master builder June/July 2014
Commonwealth Games Masterplan revealed
2014 National Construction Code Right of entry win for industry Invitations out soon for our industryâ€™ss night of nights Changes to BCIPA
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volume 51 NUMBER 6
Published by Master Builders Queensland 417 Wickham Terrace, Brisbane Queensland 4000 Phone: 3225 6444 Fax: 3225 6545 Email: email@example.com www.masterbuilders.asn.au
Policy & advocacy 13
New infrastructure charges
Right of entry reforms
Pre-budget slip for housing finance
Hutchies shares renewed focus on safety
Health, safety & environment 34
WHSQ campaign results are in
Sediment and erosion control
Training & licensing 38
Community projects 42
Reports & statistics 19
Building recovery not to be taken for granted
Building & planning Changes to slip resistance
National Construction Code 2014
Commonwealth Games Village revealed
Front cover: Commonwealth Games masterplan â€“ Grocon
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New project to help young Aussies
Upskilling for success
Fresh faces for membership team
People & events 46
Did your photo make it in?
Mastering your business 52
Digital divide between SMEs
Top tips for tax time
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Message from the Executive Director
Grant Galvin Executive Director
Proposed BCIPA changes supported by industry Proposed changes to the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 will improve the effectiveness of this legislation and provide a much needed boost to cash flow for the building and construction industry. Announced in April by the Minister for Housing and Public Works, The Hon. Tim Mander MP, (see page 7 for his view) the bill includes three key reforms which are strongly supported by Master Builders. The three key areas of reform include: 1. The appointment of adjudicators by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) 2. A reduction in the timeframes for making payment claims after the project has been completed 3. The introduction of a dual model for large and complex claims in excess of $750,000. Master Builders has lobbied on these issues and strongly supports the reforms. We believe they will provide fairer processes for the claimant and the respondent, with more realistic timeframes that assist all parties in the contractual chain. The reforms are also important as they reduce the likelihood of ambush claims and provide disincentives for this type of behaviour.
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The direct appointment of adjudicators by the QBCC is also a logical step and eliminates the perception of bias that radiated from the old system. This shift will also allow the appointment of specialised adjudicators based entirely on their skill, experience and nature of the claim. All in all, these reforms are a win for our industry. We look forward to the scrutiny they will undergo in parliament later this year, with the view to their introduction and application to all contracts signed after 1 September 2014.
Have your say â€“ provide us with feedback on these issues or others you believe are impacting the industry right now. Email us at email@example.com.
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Message from the President
Derek Pingel President
Stronger right of entry laws a positive step Master Builders strongly supports the amendments to the Work Health and Safety Act announced in February by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, The Hon. Jarrod Bleijie MP.
The changes will require unions to provide 24 hoursâ€™ notice for entry on health and safety grounds. These changes are consistent with entry for industrial purposes under the Fair Work Act and do not prevent unions from entry to sites provided the correct notice is given. The current laws were deficient and union officials simply entered sites under the guise of an alleged health and safety issue without any prior notice. Building unions often created false safety issues in the pursuit of other industrial objectives, with site stoppages and
unlawful industrial action taken to put pressure on principal contractors. The culture of unions sitting everybody down for minor issues has to stop and the amendments will do this by preventing unions from entering work sites without proper authority or prior notification. They will also ensure legitimate safety issues are addressed without the need to unnecessarily halt work on construction sites. Master Builders has been advocating for these changes for some time and believes legitimate safety issues can be managed onsite with all workers able to cease work if they feel they are exposed to imminent risk. This includes the legal right for any worker to cease work if they believe they are exposed to imminent risk to health. Workers and contractors can also involve Work Health and Safety Inspectors in the event that safety issues cannot be resolved. Builders will also need to be aware of their new obligations under the recently revised Queensland Government Code of Practice and Implementation Guidelines. The new government agency set up to monitor and report on unlawful industrial action will be directly involved in overseeing compliance with these amendments. Master Builders believes these changes are a positive step for the industry and our counterparts at Master Builders Australia will be calling for similar provisions to be adopted by other state and territory jurisdictions. For more information on the reforms, see page 14. Have your say â€“ provide us with feedback on these issues or others you believe are impacting the industry right now. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Tim Mander Minister for Housing and Public Works
BCIPA changes a boost for builders widespread dissatisfaction with the way adjudicators were appointed and with what was felt to be unreasonable timeframes for responding to claims. Under the proposed changes, the Queensland Building and Construction Commission will take on the role of registering adjudicators and will appoint them to cases based on their skills, knowledge and experience. The changes also recognise the difference between large or complex claims and the smaller more straightforward ones, by offering different timeframes for responding to these claims. In the past a one-size-fits-all approach meant the same timeframes applied whether the dispute was over $500 or $5 million.
The Queensland construction industry has received another boost with the government unveiling changes that will make the process of resolving disputes fairer and more transparent. The building and construction industry contributes around $26 billion to Queenslandâ€™s economy each year so itâ€™s essential that we have a fair payment system in place.
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The Building and Construction Industry Payments Actt (BCIPA) was created in 2004 to provide an alternative way for industry participants to resolve payment disputes, but a recent review found
Under the new rules, respondents to large or complex claims where the sum involved is more than $750,000 will be given extra time to respond. For more information on BCIPA, visit www.qbcc.qld.gov.au or www.bcipa.qld.gov.au or you can email any queries directly to email@example.com
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Jarrod Bleijie Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
Launch of the Statewide Strategic Plan for the Safe Management of Asbestos in Queensland 2014–2019 The dangers of asbestos continue to be present in many homes, workplaces and other structures in Queensland, due to the extensive use of asbestos containing materials (ACM) in construction between the 1940s and late 1980s. Workers in a broad range of trade-based occupations may be exposed to risk from asbestos fibres if removal or disturbance is not carried out safely during maintenance, removal, renovation and demolition of asbestoscontaining structures. To minimise the risk of inadvertent exposure to asbestos fibres at workplaces, domestic premises and in the natural environment, the Queensland Government developed the Statewide Strategic Plan for the Safe Management of Asbestos in Queensland 2014–2019 (the Strategic Plan). This plan, which was launched on 3 April 2014, provides government with a strategic and coordinated approach to the regulation and management of asbestos in Queensland. This comprehensive strategy will mean safer workplaces, safer homes and safer communities. The plan was developed in response to a report from the Queensland Ombudsman on the way asbestos was being managed and regulated by state government departments and local councils. The Ombudsman found there was a high degree of confusion and a lack of planning and coordination at both the state and local government level. Right now, the handling of asbestos complaints and issues is administered by four different state government departments, 77 local councils and numerous other government agencies. A simple agreement over who does what clears
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the way for faster, more effective responses and that’s just one piece of our overhaul. The report recommended that a wholeof-government strategic plan for the management and regulation of asbestos be developed by the agencies with responsibilities for asbestos. The Strategic Plan sets out initiatives to be achieved by the government over the life of the plan, which fall in one of three priority areas. The first priority is to minimise the risk of exposure to asbestos, by ensuring that regulation is robust and effective. The second is to provide seamless and integrated government service delivery by ensuring there is clarity about the roles and responsibilities of each government agency; and the third is to improve community education and awareness about asbestos, by providing accurate, clear and consistent information. Better education will also be a major part of this new strategy. A range of educational materials will be rolled out, including a series of short films which will explain to businesses and DIY home renovators their legal obligations for managing and removing asbestos-containing materials. There will be no excuse in the future for people disposing of asbestos illegally or not having the correct licences or safety equipment. Those who don’t comply will face consequences. Other initiatives include:
for suspending or cancelling an asbestos licence where a licence holder contravenes the legislation •
Create a public online register of WHS asbestos licence holders so Queenslanders can check the licensing and compliance records of contractors
Publish a register of waste sites that accept asbestos material.
The Strategic Plan will be supported by a Multi-agency Asbestos Incident Response Memorandum of Understanding, which sets out how state government agencies and local governments with responsibilities for asbestos will respond to and manage asbestos incidents. It provides examples of situations and which agency will take the lead in responding to the situation. For example, where a renovation at a house conducted by a builder results in asbestos debris, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland will be the lead agency to take action against the worker, and the local council and the Department of Health may also be involved to determine the public health risks. Together the Strategic Plan and Memorandum of Understanding will reduce gaps and overlaps in government responses, reducing the risk of exposure to asbestos and improving safety outcomes for Queensland.
A review of the suitability of existing penalties and enforcement tools available to WHS inspectors
The state government is committed to making Queensland workplaces the safest in Australia and this new strategy will go a long way to achieving that.
Strengthening the administration of asbestos licensing, including a process
For more information on the strategy, visit www.qld.gov.au/asbestos, or call 13 QGOV.
Wilhelm Harnisch Chief Executive Officer Master Builders Australia
How the Federal Budget will impact building and construction Since the election of the Abbott government, Master Builders Australia has been clear that there is no magic wand the government can wave over the economy.
disappointing and we are calling on the government to work closely with our industry to find more effective ways to tackle the lack of housing supply.
housing affordability and supply problem. Only structural reform which sees the regulatory impediments and tax burdens removed, can achieve this.
Rather, we urged the government to take the opportunity to change the policy narrative of the previous six years and put the economy on the right path so that the building and construction industry can be confident in their ability to build profitable businesses and create jobs in the long term. But we also set the crucial test that the roadmap to structural budget repair must not be at the expense of home-buyers, investors and business confidence.
The cessation of funding for the Tools For Your Trade program is also disappointing, although to some degree is offset by the Trade Support Loans for apprentices.
The Federal Budget also won’t fix our industrial relations problems – only fundamental reforms to the Fair Work Actt can.
In a budget that is broadly positive for our industry, the federal government has mostly passed these tests – but not without pain. The Infrastructure Growth Package, announced in the Federal Budget, will result in $50 billion being spent on major roads and some freight rail projects in Queensland. This includes funding for new projects and will fast track completion of those already in the pipeline. The package will support billions in construction work and is a particularly welcome budget outcome. Unfortunately, roads are not all our industry needs. Master Builders is calling on the government to ensure that infrastructure investment is broadened to include urban infrastructure in the post-budget period. We have also been front and centre in pointing out the negatives for our industry from the budget. Master Builders Australia is deeply concerned about the negative impact of several initiatives for the building and construction industry. The cessation of funding for the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) is
The phasing out of skills programs like the Apprenticeship Mentoring Program and the National Workforce Development Fund is another disappointment which will place pressure on the government to implement a viable apprenticeship reform program to guarantee a skilled workforce for the future. The increase in the fuel levy will also drive up costs for the industry. So while our industry understands the need for reforms to ensure that, as a community, we live within our means, we are looking for the government to answer the questions the budget raises. The reality for our industry is that when business, home-buyers and investors are confident, they build; when confidence is missing, they don’t. This has important implications for the economy, as the building and construction industry is a key driver of investment. Boosting the confidence of home-buyers, investors and business will help grow a stronger economy so we are better placed to meet the challenges ahead of us.
The Federal Budget alone cannot help the thousands of small businesses in our industry flourish – we are relying on micro economic reforms that cut red tape and lift the burden of regulation to do that. Reforms to cut red and green tape are also important in this context, but together with Master Builders Queensland, we want to see the federal government working more cohesively with the states to lighten the burden of regulation. Master Builders Australia is working closely with Master Builders Queensland and pressing the Abbott government to put in place the reforms necessary to achieve these outcomes. Tinkering at the edges can only ever be regarded as a short term, structural reform. Structural reforms are difficult but necessary if our industry is going to grow the economy, employ more people and provide more affordable housing and better infrastructure for our community. Only strong, profitable, flourishing businesses can create wealth and jobs for the nation.
But while the government’s spending priorities are vital to the health of the economy, so too are other policy measures which address policy challenges facing the economy, business and the community, which fiscal policy can’t fix. The Federal Budget by itself cannot fix our june/july 14
Revitalised online search working harder for members
1. Log in to Master Builders’ website (if you haven’t got a password, you must generate one first) at www.masterbuilders.asn.au/ my-details 2. Once you are logged in, click on ‘My details’ and ‘Update my Find a Master Builder details’. 3. Agree for your details to be listed in the search by choosing ‘Yes’ in the drop down menu.
A recent refresh of Master Builders’ online member search facility has improved navigation for users and ensures it works harder for members who are registered for work. The Find a Master Builderr search is an online search facility designed to match consumers who are looking to build or renovate with Master Builders’ members. After receiving feedback from search users and members, the site recently underwent a refresh that makes it much easier to use.
What’s changed? The entire site has been overhauled, with a much more visually pleasing design now in place. The biggest change to the search facility is that users are no longer required to complete their details. The previous search, which required a lengthy registration process and produced a limited list of members, reduced the number of ‘tyre kickers’, but it also proved to be a barrier to using the search.
4. Complete your contact details and register for the search categories and locations relevant to you. You can choose multiple categories, but you must hold the correct licence to work in all of these categories. You must also be willing to work in any locations you nominate for – please don’t register for locations that are outside your immediate vicinity if you aren’t prepared to perform work there. Master Builders will verify these details before your listing is made live. 5. Click submit. Once you submit, Master Builders will verify and approve your listing.
It’s that easy! Already registered for the search?
Registering for the search
If you are already registered for the search, there is nothing you need to do – the changes do not impact the type of work or locations you are registered for. However, it is a good opportunity to check your registration details to ensure they are still correct. Follow the instructions above to check that your listing remains current.
All members are not automatically registered for the search. For privacy reasons, you must opt-in for your details to appear. If you haven’t registered, you can follow these simple steps to ensure you are not missing out on potential jobs.
For more information about the Find a Master Builder search, call 1300 30 50 10 or visit www.masterbuilders.asn.au
For users, the search is now a simple process of entering the postcode and some simple details about the job. The search filter then generates a random list of all members who fit the search criteria. Users can choose to contact as many (or as few) builders or tradies as they wish.
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Changes to credit reporting Managing your cash flow to avoid problems with your credit history just became more important following recent changes to the Privacy Act. The new Credit Reporting Privacy Code was introduced in May 2014 and has the potential to disadvantage small and micro businesses in the building and construction industry. In fact, if you are more than five days late on a repayment, you may be at risk of having a black mark on your credit history. Missed payments on a credit card or loan may now be recorded on your credit record for two years. This can have a significant impact on your business and your ability to raise money when needed. The new credit reporting standards make more information available to lenders to assess credit worthiness of applicants. Previously, only significant events such as defaults and bankruptcies, were recorded. However, from 12 March 2014 the comprehensive credit reporting system will also include positive events, such as a record of payments on a loan.
This additional information will enable financial institutions to closer assess your capacity to repay loans. Unfortunately, the building industry mentality of ‘paid when paid’ may now have a negative impact on applications for a credit card, trade account, overdraft, investment loan or home loan. The previous industry practice of paying a bit late wouldn’t have affected your credit rating, with only a long string of missed payments or a default showing on your credit report. Some research suggests that by collecting this new, additional credit information, some borrowers in non-traditional occupations may have increased access to credit rather than making access to loans harder. With up to one in ten people missing a payment in January or February for more than five days, this alone is unlikely to affect
the credit rating of someone who otherwise has a good record. However, consistent late payments of credit cards, loans and overdrafts will impact on your record. Payments on bills for mobile phones, gas and electricity are not included in the new comprehensive reporting standards, although defaults, i.e. a payment of more than $150 that is at least 60 days overdue and for which you have been served with at least two notices requiring payment, are included. A free copy of your credit report is available to you each year. The credit reporting body must provide your credit report within 10 days of your request for free. The main credit reporting bodies in Australia include: •
Dun & Bradstreet (Check Your Credit) – www.checkyourcredit.com.au or 1300 734 806
Experian Australia Credit Services – www.experian.com.au or 1300 784 134
Veda – www.veda.com.au
For more information on the new reporting standards, visit www.creditsmart.org.au
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Industry groups help guide building reforms Consumer groups and industry peak bodies will have the opportunity to contribute to the reform of the building industry in Queensland to help realise the full potential of the sector. Last year the Queensland Government formed the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) and revealed a 10 point action plan to overhaul the industry watchdog. Minister for Housing and Public Works, Tim Mander, said it was important that relevant stakeholders were involved in the reform process. “The reforms in our 10 point action plan represent the biggest change to the industry regulator in more than 20 years so it’s important we keep contractors and consumers involved every step of the way,” Mr Mander said. “Unlike the Labor Party, the LNP Government is committed to cutting red tape and unleashing the full potential of the construction sector.” Industry Reference Group members include the Housing Industry Association, Master Builders, Master Plumbers and Engineers Australia. The Consumer Reference Group includes the Insurance Council of Australia, Ethnic Communities
Council of Queensland, the Queensland Consumer’s Association and the Office of Fair Trading. The Industry Reference Group provided its members with a great opportunity to contribute to the policy debate on issues that have a major impact on builders and trade contractors across Queensland. The Government’s reform agenda would result in significant changes to contractor licensing, Home Warranty Insurance, building contracts, and the way disputes are resolved. The Industry Reference Group gives us confidence that we have the ear of the QBCC and allows us to work with the QBCC in shaping the policy and legislation that will follow. From the first meeting, it’s clear that the QBCC is keen to fix many problems that have plagued the industry over the past decade.
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Policy & advocacy Paul Bidwell – Deputy Executive Director
New infrastructure charges
Councils that opt in to the new regime, as well as accessing additional funding for infrastructure projects, will be restricted in what they can charge builders/ developers for trunk infrastructure.
For several years, Master Builders has been pushing government to reduce the current level of charges, with Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney recently announcing a new regime to commence from 1 July 2014. Since July 2011, local government charges for trunk infrastructure (water, sewerage, transport, stormwater, parks & recreation) have been capped. For example, the charge for one and two bedroom dwellings was $20,000; three bedroom dwellings $28,000; offices $140/m² GFA; retail $180/m² GFA. While the current capped charges have not been reduced, the outcome is still positive for the building industry. Where councils opt in to the new regime, infrastructure charges for builders/developers will drop by 10% and 15% respectively for residential and non-residential development. However, the sticking point is whether councils opt in to the new regime.
The new charges are less than the current capped charges. For example, $15,000 and $18,000 for one and two bedroom dwellings (compared to $20,000); $25,200 for a three or more bedroom dwelling (compared to $28,000), $119/m² for commercial office developments (compared to $140/m²); $153/m² GFA for retail (compared to $180/m²). Councils that do not opt in to the new regime will not be able to access this new funding but they will be able to continue with the current, higher capped charges. The state co-funding will only apply to projects that can be demonstrated as generating or facilitating major economic development. Builders/developers will also be able to apply for the co-funding – another win for the industry.
Independent analysis demonstrates that with a narrower definition of essential infrastructure the capped charges should be lowered.
On the face of it, this new regime is good news for the industry, providing all councils opt in. However, it is likely that some councils (perhaps most) will baulk at opting in to the new regime given the lack of detail about how it will work. For example, the criteria for the state government to assess proposals, how the co-funding will work, how much is on offer and the timeframe for deciding to opt into the new regime.
But rather than forcing councils to reduce the current charges (Master Builders’ position), the state government intends to entice them to opt in to a new regime, by providing access to funds for selective infrastructure projects.
For more information, contact Master Builders on 3225 6419 or email email@example.com
One of the key elements in the new regime is a revised definition of the trunk infrastructure that councils can charge for – dams, ferry terminals and park facilities are now excluded, although councils will still be able to charge for what is defined as ‘essential infrastructure’.
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Policy & advocacy
RIGHT of entry reforms Recent reforms to laws surrounding right of entry for union permit holders demonstrate that access to sites is a privilege and not an unconditional right.
Master Builders’ role and recognition as the leading organisation for the building industry was confirmed by the recent changes to the work health and safety (WHS) union right of entry laws in Queensland. By any measure, Master Builders’ advocacy efforts have resulted in the crucial reforms to right of entry laws, which will ensure
fairer and more equitable workplaces for all concerned. Introduced in April 2014 by the AttorneyGeneral and Minister for Justice, The Hon. Jarrod Bleijie MP, the changes include amendments to the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld), including a requirement for union permit holders to provide 24-
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[ 14 ] june/july 14
Policy & advocacy
hour written notice to the person with management and control of the workplace (typically the builder) and the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU – the subcontractor), before entering a construction site. The new laws prevent union permit holders from entering worksites without proper authority or prior notification. Mr Bleijie said the WHS reforms restored balance to the system, protecting workers from unsafe practices and employers from militant industrial activity. “Under these reforms, construction unions will also no longer be able to use loopholes in the system to force their way onto worksites and lock workers out,” Mr Bleijie said. Previously, union permit holders could access sites at will, without notice and with little details as to the alleged safety reason for entry. Building unions often created spurious safety issues in the pursuit of other industrial objectives, with site stoppages and unlawful industrial action taken to put pressure on principal contractors. These are serious issues that require leadership and commitment to forge change.
“Last year a major contractor and its employees lost 42 days of work due to illegal strike activity in the first year of their enterprise agreement,” Mr Bleijie said. “WHS inspectors have responded to 57 right of entry disputes since July 2011 and found the majority of the safety issues raised were not immediate or imminent risks to workers. “While a Royal Commission into union governance and corruption, recently announced by the federal government, will shine a light on similar problems, our reforms put Queensland ahead of the game in tackling them.” Master Builders believes legitimate safety issues can be managed on site and this includes the legal right for any worker to cease work if they believe they are exposed to imminent risk to health. The follow-through on this important reform is already evident. Master Builders has assisted state government agencies in identifying compliance issues in respect to current enterprise agreements. This input has ensured there is consistency in advice on the new requirements. Companies covered by the National and State Codes of Practice and Guidelines must comply with those provisions as they relate to right of entry procedures or risk the ability to tender for future government work.
Master Builders’ submissions to the state government and the Parliamentary Committee to review the draft laws were forthright about ensuring legitimate safety issues could be addressed, without the need to unnecessarily halt work on construction sites.
These discussions have also enabled Master Builders to prepare accurate fact sheets, checklists and training packages to assist members in administering the new right of entry requirements.
In doing so the organisation faced intense hostility from building unions who had, under the previous laws, enjoyed almost unchecked access to building sites.
For more information about the right of entry reforms, contact Master Builders on 3225 6407 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
[ 15 ]
Hutchies shares a renewed focus on safety After a critical incident on site in 2010 that saw one of their workers severely injured, Hutchinson Builders has emerged with a renewed company focus on safety when working at heights and delivered a valuable educational tool that will benefit the entire industry. The critical incident occurred in 2010 on a Hutchinson Builders construction site and saw them enter into an Enforceable Undertaking with the Queensland Government. This significant incident affected many members of the Hutchinson Buildersâ€™ worker family and as such, their commitment to providing safe workplaces for their workforce has never been stronger. Since then, with collaboration from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and industry bodies like Master Builders, they have produced a DVD and guide available for use by industry, in the hope that other contractors can also make safety, particularly when working at heights, a priority and ensure the risk of this kind of incident is minimised. Hutchinson Buildersâ€™ employee, Jimmy Walsh, was injured after falling when they were the principal contractor engaged to refurbish a bowling alley south of Brisbane. The bowling alley
[ 16 ] june/july 14
was to be converted into a Supa IGA plus eight speciality shops. The scope of works entailed soft demolition of the existing building, bricklaying, civil construction, plumbing, electrical, multiple finishing trades and roof works. Extensive works to the existing roof structure were required as a part of the initial construction phase which involved re-sheeting, flashing and general roof rectification works.
How the incident occurred On the day of the incident workers at the construction project were carrying out tasks on the roof of the existing complex. In the course of this work Jimmy Walsh fell three metres through a pre-existing skylight to the concrete floor below. The working environment consisted of an
existing roof, a new roof structure, which had already been constructed at a lower level, but was attached to the existing roof and a second existing roof, which adjoined the existing roof and contained three skylights. Hutchinson Builders’ workers were cleaning the existing roof on the original building in preparation for the construction of the flashing substrate. During this process, Jimmy, who was one of the workers on the roof, stumbled and, in an attempt to regain balance, stepped backwards onto a pre-existing skylight. As a result of this sudden impact the skylight broke, and he fell approximately three metres to the concrete floor below.
The investigation A thorough investigation established that a number of factors contributed to the incident, including that the skylight had suffered degradation due to old age, weather impacts and overhanging trees. An assessment of the skylight’s integrity was not carried out prior to the roof works. The other factor that impacted the situation was inadvertence in not identifying the possible risks associated with working in proximity to skylights made of brittle materials. The risks associated with weathered skylights have generally been overlooked by industry. However, typically ageing skylights are brittle and fragile. As a result, work was performed around the skylights without any additional control measures being implemented. Unfortunately, Hutchinson Builders, in this instance, failed to foresee the risks associated with the existing skylights and therefore did not implement adequate controls.
Avoiding this scenario in the future Immediately following the incident, Hutchinson Builders fitted ply boxes over the three existing skylights and removed the skylights from the roof structure. As a longterm solution for the project, metal flashing was placed over the penetrations. Further to this, Hutchinson Builders’ Safe Work Method Statement for working at heights was amended to include the assessment and identification of brittle roofing materials, and this risk is now assessed on all relevant projects.
New safety education materials Hutchinson Builders’ Health & Safety team, in conjunction with its Training & Workforce Development team, have since developed 11 internal Health & Safety Training modules targeted at high risk areas – these modules were rolled out company-wide during March
2013. The team then ensures training occurs on an as required basis in accordance with the Hutchinson Builders’ ‘Training Needs Analysis’ and corporate procedures. This key deliverable has helped to ensure that Hutchinson Builders’ staff understand and identify all risks on its construction projects, and implements appropriate control measures in accordance with their Health and Safety Management System. Hutchinson Builders also engaged a Brisbane-based interactive learning company to create an industry guide and DVD, Safe Work on Roofs, which is now available. To demonstrate our support of this important initiative Master Builders has 100 free copies of the DVD and guide available for industry. Call Master Builders on 3225 6517 or email email@example.com to request your copy.
This significant incident affected many members of the Hutchinson Builders’ worker family and as such, their commitment to providing safe workplaces for their workforce has never been stronger. june/july 14
[ 17 ]
Jimmy’s story – it can happen to anyone Jimmy Walsh was the Hutchinson Builders’ employee who fell three metres – but was fortunate to live to tell the tale. Tragically, other workers in this scenario have not been so lucky. However, despite this luck, recovery and rehabilitation have been a long, hard and often painful road for Jimmy. Jimmy sustained multiple injuries as a result of his fall, including a traumatic brain injury, skull fractures, ear canal fractures, collar bone and shoulder blade fractures, loss of taste and smell, fractured ribs and internal bleeding. Almost three years since the incident, Jimmy has been left with an acquired brain injury which inhibits his short term memory, ability to return to driving and the workplace and has significantly impacted his family life.
With the support of his wife, Monica, Jimmy educates students at the Hutchinson Builders’ School of Construc on about his injury and previous experiences.
Jimmy spent four months in the PA Hospital Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit and has continued with carers, occupational therapists, and physiotherapy since the injury. Jimmy will never return to work on a construction site in a full time capacity; however, with incredible support from his wife, Monica, and regular contact with the team at Hutchinson Builders, he currently works four hours a week at Hutchinson Builders’ School of Construction on the Gold Coast, educating students about his injury and previous experiences.
Let Master Builders assist you to make WHS a priority • Tradies have the 3rd highest risk of serious workplace injury* • Construction is always in Australia’s top 4 most high-risk industries*
WHS Management Plans
Management of subcontractors
Safe Work Method Statements
Hazardous substances and personal protective equipment
Documentation, reporting and records
Emergency planning and incident management
Site set-up, including amenities, boundary protection and signage
Plant and equipment.
This service is offered as part of your membership. Make the most of it! Call 1300 30 50 10 or go to masterbuilders.asn.au *
Hutchinson Builders, Safe work on roofs, 2008–2011©
Get your complimentary ‘Safe work at heights’ DVD or hard copy guide. Call 3225 6517 e firstname.lastname@example.org
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Minimise risk and improve safety at your work site. Take advantage of Master Builders’ team of industry experts who can provide specialist advice and assistance in:
Reports & statistics Paul Bidwell â€“ Deputy Executive Director
Building recovery not to be taken for granted The latest building approvals figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for March reveal a faltering of new construction work. A 3.3% drop in the total number of dwellings approved in Queensland from 2,959 in February 2014 to 2,861 in March 2014 (seasonally adjusted) is a timely reminder that the building recovery cannot be taken for granted. This is the second consecutive month where building approvals have fallen away.
While Master Builders still retains a positive outlook for the industry for 2014 and beyond, we are viewing this faltering in approvals as an early warning for the pipeline of new construction work, and are looking to the state government for support as it finalises the budgets this month.
A slump in approvals for multi-unit dwellings was largely responsible for the March drop, with the sector struggling to maintain the high levels achieved in the later part of last year.
We see new housing construction as being unduly weighed down by government taxes and charges and believe all levels of government must address this issue if we are
serious about ensuring the construction sector is the driver of long-term economic growth. At a regional level, the south east corner continues to be the centre of construction activity. Far North Queensland was the stand out performer in March, coming off a very low base in anticipation of future tourism investment.
% change Feb 14 to Mar 14
% change Feb 14 to Mar 14
Darling Downs & South West Qld
Burnett Wide Bay
Mackay & Whitsunday
Far North Qld
[ 19 ]
Policy & advocacy
Pre-budget slip for housing finance development and 17 to 22% of a greenfield development. This also distorts housing investment decisions in favour of existing houses, further pushing up house prices. One of the levers that the state government has control of is transfer duty. Transfer duties discourage the turnover of housing and distort choices between renting and buying. Master Builders believes that changes are necessary to lower this burden and refocus housing demand. Now is the time to look to significant changes to the transfer duty arrangements for all new residential development (detached or attached/multi-unit): •
Transfer duty should only be paid once on the land.
The cost of construction should be exempt from transfer duty.
A slight drop in the latest housing finance figures reinforces that the Queensland Government must consider the building and construction industry in the State Budget 2014. Housing finance data showed a 2% drop in the number of dwellings financed in Queensland, from 10,074 in February 2014 to 9,857 in March 2014 (seasonally adjusted). While these figures actually translate to a 1% increase over the March 2014 quarter and a 10.3% increase on the March 2013 quarter (which puts the industry in a stronger position than last year), this recent drop is a timely reminder that we cannot take the housing recovery for granted. Despite the disappointing monthly result, Master Builders is still positive about the outlook for the housing sector. However, the focus is now firmly on the Queensland Government as it puts the finishing touches on the state budget to be announced in June 2014. The lack of demand for new construction has been keenly felt by contractors in the residential and commercial sectors right across the state. The most recent Master Builders’ Survey of Industry Conditions again highlights a lacklustre level of demand as the number one constraint on the industry.
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Master Builders applauds the Queensland Government’s progress in reforming the state’s property, development assessment and planning systems together with facilitating major projects. A number of effective steps have already been taken to reduce the cost of construction in the housing sector, including scrapping the mandatory requirements for rainwater tanks and greenhouse efficient hot water systems in new homes. While significant progress in driving building activity has been made, more needs to be done to ensure the construction sector is a significant driver of the Queensland economy – and Master Builders will be looking for measures in the budget that drive activity in both sectors.
Housing sector For the residential sector this means shifting demand for housing away from established to new construction. New housing construction continues to be weighed down unduly by government taxes and charges. A report by URBIS in 2011 found that government taxes and charges account for 14 to 16% of an infill
For the commercial sector, Master Builders has called on the Queensland Government to increase capital investment. Increased government expenditure in infrastructure and other capital assets at this time is important as the industry moves out of the resource investment boom. It will help smooth the damaging swings of chronic under and overinvestment, especially in regional Queensland. Master Builders acknowledges that forgoing transfer duty revenue and providing additional funding for the capital program is problematic for the 2014–15 State Budget, particularly given the challenges the government faces in repairing the state’s balance sheet. However, these measures must be considered a priority in the interests of stimulating economic growth and employment. To fund these initiatives Master Builders supports the government divesting itself of assets and channelling the revenue from these sales into expenditure on infrastructure and other capital works across the state. They are vital for increasing demand for new construction and creating a wave of investment and jobs. They will also ensure Queensland will also be in a stronger position to attract more investment from interstate and overseas. For more information, download a copy of Master Builders’ pre-budget submission at masterbuilders.asn.au/publications-andresources/policy-submissions, call 1300 30 50 10 or email email@example.com
Don’t leave steel compliance to chance.
• Whether you’re an engineer, certiﬁer, builder or supplier – using and signing off on non-compliant steel is simply a chance that’s not worth taking. • If the integrity of your structure fails, loss of reputation and ﬁnancial liability could just be the beginning of your problems. • Building with steel that appears less expensive could also mean it doesn’t comply with Australia/New Zealand Standards for construction. • ACRS Certiﬁcates of Product Compliance help check compliance to Australian/New Zealand Standards and the Building Codes. • How do you know your building or construction is safe if you don’t know if the materials are compliant? • Understanding how you can protect yourself is critical. You have the power to refuse to use non-compliant steel. • So ask yourself this – is it worth building without an ACRS certiﬁcate?
It’s not a risk worth taking. 'HPDQGWKH$&56&HUWLÀFDWHVRI3URGXFW&RPSOLDQFH Contact ACRS on (02) 9965 7216 or info@steelcertiﬁcation.com or visit www.steelcertiﬁcation.com $&56²7KH$XVWUDODVLDQ&HUWLÀFDWLRQ$XWKRULW\IRU5HLQIRUFLQJDQG6WUXFWXUDO6WHHOV/WG$%1
Reports & statistics
Confidence remains high despite softening of building approvals Master Builders’ Survey of Industry Conditions for the March 2014 quarter revealed that builders remain optimistic about what lies ahead, despite a softening in the construction work pipeline seen in March building approvals numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Confidence levels remained high despite a climate of weaker employment and consumer sentiment, and the reality of the end of the resources boom in some regional areas. Despite the challenging economic conditions in the residential and commercial sectors, it is very reassuring to see that a relatively high level of confidence has been maintained for over six months. Conditions in the residential and commercial sectors improved during the March quarter although they are still far from satisfactory, particularly for commercial builders across the state, who are dealing with the continued wind down in public expenditure and the ongoing softening in resources-related activity. Activity in both of these sectors was constrained by weak demand and the risk-averse attitude of many consumers and businesses – with regional areas particularly hard hit. Unfortunately, there is still a worryingly high proportion of businesses reporting lower levels of
[ 22 ] june/july 14
work in progress, with turnover and profitability declining over the quarter. The results reinforce Master Builders’ view that a building recovery cannot be taken for granted. While a positive outlook for the building industry for 2014 and beyond is maintained, Master Builders is still calling on state government support as the state budget is finalised and announced in June. See page 20 for more details on Master Builders’ pre-budget submission. Consideration must be given to the construction industry, which plays an essential role in any return to times of economic growth. Not only does each dollar invested in new housing have a multiplier effect to the rest of the economy, the construction industry is the number one provider of full-time jobs in Queensland. This latest survey demonstrates that the industry is still struggling and jobs continue to be lost, with 27% of businesses reporting a reduction in the size of their workforce.
Reports & statistics
Hot topic: non-conforming products This quarter’s hot topic sought to determine the extent and nature of non-conforming products in the building industry supply chain.
Other key points from the survey included very few businesses reporting skills shortages and the most critical constraint on business growth being the lacklustre level of demand – which has been the biggest drag on the construction industry since the June 2011 quarter.
Regional summary As in the previous quarter, most of the key business benchmarks, including profitability and work levels, were less than satisfactory across nearly all regions of the state. The south east corner continues to lead the way, albeit at a more modest level than in the previous December 2013 quarter. The resource regions of Mackay & Whitsunday and Central Queensland continued to struggle as mining investment and activity continues to fall.
Master Builders has been receiving regular reports of the widespread proliferation of nonconforming products across the builder supply chain. The survey results confirm that nonconforming products are a significant problem in the building industry. Just over 40% of respondents reported that they have had experience with nonconforming products on their projects. Fortunately, the issue is still rare, with only 1.7% of respondents coming across nonconforming products regularly. Non-conforming products were most likely to be sourced from Australian based retailers. 50.8% from large retailers such as a Bunnings or Masters and 30.2% from a specialist construction industry supplier.
The key constraints across most regions were once again the level of demand, planning approval processes, and finance availability and cost. Labour costs are a growing area of concern, especially in regions with a less flexible labour market, dominated by the resource sector. Central Queensland and Far North Queensland also dealt with a challenging Queensland summer.
While anecdotally the problem is often reported as being one of ‘cheap imports’, this is not the whole story, with 15% of respondents reporting that the non-conforming product was purchased directly from an Australian manufacturer.
Despite the challenges, respondents from across much of the state retain a positive outlook for the future. Master Builders’ Survey of Industry Conditions report provides information and analysis on industry expectations and business performance, based on a survey of Master Builders’ members across Queensland. For copies of the reports, visit www.masterbuilders. asn.au/publications-and-resources/reportsand-statistics
Non-conforming products do not meet regulatory, Australian or industry standards. They are not fit for purpose, are not of acceptable quality, contain false or misleading claims or are counterfeit.
The problem is far reaching with nonconforming products being found across every building product category. The two most common areas were plumbing and drainage and metal fixings (screws, bolts, etc.). Worryingly, electrical non-conforming products, which are heavily regulated through the Electrical Equipment Safety System, were also common. In the majority of cases, the builder or the trade contractor is left with the responsibility
for rectifying any problems that arise as a result of non-conforming products. Rarely is the manufacturer held responsible. Strategies to minimise risk The extent to which builders have been able to limit their exposure to non-conforming product risk is in part the result of a conservative approach to product procurement. A significant majority manage risk by seeking to stay with the same suppliers for the same products and almost 20% of respondents regularly seek out new products and new suppliers. A growing prevalence of non-conforming products in the market place could be expected to increase this conservatism, limiting opportunities for innovation and efficiency gains. The majority of respondents also reported that they operated a detailed checking process as a means of managing their risk exposure. This ranged from formal quality assurance processes to individual builders personally checking everything that comes on site. This adds time and cost to the build project and relies heavily on the experience and know-how of the builder or trade contractor. Another strategy is to seek to manage the liability. Many respondents required that manufacturers, suppliers and trade contractors provide guarantees and warranties that all materials supplied are to Australian Standards. Similarly, many are placing their trust in the accreditation markings and certification paperwork that accompanies products. A number of respondents are relying on government regulators such as the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) and the Office of Fair Trading as well as relevant industry associations (such as Master Builders and Master Electricians) to notify them of any non-conforming products. Nearly a third of respondents are exposed to significant risk with no system in place to check for non-conforming products.
Building industry outlook
Level of work
Darling Downs and South West Queensland
Burnett Wide Bay
Far North Queensland
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Building & planning Tony Mitchell – Manager Building Services
Slip resistance – transitional changes 2014–15 The Building Code of Australia contains various references to the terms slip resistant, non-slip and non-skid, with levels of slip resistance or the difference in these terms never quantified. This is about to change. In the past, individuals were left to make up their own minds on what the terms might mean or how they were applied. Over time this has caused confusion, resulting in expensive solutions or unsafe situations, causing injuries and potential liability for the contractor. Clarification was obviously necessary and the revised Australian Standard AS 4586 – 2013 Slip resistance classification of new pedestrian surface materials will now become a referenced standard within the BCA to address this issue and make clear the testing and classification requirements. As a contractor it is important that you understand the new means to quantify slip resistance and the documentary evidence necessary to confirm the product/installation compliance to the satisfaction of the building certifier. Presently, the clauses within the BCA with references to ’slip resistant‘, ’non-slip‘ and ’nonskid‘ are in the following provisions:
for Swimming Pools has been excluded from any reference to AS 4586 as those areas relate to the Commonwealth’s disability standards. It is anticipated the next review of the disability access standard will give further clarity on slip resistant requirements to those areas. Upon that basis, the changes for slip resistance within the BCA commenced from 1 May 2014 and will only apply to stairs (including landings, treads or nosings) and ramps on all building classes. Presently there is no intention to widen the slip resistance requirements to any other part of a residential or commercial building. Work health and safety issues are addressed under separate legislation and codes of practices for slip resistance. As the new changes for products and installation practices are unchartered territory, especially for the residential sector, Master Builders requested that the introduction of the slip resistant requirements for residential be delayed until 1 May 2015. That request was successful.
DP2 of Volume One for stairways and ramps
D2.10 of Volume One for pedestrian ramps
D2.13 of Volume One for stairways
D2.14 of Volume One for stairway landings
For this reason the BCA slip resistance requirements will apply to all class 2 – 9 buildings per Volume One of the BCA as at 1 May 2014.
Specification D3.10 of Volume One for ramps, zero depth swimming pool entry and around a swimming pool sling
The BCA slip resistance requirements will not apply to class 1 – 10 buildings per Volume Two of the BCA until 1 May 2015.
P2.5.1 of Volume Two for stairways and ramps
What are the slip resistance ratings?
188.8.131.52 of Volume Two for stair treads.
The Australian Standard AS 4586 – 2013 Slip resistance classification of new pedestrian surface materials contains five methods to quantify a rating.
There will be no change to the performance requirements of BCA Volumes One and Two. However, the deemed to satisfy provisions will change by the inclusion of reference tables that state a location, the wet or dry condition and the applicable compliant slip resistance rating. Specification D3.10 Accessible Water Entry/Exit
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The BCA will only use two of these methods whereby acceptable ratings are given as a ‘P’ or ‘R’ classification for a particular location. The wet pendulum test is used to measure the frictional characteristics of the pedestrian
surface and is carried out on a horizontal surface, where possible. The test results are stated as a slip resistant value which is then given a P classification. For example, the P5 classification equates to a slip resistant value of greater than 55, which is good. The P0 classification represents a slip resistant value less than 12, which is therefore less slip resistant. The oil wet inclining test also measures the frictional characteristics of the pedestrian surface by using the oil wet application with specific footwear on an inclining platform. The test results are given an R classification, which correlates to the inclination angle for when the person was likely to slip on the inclined test platform. For example, the R13 classification equates to an inclination angle greater than 35 degrees, which is good. The R9 classification relates to an inclination less than 10 degrees and is not as slip resistant. With this in mind, the BCA will now state the minimum slip resistance for new elements in the wet condition (where the element is in an outdoors area or an indoor wet area) and the dry condition (where the element is in an indoor dry area) by using a ’P‘ or ’R‘ classification value suitable for a particular location. The BCA references the ‘P’ and ‘R’ classifications requirements for slip resistance as follows.
Building & planning
Volume One, class 2 – 9 (a floor surface of a ramp, a surface of a tread or the nosing strip on the tread, and a surface of a landing or the strip at the edge of the landing) must have a slip resistance classification not less than that listed in Table D2.14 Table D2.14 slip resistance classification Application
of products used for the surface (if this information is known) and any surface coating, grouts or treatments and, for carpet or ‘carpet-like’ surface materials, the presence of any underlay, condition of the surface and whether the surface was tested wet or dry •
Type of test, including whether the specimen is tested loose or fixed in situ, the direction of test and slope of specimen
If appropriate, extent and type of cleaning performed on the specimens
The air temperature, in degrees Celsius, and relevant environmental conditions
The type of slider used and its method of preparation
If testing in situ, a description of the site condition, including any contamination, coatings or wear and slopes
Surface conditions Dry
Ramp steeper than 1:14
P4 or R11
P5 or R12
Ramp steeper than 1:20 but not steeper than 1:14
P4 or R11
Tread or landing surface
P3 or R10
P4 or R11
Nosing or Landing edge strip
P4 or R11
Volume Two, class 1 and 10 (any stairway or ramp) must have slip resistant walking surfaces on ramps, and on stairways treads or near the edge of the nosing with a slip resistant classification not less than that listed in Table 184.108.40.206
Table 220.127.116.11 slip resistance classification
The mean BPN for each test specimen, including the direction of test and slope corrected values, where appropriate
The SRV for the sample, accurate to the nearest whole number, and after temperature correction in the case of Slider 55 being used
Surface conditions Application Dry
P3 or R10
P4 or R11
What should you do now? As a contractor you need to determine what slip resistance methods are required for the ramps, landings, treads or tread nosings throughout the structure before you tender, quote or enter into a contract to perform any building works. Further to this, there are the test method requirements as per AS 4586 which are a highly detailed process. A test method report which nominates the slip resistance classification of a product must be reported in accordance with the requirements of the standard.
It is also important to note that the testing can only be performed by a Registered Testing Authority, Accredited Certification Body that complies with the BCA Part A2 and 1.2 Acceptance of Design and Construction. Upon that basis it is recommended that you: •
Identification of the test sample
Date and location of test
Name(s) of the personnel that conducted the test
A description of the test sample, including identity of test surfaces or designation, manufacturer, product, quality class (where applicable), colour and dimensions
Identify all ramps, landings, treads or tread nosings throughout the project where slip resistance classifications will now apply.
Ask for documentary evidence up front. You will need evidence of test reports performed in accordance with AS 45862013 for the product you choose.
Do not assume that a stamp on the side of box stating “Complies with AS 4586-2013” is acceptable. It is simply not good enough. If a problem were to occur you will need to provide the test report documents as a defence.
Do not order and install products without the documentation to support compliance with the standard.
Be prepared to provide a Form 15 and 16 for each product and the ‘as constructed’ slip resistant works throughout the project to a building certifier. No building final will mean no payment to you from the client.
It is not your responsibility to do the report. However, it is a good idea to start asking for evidence of suitable reports to support your choice and use of a particular product. A typical test method report for the wet pendulum would include:
Classification achieved in accordance with Table 2. Reference to this Australian Standard and test method, i.e. Appendix A, AS 4586–2013.
Before you start – confirm the process and documentary evidence required with your
building certifier before you commence the works.
Summary Compliance with the new slip resistance requirements is a statutory requirement, which commenced on 1 May 2014 with the residential requirement transitioned to apply from 1 May 2015. You should determine the extent of slip resistant requirements before you price and perform any works. Always seek documentary evidence to support the products’ claim of compliance with the standard. If in doubt, ask Master Builders first and avoid a costly mistake on slip resistance issues. Copies of the BCA can be purchased through the Australian Building Codes Board at www.abcb.gov.au and copies of Australian Standard AS 4586 – 2013 Slip resistance classification of new pedestrian surface materials can be purchased via Master Builders’ website at masterbuilders.asn.au/eshop For more information on slip resistance, call Master Builders’ Technical team on 3225 6419, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit masterbuilders.asn.au/slipresistance
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[ 25 ]
Building & planning Tony Mitchell – Manager Building Services
National Construction Code 2014 – important changes hallway associated with a bedroom, or in an area between the bedrooms and the remainder of the building. The design of these residential buildings will often mean that a varying number of alarms can be distributed throughout the building. For this reason a fire in one particular location which triggers an alarm would not necessarily warn the other occupants in the premises that a fire event was occurring. In order to increase the occupants’ awareness of such an event, the BCA will now require that in a class 1 building and within sole occupancy units of a class 2 or 3 building and in a class 4 part of a building, alarms must now be interconnected. Therefore, when one alarm is activated, it will activate all other alarms in the occupancy. Exit signs options
With the new edition of the NCC taking effect in May, you need to know what the changes mean for your business. The National Construction Code Series (NCC) is an initiative of the Council of Australian Governments, developed to incorporate all on-site construction requirements into a single code.
reflect the results of research and improved technology. It is important that you perform works in accordance with the applicable version of the NCC, as failure to do so is a breach of your statutory and contractual obligations.
The 2014 edition of the NCC took effect from 1 May 2014 in Queensland and is published in three volumes:
What has changed for 2014?
Early response fire alarm systems
Volume One: Building Code of Australia Class 2 to 9 buildings
Volume Two: Building Code of Australia Class 1 and 10 buildings
Volume Three: Plumbing Code of Australia/ Technical Provisions & Product Certification
The Building Code of Australia (BCA) and Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA) are given legal status in Queensland by reference in the Building Act and the Standard Plumbing and Drainage Regulation. The annual changes and amendments to the NCC are intended to improve clarity of provisions, upgrade referenced documents and
[ 26 ] june/july 14
For many years the BCA has required smoke alarms and, in some cases, heat detection alarm systems to be installed throughout residential buildings. To allow occupants ample time to respond, these alarms are situated at or near the ceiling, in positions such as hallway-adjacent bedrooms or each part of a dwelling containing bedrooms and the remainder of the dwelling. For example, in a class 1b building, such as a boarding house, guest house, or hostel, a smoke alarm must be installed at or near the ceiling in every bedroom, in every corridor or
The running man exit sign is a common image used throughout class 2 to 9 buildings. It is a requirement that these buildings are provided with adequate lighting upon failure of normal artificial lighting during an emergency, and with adequate means to identify exits and paths of travel to an exit. There has been an emerging trend over time in some countries to allow the use of photoluminescent (PL) exit signs as an option to the commonly used internally illuminated exit signs. Photoluminescence describes the phenomenon of visible light emission from any form of matter for a period of time after the absorption UV rays. The subsequent innovation of this quality has provided a PL exit sign proven to glow for sufficient time to identify exits and paths in case of an emergency. The use of a PL exit is now an option under the BCA and is dependent upon certain specifications being met. As part of the new deemed to satisfy provisions for PL signs, a new specification has been included that sets out minimum illumination, luminance and duration for the performance of a PL sign. The specification also covers sign colour, borders, pictorial elements and viewing distances and must: •
Be maintained in a continuously charged state by a minimum illumination of 100lux at the face of the sign by a dedicated light
Building & planning
source with a colour temperature not less than 4000K •
In the event of a power failure continue to provide a minimum luminance of 30mcd/ m2 (millicandelas) Pictorial elements where the colour white is used, be replaced with a photoluminescent material
Must not be less than 1.3 times larger than specified for standard sign
The maximum viewing distance must not be more than 24 metres.
Fire hose reels Dangers associated with fire hose reels in class 2 and 3, and class 4 parts of buildings has been an ongoing concern for some time now. These are essentially buildings containing two or more sole occupancy units, residential parts of buildings such as boarding houses, hotel, motels, and accommodation for the aged, children or people with disabilities. It is highly unlikely that an occupant who finds themselves having to use the fire hose would
have been adequately trained or appreciate the dangers of extinguishing differing types of fires with water. The use of water as the extinguishing medium is extremely dangerous when directed at electrical, fat and oil fires that can readily occur in these type of buildings. It has also been observed that the fire hoses have, at times, been left to prop open fire doors that form part of the building’s fire separating construction. These concerns were given due consideration with the commissioning of an assessment on the risks of fire hose reels and the option to use portable fire extinguishers in residential premises. For this reason the requirement to provide fire hose reels in class 2 and 3 buildings, and class 4 parts of buildings has been removed. The installation requirements for portable fire extinguishers, including a requirement to cover class A fire risks, has now been introduced. Portable fire extinguishers provided in a class 2 or 3 building or a class 4 part of a building must be:
A type ABE type fire extinguisher
A minimum 2.5kg
Travel distance from any sole occupancy unit to the fire extinguisher is not more than 10 metres.
Class 3 timber framed construction A concession exists under the BCA which applies to certain class 2 buildings allowing the use of timber framing. Typically, non-combustible construction would have applied. However extensive research by the Fire Code Reform Centre determined that fire loads for timber framed buildings would not prevent the safe evacuation of a three storey, class 2 building. Therefore construction practices for brick or concrete were exempted which allowed the use of timber framing. Consideration was also given to exempting class 3 buildings which are a residential building rather than a building of class 1 or 2, which is a common place of long-term or transient living for a number of unrelated persons. However further research was
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Building & planning recommended before that concession could apply.
Slip resistance – transitional requirements 2014 and 2015
The National Association of Forest Wood products Australia has now completed the additional research further to the earlier findings on fire loads and evacuation requirements. The concession to use timber framing has now been expanded and can apply to certain class 3 buildings
The BCA contains various slip resistant, nonskid or non-slip properties requirements for stairway treads, landings and ramps. However, to date the BCA has not stipulated what the level of slip resistance was or how it could be quantified.
Hardboard wall cladding Within the industry, concerns have been raised that hardboard wall cladding was not covered via a deemed to satisfy provision within the BCA. This means that the use of these products would require that an alternative solution was necessary. Therefore requiring assessment according to one or more of the assessments methods in the BCA to determine compliance with the performance requirements. New provisions will apply and allow the use of hardboard wall cladding without having to revert to an alternative solution. Hardboard wall cladding will now supplement the current range of wall cladding options within volume 2 of the BCA with the referencing of new standard AS/NZS 1859.4 Reconstituted wood-based panels, Specifications, Wet-processed fibreboard.
For this reason there was a level of uncertainty on what was an acceptable construction practice to mitigate risk and minimise costs. Australian Standard AS 4586 – 2013 Slip resistance classification of new pedestrian surface materials has recently been reviewed and is now considered acceptable to be referenced within both volumes of the BCA. The 2014 NCC now includes minimum slip resistance classifications and references AS 4586-2013 as a means of determining the applicable slip resistance level for a particular location. The new slip resistance requirements will also mean that that the use of a particular product will require documentary evidence, such as a test report, to indicate product compliance. This documentation will also have to be provided to the building certifier within a form 15 and 16 to comply with the building permit requirements.
The BCA will allow the acceptance of test reports based on the 2004 edition of AS/NZS 4586 and issued prior to the 2013 edition of AS 4586. Tests reports after the BCA reference date of 1 May 2014 must comply with the new AS 4586. It is important to note that the new requirement is transitional. Therefore, it will only apply to class 2 to 9 buildings from 1 May 2014 with the requirement becoming applicable for all class 1 and 10 builders next year from 1 May 2015. See the slip resistance article on page 26 for more information. Plumbing Code of Australia It has been three years since the PCA joined the building codes in the NCC stable. As part of the 2011 NCC changes there was a need to address the inconsistencies between the BCA and technical plumbing requirements, which were stretched across AS 3500 Plumbing and Drainage and the PCA 2004. In 2014 the PCA and NCC are harmonised further as follows: •
Heated water energy efficiency provisions have been consolidated into the PCA to enable all the relevant provisions to be accessed from the one place.
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Building & planning •
Part A4 will define, consistent with similar parts of the BCA, the building classifications already referred to in some parts of the PCA.
There has also been some restructuring of the deemed to satisfy provisions to clarify their application either as general provisions or specific installations where fixtures and fittings accessible for persons with a disability are required.
The NCC series references various new and transitional standards which assist in the provision of building solutions to meet performance requirements of the codes. Some of the changes to Volume 1 BCA include: •
AS/NZS 1170.2 amendment 3 to AS/NZS 1170 Part 2 Structural Design Actions – Wind Actions has been referenced. AS 1657 reference to the 1992 edition of AS 1657 Fixed platforms, walkways and ladders – Design , construction and installation has been updated to the 2013 edition.
For this reason, the term ‘termite barrier’ has been changed to ‘termite management system’ to better reflect the range of physical and chemical options currently available. The term has also been changed where it appears in all other provisions.
Some of the changes to Volume 2 BCA include: •
AS/NZS 1170.2 amendment 3 to AS /NZS 1170 Part 2 Structural Design Actions – Wind Actions has been referenced.
AS/NZS 1859.4 – the 2004 edition of AS/ NZS 1859 – Part 4 Reconstituted wood based panels – Specifications – Wet processed fibreboard d has been referenced as a consequence of including hardboard as an acceptable building cladding.
AS 4055 – the 2006 edition of AS 4055 Wind Loads for Housing has been removed as a consequence of the completion of a 12 month transition period between the 2006 and 2012 editions.
Referenced standards Standards are living documents which are continuously reviewed and amended to address technical and regulatory requirements within the building and construction industry.
building code has made some initial changes which will then be given further clarity when the revised standard is referenced at a later time.
AS 4586 – the 2013 edition of AS 4586 Slip resistance classification of new pedestrian surface materials has been referenced as a consequence of the quantification of slip resistance requirements for treads and surfaces of stairways.
Summary Compliance with the 2014 edition of the NCC is a statutory requirement. You should always review and check that the proposed constructed works will comply with the applicable sections of the code. If in doubt, ask Master Builders first and avoid a costly mistake on code specific issues. Copies of the code can be purchased through the Australian Building Codes Board at www.abcb.gov.au/ For more information on the NCC, call Master Builders’ Technical team on 3225 6419, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.masterbuilders.asn.au/ncc or watch the NCC Broadcast highlights video at youtube.com/masterbuildersqld
Termite management There are some significant changes ahead for the reviewed AS 3660.1 Termite Management – New Building Work. Part of that review has highlighted the preference to revisit and clarify what termite management is. Therefore, the
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Employment & wages Mikki Richardson – Senior Workplace Relations Advisor
Workplace bullying – the first quarter
According to the report the majority of applications made by workers alleged bullying by their managers (109). Other workers were nominated in 27 applications, followed by 20 applications against a group of workers, and three against a subordinate.
From 1 January 2014 a worker engaged by a constitutionallycovered business, who reasonably believes they are being bullied at work, can apply to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for an order requiring the bullying to stop.
Applications from the building, metal and civil construction industries accounted for only four of the total 151 applications, with the highest number of complainants (23) arising out of the clerical industry.
Bullying in your workplace
Whilst it was anticipated the Commission could expect to receive up to 875 applications per quarter, the report indicates that a total of 151 applications by workers have been made for an order to stop bullying at work. Of those applications, 56 matters in the quarter were finalised, eight as a result of a decision by the Commission and the remaining 48 withdrawn or resolved during the course of general proceedings.
Whilst an employer’s obligation to provide a safe, healthy and productive work environment is ongoing, the FWC jurisdictional change dealing with workplace bullying at a tribunal level highlights the importance of having policies and procedures in place to manage any issues or complaints within your workplace.
The following table provides detail on the eight decisions made in the quarter1:
We recommend you:
The FWC have released their first quarterly report on the anti-bullying jurisdiction, covering the period 1 January to 31 March 2014.
Decision details Total applications dismissed
Jurisdictional objection upheld – application dismissed
Application dismissed – bullying at work not found and/or no risk of bullying continuing
Application dismissed: s.587
Total applications granted
Application granted – worker at risk of continued bullying at work, order issued
Application granted – worker at risk of continued bullying at work, order yet to be issued
Application granted – worker at risk of continued bullying at work, further decision and order issued
Total final results Australia wide
[ 30 ] june/july 14
Review and update existing bullying policies
Review and update complaints and grievance handling procedures
Conduct refresher training for all staff on bullying in the workplace
Conduct refresher training for managers/ supervisors outlining how to investigate and resolve complaints/grievances in accordance with company procedure.
For more information, contact Master Builders on 3225 6407 or email email@example.com 1 Fair Work Commission An -bullying Report Jan–Mar 2014 Fair Work Commission: 2014
FOR INDUSTRY’S NIGHT OF NIGHTS Save the date – the Housing & Construction Awards are just around the corner! With entries now closed and judging underway in most regions, it’s not long until the 2014 winners are revealed at prestigious venues across the state. To make sure you don’t miss out on your local Awards night, keep an eye out for our email offering tickets for purchase. Tickets will be made available around six weeks before each awards ceremony.
SHARE YOUR PHOTOS ON THE NIGHT
Facebook. All entries must include the mandatory hashtag #mbawards and fit into the following three categories:
This year we’re excited to be running a photo competition in conjunction with the 2014 Housing & Construction Awards program.
1. Entries (i.e. houses and projects entered)
The #mbawards photo competition is an exciting opportunity to showcase your experience of the Awards and gives you the chance to win one of three fantastic prizes.
3. On the night (i.e. winner photos, award plaques, location and group shots)
To enter, simply upload your photo of your experience to Instagram, Twitter or
For full competition details and terms and conditions, visit masterbuilders.asn.au/awardsphotocomp
2. People (i.e. getting ready, group shots at the event)
KEY DATES Region
Award ceremony event date
Friday, 4 July
Saturday, 12 July
Jupiters Gold Coast Hotel & Casino
Burnett Wide Bay
Friday, 18 July
Brolga Theatre, Maryborough
Saturday, 19 July
Novotel Twin Waters Resort
Downs & Western
Saturday, 2 August
City Golf Club, Toowoomba
Mackay & Whitsunday
Friday, 15 August
Mackay Convention Centre
Saturday, 16 August
Robert Schwarten Pavilion
Friday, 22 August
Jupiters Townsville Hotel & Casino
Far North Queensland
Saturday, 23 August
Cairns Convention Centre
Friday, 26 September
Brisbane City Hall
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First glimpse: Commonwealth Games Village revealed The countdown is now on for the much-anticipated Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, with Queenslanders given a first look at the master plan for one of its key infrastructure projects. Planning is well underway to deliver the best Commonwealth Games ever, on-time and on-budget, with the games expected to be the Gold Coast and Australia’s largest sporting event of the decade.
Grocon’s previous local projects include the Oracle Apartments at Broadbeach and Soul at Surfers Paradise, for which they took home Project of the Year at the 2013 Gold Coast Master Builders Housing & Construction Awards.
Generating up to 30,000 full-time equivalent jobs and contributing $2 billion to the economy, the aim is to deliver world-class facilities for competing athletes from around the globe.
This latest project will occupy seven hectares of the 29-hectare Parklands site, with a further seven hectares dedicated to parks and open space.
The landmark design for the Commonwealth Games Village was recently revealed, with Australia’s largest private property investment, development and construction company, Grocon, announced as the preferred developer for what will be one of the largest urban renewal projects ever undertaken on the Gold Coast.
[ 32 ] june/july 14
Grocon CEO, Carolyn Viney, said they are thrilled to be part of the redevelopment of Parklands. “Grocon is honoured to be involved in delivering this important development for Queensland and we are focused on delivering a precinct of enduring value to the Gold Coast community,” Ms Viney said.
“Grocon’s design captures the essence of the sub-tropical environment of Queensland’s south coast with special attention being paid to sunlight, shading, natural air flows and water. “The urban and landscape design approach adopts the history and unique characteristics of the Gold Coast and its hinterland, intertwined with the role that water has played, and will continue to play, in shaping the Parklands site. “This approach finds its most obvious outcome in the major water feature at the village heart where the built environment meets the community park. “Grocon has submitted our proposed master plan for development approval and we aim to commence construction later this year.” The Village itself will provide essential services and accommodation for 6,500 athletes and officials in Games-mode and will be one of the Games’ most significant legacy projects. Further, it will inject an estimated $500 million into the local economy over the next five years and will generate more than 1,500 jobs during
its construction phase, offering a tremendous opportunity for the local construction industry, with much of the labour to be sourced locally. The master plan design includes more than 1,200 dwellings – comprising 1,171 one and two bedroom apartments and 82 townhouses across more than 30 new buildings ranging in height from single level to eight levels. This accommodation will become the residential component of this new vibrant, mixed-use, master planned, health and knowledge community after the Commonwealth Games. Other key features of the master plan include: •
Creation of a village heart that is identifiable during Games-mode and for the future urban community
Over seven hectares of total green and open space, landscaped areas, including a community park
Over 6,000m² retail precinct
12 hectares of land for future health and knowledge development.
The master plan, a simulated fly-through and artists impressions are available at www.edq.qld.gov.au/commonwealth-gamesvillage/economic-development-queensland/ commonwealth-games-village.html june/july 14
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Health, safety & environment Stephanie Gaylard – Manager Workplace Health & Safety
WHSQ mobile and operational plant campaign results are in Data from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s state wide mobile and operational plant campaignis now available for industry.
Key findings Exclusion zones Working around overhead powerlines Overall, one in three operators, and five out of nine owner operators were unable to:
The campaign, which is being delivered over a two-year period, systematically assesses various types of mobile and operational plant in the industry. With the assessment of construction earth moving plant complete, data is now available that will assist the industry to more effectively manage safety in this area.
1. Identify the exclusion zones for overhead electric lines prescribed under schedule 2 of the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013, and
Stage one – earthmoving plant
2. Determine when a trained safety observer is required.
From May – August 2013, a pilot audit of 65 sites targeting construction earthmoving plant was conducted in Queensland. The audit included three main categories of work: •
Road and bridge construction
Other heavy and civil engineering construction, and
Site preparation services.
Working inside plant exclusion zones Inspectors determined half of workers observed performing work inside exclusion zones did not need to be there. Audit findings revealed that the work could be performed:
The audit tool assessed a number of factors, including:
Outside the exclusion zone entirely
The interaction of workers with mobile plant
At another time, or
Traffic management on and around the site
When the plant was inactive.
The control and programming of activities involving workers around mobile plant
The assessment of competence in relation to operators of mobile plant
The quality and suitability of documentation Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) and Work Health and Safety (WHS) plans
On-site compliance with SWMS, and
Many exclusion zones relied on administrative controls, such as witches hats, bunting, or perimeters specified by SWMS only. Higher order controls, such as fencing or other physical barricading, were observed to be far more effective in controlling access to the plant work area.
Worker knowledge and understanding of SWMS specific to their tasks.
Plant assessed Excavators comprised two thirds of all audits. Graders, skid steer loaders, front end loaders, road rollers, dozers and backhoes were also audited.
Operator employment and category of work
Work activity undertaken
Employee of principal contractor Employee of subcontractor Owner operator
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63 out of the 65 workplaces had systems in place to ensure plant operators were aware of people in the immediate vicinity of the plant. Systems took into account visual obstructions including plant blind spots, trees and buildings.
Road and bridge construction
Other heavy and civil engineering construction
Site preparation services
Use of spotter to control entry into exclusion zones
Operator in radio contact with spotter
Stopping the plant if operator loses sight of the spotter.
Inspectors reported a notable improvement over the last several years in the quality and implementation of these systems.
Health, safety & environment Site inductions and toolbox or prestart meetings were also used to educate and reinforce site rules relating to plant and pedestrian interaction. Site security Inspectors noted that the civil construction industry is good overall at controlling risk of unauthorised entry, with the level of compliance generally increasing in proportion to the size of the PC/PCBU. Smaller subdivisions tended to have the lowest level of compliance. However, inspectors also indicated that compliance in residential construction in relation to controlling the risk of unauthorised entry where earthmoving plant is used continues to be a challenge. General signage and para-webbing or bunting was the most common combination of control measures where the risk of unauthorised entry was considered to be low. Controls, such as barricading and temporary fencing, were in use in areas where an increased risk of entry existed i.e. built up areas.
Recommendations Young workers
Monitoring and enforcement
The audit results indicated over half of all sites assessed provided no additional information, training, instruction or supervision to young or inexperienced workers in relation to construction hazards.
Direct supervision by site management was found to be the most effective method of ensuring compliance with SWMS for high risk construction work.
Sites that did provide young or inexperienced workers additional support favoured the allocation of a direct supervisor or senior mentor, with additional supervision from both management and more experienced workers also utilised. Other methods identified included the provision of additional training, expanded site inductions, or assigning an experienced peer buddy. Inspectors observed very few cases of young workers operating earthmoving plant, more common was the use of older, experienced operators. Where young workers were observed operating plant, the work was performed under direct supervision.
Whilst 62 of 65 operators stated they understood the contents of the SWMS, only half of all operators were consulted during the development or review of SWMS. SWMS contents SWMS assessed by inspectors were predominantly compliant in relation to content, risk identification and selection of suitable controls; this is consistent with findings from the Control of major risks on civil construction sites 2012 report. Inspectors noted that while the SWMS were comprehensive, they were often generic in nature rather than site specific.
Publication to the WHSQ website
Publication of a Construction eSAFE, summarising the key findings of the campaign
Distribution of the report to relevant industry associations.
Determining operator competency Larger sites tended to use well documented internal verification of competency (VOC) systems in combination with an external VOC conducted by a registered training organisation. Smaller sites generally relied upon a combination of previous experience, previously issued earthmoving licences and onsite VOCs conducted by site management or the most experienced operator. Methods of documenting onsite VOCs varied from having no written records through to comprehensive databases. Inspectors reported feedback from many sites expressing concern over the removal of mandatory licences for earthmoving equipment.
Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) Consultation with workers
The results of this pilot campaign are being communicated to the construction industry through:
Managing plant movements on-site Traffic management tended to be better controlled on civil sites as compared to commercial, with the quality of systems generally increasing in line with company size.
The recommendations also include updating the inspection audit tool for use in the next round of the campaign, focussing on the key findings, and include new components addressing systems of work involving excavation and plant used in crane mode. The Office of Fair and Safe Work Queensland include activities targeting the key findings in construction industry action plans. They work in partnership with industry leaders to provide and promote information and advisory products for use on construction sites addressing risks associated with powered mobile plant, young workers and risk of contact with live electrical parts.
Larger civil companies tended to have well documented traffic management plans, maintained controls in place including dedicated traffic routes and pedestrian walkways.
Industry leaders should respond to the findings of the campaign by ensuring project management teams and supply chains implement adequate control measures at the planning stage to manage risks associated with powered mobile plant, young workers and risk of contact with live electrical parts.
Signage in conjunction with dedicated haul roads was the most common combination of controls used, although control of plant speed continues to be a challenge on some sites with management experiencing difficulties monitoring and enforcing speed limits.
For more information about the mobile and operational plant campaign contact Workplace Health and Safety Queensland on 1300 369 915, or Master Builders on 3225 6410 to discuss managing operational plant safely on your projects. june/july 14
[ 35 ]
Health, safety & environment Rachael Vickers – Workplace Health & Safety/Environment Advisor
A hands on approach to sediment and erosion control A recent demonstration from Bio-Science Australia was a reminder that sediment and erosion control is something that all builders need to consider to avoid site and environment damage. If correct measures aren’t taken, the damage to a site and the surrounding environment can be quite significant. There’s also a risk of fines for failing to implement controls. You need to be aware of your obligations and the options available to prevent damage to sites and avoid fines. On Friday, 21 March, Master Builders, in conjunction with Bio-Science Australia, held a sediment and erosion control demonstration. The demonstration was attended by a number of members representing residential, commercial and environmental sectors, and several Master Builders’ staff members. Shane Holborn from Bio-Science Australia led attendees through a presentation explaining how wind and rain damages sites not only during construction, but after activity has ended and the changes subsequently made to the landscape. The presentation explored various controls that are commonly used within the construction industry to mitigate sediment and erosion
[ 36 ] june/july 14
concerns, and compared their known effectiveness. The research showed a correlation between use of turf as a control measure and a minimisation of not only soil erosion, but the dispersal of sediment after a rain event. To help put learnings into context attendees were then able to observe practical examples of different controls after a rain event. The first demonstration showed the effects water has on the landscape over different slopes and how some controls can seem appropriate but cause further unexpected damage. This example promoted significant discussion amongst attendees. The next range of demonstrations involved the release of water to simulate a rain event over sloping ground. Each bay had different control measures, including silt fences, coir logs and turf. As the water was released measurements were taken on how long it took to travel over the bay, with the water collected then measured to test its turbidity. Results showed that using turf significantly slowed down the speed of the water and the
damage it causes to the landscape and the turbidity of the water. The demonstration promoted useful discussion around how turf could be used practically on residential and commercial sites and the cost benefits of doing so. Working with Bio-Science Australia, Master Builders is looking forward to holding further demonstration days in 2014. If you are interested in attending a future demonstration day please contact Master Builders on 3225 6410 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunshine Coast foreman awarded international scholarship back home and offer considerable benefit to our industries,” Ms Hall said. “Some of our previous winners include Megan Todd who has successfully started her own handbag label Knots and Knits since returning, and also Leo Primus, whose overseas experience helped him contribute to Queensland construction as a Development Manager at AV Jennings. “This is an invaluable opportunity for the scholarship recipients but also for the communities they return to.”
He’s worked on highly-acclaimed, award-winning projects in the past, but a recently-awarded scholarship takes the cake as a career highlight for Lend Lease foreman, Mostyn Higgs.
Mr Higgs works as a construction foreman for Lend Lease and has worked on a number of iconic projects including the current Sunshine Coast University Hospital and the Brisbane Supreme and District Court for which Lend Lease took home the 2013 State Project of the Yearr award at the Master Builders Housing & Construction Awards.
“Being able to broaden my skills and bring new The Governor of Queensland, Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AC, recently presented practices and ways of thinking back into the the prestigious scholarship from Queensland Queensland market will not only be great for Overseas Foundation, to 29-year old Sunshine my career but it will also help the growth of Coast builder, Mostyn Higgs, at Parliament House. the Australian construction industry.
He was among four young Queensland apprentices to be given the opportunity to live and work overseas by the Queensland Overseas Foundation, a voluntary non-profit organisation.
Mr Higgs said the scholarship to work in Singapore would enable him to advance his career by gaining international experience and modern contemporary skills in the construction industry and undertaking major infrastructure projects in the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.
“Singapore has a lot of world-leading designs and Dubai is well known for iconic projects, and I’m excited to learn different methods and ways of building to bring back to the team here in Queensland.
QOF is sponsored by Queensland industry and supported by the state government to provide international vocational experience to specially selected young tradespeople who have completed their formal training.
“I encourage other Queenslanders to apply for this scholarship because it really does open doors for you and help you to gain experience that will boost your career.”
QOF also recently announced a new bursary offering in 2014 that provides trainers, employers, employees and administrators within the VET sector with funding of between $500 to $2,000 to attend recognised international courses, workshops, work placement, events or activities with professional developmental benefits.
“The Queensland Overseas Foundation (QOF) scholarship has opened the door to opportunities I never expected and I am extremely grateful to be given the chance to pursue my dream of working overseas,” Mr Higgs said. “Although I strongly believe Australia is an industry leader in construction, there is so much that we can learn from international markets.
Queensland Overseas Foundation Chair, Rebecca Hall, said the scholarships would benefit Queensland industries in the long term. “Since 1976 we have helped over 100 Queenslanders pursue their dream of working overseas knowing they will bring their skills
Register your interest in applying for the 2015 awards at email@example.com or find out more at www.qof.org.au
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Training & licensing
Upskilling for success “Master Builders’ trainers are not your average teachers. They have vast knowledge and experience in their field of expertise. Most of them were builders for many years, and had been through the good and the bad, resulting in first-hand experience of being a builder in the real world. “I realised quickly that they really do want to help you learn from their experience and are always approachable and willing to answer any questions, no matter how big or small.”
After completing Master Builders’ Certificate IV in Building and Construction, Will Verri’s career is well on its way. Here he explains how taking the plunge and completing this course has changed his direction for the better. It is no secret that the building and construction industry is a competitive one. However, it can be easy to get stuck in a pattern of doing what you’ve always done, which can limit your business’ potential.
Will’s passion for carpentry and construction was sparked at a young age. With a builder as a father, he says it was a natural progression for him to pursue a school-based work experience in carpentry in 2005.
Will Verri is a firm believer in the importance of upskilling for success, in order to stay at the forefront of the industry. Since completing his Certificate IV in Building and Construction with Master Builders, Will has progressed from carpenter to skilled professional.
After finishing his apprenticeship and receiving his Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) trade contractor’s licence, Will moved to Brisbane in 2012 and started up WJ Verri Carpentry. It was during this time he became aware of how little he actually understood the industry and its regulations.
“My confidence, industry knowledge and abilities have increased dramatically. The course has also improved my career prospects and given me the opportunity to network with industry professionals and likeminded people,” Will said.
“It’s irresponsible and quite dangerous to be operating in an industry where you aren’t fully aware of the rules and guidelines. It’s because of this that I started searching for a course that would teach me more and broaden my skills.” After doing his research and receiving some great reviews from previous attendees, Will decided to enrol in Master Builders’ Certificate IV in Building and Construction. “The training schedule suited my busy life perfectly, so I became a member and signed up for the next course. For two nights a week from 6pm to 9pm and a few Saturdays here and there, I learnt about the building and construction industry. We were a small class of blokes who quickly became a tight knit group, helping each other as much as we could.” With the leadership of experienced trainers, Will and his class learnt about proper building practices, workplace health and safety, the Building Code of Australia (BCA), contracts, business, financial and time management and much more.
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Two things the course requires from students are commitment and time management. Master Builders understands that between working, quoting, personal life and studying, students can struggle if they don’t focus on time management. Fortunately, the trainers are always there to help keep students on track and give extra guidance and attention when needed. With vast experience in all aspects of the building and construction industry, they genuinely want to see their students succeed and advance their careers. Will, who is currently working for Modern Living Constructions as a subcontractor, says with the Certificate IV now under his belt, he has the confidence and motivation to continue his professional development. “I am aiming to progress into a site supervisor to continue gaining hands-on experience before obtaining my Low Rise Residential licence. I would highly recommend the Master Builders’ Certificate IV course to any construction tradesperson looking to develop their career and knowledge in a supportive environment.” For more information on Master Builders’ Certificate IV in Building and Construction, call 1300 13 60 02 or visit masterbuilders.asn.au/training-and-licensing
I would highly recommend the Master Builders’ Certificate IV course to any construction tradesperson looking to develop their career and knowledge in a supportive environment.
Training & licensing
Asbestos worker program passes national audit they are aware of the correct procedures so they stay safe and minimise the chance of exposure to deadly asbestos fibres. Compliance also means Master Builders’ trainers meet and exceed national standards – which translates to high quality, work-ready learning outcomes for workers who complete the program. As part of the audit, Master Builders’ trainers were required to demonstrate their practical and recent participation in asbestos removal work and how they continually develop their skills – meaning students receive practical advice and training from industry leaders in this space. With the recent changes to the licensing requirements for the removal of non-friable asbestos, if you are considering completing any asbestos removal training, it is important you choose the most up-to-date and comprehensive course provider. These latest audit results confirm Master Builders’ position as a leading training provider.
Master Builders’ asbestos worker program has come up trumps after a recent audit by the national training regulator. The recent nationwide compliance audit on all asbestos removal training providers was conducted by the national training regulator in response to concerns raised by WorkCover NSW and other regulatory bodies that related to the quality of training delivered across the country. Master Builders was amongst the Registered Training Organisations that were audited nationwide, with the asbestos worker program passing the audit with 100% compliance and receiving positive feedback from the national regulator. A positive compliance rating is essential as it guarantees that the course will cover all aspects of the national training curriculum. Master Builders’ comprehensive offering also means that workers who complete the program fully understand their obligations when removing asbestos, ensuring
Master Builders’ asbestos worker program fared so well in the audit because it is one of the most comprehensive asbestos removal courses on the market. The program includes two days of face-to-face training that allows attendees to hit the ground running on completion. Construction Skills Queensland provides some funding subsidies for this training program, which can reduce the cost for eligible participants. For more information on Master Builders’ asbestos worker program or to confirm availability and your eligibility for funding, call 1300 13 60 02 or visit masterbuilders.asn.au/training-and-licensing
This book is intended primarily to be used as a general information guide to maintenance for home owners. The focus of this book is on the majority of typical home styles. The booklet sets out information for home owners on how best to look after what is probably the largest investment they will make during their lives, and describes the home owners’ responsibilities with regard to the use and operation of the home.
New Home Owner’s Maintenance Manual
This book is published as a community service by Master Builders to assist purchasers of new homes or those who are carrying out extensions or renovations. Call Master Builders on 1300 30 50 10 to purchase a copy. QMBA-16850 03-13
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Adventurers wanted for jungle trek
Looking for your next challenge? The MATES in Construction Kokoda Trek will be held on 5â€“14 September 2014. A call has gone out for all Bear Gryllsâ€™ wannabes to join the inaugural MATES in Construction Kokoda Trek, taking place in Papua New Guinea in September. The nine day trek is a joint venture by Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ), MATES in Construction, Cribhut and Aurora Adventures, to raise awareness about suicide prevention in the construction industry.
Construction workers are six times more likely to die by suicide than through a workplace accident, and apprentices in construction are two and a half times more likely to suicide than other young men their age.
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Physically and mentally challenging, the scenic 96 kilometre Kokoda Trail passes through some of the most rugged jungle in the world. Built over 200 years ago as a commuting route between villages it was the scene of bitter fighting between Australian and Japanese soldiers during World War II. The fundraising trek coincides with International Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September 2014, when a ceremony commemorating this day, as well as those who fought and lost their lives on the Kokoda Trail, will be held at Brigade Hill. The trek includes return flights from Brisbane to Port Moresby, accommodation, an experienced guide/historian, restaurant meals in Port Moresby and ration packs for the trek. As well as the chance to visit commemorative battle sites and pay your respects to Australian wartime history, you will be surrounded by amazing scenery and will finish the trek with a great sense of pride and achievement.
Community projects Building Construction & Conveyancing Solutions Pty Ltd
Constructing Legal Solutions for the Industry This historic Australian pilgrimage will be the adventure of a lifetime, so why not sign up for the Kokoda Trek and help MATES in Construction to help others in challenging circumstances.
Contact Darren Ho P: +61 7 3106 7212 | F: +61 7 3221 6099 E: email@example.com
For more information about the Kokoda Trek itinerary visit CSQ’s website at csq.org.au or contact Aurora Adventures on 1300 158 468.
Training to get trek-ready
A: Level 9, 231 North Quay, Brisbane, QLD 4000
For those in Brisbane an eight-week training program is available for anyone who signs up for the trek. This will help ensure you are fit enough to enjoy the challenging terrain. Brisbane-based trekkers will commence training in the week beginning 7 July 2014. There is also a 12-week training program for those outside of Brisbane, commencing 16 June 2014.
Supporting MATES in Construction MATES in Construction is about ‘mates looking after mates’. Their suicide awareness and prevention program aims to reduce the high level of suicide among Australian construction workers. They provide support officers (trained construction workers known as Connectors) to recognise and intervene in potentially suicidal behaviour. The service is provided at no cost to workers or construction companies. As a registered charity, MATES in Construction relies on industry, government and personal donations for funding to provide a 24/7 Helpline, counselling and trained support officers. CSQ has been a long-time supporter of MATES in Construction and they are pulling out all the stops to help them meet their $100,000 fundraising target this year (CSQ’s CEO has even signed up for the trek) along with Master Builders’ Executive Director, Grant Galvin. Reaching this goal will mean another MIC trained support officer can be provided for Queensland. Donations to support the Kokoda Trek can be made via the Go Fundraise website (search for Mates in Construction) www.gofundraise.com.au
Did you know… MATES in Construction is also a Master Builders Foundation pillar partner? The important work they perform within the industry and their direct link to building and construction industry workers in Queensland is acknowledged by Master Builders’ funding of a field officer who assists employers in the industry to establish the MATES in Construction model in their worksites.
Specialist contracts staff on hand – but only when you need them As a Master Builders member, you can buy a contract and receive back up advice from our specialist staff. Master Builders has developed a range of contracts that allocate risk fairly between builders and subcontractors and builders and their clients. Along with that contract, you can also access our specialist advice that relates to: •
Suitability of contracts
Contract terms and conditions
Extension of time claims and preparation
Progress claims entitlements and preparation
Legislation affecting contracts
Variation claims and preparation
To order online, visit www.masterbuilders.asn.au/eshop. Alternatively call 1300 30 50 10 for more information.
For more information about the partnership, visit masterbuilders.asn.au/about-us/community-projects
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Master Builders joins Youngcare for new project to help young Aussies This is the second time the association has supported a Youngcare building project, having previously contributed to the Gold Coast apartment construction. Members, Curley Builders, were selected as the successful builders for the share house project, which is expected to be completed in September 2014. Curley Builders is a family company that has grown considerably over the years by its founder Fred Curley and son, Mark Curley. Taking pride in their work, their focus will be to deliver a quality project on time and on budget. The land was granted to Youngcare by the Queensland Government.
Master Builders has partnered with Youngcare for a new building project to get young people with high care disability needs out of aged care.
The building project, located in Wooloowin (on Brisbane’s north side), will be home to four young people whose only other housing option would be living in aged care. The project kicked off in late May and is set to be a share house model. This is stage one of the Wooloowin project, with stage two delivering four co-located family homes. Both of these projects are delivering new housing models to meet the differing needs of young people with high care needs. The share house will provide connection to the community for the four young people who will call it home, as well as ensuring privacy, independence and dignity to all residents. Care at the share house will be expertly provided by Wesley Mission Brisbane, who also provide care and manage the apartments at Sinnamon Park in Brisbane’s west, and Coomera on the Gold Coast. Master Builders has taken a lead role in supporting the project by contributing $300,000 via the Master Builders Foundation towards construction costs. We have also assisted Youngcare with the tender selection process to award the building contract.
Long-time supporter, Cox Architecture, developed plans for the share house, ensuring the design is appropriate for the needs of young people who will live there while also keeping with the character of the Wooloowin area.
About Youngcare Youngcare is a national charity working to provide choice in care and housing options for over 7,000 young people currently living in aged care (National Disability Agreement 2011–12) and the further 700,000 living at home with loved ones, often with limited support (Australian Institute of Health & Welfare 2011). As well as building projects, they also offer the Youngcare At Home Care Grants to prevent further admission into aged care; the Youngcare Connect information and support phone service and conduct research into ageappropriate care and housing. Master Builders’ commitment with Youngcare on this project will help to ensure a more positive future for young people with high care needs. For more information about the project, visit www.youngcare.com.au/wooloowin
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Fresh faces for Master Builders’ membership team Members across three different Queensland regions will now have a new point of contact after three new Membership Recruitment Officers were recently welcomed. Emma Peters – North Queensland
Amanda Little – North Brisbane
Ian Langer – Burnett Wide Bay
Proud to be part of an all-female office, Emma Peters recently joined the team in Townsville, proving that there really are no gender barriers in the north of the state.
New members in the northern suburbs of Brisbane will now have a new contact when it comes to all things membership as we welcome Amanda Little to the head office team.
With over 20 years’ experience in customer service, account management and sales management, including a decade in media and marketing, Ian brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Master Builders’ team.
With a background in real estate, recruitment and painting contracting, Emma is an experienced sales professional who is looking forward to assisting Master Builders’ members to grow their businesses using the suite of products and services on offer. “I feel very passionately about working with Master Builders to help members stay at the forefront of the building and construction industry,” Ms Peters said. “At the moment I’m working hard to get out and introduce myself to the local building industry and I certainly encourage members to visit the Townsville office or give us a call if they need any support from Master Builders. We are just a phone call away if you need help.” Emma will cover the North Queensland territory which stretches from Home Hill to Ingham and west to Mount Isa. She will play a role in delivering industry events in the region that will provide important and relevant information for anyone who works in the building industry.
Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Amanda has over seven years’ experience in residential new home sales, having worked for building companies like Cardel Homes and Greenboro Homes, both of which she can’t speak more highly of. Since the move to Australia, Amanda has indulged in her passion for real estate and construction, working for companies like wellknown Japanese home builder, Sekisui House and Stockland. “My profession has allowed me to be part of one of the biggest purchases people make, helping families build everything from their first home to custom multi-million dollar homes,” Amanda said. “I love working with people and building real relationships along the way. My focus has been on providing each and every client with an extraordinary customer experience. “I’m keen to get out there and meet as many new, potential and existing members of Master Builders as possible.”
Emma brings with her a wealth of experience in the commercial building sector and her appointment will help maintain Master Builders’ unmatched regional footprint.
His background of seven years as the Sales Manager for the Fraser Coast Chronicle, the Fraser Coast’s local daily newspaper, gives him a great standing and knowledge of the Burnett Wide Bay area. Experience in group training, with a strong focus on developing opportunities for employing apprentices, training, HR, IR, safety issues across a wide variety of industries, also places him in a great position within our industry. Ian is an active member of the Fraser Coast community and is excited about the new opportunities that lie ahead for him as part of the Master Builders’ team. He has already been working hard to get out there and meet as many people in the industry as possible. “My focus is on growing Master Builders’ membership base, to ensure we continue to be the strongest voice and support organisation for the building and construction industry in Queensland,” Ian said. “This will ensure we continue to add value to our members through outstanding customer service.”
Not sure what contract to use? Call Master Builders for contracts advice. Call us on 1300 30 50 10.
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Laws, codes & regulations
Ruling determines no BCIPA service by email The Queensland Supreme Court recently handed down an important decision on electronic service of documents under the Building and Construction Industry of Payments Act 2004 (Qld) (BCIPA). Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, uploading a document to an electronic file uploading facility (such as Dropbox) and providing a link to the document does not constitute service of the document. Service via web-based, third-party hosted, document or project management systems, such as Project Centre or Aconex, is also likely to be ineffective.
Outline of the case The claimant sent an email to the respondent providing: •
Two adjudication application forms as attachments
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Dropbox links to documentation in support of each application (including the claimant’s submissions).
Notwithstanding that the parties had used Dropbox in previous correspondence, the respondent read the email and its attachments but did not examine the documents within the Dropbox links. Given that the whole of the adjudication application, technically, was not within the email itself, the question for the Court was whether the application had been effectively served on the respondent.
The decision The Court held that service of the adjudication applications, inclusive of the material within the Dropbox links, was not effective.
Dropbox At the outset, the Supreme Court noted that the documents within the Dropbox links were not part of the data contained in the email and its attachments: “The Dropbox facility is a service by which an electronic file is stored by a third party remotely so that any computer (with the relevant authority) can view the file”. The Court went on to make the following distinction: •
An email with attachments is a way of communicating information
A Dropbox link is a way of communicating
Laws, codes & regulations the means by which information may be obtained. In the premises, if a document is purported to be served by sending a Dropbox link to a party, it has not been served.
Email The Court also doubted that a document required to be served under BCIPA can be served by email. Unlike hand delivery, post, telex or facsimile, the Court noted that accessing a document provided by email transmission requires positive action on the part of the receiver. The same is true of providing a Dropbox link to a document.
The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this publication is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.
It is not sufficient that you have an established business practice of communication via email and/or web-based third party systems. Given the strict timeframes under BCIPA, failure to provide for electronic service in the contract may preclude you from making or responding to an adjudication application. This article was originally published by Holding Redlich, a leading corporate and commercial law firm.
We are not responsible for the information of any source to which a link is provided or reference is made and exclude all liability in connection with use of these sources.
Although the Court did not conclusively hold that service by email is ineffective, the tenor of the judgment is that unless the parties consent to service by email, a document purported to be served as an attachment to an email has not been served.
What does this mean for you? You should make express provision in your contracts if you intend to serve the following documents by email and/or web-based third party systems (e.g. Dropbox, Project Centre or Aconex): •
EVEN BIGGER BANG FOR BUCK WITH YOUR CALTEX STARCARD Master Builders’ members can now save 3.5¢ p/ltr off unleaded fuel and 4¢ p/ltr off diesel fuel with their Caltex StarCard. Further benefits include: • Reduced paperwork with easy to read ATO approved invoices
• Online tracking of vehicle spending and maintenance
• Access to over 2,000 participating fuel outlets Australia-wide
• PIN security and odometer reading on every card
• More control over the purchases allowed on each card
• Access to Caltex Customer Support Centre for lost/stolen cards • Option for roadside assistance • Direct debit payments and 51 days interest-free credit Cards start at just $2.20 each per month.
Apply today, call 1300 30 50 10 or visit masterbuilders.asn.au Caltex StarCard. Perhaps the best trade tool you can own! june/july 14
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2014 building consultants conference a success The Institute of Building Consultants (IBC) held its conference and gala dinner at Sea World Resort in March 2014. The conference was a huge success, with 86 attendees travelling to attend from as far north as Cairns, and south from Sydney. Attendees enjoyed numerous interactive sessions with guest speakers, with all presentations generating lots of questions and general industry discussions. A technical theme was chosen for the conference, which included a line-up of eight experienced industry speakers, all who are leaders in their respective fields. Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea breaks allowed attendees to browse the exhibitor displays and network with other IBC members and industry participants. A gala dinner followed the allday conference, with the fun kicking off at Ray Reef for pre-dinner drinks, which were proudly sponsored by Hanson. As guests mingled and watched the grace of the stingray, a few took on the challenge and went on the Jet Rescue Ride. Guests then ventured onto the dinner venue, which overlooked the lake, with networking and conversations continuing late into the evening. The IBC committee would like to thank all who attended and hope you found the conference informative and useful. A massive thanks to event sponsors, including pre-dinner sponsor, Hanson, and exhibitors, including BUSSQ, Bluescope, SV Partners, Termatrac, Octief, and Reece. For more information about the IBC or future conferences, call Master Builders on 3225 6419 or email email@example.com
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What attendees had to say... “Great event! Quality information – the window installation topic was a clear standout. Definitely value for money and a great venue with a good vibe. Nothing to improve on and would gladly attend again.” “Excellent event. Very informative. No negative points. Well organised and good value for money. Great venue. Earlier speakers were fantastic. Would attend again given topics were relevant.” “Agenda was good. Andrew Wallace (speaker/MC) was good, kept prompting questions, and kept the event on track. Overall a great event. Venue was good and dinner was great. Fire safety and concrete topics were a standout, speakers were very knowledgeable in their fields. Great value for money and would definitely attend again.” “Found the conference pretty good overall. The content was very relevant for a change (focusing on residential and not commercial). Will definitely attend any conferences that Master Builders QLD puts on as I always finds them informative and Master Builders’ staff professional and helpful.” “Pre-dinner drinks were a hit – fantastic networking.”
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People & EVENTS
Industry Leaders Lunch The 2014 Industry Leaders Lunch was a great opportunity for industry frontrunners to get together to network and gain insights into local key industry topics. The event, which was held on Friday, 28 March at Gambaro Restaurant and Function Centre, featured keynote speakers, the Honourable Jarrod Bleijie MP, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, and Nigel Hadgkiss, Commissioner of Fair Work Building and Construction.
Gold Coast Economic Breakfast The Gold Coast Economic Breakfast was held on Friday, 28 March at Jupiters Hotel and gave attendees insight into the facts and figures currently impacting the construction industry and the overall economic climate. Guest speakers included Greg Uptin, Senior Macro-Economist from Queensland Treasury, successful author, Ray Scicluna, and John Crittall, Master Buildersâ€™ Director Construction Policy.
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People & EVENTS
NCC Broadcast The National Construction Code (NCC) Broadcast event on 30 April gave members the chance to get ‘on the job’ info, while chatting with industry colleagues and work mates and enjoying afternoon drinks and pizza. With the changes to the NCC now finalised, industry veteran and Master Builders’ Manager Building Services, Tony Mitchell, provided an overview of the amendments to ensure members remain compliant and understand the amendments. Full details of the changes can be found on page 26.
(Le -Right) Manager – Events & Sponsorship, Paula Rowntree and Darren Tomarchio
(Le -Right) Andrew Waterman, Bryan Cur n and Doug Carter from Queensland All Trades
(Le -Right) Greg Robertson, Ben Ferris and Geoﬀ Taylor from AV Jennings
(Le -Right) Stephen Amos, Robbie Blance and Emma Blance from Merkara Homes
(Le -Right) Alison Price from Brisbane Screening with Brisbane Membership Recruitment Oﬃcer, Amanda Li le
(Le -Right) Jus n Griﬃn, Manager – Building Services, Tony Mitchell, Kirsty Augus ne and Ralph Cois
(Le -Right) Steve Haddad and Heather Walker from Medibank (event sponsors)
(Le -Right) Les and Clyde Argent from Argent Building Services QLD
(Le -Right) Jason Pannell, Steve Pannell and Brisbane Membership Recruitment Oﬃcer, Michael Hinde
Social visits in North Queensland Master Builders’ State Sales Manager, Ross Norman, recently paid a visit to the North Queensland office where he caught up with Regional Manager, Melissa Coulter, and long-standing member, Raymond Lewty. Raymond was the North Queensland Chairman from 1978–1981 and his family have been members of Master Builders for over 60 years!
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People & EVENTS
Hervey Bay Golf Day The annual Hervey Bay Golf Day, held on Friday, 2 May, was another great success, with a fantastic day had by all who attended in the Burnett Wide Bay region. Congratulations to the winning teams â€“ Good Guys Hervey Bay (first place), Boral (second place) and Fraser Coast Chronicle (third place).
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People & EVENTS
Mackay Business Partners Industry Dinner The 10th Annual Business Partners Industry Dinner in Mackay was a must-attend event for the region and was open to both members and nonmembers. Master Builders’ Executive Director, Grant Galvin, attended the event and provided an insight into current industry trends across the commercial and residential sectors.
Win a mini Apple iPad competition All members who pay their membership renewal by the due date to go in the draw to win an Apple iPad Mini each month. Congratulations to all of our latest winners.
Far North Queensland Regional Manager, Ron Bannah, and Wayne Williams.
Brisbane local Jeremy Walters with new Brisbane Membership Recruitment Oﬃcer, Amanda Li le.
Survey of Industry Conditions winner Gold Coast Regional Manager, John Duncalfe and Steve Bignill.
Congratulations to Steve Bignill from Choice Homes on the Gold Coast, who was the lucky prize winner from the latest Survey of Industry Conditions. Steve won a Master Builders’ Work & Play prize pack, which included a $400 travel voucher and 50 eDocs system credits. Looks like a family weekend away on us is on the cards for Steve!
Beaudesert Golf Day Beaudesert members enjoyed a day of fun and laughs, with a bit of golf in between at the Beaudesert Golf Day on Friday, 2 May. A big thanks to BUSSQ for sponsoring the day and congratulations to the winning team, The Rejects.
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Mastering your business
Digital divide widens between SMEs Online businesses are more confident, make more and employ more people – are you online? As more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) experience revenue growth due to the use of online technologies, the divide between the online-savvy and the online-cautious is widening, according to MYOB. The March 2014 MYOB Business Monitorr revealed a higher proportion of online-savvy businesses reported revenue growth in the year to February 2014 and expect future revenue growth, than those without online technologies. They also reported higher economic confidence and more work/sales in their short-term pipeline. The growth expectations of online-savvy businesses is likely fuelled by their current workload. Almost half of SMEs who use cloud technology and over two fifths with a website and a social media site reported increased sales or work in their short-term pipeline. In contrast, slightly more than one quarter of SMEs without a website reported more pipeline work.
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Social media site
Performance – revenue up
Performance – revenue down
Expectations – revenue up
Expectations – revenue down
Economic confidence (improvement in 12 months or less)
More work/ sales in 3 month pipeline
The study of 1,032 SMEs also found an increase in the use of online technologies. The proportion with a website is now 42%, up from 38% six months ago. A similar trend occurs for those using social media (39%, up from 33%), and cloud computing (33%, up from 16%). The use of tablets, such as an iPad or other device, has risen to 27% from 24% six months ago. Smartphone usage was slightly down from 46% to 43% in the same period. A similar proportion of operators don’t have an online presence for their business, at 43%. MYOB Chief Strategy Officer, John Moss, says the difference between online businesses and those that don’t have an online presence is marked across a range of business performance measures. “What’s clear to us from our years of conducting research into SMEs’ use of online technologies is that businesses with an online presence reach more people and are more engaged with their customers,” Mr Moss said.
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“This translates to stronger business performance. For example, those with a website are 56% more likely to see annual revenue rise, and those who use cloud computing are 30% more likely to do so. Businesses that embrace online technologies also have more work in their short-term pipeline. “It’s evident the digital divide among SMEs is widening, and we strongly believe it’s time for more business operators to take a look at the benefits of easy-to-use online technology for the health of their business.”
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Buoyed by their performance, SMEs with a website are more positive about the economy, with nearly one third expecting an improvement within 12 months, compared to nearly one quarter of businesses without a website. “Online businesses are more likely to be making a contribution to wider economic growth, including improved job opportunities for Australians,” said Mr Moss.
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[ 52 ] june/july 14
“18% of businesses with a website and 18% with a social media site are planning to increase their full-time staff this year. That’s a considerably higher number than the 7% of businesses without a website and the 9% without social media who are looking to hire this year.”
Mastering your business Email & online banking most popular online services “We also asked business owners and managers to identify the online services they used in their business.” “The top five online services were email at 76%, online banking at 69%, social networking at 29%, buying products and services online at 22%, and email marketing, VOIP and file sharing – each at 21%.” Over one third of SMEs (38%) now accept some form of online payment via a shopping cart, while 21% use search engine optimisation and 18% use search engine marketing as a way of promoting their business, 16% have an e-commerce facility within their website, and 12% use other websites to sell products and services.
LinkedIn most popular social media avenue for business According to the survey, LinkedIn is the most popular business social media platform, with 18% of SME operators using their profiles to connect with colleagues and other business people. 17% have a Facebook page for their business, while 8% have a Google+ business page. 6% communicate via Twitter, while 5% use YouTube as a vehicle to connect with customers.
Businesses mostly likely to be connected When looking at online business activity by mainland states, Western Australia is the most connected, with 37% of businesses using cloud computing and 19% with a business website and social media site. South Australia was least likely to use cloud computing (21%) and a business website and a social media site (14%). In terms of industry, those in finance and insurance were the most likely to use cloud computing (42%) while operators in agriculture, forestry and fishing were the least likely (12%). Operators in retail and hospitality were the most likely to have a business website and a social media site (25%) while those in agriculture, forestry and fishing were the least likely (6%). Comparing operators via business tenure, operators in establishing businesses were the most likely to use cloud computing (42%) and a business website and a social media site (18%), while established businesses were the least likely to use these online technologies (17% and 11% respectively). Operators based in city and metropolitan areas were the most likely to have an online presence (57%), while rural-based operators were the least likely (38%). For MYOB product information, research results, business tips, discussions, client service and information about the MYOB Business Monitor, visit myob.com.au june/july 14
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Mastering your business Noel Whittaker – Financial expert
The Federal Budget has changed the landscape as far as tax planning is concerned. Never before has good advice been so important. Here are some ideas which have the potential to save you tax, but remember, talk to your accountant to ensure that any actions you take are appropriate for your situation.
Noel Whittaker’s top tips for tax time
As we approach 30 June, you need to have your accountant prepare an estimate of what your taxable income will be for the current year, and what it may be in the next financial year. If it appears you’ll be in a higher tax bracket after 30 June, you should be doing whatever possible to bring forward income to this year where it will be taxed at a lower rate. Conversely, if you have tax deductible expenses such as repairs to an investment property, you should be deferring them to next year when the tax deduction will be worth more. If your income this year will be higher than next, and you have an investment loan, talk to your lender about prepaying 12 months’ interest. This will make the whole of next years’ interest a tax deduction in the current financial year. Keep in mind that you’ll need to negotiate
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with the lender – you can’t just bank a year’s interest into the loan account, as all that will do is reduce the principal. This is a critical time for capital gains tax (CGT) planning – remember the relevant date is when the sales contract is signed. By deferring signing a contract until after 30 June, the CGT will be triggered in the following year, and you’ll have an extra year to pay it. Obviously you would not do this if your income next year is expected to be much higher than this year. Many people pay more CGT than is necessary because they don’t understand that you need to own the asset for over a year to get the benefit of the 50% discount. This is why it is critical you talk to your accountant before signing any contracts to sell an asset which may be liable for CGT.
Noel Whittaker is the author of Making Money Made Simple and numerous other books on personal finance. His advice is general in nature and readers should seek their own professional advice before making any financial decisions. To contact Noel, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
JULY 201 31
1 3 JULY
There are strict limits on the amount that can be contributed to super, and heavy penalties
for exceeding them. For the current year, the maximum concessional contribution is $25,000 for people under 60; and $35,000 for people aged 60 and over. For a super contribution to be counted in the current financial year, it must be physically banked in the fund’s bank account before 30 June.
Despite the continual changes to super, it is still the only investment you can make with pre-tax dollars, and about the only one that is safe from the trustee in bankruptcy if you go broke. But, you cannot access it until you reach your preservation age.
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SuperStream is coming
New concessional contribution limits for the 2014–15 financial year
The concessional contributions cap is the limit on the amount of concessional (before tax) superannuation contributions a person can make each year, before they may pay extra tax. For the current financial year (2013–14) the concessional contribution limits are as follows: •
Aged 59 years or older on 30 June 2013: $35,000
Everyone else: $25,000.
From 1 July 2014, superannuation concessional contribution limits are due to increase as follows: •
Aged 50 years or older: $35,000
Everyone else: $30,000
Superannuation guarantee increase The superannuation guarantee (SG) rate (currently 9.25%) will increase to 9.5% on 1 July 2014. This is the minimum amount of superannuation employers are obligated to pay for their employees. If there is any future legislation that impacts this, BUSSQ will keep you updated.
To improve the processing of everyday superannuation transactions, the state government has introduced a package of reforms, known as SuperStream. These reforms mean that employers will be required to submit superannuation data and payments electronically. From 1 July 2014 employers with more than 20 employees should start transitioning to submitting payments and superannuation data electronically, with the final deadline being 1 July 2015. For employers who have less than 20 employees, the deadline has been extended to 1 July 2016. However, these employers should start looking at their current processes and start paying electronically as soon as possible. BUSSQ has a number of superannuation electronic payment options, including BPAY, EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer) and self-initiated direct debit. The BUSSQ EmployerAccess online payment system will ensure employers are compliant with the new legislative requirements. It’s also very easy to use. The BUSSQ Clearing House, SCH Online, is linked to the BUSSQ EmployerAccess system, which means that employers can pay all of their super payments to BUSSQ as well as any other superfunds – all in the one place. And, they’ll only have to remember one password for one system. The good news is that if employers use BUSSQ as their default fund, the clearing house is available at no extra cost! For more information, check out the SuperStream Toolkit at www.bussq.com.au
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BUSSQ Charity Golf Day supports MATES In Construction In a bid to raise much needed funding for MATES In Construction, BUSSQ have been holding a range of charity golf days. The initiative first started in Townsville in 2011 and due to its success and popularity, one was held for the first time in Brisbane on 27 March 2014. The event was a huge success with a total of 100 players and close to $20,000 raised for MATES. The team from Wadsworth Constructions took out the first place. BUSSQ is a major supporter of MATES and they are passionate about the wellbeing of their members. They are committed to raising additional funds through their golf days so they can continue to support MATES with their work in suicide prevention.
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Laws, codes & regulations
No conversion of bank guarantees if monies only claimed to be owing negligence. All of the amounts claimed by Northbuild were unliquidated.
The issues The issues to be determined by the Court were, inter alia: •
Whether clause 5(e) of the general conditions was void or unenforceable as a consequence of the provisions of the Act (or its predecessor the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991)
Whether the notice given by Northbuild was for a “debt due”
Whether the claims by Northbuild were bona fide.
Clause 5(e) of the Subcontract and “debt due” It has long been accepted that section 67J of the Act restricts a contracting party’s use of a security. In this sense, this section of the Act confines the operation of retention clauses to “debts due”.
In the recent decision of Beyfield Pty Ltd v Northbuild Construction Sunshine Coast Pty Ltd, the Queensland Supreme Court had call to consider the scope of section 67J of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (the Act) and the times at which a security held in respect of a construction contract can be converted.
In support of this position, Martin J referred to the decision by Keane JA in Multiplex Ltd v Qantas Airways Ltd d where His Honour said that section 67J of the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 “is concerned with amounts which are, in truth, payable or owed under the contract. It is not concerned with amounts ‘claimed to be owing’ or with amounts ‘certified as payable’...”. This interpretation was said to be consistent with the remedial character of the Act, namely, the: •
Regulation of the building industry
In October 2011, Beyfield Pty Ltd (Beyfield) entered into an agreement as subcontractor with Northbuild Construction Sunshine Coast Pty Ltd (Northbuild) for the provision of mechanical works at a project located at Thursday Island. Northbuild was the head contractor to that project.
Limitation of the scope to which set-offs could be applied to securities under a contract.
Relevantly, clause 5(e) of the general conditions of the subcontract provided that:
Turning to clause 5(e) of the subcontract, the Court found that it was not open to the parties to contractually agree that Northbuild may have recourse to the retention in respect of both liquidated and unliquidated claims.
“The Builder may, upon the giving of written notice to the Subcontractor, have recourse to the Retention, or convert into cash any Bond or Instruments substituted by the Subcontractor: i. where an amount is due to the Builder under the Subcontract; or ii. in respect of any claim to payment (liquidated or otherwise) the Builder may have against the Subcontractor under the Subcontract or otherwise.” (Emphasis added). In accordance with the subcontract, Beyfield caused its bank to provide two bank guarantees in favour of Northbuild, each one in an amount of $96,250, as security for the performance of the works under the subcontract. Northbuild subsequently gave notice to Beyfield of its intention to have recourse to the bank guarantees stating that it had incurred additional costs as a result of an alleged breach of the subcontract by Beyfield. Northbuild also claimed an amount owed from Beyfield due to Beyfield’s
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Such a term was therefore inconsistent with the Act and void to the extent of such an inconsistency.
Requirement that claims be bona fide As part of the decision, Martin J also considered whether a claim against a security must also be made bona fide.
Laws, codes & regulations
In this regard, Northbuild sought as part of its unliquidated damages claim an amount for in freight costs under the subcontract. This amount had previously been the subject of adjudication decision under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (BCIPA) where the adjudicator had held that Northbuild was not entitled to this claim. Citing the decision in Bachmann Pty Ltd v BHP Power New Zealand Ltd d  1 VR 420, Martin J held that only a bona fide claim would facilitate recourse to security. To this end, His Honour held that Northbuild’s claims for unliquidated damages for freight were not bona fide, those claims having been rejected in the earlier adjudication determination. A passage of the judgment of Pembroke J in FMT Aircraft Gat Support Systems v Sydney Ports Corporation  NSWSC 1108 was offered as justification for this proposition stating that what is required is “an arguable claim – one that is not specious, fanciful or untenable”. The implication being that a claim that is unsuccessful at adjudication ceases to be an arguable basis for the conversion of a security.
The decision by the Queensland Supreme Court is interesting as it is at odds with section 100 of BCIPA and the notion that adjudication is part of a statutory scheme for the making of interim, not final, payments.
claim may have wider reaching implications on the industry, the result being that a party will be prevented from calling on a security where that issue has been determined in favour of the security provider at adjudication.
It would appear from His Honour’s decision, that where a party has unsuccessfully agitated an issue at an adjudication, this issue (and any amounts said to be owing which may flow from it) cannot form the basis of that parties’ recourse to the conversion of the security.
While this decision may yet be confined to its facts, it does represent an expansion by the Court as to the grounds upon which a party may seek injunctive relief to prevent a security being called upon by a party. This article was originally published by Holding Redlich, a leading corporate and commercial law firm.
What does this mean for contractors and subcontractors?
The decision of the Supreme Court in Beyfield confirms the position in Multiplex Ltd v Qantas Airways Ltd to the effect that a party may only have recourse to a security where an amount is actually owing pursuant to a contract and not merely claimed to be owing. It similarly confirms that it is not open for the parties to include contractual provisions which attempt to expand upon the scope of section 67J of the Act. More interestingly though, Martin J’s reasoning with respect to the bona fide nature of the
The information in this article is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this publication is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. We are not responsible for the information of any source to which a link is provided or reference is made and exclude all liability in connection with use of these sources.
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Health & wellbeing
Australian skin cancer rates drop for the first time A QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute study has shown that rates of non-melanoma skin cancer are dropping for the first time among younger Australians.
The study, led by QIMR Berghofer’s Professor David Whiteman, considered Medicare data from millions of Australians from 2000–2010. While the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer continued to increase markedly in older Australians during that period, the data showed the first recorded drop in Australians aged under 45: down 1.5% each year; more than 10% over the decade. In that same period, the number of younger Australians having skin checks or biopsies increased. “We’ve shown that younger people are more aware of skin cancer, having more checks for skin cancer, and are recording fewer cases of skin cancer,” Professor Whiteman said.
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“Finally, the sun safe message is having results. The generation exposed to the message of Slip, Slop, Slap since childhood is the first to see the real benefits of the campaign. “We always knew it would take that long, because skin cancers form about 30 years after sun exposure. But it’s both exciting and a relief to finally see these figures.” The figures showed an annual drop of 4% per year in Australians aged 5 to 24; 2% in those aged 25 to 34 and 1.5% in Australians under 45. “Apart from the obvious benefits for their own health, such a trend could have an enormous impact on the health system. Conservative estimates suggest skin cancer costs the Australian health system more than $500
million a year in direct costs alone,” Professor Whiteman said. However, results showed skin cancer rates were still on the rise among older Australians. “This is still worrying. Obviously a lot of this sun damage was done decades ago, but it is never too late to take steps to prevent further sun damage.” Professor Whiteman also runs QSkin, a research project following 43,000 Queenslanders for 10 years to develop a full picture of skin cancer trends and costs. For more information, visit the QIMR website at qskin.qimrberghofer.edu.au/ The QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane is a world leading translational research institute focused on cancer, infectious diseases, mental health and a range of complex diseases. Working in close collaboration with clinicians and other research institutes, their aim is to improve health by developing new diagnostics, better treatments and prevention strategies.
The home truths of water damage
Benefits of Medibank Corporate Health cover Master Builders has partnered with Medibank to bring you a great deal on health cover for you and your family, which means you can enjoy:
Cellulose-based building materials frequently become wet. Condensation, thermal bridging, pipe leaks through full scale flooding allow mould to grow and double in size every 48 hours, getting “out of control”. Mould quickly changes these innocent building components to hazardous materials, posing risk to buildings and occupants. In the Queensland climate, mould is a significant problem in the workplace or home where spores/ fragments invade indoor air and surfaces, only to be later inhaled or swallowed. A long-established cause of allergies, and disease in sensitive people, recent Australian research showed that mould increases asthma rates in those without allergies too. To compliment our asbestos and contaminated land services, Octief now offers a comprehensive cost-effective water-damage management program led by NABERS and Green Star Indoor Environment Technical advisor Dr. Claire Bird. Octief’s unique program returns mould -contaminated buildings to operation and avoids business interruption. It reduces health and business risks to stakeholders from workers and building occupants to insurers through training, monitoring, site supervision and independent works clearance. Claire’s extensive International experience in Environmental Microbiology and water damaged buildings enables her to provide this service to those repairing them. For further information please contact Dr. Claire Bird on 1800 628 433.
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Call 131 680, ask in store, visit www.medibank.com. au/mbaqld or email your Medibank consultant at email@example.com. Remember to quote you are a member of Master Builders Queensland. Note: Waiting periods apply including 12 months for preexisting conditions. *
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MASTER BUILDERS OFFICE LOCATIONS BRISBANE 417 Wickham Terrace Brisbane, QLD 4000 Ph: 3225 6444 Fax: 3225 6545 firstname.lastname@example.org www.masterbuilders.asn.au GOLD COAST John Duncalfe Regional Manager Master Builders House 18 Central Park Ave Ashmore, QLD 4214 Ph: 5582 7100 Fax 5597 7044 DOWNS & WESTERN Tony Ryder Regional Manager 166 Hume Street Toowoomba, QLD 4350 Ph: 4659 4200 Fax: 4639 5144 SUNSHINE COAST Michael Hopkins Regional Manager Level 1, 91 King Street PO Box 1458 Buderim, QLD 4556 Ph: 5456 9800 Fax: 5453 4670 BURNETT WIDE BAY Michael Hopkins Regional Manager 162 Boat Harbour Drive Hervey Bay, QLD 4655 Ph: 4303 2400 Fax: 4124 7235 CENTRAL QUEENSLAND Dennis Bryant Regional Manager 35 Derby Street PO Box 631 Rockhampton, QLD 4700 Ph: 4923 1900 Fax: 4921 3235 MACKAY & WHITSUNDAY Malcolm Hull Regional Manager Suite 2, 40 Evans Avenue PO Box 3188 North Mackay, QLD 4740 Ph: 4969 4500 Fax: 4951 3418 NORTH QUEENSLAND Melissa Coulter Regional Manager Master Builders House Unit 1(B), 316 Sturt Street Townsville, QLD 4810 Ph: 4417 1800 Fax: 4771 5777 FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND Ron Bannah Regional Manager 310–314 Gatton Street Manunda, QLD 4870 PO Box 806 Earlville, QLD 4870 Ph: 4042 8800 Fax: 4041 7663
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Cupolex® The Structural Dome. Concrete foundations become green
We would have needed two semi-trailers to deliver Waffle pods and made the whole site unworkable. CE Industries delivered the Cupolex in one delivery on six pallets the day they were needed on site. - Tim Staines, Core Constructions
Cuploex - Structural dome concrete slab system –
CUPOLEX® is a patented structural dome concrete r slab system made frrom recycled non-toxic Polypropylene. r Each dome easily interrconnects to create r a self supporting structurre acting as permanent form work, as an alternative to W Wafﬂe slab polystyrrene and/or harrd ﬁll in your concrete r slab. Not only does CUPOLEX X® provide r an absolute barrier and reduces potential for rising damp with no capillary action possible, but it also is cost effective. f
What is Cupolex Cupolex is an environmentally r friendly and cost effective f alternative to Rib Raft, Stiffened f Raft and other concrrete void systems.
Cupolex allows designers, builders and developers to specify for buildings and homes a cost effective f foundation which is both Gre r en and Sustainable. All the while rreducing building cycle time and minimising engineered r ﬁll requirrements which can be very expensive.
History The name Cupolex comes from r the Italian word r “Cupola” meaning dome. Millions of square e metres of Cupolex have been laid in concrete r slabs and foundations throughout the Americas, Australasia and Europe. Inventors of the Cupolex system Pontarolo Engineering have been marketing Cupolex worldwide since 1990. It was originally developed as a solution to ventilate Radon Gas from r new buildings for the US Air Force in Italy. y It is now a requirement for all new e construction for the US Air Force. Radon Gas is prevalent r in arreas of Europe and the USA and some parts of Australia. Since its creation, r the Cupolex system ha as been utilised as a solution in a number of differ f rent capacities other than its original design.
: : : : : : :
: : : : :
: : :
Mark Meisenhelter Business Development Manager - Queensland E markm@ausuretha ane.com P 0431 502 191
Cupolex ticks all the boxes
Residential, commercial r and industrial slabs Freezer r ﬂoor slabs Road constructions Air recirculation systems Building renovations in place of hard ﬁll Sites with high and low weight bearings Effective f solution in ﬂood plane sites
Australian Urethane and Styrene Sydney P 02 9678 9833 www.cupolex.net.au
Cupolex can be used for a vary of applications:
Manufactured r frrom 100% recycled plastic Speedy and easy installation Can be fully ventilated to reduce power usage No waste Standard components that lock together Reduced safety and environmenta r l hazards Excellent thermal rating Reduces carbon footprint *Average A home delivery is 2 pallets *Transport T costs reduced Mitigating rising damp
BEAMS – Building, Estimating and Management Software The one application needed to run your business. With BEAMS, there is no need to switch between other programs when estimating or quoting or keeping track of all your accounting needs. BEAMS was originally designed for builders in 1993 and the software is now used by many companies in the construction sector. From the time your client first makes contact with you, to the time you go back and carry out some maintenance, BEAMS is there for you making your job as easy as possible. Why BEAMS? Unlike others systems in the market, BEAMS is a complete, fully integrated estimating, scheduling and accounting system with the addition of a mobile application to deal with all the supervisor’s onsite activities. What this means to your company is “no double up of processes or information”. Estimating with CAD Image CAD Image Takeoff is a revolutionary way of measuring plans and creating estimates that would normally take hours by hand, in minutes. You are able to open any image format files including PDF and start the takeoff. Measured items are built directly into the job using the powerful prescriptions. These prescriptions turn one simple click entry into a full list of BUILD items. Put simply, measure the walls and BEAMS puts in all the bricks, sand, cement or wall framing, cladding, carpenter, painter etc.
Contracts When raising purchase orders or contract variations, it is important to make sure that there is no overlap of these tasks. BEAMS will not allow you to create a variation if that item that has already been ordered without warning you. With this in mind, it will not allow you to raise a purchase order if an item the subject of the order has a variation pending – True Integration. BEAMS Resources allows you to keep a track of all your trades and time lines. BEAMS also have an auto email notification function that notifies all recipients of orders if any item has been rescheduled. BEAMS Mobile allowing supervisors to maintain all their on-site activities. Data stored in the office will be available to the supervisor on their Mobiles or iPads (Apple). Accounts The accounts module tracks all expenses for all jobs against the budgets and again will not allow an over run without authority. Maintain Timesheets with the allocation to categories and jobs for Payroll. Features like Full Taxation processing for your sub contractor, Taxation Reporting, Auto BAS, Full Financial Reporting and an Asset Register are included with BEAMS along with much more. If the software system you are currently using is not doing everything that BEAMS will do for you, the time to update is NOW!
Now with BEAMS CRM From Sales leads to Job Tracking – this is now integrated with BEAMS. BEAMS Prospects BEAMS Administration BEAMS Customer Portal For more information contact: Phone: 08 9454 7760 Website: www.beamsbuild.com.au Email: email@example.com
One business that will do the lot! Baylec Electrical is South East Queenslands electrical contractor of choice for Project and Multi Residential builders. Our Company Mantra ensures we show up on time, keep our promises, be extremely polite and give a little more than expected every time; we guarantee it! Multi-residential builders, developers and residents of Brisbane and Southeast Queensland choose Baylec Electrical because of our: > Proven track record of on-time, on-budget, defect-free projects. > Wide range of in-house end-to-end services, Electrical, Air Conditioning, Security, Intercom, Ducted Vacuum & Solar.
> Full Design Consult facilities. > Flexible approach and customer-first attitude > Best quality products and competitive price > Strong award winning environmental focus and accreditations > Over 13 years and 2000 projects completed to date. For a company that is BIG ENOUGH TO CATER FOR YOUR NEEDS BUT SMALL ENOUGH TO CARE you can trust the award winning, family owned BAYLEC Electrical to deliver.
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