

Policy in 2016 With a federal election to be called in 2016, MEA will be taking the opportunity to bring the issues affecting the electrical industry to the attention of decision makers on both sides of parliament. The outcome of the 2016 federal budget will likely herald potential changes to taxation and we are optimistic that the federal government will introduce measures to better support small business. The approval of the landmark Paris climate accord on 13 December 2015 is sure to have implications for environmental policy in 2016. We expect to see policy initiatives to encourage the uptake of technologies such as solar PV, wind power, electric vehicles and battery storage in order to meet the goals of the agreement. On the workplace relations front, amendments to the Modern Award will likely see changes to penalty rates, annual leave and parental leave which will impact upon the Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award 2010. Family and domestic violence leave has been a hot topic in 2015 and is sure to be up for further discussion as the details of the Modern Award are

confirmed. The workplace relations framework was also the subject of a broad scale inquiry by the Australian Productivity Commission in 2015 to which MEA made comprehensive submissions. The final report is to be released early in 2016 and MEA will continue to monitor the recommendations and their impact on the electrical industry. Heading into 2016, MEA will continue the campaign for safety switches, taking the federal election as another opportunity to push government to legislate for safety switches on all capable circuits in all Australian homes. The new edition of the Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules is also due for release in 2016. MEA has been heavily involved in the consultations leading up to the finalisation of the new rules and will be an important point of contact for any queries regarding details of the changes.


Continuing Professional Development a win for Tasmania’s electrical industry In 2015, MEA made strong representations to the Tasmanian Government, pushing for the introduction of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for the renewal of electrical licenses. MEA has since been advised that the Tasmanian Department of Justice is considering introducing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as a part of the process for license renewal. This is great news for Tasmania, which will join Queensland and the Northern Territory in upholding this high standard. At MEA, we strongly believe that the continued skilling and upskilling of those operating in the electrical industry is essential in order to maintain the highest of electrical safety standards. As such, we welcome CPD as a part of the eligibility requirements for any Tasmanian electrical contracting licence renewal. CPD is integral to managing consumer risk across our industry. It offers licensees who have general competence the means

to respond to changes in practice and legislation and updates to standards and codes – enhancing their knowledge and skills to benefit their work practices. It is particularly important for those working in our industry who must have the most up-to-date skills and knowledge in order to manage the risks of working with the inherent dangers of electricity. We understand that industry at large is supportive of CPD being part of the licence renewal process and we view this as the future pathway for the electrical industry. MEA is working closely with the department to finalise how it can support Tasmanian contractors to be compliant with the CPD program. To find out more about CPD in your state, give MEA a call on 1300 889 198.

CONGRATULATING MILESTONE MEMBERS Master Electricians Australia would like to thank a number of members for their loyalty to the association and commitment to the industry. Congratulations to this quarter’s 25-year members: • BDF Electrical Pty Ltd • Common Logic Pty Ltd • Qld Data N Electrical Services Congratulations to this quarter’s 15-year members: • Cauley Electrics Pty Ltd • HQ Electrical Centre • Len Dyal Services

The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016


Hager’s commitment to integrity pays off Since embarking on a stressful and expensive voluntary recall of a product in 2012, Hager Electro has experienced a doubling of sales for that product category – a testament to Hager’s continued commitment to integrity.

The Australian Competition and

Consumer Commission (ACCC) did not mandate the recall of their single module RCBO circuit breakers given the relatively small number of faulty devices (0.15 per cent). The Hager family, however, insisted on the voluntary recall for community safety and preservation of its reputation in the market. Managing Director of Hager Electro Ross Magee said that despite the recall, and in some ways because of the recall, their market share in the product category increased by over 30 per cent. “As a company, we communicated the recall extremely well to the market, especially to our wholesale partners. We also committed to compensating contractors fairly for replacing potentially faulty devices,” Mr Magee said. “As a result, we’ve seen a recall return rate of 23 per cent in Australia and 32 per cent in New Zealand, which is two and a half

times the best rates of return seen in the industry’s history. “Whilst we’re happy with this result, we’d like to do a lot better and are reminding wholesalers and electricians that the recall is still open and they should be on the lookout for any of the old, faulty product. Our hotline and online registry are still open. We’d like to see a return of above 40 per cent in both Australia and New Zealand.” Mr Magee said while feedback from customers on the recall had been very positive, the bump in market share could also be attributed to the release of the next generation of products. “For instance, we have replaced the potentially faulty circuit breakers with a new range of products that are not only safer, but also 10 times faster to install when utilising our unique OneKonekt system,” Mr Magee said. “We’re known in the market for our quality and integrity. This is perhaps in stark

contrast to a flood of cheap products in the market that aren’t even meeting basic safety standards. By and large, the industry’s self-policing regulatory system doesn’t seem to be working. This is a systemic problem and it needs to be addressed.” Discovery of one of the products affected by the recall (installed or in stock) requires the unit to be: • Replaced with a compliant RCBO • Registered at • Returned to Hager For more information, call Hager Electro’s dedicated recall hotline on 1300 786 685. Hager will provide compensation for each returned, recalled RCBO including a replacement RCBO circuit breaker and an incremental payment for labour.

Your health insurance plan As a Master Electricians Australia member, you can join an exclusive corporate health insurance plan with Bupa, giving you access to a wide range of benefits to help you live a longer, healthier, and happier life.

Competitive corporate health insurance premiums*

Depending on your extras cover for selected services at Members First Providers.**

For general dental and physio on most services for your kids until they turn 25 when you take out hospital and selected extras cover. No excess for kids on your family hospital cover.#

To help you gain a better understanding of your own personal well-being and how to manage it

* Discount is reviewed periodically by Bupa and Master Electricians Australia and is subject to change. Must pay by direct debit or payroll deduction (if available). ** For most items covering general dental, physio, and chiro services. Annual maximums, fund rules, and waiting periods apply. Includes major dental in VIC and SA only. Excludes orthodontics and hospital treatments. Available on selected packages and standalone extras covers. #

Applies each calendar year and increases after the first 12 months.

Call 134 135 and quote ‘Master Electricians Australia ID 2107799’

An exclusive business service by:

In partnership with:

The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016


feature business

Using the right tools to build a business When working in the electrical services industry, it is critical to have the right tools for the job. This also rings true for running a successful business – having the right tools to build a solid foundation. William Buck Accountants Senior Manager Richie Hayes shares his top tips on what it takes to lift business operations to the next level. Structure – get it right from the start It is important to have the correct structure from the beginning. Failing to do so can potentially be very costly. There is no ‘one-size fits all’ structure that caters for every business. Whether you are considering operating your business as a sole trader, through a company, a trust or a partnership, there are several issues to factor in when deciding on an optimum structure. These include: overall tax effectiveness; legal considerations; asset protection; ease of borrowing; succession planning and commercial practicality. For example, companies and trusts are often established for contracting purposes. Using a company or trust can possibly

allow you to allocate income to other family members to potentially reduce tax, as opposed to operating as a sole trader. However, in certain cases, the tax office may view the contracting arrangement as being an ‘employee/employer’ type relationship. The significant consequence is that the trading income of the company or trust must be allocated to the individual that performed the work and not allocated to other family members. When it comes to structuring, it is important to seek the advice of a reputable advisor who is experienced in the electrical services industry.

9 Protect your business with the right insurance The old saying ‘hope for the best, plan for the worst’ is one to keep in mind when going into business. The world of an electrician can be a dangerous place – physically, financially and legally. Making sure you have the right insurances in place to protect your business and your family is paramount. You need to ask yourself the tough questions – for example, if you were to be seriously injured and unable to work, do you have adequate insurance to ensure your family is financially secure? If you were to pass away, do you have appropriate life insurance cover to ensure that your spouse, who does not have an alternative source of income, is able to pay off the home loan? If legal action were to be taken against your business, are you protected? Is the insurance policy in the right structure? A good financial planner can guide you through the complex web that is insurance.

“The old saying ‘hope for the best, plan for the worst’ is one to keep in mind when going into business. The world of an electrician can be a dangerous place – physically, financially and legally.”

Keep the books up to date Looking after the accounts is often the last thing you want to think about. Small business owners are often drowning in paper work, with faded receipts and invoices strewn over car dashboards or ‘filed’ in shoe boxes. Cloud accounting software programs such as Xero, which is one of the leading online accounting software

Richie Hayes is the Senior Manager at William Buck Accountants.

The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016


“Cash flow is everything, therefore having the right processes in place for quoting, invoicing, collecting payments and follow up of outstanding invoices is essential for a successful business.”

providers, has paved the way for small businesses to take care of their accounts more efficiently. Xero can be accessed anywhere, anytime and on any device connected to the internet. Features such as automatic downloading of bank transactions and electronic processing and storage of receipts can dramatically reduce the amount of manual processing and paperwork generally involved in bookkeeping. Xero is aimed at the ordinary business person – you don’t need an accounting degree to understand how to use it! It has turned a traditionally painstaking task into something easy, efficient and believe it or not – enjoyable.

Cash is king Cash flow is everything, therefore having the right processes in place for quoting, invoicing, collecting payments and follow up of outstanding invoices is essential for a successful business. After being on the tools all day, these business fundamentals can easily fall by the wayside. Cloud technology, in particular mobile technology, has provided the opportunity for businesses to improve cash flow by providing a platform for an efficient invoicing and payment collection process. Sending online quotes and invoices, providing payment options whilst on site with mobile payment devices, and automating the follow up of outstanding invoices are all tools that can be used to get paid faster and improve your cash flow. Author: Richie Hayes – Senior Manager, William Buck William Buck is a national firm of Chartered Accountants and advisors providing support to members of Master Electricians Australia. Their advice covers areas such as business process improvement, financial and tax compliance and advice, business and investment structuring, cloud technology and wealth advisory. Arrange your free consultation today. Visit to find an office in your location.


Training in the emerging energy storage industry It is well documented that affordable energy storage is going to have a dramatic impact on the electricity industry. The cost of batteries is now becoming competitive with peak TOU pricing, and it continues to fall as production increases and technology improvements are made. Global Sustainable Energy Solutions (GSES) Engineer Jono Pye explains why this presents challenges for the electrical industry.

The learning rate of lithium ion batteries

(the reduction in price for every doubling in production) indicates that the growth of the energy storage industry will be similar to that experienced by PV. Although this is an exciting prospect, a rapidly growing industry rooted in technology development poses some significant challenges, particularly in regards to training. Adequate training is important in any industry; especially so for battery storage. Unlike PV, batteries are not current limited devices, and have the potential to cause significant damage to life and property if not installed correctly. By their very nature they are volatile, contain toxic materials, and can fail catastrophically. They are also complex systems with components that must be correctly sized for the application they are being applied to. To compound these issues, current standards do not cover lithium ion batteries – the technology that will be most dominant over the next 10 years. Currently, a qualification framework for battery installation is in place through the Clean Energy Council (CEC) for PV designers and installers who hold their CEC accreditation. Designers and installers are able to complete nationally recognised training, and upon successful completion an endorsement for battery systems is added to their CEC accreditation. Installers must have their battery endorsement in order to claim STCs on PV systems installed with batteries, however if the battery system is a retrofit to an existing PV system, there is no way to enforce this training.

The endorsement process

Although there are currently no regulatory requirements in place to ensure battery systems are only installed by trained persons, it is essential that adequate training is completed before electrical contractors start offering this service. Batteries pose a danger due to the possibility of high fault currents, hazardous DC voltages and DC arcing. There are also additional threats that are specific to the chosen battery technology, such as the buildup of flammable gasses in lead acid battery enclosures, and over and under cell voltages in lithium ion battery banks. The GSES Grid-Connected PV Systems with Battery Storage course is available for the design and/or installation of these systems. This training comprises both online material and a three-day face-to-face practical component. Online theory covers system configurations, battery technology, equipment sizing, power converters, and balance of system requirements. The practical training includes theory revision and the hands-on installation of a battery system, testing, commissioning and programming selected multi-mode inverters. GSES is continuously working to provide for the training needs in this developing industry. In addition to Grid Connected PV with Batteries training, GSES partners with ME Training to provide an Introduction to Energy Storage course for utilities and other businesses. GSES also makes regular presentations at industry events relating to this rapidly growing field. For more information, visit or call MEA on 1300 325 122. The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016


feature employee spotlight

How to be a stellar networker in 2016 Networking. For the chatterboxes out there, it’s second nature. But for every one else, the mere mention of the word sets the heart racing. At MEA, we know just how crucial networking is – no matter how frightening it may seem! That’s why we’re sharing our top tips on how to lift your networking game in 2016.

It’s time to breathe a sigh of relief, because networking is not as

scary or as difficult as it may seem. And you can rest assured that as the business owner, it’s not your sole responsibility to network! The good news is that every member of your team can take initiative and get involved with bringing business to your business. But in order to ensure your team comprises of some of the best networkers around in 2016, it’s important to learn the tricks of the trade back to front and inside out. Firstly, let’s get to the heart of what networking is (and what it’s not), so your entire team can utilise the best, and most simple techniques to become masters at networking.

What is networking? • Connecting with others • Helping and sharing knowledge and contacts with others • Contributing to the professional image of your business and your industry and further afield • Knowing who your stakeholders are, what they do and what they need • Deciding to see people as genuinely interesting and fascinating • The foundation of business development


What isn’t networking? • Promoting or selling goods or services • Landing a job • Extracting a donation • Wrangling funding • Schmoozing or ingratiating oneself to gain an advantage • Stalking

face to face and other) to leverage off existing opportunities or create new ones. • As networking is a skill that often isn’t initially very enjoyable, set yourself a deadline to ensure that you take action to make sure your networking activities are successful. Secondly, develop the skills you need to be a great networker.

• Turning up to every event and being the life of the party

• Be prepared – ensure you have plenty of business cards, wear your name tag, practice your introduction.

• Spending time with people who do not or could not value or support you or your professional work

• Be a giver and a connector – networking is about providing value to the other person, so ensure you leave your agenda at the door.

• Launching into your ‘elevator pitch’ at the beginning of every new interaction So how do you improve your networking skills? Firstly, have a plan. • Identify what your goal is. Be sure to look at the purpose and the outcomes you are seeking to achieve. • From there, identify the ‘who’ – who do you need in your internal network? Cover off strategic, operational and personal connections. Then move afield to who you need in your external network. Remember, you can only identify the correct people if you know what your goal is. • Networking is fundamentally about your interactions with connections. You therefore need a plan on what you will do (both

• Listen – pay attention and listen carefully to what the person is saying rather than focussing on your answer. • Don’t sell – no one likes a pushy sales pitch, so save that for the appropriate time after the relationship has been well established. • Follow up – do what you say you are going to do. If you promise to follow up (and you should) then make sure you do so. Send a thank you, an article, a contact – but don’t ask for anything in return! Now that you know the ins and outs of networking, you’re all ready to go! So when you or one of your team members are at an industry event, forum or bump in to a possible contact on the street, take the opportunity to put your newfound networking knowledge into practice.

The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016


feature impressive project

Adelaide sparkies transform a heritage-listed building into a luxurious Jamie Oliver restaurant Jamie Oliver is arguably the most famous cooking identity on the planet. In six short years, Jamie’s Italian has spread from a sole outlet in Oxford to a restaurant juggernaut – with more than 40 restaurants around the world. In September 2014, Adelaide became the fourth Australian city to have its very own exclusive Jamie’s Italian Restaurant. With that, an historic old Westpac building on iconic King William Street was completely transformed into a remarkable dining fitout. The restaurant is a feast, not only for the tastebuds, but for all the senses; it is a visually appealing, exciting, and eclectic high-end fitout. Elise Hodge finds out what it takes to complete a one-of-a-kind electrical fitout for world-renowned chef, restaurateur, media personality and household name.

South Australian THG Electrical was

the force behind the electrical component of the $1.2 million fitout for the luxurious Jamie’s Italian in the former heritage-listed Westpac building in Adelaide’s city centre. Little could the team imagine that their hard work would pay off in more ways than one – the restaurant recently won ‘Fit Out of the Year’ and was labelled the ‘most

luxurious, grandest and most unique’ of all the Australian Jamie Oliver sites.

with the Jamie Oliver brand has done wonders for his business.

To add to its suite of recognitions, THG Electrical took out the prestigious Commercial Project of the Year Award at MEA’s 2015 Excellence Awards for their innovative work on the project.

“To say that we were excited when we were approached by three of the tendering builders for the new Jamie’s Italian restaurant coming to Adelaide would be an understatement!” Tom says.

THG Electrical Owner Operator Tom Humphrys-Glynn says being associated

“From the word go, this project was in the public eye. Located within the heart of the


The intricate parquetry floor is offset with pops of turquoise and rich shades of bordeaux.

Almost every element of the restaurant remains closely aligned with its deco heritage, right down to the bar taps.

city and in such an iconic building, this project was a must win for our business profile.” With a timeframe of only 12 short weeks, the seven-person team from THG Electrical, comprising of Tom as the Project Manager, two technicians, two contractors and two apprentices, pulled out all stops to complete the project in record time. “Due to the tight time frames we were working within, strong communication between the project managers, Pinnacle Commercial Interiors, was integral to the successful implementation of this project. We would often rely on one another for integrated works to occur, as well as with other trades,” Tom says. “We performed a large amount of work outside of our normal working hours, as well as calling on sub-contractors to assist with the work load; not just on this project but to maintain works within our regular business structure,” he says. There were more than 15 technical elements involved in the project, including complete installation and fitout of all electrical works for the upstairs restaurant including a commercial-grade kitchen, as well as for the downstairs basement where the old bank vault room was transformed into the bathrooms, keeping the original 1930s flooring.

“To say that we were excited when we were approached by three of the tendering builders for the new Jamie’s Italian restaurant coming to Adelaide would be an understatement!”

Walking into the restaurant is like stepping into a New York diner at a time when swing jazz was the music du jour, and the Empire State Building had only recently graced the eastern skyline. To create an ambience reflective of this time period, THG Electrical installed art-deco style lighting features throughout the restaurant, while maintaining energy efficiency – a key component of the brief. To achieve this feel, Tom says the team incorporated the use of the Philips Dynalite touch screen. “The use of the latest colour touch screens installed in the main dining area allow staff members to select specifically designed ‘scenes’ to suit the dining atmosphere,” he says. But the install didn’t come without its fair share of challenges. The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016

16 “The design of the building, with high ceilings, made installation of suitable standard sensors for lighting, impractical,” Tom says. “We needed to maintain a safe yet efficient lighting system within the basement and toilet areas. To overcome this issue, we used the latest technology sensors which incorporate the detection of sound as well as motion. “This allowed us to program the sensor to detect the sound of people entering the stairwells and in turn activate the basement lighting to enable safe entry,” he says. The lighting, specifically chosen by the architect, was imported from Europe, however the fittings were not compliant with Australian standards. “Our solution was to completely re-wire these fittings and adapt them to comply as Australian approved fittings,” Tom says.

“Towards the completion of the project, we worked alongside the management team to ensure they had a high-end finish, which was operational by their employees. This often required last minute changes from the original specifications and was to be accommodated by our team,” he says. And the hard-working team from THG Electrical couldn’t be happier with the completed project. “The final product, we believe, was an overall outstanding achievement for our team. The detail within the lighting and the superior finish that we delivered deems this project one of the best we have ever done,” Tom says. “Due to the profile of this project, there was a large amount of hype and speculation surrounding the build. We are extremely proud of the work that was achieved on this project, particularly considering the tight time frames and high pressure that we were working with.

“Being a heritage building, and an old bank, made it difficult gaining access to certain areas and with concealing cabling. And so we improvised – concealing cabling within new cabinetry and using steel conduit to tie in with the heritage look.

“We believe it has flagged THG Electrical as an emerging brand in the Electrical and Data industry in South Australia. We have already benefited from delivering such an exclusive high-end project by attaining new relationships and have since further developed our relationship with key stakeholders.”

Originally the building’s vault, the restaurant’s bathrooms retain the integrity of the original design.

Sitting at the marble-topped bar, it’s easy to imagine sipping on a martini while listening to swing jazz.

Delivering the training you need to get the job done With qualified, industry experienced trainers to support you and your business, ME Training has a range of courses from apprentice and post apprenticeship training, refresher and management courses, including: + Business

SHORT COURSES Need industry accreditation?

+ Electrical Apprenticeships + Electrical Instrumentation & Control

Skill your team now for 2016.

+ Hazardous Areas + Work Health and Safety We understand the needs of busy electrical contracting businesses and have a range of flexible content and delivery methods, ranging from online learning to classroom options in various locations across Australia.

ME Member discounts available.

Visit and browse our course offering.

1300 325 122


maximise your membership

Don’t confuse your cover Insurance is one of those expenses that may seem like an unnecessary extra, until you have a claim. In an increasingly litigious society, the importance of having sufficient liability covers will never be more pronounced than when the blame game erupts around us. Comsure Insurance Brokers Manager Marcus Hamill explains why.

One cover that often gets confused

with your Public and Products Liability Insurance is Professional Indemnity cover. This is crucial for a business that gives advice or does consulting for a fee which may include electrical design or engineering. The basis of cover is if a financial loss can be established when your designs or instructions have been found to have faults resulting in subsequent expenses. Public and Products Liability Insurance broadly deals with the physical loss a customer suffers as a result of your tradesman’s errors. Professional indemnity loss is the pure financial loss a customer suffers from errors or omissions in advice or design. These costs could be lost business opportunity

for that customer or even the cost of rectifying the work that has resulted in the loss. An example may be the installation of electrical equipment in an area exposed to the elements and not waterproof. The cost to correct this and make good may result in a Professional Indemnity claim, keeping in mind there has been no damage to the units or subsequent damage to other property – it would be classified as incorrect design or advice. Professional Indemnity claims can be expensive and most often in cases of faulty design there may be a consequential loss as a result of a business being shut down with lost wages and failure to supply customer goods affecting turnover.

Marcus Hamill, Manager at Comsure Insurance Brokers

The risk is commonly increasing in trade areas, where in the past it was the domain of white collar professionals such as doctors, architects, financial planners, who you would seek advice from. With trades it could be the mechanic who provides a roadworthy certificate, or an electrician with a test and tag report. The General Liability relies on damage to occur to respond. The Professional Indemnity may not have any damage involved, yet there is a financial loss possibly by an error made in details omitted. The sum insured amount is seldom the same as your Public and Products Liability cover. However, you need to be aware that the costs of legal defence need to be included in your sum insured, so having an appropriate sum insured is all important. Not many insurers will issue contracts


Common Covers for the Electrical Industry Type of Insurance


Claim Scenario

Management Liability

Potential fines and penalties to the business and key staff

Occupational Health and Safety investigation into a workplace incident

Public and Products Liability

Damages to customers’ property and injury

Public Liability: the injury or death to a customer Products Liability: a fire as a result of faulty wiring

Professional Indemnity

Financial loss arising from incorrect advice or design

The cost of rectification of work due to a faulty design

Motor Vehicle

Work vans/utilities/plant and equipment

Comprehensive cover for damage to your vehicle and the other party in the event of an accident

General Property

Property that is removed from the office or workshop

Covers theft and damage to items used as business tools including electronic devices that travel as mobile equipment

Cyber Liability

Computer hacking

Increasing risks such as privacy breaches emerging as most businesses have an online presence

Contract Works

Material damage to property whilst under construction

Fire at the premises resulting in a loss of the materials installed


Business package

Nominated premises for office or workshop and sections included for property against storm damage, theft etc

Industrial Special Risks


Larger cover than the business package suited for numerous locations or higher limits

Corporate Travel

Business travel risks

Travel insurance for business and extended for leisure for directors and key staff, and cancellation costs if unable to attend a conference or trade show

below $1,000,000 but a level below $1,000,000 may be too low. Other factors to consider with Professional Indemnity cover: The excess: these are usually in the range of $1,000 to $5,000 for the deductible amount and may be higher depending on the nature of the work. A higher excess may result in a lower premium. Reinstatement: an amount that is included if you have a claim during the policy period and the sum insured figure needs to be reinstated to ‘reset’ the limit of cover. Retroactive: this indicates the time continuous cover has been in place and it will either have a date of when the cover started or noted as unlimited.

Claims made: the majority of Professional Indemnity claims basis is that the claim must be submitted or at the least notified to the insurer during the period of insurance. Outside this time of the cover in force may jeopardise the ability to successfully claim. Exclusions: what it doesn’t cover, and this may include bodily injury, so it is important to have both Liability and Professional Indemnity cover. Recognising a claim: the most obvious would be a letter of demand from a client or the client’s solicitor with potential litigation and the intention to take action against you. Other circumstances could be a telephone call so it does not have to be formally in writing from the client or solicitor voicing their intent to pursue costs. Your insurer needs to be advised and this will be a notification

of a potential claim. The communication is important even if you feel you can successfully negotiate the outcome. In summary, the need for Professional Indemnity is on the increase particularly in contracts that you may be asked to sign. The insurers are responding by making the cover more available with relevant pricing for those trade risks that don’t have high exposures to claims. This article was written by Marcus Hamill, Manager at Comsure Insurance Brokers. Comsure Insurance Brokers is proud to be the authorised broker for members of Master Electricians Australia, providing scheme benefits and discounts. Contact Marcus and the team on (07) 3434 7800 or email The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016


industry chatter Welcome to Industry Chatter where we ask three members from across the country about everything from their business beginnings to their favourite gadgets and their top business tips.




Managing Director of Aurora Electrical Services

Managing Director of Brownies Electrical

Owner of Next Wave Electrical Solutions

Calwell, Australian Capital Territory

Elwood, Victoria

Bibra Lake, Western Australia Over the years, Brendan’s seen his business soar from height to height, with Aurora Electrical Services earning the title of 2015 Western Australia Commercial Project of the Year.

This hard-working sparky knows the value of experience and good relationships when taking the leap of building a successful electrical business from the ground up.

Matthew brought Next Wave Electrical Solutions to the electrical contracting scene in 2008. While a lot of hard work, the business allows Matthew the freedom to do things his way!

Let’s get into it How long have you been in the industry?

apprentice when I was 15. I’ve been using that gag now for 27 years!

years and six months and then moved to Canberra.

Brendan: I was sent to get a lefthanded screwdriver on my first day as an

Jason: I started my apprenticeship in Cooma, NSW in 2001. I finished it in four

Matthew: I’ve been involved in the industry for just over 10 years.


When did you start your own business and what was the catalyst? Brendan: Aurora Electrical Services commenced operation in 2003. I’ve always been driven to be my own man. I waited for the right timing and opportunity. Jason: After moving to Canberra, I worked for a large commercial mob for a few months then moved on to a small familyrun business for about a year before going out on my own. I always thought I was capable of running my own business and just tried to get as much experience as I could before I made the move. I had made a number of good contacts through people I knew in Cooma and had a heap of jobs that needed doing right from the get go. I had one client I still service today who had a heap of work that needed to be done that wasn’t urgent. They told me that whenever I was short work, I could come over and slowly rewire the factory. I was really lucky to have that fallback job! Matthew: I started back in 2008 because I liked the versatility of working for myself. What motto do you do business by? Brendan: If you’re not 10 minutes early then you’re late! Jason: You get out what you put in! Also, someone once told me it takes 10 years to build a successful business. Eight years in, I now believe that to be true. You have to ride the ups and downs and learn

from misfortunes and mistakes to be able to preempt problems and squash them before they arise. Experience counts for a lot. Also, relationships count for a lot – especially with your customers. I’ve built 90 per cent of my business from happy customers passing on my details. Matthew: Our motto is to be recognised as experts in the industry for consolidating all of your electrical wants and needs. We aim to be the Next Wave in Electrical Solutions while exceeding clients’ expectations and Energy Safe Victoria’s requirements.

“Embracing the right technology and training for you is the most essential part to the success of your business.” Matthew Spooner

What role do you think social media plays for electrical contractors in the modern business world? Brendan: I think it depends on your target market. For example, engaging in direct commercial tendering you may find that few would be looking at your social media presence verses domestic do-and-

“You have to ride the ups and downs and learn from misfortunes and mistakes to be able to preempt problems and squash them before they arise.” Jason Brown

“If you’re not 10 minutes early then you’re late!” Brendan Balcombe

charge work, where the potential clients will be more likely to look up your social media profile. The part it plays is going to increase as time goes by. Jason: I’ve all but removed my paid advertising due to social media. Facebook and Google+ are a huge part of getting your brand out there. I invested some time in learning about Google+ about two years ago, and since then haven’t focused on any paid advertising. Also, I follow a number of electrical forums on Facebook and have actually leant a lot from other sparkies making posts and raising questions there. Matthew: I believe that social media is very important these days but I have found that word of mouth is still the most important. How do you think the role of the next generation of electricians will differ from this generation’s, amid an ever-increasing demand for technological innovation in the industry? Brendan: We are already seeing it. Online safety management systems will explode as we all seek new technological advancements as a method of becoming more efficient. Jason: I believe it will be harder to find electricians who are happy to have a real hands-on approach to do our work. I think a lot of apprentices will branch off towards The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016


“Competition is great, however don’t make it a race to the bottom. Not many contractors go broke making a profit!” Brendan Balcombe

What’s the most rewarding part of running your own business? Brendan: Time and financial freedom. Seeing the success of my team and therefore my business. Jason: Flexibility. I like being able to pick up my kids from school and daycare and be really involved at home. Being able to make up those hours at night or early in the morning means more time with the family. Matthew: I find the relationships, variety of locations and industries that I work in the most rewarding.

the more technological innovative roles as opposed to sticking with the physically harder hands-on jobs. Matthew: With expanding technologies, practical software like Xero and a vast array of training on offer, the ability to achieve a reasonable work-life balance can be sustained. Embracing the right technology and training for you is the most essential part to the success of your business.

What’s the most challenging part of running your own business? Brendan: Negotiating the economic climate and keeping my business relevant in the current market place. Jason: Managing staff and building culture. I’ve had 20 plus different employees over the last eight years – all with different standards and work ethics. It has been really difficult trying to align those individual standards and work ethics with

my vision for the company. In saying that, the crew I have now are fantastic; they all support my vision and try to raise the bar every day. I take my hat off to them. Matthew: Cash flow and the ever-rising competition keeps me on my toes. What tip would you give to someone starting out as an electrical contractor? Brendan: Keep your standards high. Competition is great, however don’t make it

“Talk to a business coach. They will help you set your vision and break it down into small goals. Also, they will show you how important knowing the dollars are.” Jason Brown

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a race to the bottom. Not many contractors go broke making a profit! Jason: Talk to a business coach. They will help you set your vision and break it down into small goals. Also, they will show you how important knowing the dollars are. You need to know the accounting side of your business so you can prove to yourself you’re making money. It’s easy to misread a profit and loss statement and think you’re making money when you’re actually not because a number of expenses don’t show up on your profit and loss, they show up on your balance sheet and so on. Prove to yourself you’re making money every week after covering all your outgoings and budgeted savings moving forward. If not, why not and what do you need to change? Matthew: Totally do it. Even if you only work for yourself part time, it will make you a more understanding and hard-working electrician. You can finally truly understand the pressures of running a business and making one successful. It will also give you the freedom to do things your way.


10 YEARS The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016



Diego Moreno Delgado /

Conquer a physical challenge and reap the health benefits New Year’s always brings a raft of ‘gonnas’, but the shine may already be wearing off those well-intentioned resolutions (how many of us declared we’d become the best ever versions of ourselves – fit, strong, toned, devoted to drinking buckets of whizzed up kale and almond milk, and high-fiving each other as we crossed the finish line of some crazy endurance event?). Lisa Carter takes a look at how staying committed to an event like Tough Mudder or an introductory triathlon can have benefits that reach much farther.

At 5am on any given day and in any

given park across Australia, you’ll find noisy, sweaty clusters of lycra-clad people leaping over picnic tables in a single bound (well, maybe not picnic tables but you get the gist), because they’ve decided to make 2016 the year they achieve something ‘big’.

A few years ago, the vast majority of us would have thought that having a little electroshock therapy while crawling through mud or carrying a massive log over, under and through walls (Tough Mudder); trudging 96 kilometres in 39 hours (Kokoda Challenge), or bike riding until your legs

almost fall off (triathlon) all seemed a bit, well, bizarre, but fast forward to 2016 and group physical challenges are ‘the new black’, and taking over workplaces around the country as the modern way to find your inner peace, build self-esteem, and foster collaboration and team spirit.


Miles Stewart, CEO of Triathlon Australia, says making the commitment to something like finishing the 42km New York marathon or signing up with your workmates for a corporate triathlon can become a life-changing decision, and have a domino effect on other life challenges. “Triathlons used to be reserved only for the super fit, but we are seeing more and more people reaching out for positive and healthy ways to overcome very difficult life events like divorce, illness or grief. Signing up for a corporate tri can become an incredibly liberating experience,” Miles says. “While there’s a great deal of focus on the physical elements, the mental and emotional effects of crossing that finish line after months of preparation can be profound,” Miles says. The physical benefits of endurance exercise are numerous and well-documented, including improved cardiovascular function and reduced blood pressure; decreased risk of diabetes, cancer and obesity; reduced body fat; better immunity; increased muscle mass and stronger bones; oodles more energy and better quality sleep. Not to mention better ‘pre-sleep’ bedroom activity! But they certainly don’t stop there. It’s common for participants to experience profound psychological changes like decreased anxiety; enhanced mood (no medication required!); improved perceptions of competence; a much longer fuse for daily irritants like traffic jams and grocery queues; better ability to collaborate and problem-solve in a work team environment; and a much deeper sense of self-worth. Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, author and media commentator Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D. points to other benefits such as the power of physical training in building intelligence and mental stamina, and boosting memory. And those benefits can begin as early as day one of your training regime! “As oxygen flows more freely to your brain, not only does your hippocampus benefit but so does the part of your brain involved in planning and reasoning (the prefrontal cortex),” Ms Krauss says.

“Mental activity, particularly involvement in exercises that require you to respond quickly, also boosts your intelligence and even your ability to carry out activities of daily living. “Memory also benefits from a general lowering of cortisol, the stress hormone, associated with the improved mood and anxiety levels you experience from your regular workouts. “The effects of exercise on many of your bodily systems ultimately pays off in improving your cognitive functioning. There are now volumes of studies on humans as well as lab animals showing that regular physical exercise helps your neurons stay in shape particularly in the memory areas of your brain. You don’t even have to exert yourself that much to experience this memory boost,” she says. Beginners need not fear – even the most exercise-starved, don’tknow-where-my-biceps-should-be kind of person can dip their toe into the water (pun intended) with the AustralianSuper Corporate Triathlon series. Getting some workmates together for a short distance tri, typically know as an ‘enticer’ distance, usually involves a swim of around 200 – 300 metres, a bike component of around six to eight km, and a three kilometre run. Miles says it’s a great way to get started. “It would depend on a person’s base level fitness and experience, but preparation for this kind of event would typically take no longer than six weeks, although it is often quite intense for people who’ve not really exercised before!” he says. “The AustralianSuper Corporate Triathlon series actually offers a free six-week training and preparation program for those who don’t really know where to start, and we do find that this often becomes the catalyst for people wanting to tackle a much larger event down the track,” he says. So, if you declared to your friends at 1am on the first of January that you were going to conquer something big, there’s no time like the present, and no motivator quite like a deadline, so rustle up some work mates, head to and sign up. It could change your life. The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016



The Loveday Electrical team at their Caboolture worksite.

Nurturing next generation of sparkies the key to long-term success What began as a small family enterprise 30 years ago has grown to become a thriving business for Loveday Electrical Pty Ltd.

By embracing changes in the industry, and investing in their staff, owners Bob and Heather Loveday have positioned their business to take advantage of market demand. Over the years, Loveday Electrical Pty Ltd has expanded to specialise in residential construction and maintenance, property management and retail. Owner Bob Loveday says a commitment to employing apprentices and providing them with up-to-to-date industry-relevant skills has been essential to the business’s success.

“... to survive and grow, you have to embrace the industry’s future, which means you have to keep learning.”

“We believe that to survive and grow, you have to embrace the industry’s future, which means you have to keep learning,” Bob says. To ensure this, Bob and his wife Heather developed a dynamic relationship with national training provider and MEA partner Careers Australia. “Working with Careers Australia has given us the opportunity to keep our staff capable and fresh, from one job to the next,” Heather says. Through collaboration with Careers Australia, Loveday Electrical Pty Ltd has sought to provide apprentices with access to a handson, relevant learning experience that taps into their passion for the trade. Regular communication with Careers Australia has provided Loveday Electrical Pty Ltd with the ability to tailor when and where


Heather, Jacob, Sarah and Bob Loveday at Careers Australia’s Trades Graduation in November 2015.

training is delivered to ensure their apprentices are available for busy periods. Their commitment to their apprentices’ training has earned them a near 100 per cent completion rate, and close to 80 per cent choose to stay on with Loveday Electrical Pty Ltd as their preferred employer. There is a family-wide commitment to vocational training with both daughter Sarah Loveday and nephew Jacob Loveday graduating from Careers Australia. Son Frank Loveday and nephew Jack Loveday are also apprentices with the business, training with Careers Australia and due to complete their courses in the next 18 months to two years. In the time since completing her course, Sarah has become a key player in the business, stepping into the Manager’s role. “My father always said that one of his main goals as an employer was to create a place where he would love to work, and I believe he’s achieved this through investing in his staff and supporting their development,” Sarah says. Bob and Heather, and now Sarah, are keen to help coach and guide as many electrical professionals as they can. The company now employs 13 apprentices with plans to increase numbers in 2016. This devotion has earned them high praise from both the electrical industry and their training partner. Recently, Loveday Electrical Pty Ltd was awarded Small Employer of the Year by Careers Australia in recognition of their work with the next generation.

“Their commitment to their apprentices’ training has earned them a near 100 per cent completion rate, and close to 80 per cent choose to stay on with Loveday Electrical Pty Ltd as their preferred employer.” Careers Australia and MEA recently partnered under the Master Electricians Training brand, which allows contractors to choose the courses they want their staff to undertake as well as the way those courses are delivered. There is a range of content and delivery methods including online learning, classroom options, or a combination of both – it all comes down to what is most convenient for employers and staff. Master Electricians Training was launched specifically to meet the needs of busy electrical contracting businesses such as Loveday Electrical Pty Ltd. “Being as focused on learning as we are, we think it is invaluable to have Careers Australia working with MEA to provide electrical professionals with quality training,” Bob says. “Whether it is us working with Careers Australia, or it is Master Electricians, we believe the future of the industry rests in all of us working together to give tomorrow’s tradespeople the training and guidance they need.” For more information about ME Training, visit The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016


meet a master electrician

Name: Matt Phillips Company: The Vault Electrical and Security Group State: South Australia Status: MEA member for 3 years

Matt Phillips is the kind of boss everyone wants – the laid back and happygo-lucky co-founder of South Australia’s The Vault Electrical and Security Group has also managed to build a team of like-minded staff who pride themselves on delivering great service, and all with a smile. The self-confessed wine connoisseur gives us the rundown on life in the best wine-making state in Australia. You and your business partner, Lachlan Menzies, have an unusual set-up – you have an electrical business that also specialises in all things security set-ups, which is quite unusual. How did The Vault Electrical and Security come about, and what makes it work? Lachlan and I would often find ourselves working on the same job sites across SA, with my former business Be Smart Electrical delivering the electrical component and Lachlan working on the security requirements. With such a regular cross-over, it was a natural progression for us to combine our specialisations to create an all-inclusive company, The Vault, to provide a complete service. Five years on and we’ve never looked back. You two seem to put a fair bit of effort into creating fun events for your staff – what role do you think this plays in building the team spirit? We like to celebrate the commitment and success of our team – it’s an important way

Matt Phillips is one half of the duo who formed South Australia’s The Vault Electrical and Security Group.

to recognise and acknowledge the hard yards that go into delivering our diverse range of projects. We plan a mid-year and an end-of-year celebration, which usually consists of me taking out the annual gokarting competition. It’s a great way to build team momentum and have a bit of a laugh. You’re a proud dad of a five-yearold boy – can you tell me about Noah, and how fatherhood has changed your world view? He keeps me on my toes that’s for sure! He’s a huge motivation for me to make sure our business is successful to secure a bright future for him. You started the business around the time he was born. That’s a hefty lot of responsibility in one go – was it a conscious choice or more of a coincidence? It definitely seemed to happen all at once! It was challenging to say the least, but both my son and my business make me happy, so it’s absolutely been worth it. They both challenge me in different ways, often at

the same time, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Through the business I’m learning invaluable lessons that I will no doubt be able to pass on to Noah in whatever career he might choose. You did a different kind of Movember in 2014 and decided that since you already had a big, bushy beard that you’d go with a different tact and raise funds to shave it off – leaving you with a giant Max Walkerstyle moustache. It’s been over a year – how long do you reckon till it grows all the way back? Well as it turns out, I’m actually working on growing the big beard out again (while I still can!). It definitely is a conversation starter. I don’t think anyone misses the mo! Your colleagues reckon you’re a terrific boss, and always have a smile on your face – have you always been an upbeat kind of a guy? I believe in building good, solid and honest relationships with my employees. Life is great and it’s certainly got me smiling.


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I hear you’re quite the wine connoisseur, so you certainly live in the right state of Australia. What’s your favourite place in South Australia to get a good drop, and why? Wherever there’s a good shiraz! I‘ve just moved to the Adelaide Hills wine region, so I’m enjoying discovering all the local wineries and cellar doors. The Sidewood Cellar Door at Maximilian’s Restaurant and Cellar Door is right up there with my favourites. I also really enjoy the Barossa region, it’s a beautiful place to get away from the stress of life and indulge in some fine wine and cheese.

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The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016


the buzz Tips to manage stressful situations and unreasonable behaviour Employers work hard to provide safe workplaces for their staff. Most interactions with customers are positive, but there are some situations where a customer’s conduct may become unreasonable. While employers can’t necessarily control every customer’s reactions, WorkCover Queensland has listed some steps employers can take to ensure their staff know what to do when faced with unreasonable behaviour, how to manage stressful situations, and how to deal with threatening actions in a safe manner. Avoiding unreasonable behaviour The best strategy is to take steps to avoid a situation becoming unreasonable. A customer is more likely to respond positively if they feel listened to, understood and respected. Customers are also likely to respond more positively if they have received a thorough explanation of the process and what is likely to happen. Remember, customers who are perceived as displaying unreasonable behaviour may still have a valid issue to be addressed. Preparation An important aspect of managing customer interactions is to be as prepared as possible to deal with a situation that could potentially become unreasonable. Tips include: • Demonstrate impartiality • Maintain professionalism, keep an open mind and remain positive • Focus on the behaviour, not the person • Show respect no matter what the provocation

• Check understanding by listening and summarising your understanding of the conversation • Acknowledge their point of view • Admit and apologise, if appropriate and necessary • Focus on resolution What to do if the situation becomes unreasonable You do not have to tolerate aggressive or unacceptable behaviour. If the customer’s behaviour is becoming unreasonable during a telephone conversation, in a faceto-face meeting or via email, you should take action to manage the situation. Stay calm – attempt to calm the customer down and stay calm yourself. Name the behaviour – specifically name the behaviour that you find unreasonable and ask the customer to cease that behaviour. Explain that you consider their language/behaviour to be unacceptable and ask them to stop. State the consequences – explain what will happen if the behaviour continues and offer the customer a choice, for example: I cannot continue this conversation if you are going to continue to swear at me. Please stop otherwise I will end the call/meeting. Would you like to continue or would you like to do this some other time? For telephone calls, mute the phone and seek assistance if necessary.

• Stay calm and clarify if you are unsure

Take action – if the behaviour continues tell the customer that the call/meeting is being terminated.

• Allow venting or space to think, where appropriate

Follow through – terminate the meeting/ conversation.

• Acknowledge emotions and show empathy

Follow up – take down details of the call. If your staff are faced with such calls, ensure

they know to come to you to express their concerns. Emails In rare instances, a customer may continue to send email communication after their interaction has completed and they feel they have not received a just outcome. If there are threats, or you feel harassed from email communication, speak to someone trusted about the situation. It is important that if you feel concerned about unreasonable customer conduct or want more information, speak to someone trusted about this as soon as possible, in some cases it may also be appropriate to complete an incident report. Threats Threats of self-harm or suicide can be a very difficult thing to deal with. If you do not feel able to deal with the call you should transfer them to another staff member who can. We advocate that you always react to such calls and make explicit any threats of self-harm by naming them. If the customer confirms the threat, then attempt to keep them on the phone for as long as possible to get as many details as possible about what they intend to do. Report the threat immediately to your manager. The more details you collect the better. If possible, you should find out: • Where the customer is • If they have anyone with them • Record details of the nature of the threat and the reported mechanism • This information should be passed on to the appropriate contact Lifeline has the following tips: • Do something now: don’t assume that they will get better


• Acknowledge your reaction: it’s natural to feel panic and shock, but take time to listen and think before you act • Be there for them • Ask if they are thinking of suicide Check out their safety: It is important to know how much they have thought about it and use this information to decide what to do. Seek immediate help, which may include calling the ambulance or police for immediate crisis intervention. Decide what to do: Only by sharing this information can you make sure that the person gets the help and support they need. Make keeping them safe your first priority. Take action: You need to ensure that the appropriate people are aware of the situation. Don’t shoulder this responsibility alone. Appropriate people may include a GP, psychologist, treating psychiatrist, emergency services i.e. police and ambulance, priest, minister or religious leader or telephone crisis support services such as Lifeline. It is also important that you look after yourself. If you are in need of support, ensure you discuss any concerns about unreasonable customer conduct with an experienced, professional counsellor in a confidential and supportive environment. If you or someone you know needs help, contact: Lifeline: 13 11 14 beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 This article was produced using WorkCover Queensland’s procedures around managing unreasonable customer conduct and may differ from other workplaces procedures. This should only be used as a general guide.

Steve Allan Electrical and Haymans Electrical handover the first $25,000 cheque to The Cure Starts Now at the children’s ward of the Townsville Hospital. (From L to R: Dr Jason Yates, Founder of The Cure Starts Now Australia Ren Pedersen, Mark Heselwood from Haymans Electrical and Sharon Allan from Steve Allan Electrical.)

Townsville Master Electrician throws a lifeline to children with brain cancer In an incredible display of generosity, one of our super-savvy Master Electricians members has teamed up with its sole supplier to support an Australian charity based in Townsville that’s kicking butt for cancer research. Steve Allan Electrical and Haymans Electrical, under MM Electrical Merchandising (MMEM), have pulled out all stops to donate a whopping $50,000 over the next two years to The Cure Starts Now Australia – a not-for-profit set up in honour of ‘forever cheeky’ local youngster Amy Pedersen, who sadly lost her 16-month battle against brain cancer in 2009 at the age of nine. Steve Allan Electrical’s Sharon Allan says she and husband Steve utilised their business’s strong links with its sole supplier, Haymans Electrical in nearby Garbutt, to get the massive fund-raising operation off the ground. “Haymans Electrical in Garbutt has recognised our advocacy of this organisation and jumped on board over the years, joining us for fun runs and holding fundraiser nights within the North Queensland electrical industry,” Mrs Allan says. Townsville’s Channel 7 news made sure they didn’t miss the big cheque handover,

speaking to the crew from Steve Allan Electrical and Haymans after a guided tour through the Townsville Hospital’s new children’s oncology ward with Paediatric Endocrinologist Dr Jason Yates. “When Hayman’s Manager Mark Heselwood put the word out that MMEM were looking for charities to donate some of their annual profit to, I wrote a proposal to them on behalf of The Cure Starts Now Australia, they were more than happy to help out,” Mrs Allan says. “Haymans has now become the first large company to contribute financially to The Cure Starts Now, so they are now providing direct funding for research.” The $50,000 donation will help fund clinical trials, researching a treatment and a cure for children’s brain cancer, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). “We all have the opportunity to be generous with what we have – and this donation is testament to the commitment of the North Queensland electrical industry to this worthy cause,” Mrs Allan says. “We couldn’t be more pleased with this donation or the industry we are in!” To find out more about The Cure Starts Now Australia, visit The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016


Inadequate import standards in spotlight again after multiple hoverboard recalls Just a few days into the New Year, a faulty hoverboard charger has caused a house to go up in flames, and sparked frantic media interest for all the wrong reasons. But the recall of tens of thousands of these devices is merely symptomatic of a much wider problem. Whether it’s a dubious toy, faulty laptop charger, cabling with sheathing that breaks down prematurely, or solar panels fitted with dodgy isolators, the real issue is that Australia continues to allow these potentially deadly products into the country in the first place. So what do hoverboards have to do with tradespeople? This latest recall is a very public example of what’s been going on in Australia for a few years now. In many construction products including concrete, steel, aluminium, glass and of course electrical, Australia has become an easy target for overseas countries that manufacture copies of legitimate brands at a greatly reduced price. This is done by removing quality elements and using inferior materials, and there are no mechanisms for safety testing prior to shipment. How does this happen, and how widespread is the problem for other products? These manufacturers are not based in Australia, so they are not subject to the checks and balances we have in place to keep consumers safe. They are able to exploit loopholes in our legislation, using short term channels to offload noncompliant goods on the Australian market. The number of products coming into Australia has increased dramatically over the past few years, leaving our markets flooded with dangerous products. Why would consumers choose higher cost products when cheaper versions appear the same?

The average Australian knows we live in a country that prides itself on its strict safety standards, so when buying an electrical item at retailers of all sizes, consumers regularly choose the cheaper option, believing that they are safe for them, and their children, to use. However, the sad reality is that the number of unsafe products is on the rise, as unscrupulous operators import goods manufactured by countries with extremely lax safety standards, and that haven’t been independently tested prior to sale. What does this mean for the electrical industry? Hoverboards have now joined the ranks of an ever-growing list of products that have caused grief for consumers, but a great deal of those have been in our industry, including the recalled Infinity, eCables, Olsent and SKL cables, not to mention a large number of DC isolators, and more. The effects on our industry are extreme – 15 of the 60 electrical products recalled in 2015 needed an electrician to install them, which has created a serious risk to our members’ relationships with their customers. Why is our legal framework not working? In 2006 the regulators started a process to improve the way products are approved for sale. But after a decade, our states and territories still haven’t all signed up, with NSW deciding to go it alone. But even if we were operating as a cohesive, national unit, each state’s individual legislation is not proactive, but operates on a reactive basis – it only kicks in when a product is reported as faulty.

As displayed in recent cases, the reactive process (after the product has saturated the market and the offenders have disappeared from sight) is long, resourceintensive and extremely expensive. For example, more than two years into the Infinity cable recall and just 38 per cent of the cabling has been identified and less than two per cent has actually been removed. What needs to be done? To solve this problem, we need a nationwide approach that will deter foreign companies from dumping dodgy products on Australia. If we start checking and impounding noncompliant electrical products at the border, we will send a strong message to both foreign manufacturers and unscrupulous importers to find somewhere else to dump their rubbish, because it’s not welcome here and will be turned away. However, this is a complex process in which the ACCC must first declare a product ‘contraband’ to enable customs to act. What is MEA doing? We have gone to great lengths to gain media coverage on this issue, and have scaled up our efforts by using the attention surrounding the hoverboard issue to call attention to the bigger picture regarding the flaws in our legal framework. We have also been working behind the scenes for some time now, and will continue working, to bring together our Federal Government with our various State Governments, and our very important safety regulators, to amend our legislation to enable our border forces to keep Australian families safe by blocking these dangerous products at the border.


gadget guide

Fluke 370 FC Series Clamp Meter

Make Safe Connector

G Clamp Bus Bar Connector

Often the most frustrating task for electricians and maintenance technicians is to troubleshoot intermittent faults that occur at the most inconvenient times. The new Fluke Connect®-enabled 370 FC Series Clamp Meters log measurements to pinpoint intermittent faults precisely without the need for the technician to be present. Those measurements are then wirelessly transmitted to the Fluke Connect app on smartphones or tablets and automatically uploaded to the cloud, keeping technicians outside the arc flash zone and away from dangerous moving machinery, improving safety.

The Make Safe Connector improves efficiency and enhances safety when electricians isolate circuits. The patented single screw connector allows for isolation without labelling, guarantees isolation and eliminates accidental energisation of the circuit it is installed on. Cross circuit connections are a thing of the past. When it comes time to reconnect the circuit, remove the Make Safe Connector from the terminal location and insert the load tail back into place.

The new moulded G Clamp (GCLAMP/ BK) eliminates the need to drill the bus bar and provides a safe and reliable connection via a standard 4mm socket for connecting power monitoring and measuring equipment.

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The clamp also features a spring-loaded contact pin and locking ring to ensure reliable results throughout extended logging periods. The clamp is rated at CATIV 600V AC for continuous use for up to 10 Amps.

The Make Safe Connector is an asset to any electrician who is keen to save time and enhance safety. The Make Safe Connector is available for purchase online.

The fluted grip design enables the clamping screw and the locking ring nut to be tightened by hand whilst wearing PPE insulated gloves, avoiding the need to use tools within the bus bar chamber.

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The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016


the interview

Michael Morgan North Queensland Cowboy Michael Morgan has racked up 80 games for his home team in just five years and scored a whopping 33 tries, but it’s going to be tough for the 24-year-old to surpass his career highlight to date – making the pass to Kyle Feldt for what’s arguably one of the most pivotal and exciting tries in the history of the NRL, and the one that clinched the 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final at ANZ Stadium. Michael’s impressive 185cm, 95kg physique only adds to his aura, but it doesn’t take long to realise he’s also a really down to earth kind of a bloke, with that unique, disarming manner that comes from growing up in a regional community like Townsville.

Your great-grandfather Duncan McIvor played for Queensland in 1915, exactly one century before you made your debut for Queensland – I can imagine footy is a bit sacred in your household! My dad, uncle and grandparents are all from Townsville, so it is very much my family’s region, and local footy is part of that. I was born and raised here and have two brothers and an older sister. I started playing footy when I was 10 for Townsville Brothers so it’s certainly been a big part of my life, and my family’s lives, for a long time. Your name has now been etched into the history books, after your magic, heart-stopping flick pass to Kyle Feldt led to the match-equalling try as the siren blew. It’s now joined the list of greatest and most famous grand final moments of all time, alongside Bob McCarthy’s intercept in 1967 and Royce Simmons’ double in 1991, but you didn’t even get to see the try! What on earth was going through your mind when you suddenly realised what had just unfolded? Relief! It was incredibly exciting and I think we were in shock. I got a bit of a burn in my shoulder and I looked over and all the boys were celebrating so I thought it must’ve come off. But it was also just so hard to believe when I actually realised what had happened, because the pressure of the premiership and how we apparently ‘needed’ to bring home a premiership to

North Queensland was huge, so it was actually really relieving and great to be able to bring a premiership up here. But it’s especially exciting because we’re the first to have done it. What goes through your mind in that moment when the pressure to win is so great and everyone is screaming from the grandstands and you know that millions more are screaming at their televisions? Honestly, instinct kicks in. I was really fatigued at that point, and it really was the hardest game I’ve ever played, but it’s in those moments that all the hard work before the game pays off. It really was just one of those things that I was so lucky that it came off in the end. After such an extraordinary season, you must have relished having a little down time – what did you get up to? During the off season I do try to travel a fair bit as it breaks up the season a bit, rather than sitting around waiting for training to start. So last year we headed to Bali, New York and Guatemala which was great, but we’ve been well and truly back into training mode for a couple of months. There isn’t a lot of time in between to relax too much. It’s nice and hot as usual up here now though, which means when we train we’re always working hard.


Do you think that’s what makes the Cowboys so successful? The hard work? Definitely. Since Greeny (Paul Green) has been here, we’ve been taught to work hard, not just when required but over and over again, making sure we’re always turning up for each other. Having a good coach is massively important, and on and off the field, Greeny has taught us a lot about different ways to look at situations. He’s always changing things, so we’re always learning and keeping it interesting. But it’s also really important that Greeny has made everyone accountable in the team. Everyone has to know their job and if someone replaces another player, they are expected to do the best job for the team, he’s really made everyone accountable. You were voted North Queensland Cowboys Members’ Player of the Year in 2014, so you must appreciate your own role within the team environment – how do you see your own role? Going into the team young and now playing with JT, who’s one of the biggest players in the NRL, I didn’t want to overstep my mark, but I’ve grown and learned more about the game and learnt to take more opportunities in the team. Who are your team mentors? JT, and also Matt Scott have obviously become great mentors and are the captains for good reason because they speak and lead well, but Gavin Cooper would also be another great mentor of mine in the team. I think he’s played over 200 games, he has

a really strong work ethic and doesn’t always get the recognition he deserves. Other mentors are my family – I’ve always really wanted to make them proud. Mum and dad have done a lot for me in my footy career as well as my high school coach at Ignatius Park College, Dave Elliott, who I’m still quite close with. How will the North Queensland Cowboys’ grand final win influence the team’s attitude going into the new season? We’re trying not to get too complacent in the new season; complacency could become a real problem. There are some new guys but most of the guys from last season are still here, all the people who played in the final are still there, so it’s good we can pick up where we left off. We don’t want to be struggling after being champions, so we don’t want to live off last year. You’ve signed contracts with the Cowboys from 2012 and now up until 2018, so what can the fans expect to see from you going forward? Well I’ve grown up here and by the next contract I’ll be 26 years old so I’m not too sure. I’d love to spend my whole career up here at the Cowboys, I’d love to be a one-club player but not many get that opportunity to be one club players with the salary cap but Townsville’s home; my family’s here, my partner’s family is here and I’d love to stay with the club for as long as I can.


IP65 weather proof lighting sensor for the great outdoors. Durable enough to withstand Australia’s harsh conditions, the PW15 boasts an IP65 rating, making it ideal for outdoor entertaining, carparks & carport areas, and just about any other outdoor application. Order now from all leading electrical wholesalers. PH 1800 225 063 The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016


your top 3 tech questions

Our hardworking technical team at Master Electricians Australia HQ help our members navigate issues they face in their day-to-day work life. From interpreting standards, regulations or legislation to advice with technical, safety or compliance matters, our guys know it all! Here are our answers to some of your most frequently asked questions. 1. Cook Top Isolators Q: Can I install a cook top isolator, as required under clause 4.7 in AS/NZS 3000, in a cupboard? A: No, AS/NZS 3000 clause 4.7 requires the isolation device to be “readily accessible” and visible. Clause 1.4.2 defines the meaning of readily accessible. The requirements are intended to ensure that the isolation device can be operated without the need for any other actions. The opening of a cupboard door or the removal of obstacles such as kitchen utensils to gain access to the isolation device are examples where this may not comply. The requirement of the isolation device to be visible would also not be met. With the complexity of modern kitchen design using all available space for

storage and additional appliances, an appropriate position for cook top isolation devices is becoming a common problem. If possible, this should be addressed by early consultation with the designer/kitchen builder and home owner.

3. Recessed Lights

2. Gas Appliances Q: Can I install a S.S.O. to supply a freestanding gas stove on the wall behind the appliance?

A: A suspended ceiling is not classed as an accessible roof space so this is not necessarily required. The suspended ceiling is a unique light weight construction method that allows it to be disassembled without the need for tools. It therefore is technically not accessible as the ceiling grid is not designed to take the weight of a person.

A: Yes. It must meet the general requirements of AS/NZS 3000, clause 4.4. The requirement of clause 4.18.1 in AS/NZS 3000 also requires the S.S.O. to be accessible (as opposed to “readily accessible”). If the gas stove was fixed in place (permanent fixture), then the supply to the S.S.O. may need to be controlled by a switch, adjacent to the appliance, acting in all live conductors mounted in an accessible position.

Q: In a suspended ceiling, where do I mount the recessed lighting sign (as per clause AS/NZS 3000 cl, as there is no one single point of entry? All ceiling tiles are entry points.

The information above is specific to each question and may not apply to all such instances. If the application is different or has some similarities then please consult our Technical Hotline for further advice on 1300 889 198.

Your super fund As a Master Electricians Australia member, you can access an exclusive deal with Energy Super, the leading industry super fund for people who work in the energy industry. You will benefit from an Energy Super Balanced/MySuper option of 9.91% per annum (12 months to 31 July 2015):

Automatic industry-specific income protection upon listing employer when joining

Automatic death and total permanent disability cover with no underwriting and pre-exclusions for two years

Online access to your account

Costs and fees kept to a minimum

On-site presence through toolbox and/or seminars at the employer’s discretion

Phone-based advice to help you set up the five key building blocks of superannuation

For help or further information, please contact the Energy Super Contact Centre on 1300 436 374, or speak to Murray Bell, MEA’s Fund Services Manager, on 0409 617 322

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If it’s not approved, don’t install it! The time has come for the industry to flick on the switch, and start paying close attention to the rules associated with the installation of equipment. Rado Starec from Focus Compliance takes an in-depth look at the obligations facing electrical contractors when it comes to regulatory compliance. As an electrical contractor, you need to ask yourself: “Is this equipment that I bought (either direct or from a wholesaler or supplied as free issue by the client) compliant?”

“Should I really care about the electrical equipment that I’m about to install for the customer? After all, I am only the installer.” Well, the answer to these questions is absolutely yes!

Very few electrical contractors are aware of their obligations under the relevant legislation (Electricity Safety Act, or the ‘Act’) with regards to the supply and installation of electrical equipment.


• Where no Australian/New Zealand Standard exists, a recognised international or national standard that is appropriate.

“‘Should I really care about the electrical equipment that I’m about to install for the customer? After all, I am only the installer.” Well, the answer ... is absolutely yes!’

Some electrical inspectors and electrical contractors are aware that certain electrical equipment (‘Prescribed Articles’) need to be approved prior to being offered for sale or being purchased and installed. There are 56 Prescribed Articles which cover electrical equipment such as socket outlets, TVs, irons, portable handheld lights, standalone transformers, power suppliers, LED drivers, etc. The list is comprehensive, and all Prescribed Articles require a Certificate of Approval.

• Display the Regulatory Compliance Mark. • Equipment that bears the Regulatory Compliance Mark satisfies the relevant regulatory requirements for electrical safety and can be presumed to comply with the requirements of clause 1.7.1 of the Wiring Rules. • The conditions of the use of the Regulatory Compliance Mark, including references to specific standards for which it applies are set up in AS/NZS 4417. • Regulatory authorities, such as the state electrical safety offices, also accept other marks or means of determining that the electrical equipment selected and installed satisfies the relevant requirements for electrical safety. Other means include but are not limited to:

In addition to these requirements, there is a requirement for all other electrical equipment to also be compliant with the Act, as well as complying with the Wiring Rules and their own manufacturing Standard.

• Certificate of Suitability issued by an appropriate person who has the required experience and knowledge to be able to certify that the electrical equipment complies with the appropriate Australian Standard. Such persons include engineers from NATA test houses. For example, a laboratory accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities.

Few electricians read or understand Part 1 of the Wiring Rules, often relying on Part 2 Sections 2-8 (the deeming provision) without realising that both Parts are called in to play and need to be complied with.

• Letter of Acceptance issued by an appropriate person who has the required experience and knowledge to be able to certify that the electrical equipment complies with the appropriate Australian Standard.

In relation to the selection and installation of electrical equipment, Clause 1.7.1 of the Wiring Rules details the essential requirements in relation to the selection and installation of all electrical equipment.

• Declaration of Conformance issued by an appropriate person who has the required experience and knowledge to be able to certify that the electrical equipment complies with the appropriate Australian Standard.

Clause 1.7.3 of the Wiring Rules provides information as to how the equipment can be deemed to comply. This cause is extremely important because it is a ‘normative statement’ – it contains the word ‘shall’ and states very clearly that ‘electrical equipment shall be selected to comply with the essential requirements of clause 1.7.1’.

In conclusion, registered electrical contractors and licensed electricians need to ensure the electrical equipment they have selected and installed is of the approved type, as listed above.

The requirements for the selection and installation of electrical equipment can fall under any of the following methods: • Approval number under the Prescribed Article list, as published by the regulator in each state or territory.

As a purchaser and installer of electrical equipment, you should challenge the supplier or manufacturer about the compliance of the item/s they are offering for sale.

• Comply with either: • The provisions of the appropriate Australian/New Zealand Standard that is relevant to the type of electrical equipment; or

If you install non-approved electrical equipment that does not conform to Australian Standards, your business and possibly you, personally, will be at risk of legal prosecution.

Remember, if the items are not approved then do not install them! This article was written by Rado Starec of Focus Compliance. Focus Compliance are consultants in standards and regulatory compliance with more than 30 years experience. If you have any questions, contact Rado on 0409 997 948. The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016


letter of the law

Resolving commercial disputes – an alternate to court proceedings Arbitration is an efficient, impartial, enforceable and timely method by which to resolve commercial disputes and that awards are intended to provide certainty and finality. ‘The modern place of arbitration – Celebration of the centenary of the Charted Institute of Arbitrators’ (FCA) [2015] Justice Steven Rares

Whilst there are varying methods to resolve disputes

outside of the court system, arbitration is one which is quickly gathering steam as the go-to to determine disputes and involves the dispute being determined by an independent arbitrator who makes a binding determination (called an award) which can then be enforced (if necessary). Doyles Construction Lawyers Senior Lawyer Rawia Elsleiman explains why.

Each state in Australia (with the exception of ACT) has now enacted uniform commercial arbitration legislation i.e. Commercial Arbitration Act 2010 (NSW). This enables cross-jurisdiction disputes to be resolved under it with more ease than previously as each state has the same process and procedure under the legislation. To access the arbitration system, both parties have to agree upon it. This agreement is usually contained within the dispute resolution


clauses of a contract (which are quite common in construction contracts), however parties can elect to progress a dispute to arbitration by way of agreement post-contract. There is one thing for certain, if parties do not agree, then an arbitration regime cannot be utilised. Additionally, when there is a binding arbitration clause, and there are court proceedings on foot, the court is generally required to stay those proceedings and refer the dispute to arbitration. Benefits 1. External to court processes One of the main benefits of arbitration is that it is not subject to the lengthy delays that can be experienced during court proceedings as arbitration is external to court processes. This means that it can be more cost and time effective for the parties and a resolution can be reached sooner. 2. Informality Arbitrations are designed to be less formal than court proceedings and generally (unless otherwise agreed) the formal rules of evidence do not apply. What this means is that proceedings do not get bogged down in technicalities of procedure but are able to flow more freely. This also means that hearings can be held ‘on the papers’ where it is determined on the documents submitted versus the usual hearing situation and a lot of procedural steps, such as directions hearing, can be achieved by telephone conference rather than the parties’ attendance. Arbitration proceedings are still adversarial (like court proceedings), however the general informality of the proceedings can feel a lot less imposing than traditional court proceedings.

“One of the main benefits of arbitration is that it is not subject to the lengthy delays that can be experienced during court proceedings as arbitration is external to court processes.”

3. Confidentiality Unlike court proceedings, arbitration proceedings are confidential (unless the parties agree otherwise). 4. Limited avenue for appeal Rights to appeal have been limited in relation to arbitration and requires either the parties to agree before an appeal can be launched or special leave of the court to be granted. This allows the parties to generally treat an arbitration award with finality. 5. Addressing technical matters Moreover, arbitration enables the dispute to be determined by a third party arbitrator with technical background of the issues in dispute and the expertise within a subject matter to facilitate a customised outcome. Recent Case Study We recently acted for a contractor pursuing a claim for monies owed for the performance of commercial building work. The contract contained a dispute resolution clause which enabled the parties to notify a dispute and subsequently progress the matter to arbitration where the dispute was not resolved between the parties. The contractor initiated the dispute resolution process under the contract and the matter was referred to the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia (IAMA) to nominate the arbitrator pursuant to the terms of the contract. There was some dispute about defective work, variations and delay and the respondent filed a defence and counterclaim. Significantly, the dispute was heard ‘on the papers’, which meant that parties were required to provide written submissions and witness statements but there was no formal hearing. Within three months of the commencement of the arbitration, the arbitrator found in favour of our client and awarded them a significant portion of its legal costs – a great result for our client and a much quicker resolution than available in court. This case demonstrated that the referral of a dispute to arbitration can achieve a just and final outcome without the costs and delay associated with litigation. For more information about resolving commercial disputes, contact Doyles Construction Lawyers – The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016


workplace relations

Your top 3 workplace relations questions Workplace relations is a complex area that requires specialist advice. Our dedicated team of workplace relations officers provide members with specific advice regarding the interpretation of awards and legislation, employment procedures, contractual matters and industrial relations, via MEA’s workplace relations hotline each and every day. Here are three common questions our workplace relations team receives: Q: My apprentice has failed some first year subjects and will

School-based apprentices will progress at half the pace of full-time

not be progressing to second year TAFE; do they still get a

apprentices. Two years of a school-based apprenticeship is roughly

wage increase?

equivalent to one year full-time.

A: Yes, wage increases for electrical apprentices are ‘time based’.

A fourth year apprentice who fails their final subjects and has to

At the anniversary of their commencement date they will progress

have their training contract extended will not progress beyond the

to the next year wage level.

fourth year rate while their training contract is current.


Q: The builder/primary contractor has told me I have to pay the rates applicable on this site. Do I have to? What does this mean?

A: No, it is not appropriate for an employer to dictate which parent takes leave to care for an ill/injured child.

A: Not usually. Builders or primary contractors will often do this to not draw attention from union delegates and organisers. This conduct is generally inappropriate and on certain sites the FWBC should be notified.

Typically, both parents will share this leave as they manage their own leave balances. However, employees are under no obligation to do so.

Sometimes when a contractor is subcontracting works that subcontractor is obligated to pay in accordance with the contractor’s enterprise agreement because the agreement has a ‘subcontractor’s clause’. MEA recommends you request a copy of their agreement, if this is the case. Further, you should be entitled to adjust your tender for the works if they are imposing this condition on you. Q: Can I tell an employee that their partner should take carer’s leave instead of my employee?

In addition to answering all of your tricky questions, our workplace relations team can also provide negotiation assistance and advice with enterprise agreements as well as representation in industrial disputes and matters that appear before Fair Work Australia. As a member, you also have access to a suite of fact sheets and employment guides designed to equip you with the tools you need to successfully manage your employees. This information can be found inside the member portal on the website – For expert advice on specific matters, contact 1300 889 198. The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016


social snaps

Master Electricians out and about Thanks to our members who attended our recent events. Were you there? See if you can find yourself in these pics and check out the upcoming events in the calendar!

Glenn Jones and Len Lindsay (middle) are joined by Bill Bartley (left) and Ray Culpan (right) as they are awarded life membership at a Gold Coast forum.

Join Master Electricians Australia (MEA) for the 2016 Electrical Industry Conference in Fremantle. Western Australia is MEA’s fastest growing member state and home to the picturesque Fremantle. Network, develop your business skills, and explore this historical port city at the industry conference of the year. Visit or call us on 1300 889 198 for more information.


social snaps

There’s nothing quite like a bit of friendly competition at our South Australia Golf Day at Echunga Golf Club.

The team from HPM Legrand pose for the camera before battling it out for first place on the course.

It’s all smiles from Nick Rowe from BE Switchcraft Pty Ltd, Greg Spurling from Spurling Electrical, Craig Potter from Clipsal Schneider and Ollie Marold from Results Electrical Pty Ltd.

Got a snap to share? Send ‘em through to: MEA’s Marisa Kemp and Lee Elliott watch on at the SA Golf Day.


Summer’s here! But you don’t have to get hot under the collar.

Don’t forget the essentials: sunblock, sunnies and to stock up on Prysmian flat white Air-Conditioning cables. It’s just another way to use safe, Aussie-made cables, manufactured to Australian standards. Material code: 5011746

Cable Description: 450/750 1.5x3C +E FLAT WH

For more information contact your local BDM or call us on: Ph: 1300 300 304 Fx: 1300 300 307 E-mail: The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016


Enhance your sight on-site to minimise the impact of collisions Vehicle and machinery operators are the first line of defence against accidents on site. But sometimes it pays to rely on more than just one set of eyes when it comes to collision avoidance.

Modern work environments are

busy places. But as the levels of vehicleto-vehicle and worker interactions increase onsite, so too does the risk of something going wrong. While safety starts with the human element onsite, active warning systems are becoming an increasingly important part of a workplace’s health and safety arsenal. Many new vehicles come fitted with anticollision systems, however a large number of used vehicles and machines still rely on passive warning systems alone. For rental or contract fleet owners, meeting the safety standards required onsite can be difficult and expensive, particularly when it comes to the diverse range of vehicle safety specifications they have to contend with. But there is little doubt effective incident prevention leads to reduced fleet operating costs. A single low speed vehicle-to-object impact can cost more than $10,000. Wireless radar systems like the PreView Wireless WorkSight Radar seek to overcome these issues and significantly reduce installation costs for fleet owners.

A single sensor Wireless WorkSight can be purchased and fitted for under $4,000, while the ability to easily interchange the wireless system from vehicle to vehicle minimises the capital investment needed across larger fleets. By eliminating the need to install cables through the vehicle body, the Wireless WorkSight more than halves installation time while still providing the best blind spot detection protection available. Training is available to help operators master the WorkSight, which detects both moving and stationary objects in a

pre-defined coverage area and reports this information to the wireless display via ZigBee 2.4GHz, IEEE 802.15.4 compliant DSSS baseband. Since the sensor is made from rugged components, it does not require cleaning and is not affected by harsh environmental conditions, making it ideal for utility, long-haul trucks and vehicles operating in construction sites, mines and ports. To learn more about this great product by PreViewÂŽ, visit the APS Lighting & Safety website ( and search for Wireless WorkSight.


Start saving on your vehicle expenses

Master Electricians Australia (MEA) has successfully negotiated a new and exclusive WEX Motorpass fuel card offer for you, our valued members. Accepted at over 90 per cent of all service stations, WEX Motorpass is one of Australia’s most widely accepted fuel cards. With over 5,800 service stations available, you can take to the road with confidence knowing that anywhere you are, there’s somewhere close-by to fill your tank. Take advantage of WEX Motorpass’ benefits for a monthly fee of $4.50 (excl GST) per card.

4 cents per litre off fuel purchases (excluding LPG) at BP service stations that accept WEX Motorpass

Up to 4 cents per litre off diesel purchases at WEX Motorpass Diesel Discount sites

With your WEX Motorpass ME Members won’t pay transaction fees

ME Members won’t pay an $8 card issue or replacement fees

For peace-of-mind, ME Members have access to more time to pay

Receive ATO approved statements and have access to data files that could integrate with your system

Restrict purchase options down to what day and the amount of litres pumped

Access to deals and discounts on tyres, batteries, servicing, and even accommodation

*The offer ends at 5pm on 30/6/2016 and is available by calling WEX Australia on 1300 130 523. It is available to new WEX Motorpass account holders who are Master Electricians Australia members only, and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. The 4 cents per litre discount applies to all fuel purchases (excluding LPG) at participating BP service stations. Details of participating BP service stations can be found at: The Diesel Discount applies to all diesel purchases at participating service stations and varies per site. Details of participating service stations and their current WEX Motorpass Diesel Discount can be found at: Applicants and authorised representatives must be over 18 years, have an ABN and use their vehicle for business purposes to apply. The standard WEX Motorpass terms and conditions and fees and charges apply. Please see All applications for credit are subject to WEX Australia’s credit assessment criteria. Credit is issued by WEX Australia Pty Ltd ABN 68 005 970 570. WEX Motorpass is a registered trademark of WEX Australia Pty Ltd ABN 68 005 970 570.

Call WEX Motorpass on 1300 130 523 and quote ‘MEA’ to take up this exclusive offer, or to learn more, login to the Member’s Website

An exclusive business service by:

In partnership with:

The Master Electrician

Autumn 2016


the last word

Don’t get framed for someone else’s workplace misdeeds Do you remember the movie The Pink Panther? It features a bumbling detective named Clouseau, who sets out to catch a high profile jewel thief, but instead winds up in jail himself – accused of stealing the jewel he was trying to protect. He was framed by the real thief, but mostly captured as a result of his own ineptitude. There’s a risk for business owners that, like Clouseau, you can end up being punished for other people’s misdeeds when you are really trying to protect the “jewel” – your business and its reputation. This is true across a range of areas of an electrical contracting business – the most obvious being for breaches of safety standards and policies. But you can also risk falling foul of the law if employees do the wrong thing in the workplace. This can include breaches of drug and alcohol policies, sexual harassment and bullying. You might not be the guilty party, but if you fail to take action you will certainly be liable to be punished. Confronting difficult behaviour in your organisation can be made even more difficult if the person involved is a highly regarded member of your team or the industry as a whole, or if they are in a position of influence and critical to your ongoing operations. But, again, ignoring the problem or simply doing a “once over lightly” investigation of complaints will only lead to trouble down the track – for your business and for you as the owner. So it’s important that when serious allegations are made against an employee that you deal with them in a calm and methodical manner. Ideally you should seek legal advice about your obligations, the employee’s rights, and the best way to proceed with an investigation. Master Electricians Australia can help you to do this.

You should ensure that the person involved is given the opportunity to respond to all the allegations against them. This should be done in writing if possible, to ensure there is no misunderstanding and to allow the person time to consider their response. You should ensure that you thoroughly test the accusations against them, and question those making them. If your investigations find those allegations to be true, you then need to consider the appropriate response. This may include a formal warning, some training or counselling, improving policies and workplace communications procedures, or dismissal if warranted. In any event, you should make very clear the standards of behaviour and performance benchmarks that will apply moving forward, and if the behaviour persists after such warnings or training, dismissal may be your only option. In other cases, a person who accepts and recognises that their behaviour has been unacceptable may choose to leave of their own volition. As I said earlier, none of this is easy. And it can be more difficult to deal with such a situation if you hold the employee and their abilities in particularly high regard. But difficult or not, you have no choice but to act once allegations are brought to your attention. Failure to address a situation such as workplace bullying or harassment can open you up to legal action for not providing a safe workplace. In other words, you can be the one who goes down when someone else committed the crime. So make sure you are not the bumbling Clouseau, but rather a smart and responsive business manager. Conduct a thorough investigation of any problems and act on the findings swiftly and comprehensively, and you can be sure you and your business will stay in the pink!


Up to 10x faster


onerange onebusbar onesolution onekonekt residential devices - Easier Safer Faster With an installation time up to 10 times faster than traditional wiring, Hager’s onekonekt system is the most versatile & flexible solution to residential electricians on the market today. Hager provides a full range of residential protection devices - including the ADC3xxT single module RCBOs - that connect to the same busbar. So onekonekt is safer, easier and faster to install.

Commitment to quality Have you found old products installed? Hager is known for our commitment to quality. That’s why we chose to voluntarily recall and replace our old range of potentially faulty AD310T, AD316T, AD320T and AD325T single module RCBOs sold in Australia and New Zealand from 2010 to 2012. This voluntary recall resulted in

the best rates of return in the industry’s history. Despite this success, we’d like to do better. There is still potentially faulty products in the market and the Hager hotline and online registry is open to provide guidelines for identification, replacement with new products and compensation.

1300 786 685

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