Master Builder magazine – April - June 2019

Page 1

April - June 2019


From simplifying processes to new business ideas, it's all here


Master Builders Election 2019 kicks off very soon

AWARDS TIME TO SHINE Find out what a win could mean for your business

Protect your business against bad debts Trade Credit Insurance

You’ve invested endless hours and hard earned cash into your business. It’s your livelihood, the commercial risks can be great and we understand you need assurance to know you’ll be paid for your work. Trade Credit Insurance protects your cash flow and business – giving you peace of mind that you’re covered if commercial customers fail to pay (minimum requirement is a court judgement or insolvency).

*Details of insurance coverage are a summary only of policy coverage. Insurance coverage is provided by QBE Insurance and we are pleased to provide full copies of policy documentation on reques insurance needs of any individual business or person. Terms and conditions apply – talk to Master Builders Insurance Services team for more information. Master Builders Insurance Services is a d

Trade Credit Insurance* through Master Builders Insurance Services provides:  Protection of your cash flow against commercial non-payment  Independent assessment of your key debtors  Early warning of non-payment risk, plus more.

Talk to our insurance specialists for more information or a customised quote today!

Call 1300 13 13 26 Email

st should you wish to review the complete terms of cover as these will apply in the event of any claims. Information contained herein is of a general nature and has not taken into account the particular division of Queensland Master Builders Association. ABN 96 641 989 386. Australian Financial Services Licence 246834.

Published by MASTER BUILDERS QUEENSLAND 417 Wickham Terrace, Brisbane, Queensland, 4000 Phone: (07) 3225 6444 Email: Web: Editor: Leah Kidd Graphic design: Ben Miller

Advertising: Brooke Gardner NRM Custom Publishing (07) 4690 9309 or 0407 406 518

Contents photo: A render of Solaire Properties home, Vanquish under construction in Auchenflower.

Print and distribution: News Regional Media Cover photo: Master Builders 2018 Far North Queensland, Individual Home $1.26 million - $2 million and Best Residential Bathroom for The Peak by Omni Homes.





President’s Message: Taskforce time


Ask our experts


What's on calendar


CEO Message: Who's the piggy in the middle?


Have you got the right licence?


2019 Housing & Construction Awards

To charge or not to charge? That is the question

Aletha leads by example

Industry Voice: State budget update





Strong-willed perfectionism


Your association, your say: Election 2019


New MFR phase is in action right now


Left field work wins


National Construction Code 2019


Silica dust focus of safety bust


Adjudication is now underway


Standard effectively law


In the loop & Latest blog


Master Builders BUSSQ Roadshow


Regional Profile: Mackay



On the Green: Golf Day

& Whitsunday


Tradie: Nathan Gilby, Patchers


43 Tradie: Jacob Bain, Rockhampton Carpentry


Multigenerational home is here


Member Profile: Omni Homes


Cloud is 'so much easier'


Member Profile: Solaire Properties


The toolkit you need


The real deal – Member discounts


Neat idea for decksheet


More than one super account? Insurance change impacts you

© This publication is copyright of Master Builders Queensland. Master Builder is the official magazine of the go-to peak industry association, Master Builders Queensland. All advertising and editorial adheres to Master Builders Advertising & Editorial Policy at

2 | Master Builder

63 Skills, jobs training: Business Breakfast 64

Looking to upgrade your skills?


Upcoming courses



Disclaimer: Advice and information in this publication is given in good faith, on the understanding that any contributing person or organisation are not to incur any responsibility for negligence or legal liability if content is incorrect, incomplete, inappropriate or defective. All liability is therefore disclaimed.

Are your showers ticking time bombs? Despite builders best efforts, leaking showers are consistently listed in the BSA’s top ten defects. Sadly, sometimes this is due to substandard workmanship, but most of the time it is the design of the shower itself which is creating the potential for disaster. Most contractors are at a complete loss as to why, but detailed testing has shown how, by the action of expansion and contraction, water is “pumped” along glue cavities to escape the shower enclosure, no matter how well it is water-proofed. The best way to prevent the problem is to seal the screen directly to the membrane, and NOT to the tiles. Waterstop Streamline provides: •

Positive connection between screen and membrane

Maximises floor area

Provides a template for following trades

Ensures correct fall to waste

Complies with and exceeds AS3740

Modern, cost effective, one-piece design

20 different shapes and sizes

Minimum change for maximum benefits

My business has expanded rapidly since we star ted using the Waterstop Streamline ho b and I now have tilers recommending the Waterstop Streamline system – and me – to othe r bu ilders. Everyone that uses it loves it.

Mr Fred Medd ings, Managin g Director Watertight Austr alia (Water-proo fers)

Remove the doubt. Fit Waterstop Streamline ... and forget about leaking showers.

Water escapes shower enclosure

Water path


Hobbed shower


Screen ‘sealed’ to tiles with silicon Tile


Mr Glen Whitehead, Managing Direct or BJM Developments

Water escapes shower enclosure


Waterstop Streamline Screen ‘sealed’ to tiles with silicon



Rebated or flow-through shower

By using Waterstop Streamline I know the shower will be perfect every time. It has to be, because this prod uct is designed to dictate placemen t of all of the other components to make up a complete shower. It’s virtu ally impossible to stuff it up.

Water path


Screen Screen sealed to membrane with silicone

Keyway to trap liquid membrane

Tile Tile height gauge

Tile Hob


Bathroom floor tile height optional Substrate

Bed Membrane

For more information, visit Phone 07 5426 3700 • Fax 07 5426 3711 • Email




Taskforce time

with Ralf Dutton, President

THE special taskforce investigating nonpayment in the building industry must hear from the entire supply chain.

consider if there are sufficient investigative and supervisory powers to deal with the conduct disclosed in the matters reviewed.

Whether you’re a builder, a subcontractor or a manufacturer who hasn’t been paid, you must tell your story on non-payment within our industry if any meaningful change is going to occur.

They will be seeking submissions from the industry, as well as visiting the regions to follow up with those who have made submissions. They are looking for factual, specific and detailed information, including any documents to support the allegations.

The Queensland Government has appointed retired judge John Byrne to lead the taskforce, which will predominantly investigate fraudulent behavior relating to subcontractor non-payment. The taskforce will investigate complaints provided through submissions in relation to allegations of fraudulent behaviour and where there is evidence of breaches of legislation, they will refer these to the relevant prosecuting authority. They will also 4 | Master Builder

As an association that represents both builders and subbies, we urge anyone who hasn’t been paid to share their story with the taskforce. We’ll also be providing a submission that will deal with the policy gaps that exist – for example, where developers don’t pay builders, which in some cases flows down the chain. From what you’ve told us, in many cases nonpayment starts at the top, when developers

or owners fail or are slow to pay the builder; and it’s imperative this part of the story is told so that the taskforce can pass on the right recommendations to fix the problem. We anticipate that the kind of forensic analysis the taskforce will undertake of insolvent builders, which is beyond the scope of liquidators, will determine the circumstances which led to business failure. Where fraudulent or criminal activity is identified, we absolutely support the penalties – in our view, no one is above the law. At the same time, we’ll be encouraging the Queensland Government to continue the current BIF review and are hopeful that there will be changes to the current laws so that they don’t negatively impact the very people they are trying to help.


Who’s the piggy in the middle? with Grant Galvin, CEO

AS WE HEAD into full blown election mode our industry has been caught in the middle, as the LNP and Labor Government’s trade blows. Our warning: beware grandiose promises and policies that sound too good to be true. While we’re delighted that governments are finally starting to understand how complex the industry’s security of payment issues are, we feel compelled to urge caution and common sense when it comes to election campaign promises. Take Bill Shorten’s Tradie Pay Guarantee policy as an example. This sounds very worthwhile; however, we believe the issue is not one that just impacts tradies. Wherever you sit in the supply chain (whether you’re a builder, subcontractor, sub-subcontractor or supplier), everybody deserves to be paid in full and on time for work they have completed.

to be introduced) and problems have already been identified. We remain hopeful that the independent review called for by Master Builders and implemented by the government will recommend some significant changes which, if nothing else, will allow the legislation to function and minimise the complexity. What we know from our experience in Queensland, where the government is already well into the throes of introducing security of payment legislation reform, is that certain builders, subbies and their sub-subbies will have to set up trust accounts and manage the increased workload, paperwork and payments to their suppliers (many have had to employ extra staff to handle the workload). This burden will be expanded when Project Bank Accounts are extended to the private sector later this year.

You can’t turn this into a builder vs. tradie argument to just simplify it for an election. If you work in the industry you’ll be acutely aware this is a complex issue, and vilifying one party to help another actually ends up helping no-one.

We have and continue to argue that the current reforms do nothing to address nonpayment to builders by owners or developers. If you want to begin fixing payment issues in our industry, you need to address them from one end of the supply chain to the other – that means owners through to suppliers and everybody in between.

In Queensland, new legislation has only been in place mere months (with some reforms yet

Promises like the Tradie Pay Guarantee, special taskforces and royal commissions

6 | Master Builder

sound fantastic. They achieve front page headlines and some follow up media. Unfortunately, they don’t tell the full story. As we are finding in Queensland already, the devil is in the detail (hundreds of pages of detail) and there is no silver bullet to solve the problems. Our proposed solutions are not headline grabbing. Since before the laws were tabled we’ve been advocating for skilling licence holders (builders and subbies) through continuing professional development particularly around effective business management; enforcing the current laws and removing the small number of builders and subbies who break the law or have bad business practices; compulsory trade credit insurance (which many have already turned to with success) is worth serious consideration; and finally, raising the bar on licence holders may not be popular, but necessary. We know the show will roll on and both sides of politics will make many promises over the coming months. Our cautionary warning is that a raft of very “boring” changes to our industry is likely to have a more positive impact than throwaway catch phrases that over-simplify our complex industry.

Don’t wreck it it!

Goop is an Innovative and unique way to protect a wide range of surfaces and products. Goop is a protect o t peelable temporary protective y a w unique d n a oop is a e G v . i s t t a c v u o d n and pro on like an incoating olls s and rolls at rpaint ethat h c t a f g r n u i s t f a o ve co removal. rangepeels . tectieasy o r off for p y r a r removal o y s p a m e e r t o e f l els off peGuys d n a ous t Goop Australian n i zardmade, a pa h n o n , an made i l a r t s u t A can be rotecproducts Guysnon-hazardous p o t d e s u e b an cts cused to protect • Windows s e • Floors s i h c n A r f • Bathtubs vailaBle a • Benchtops


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State budget update with Paul Bidwell, Deputy CEO

QUEENSLAND Treasurer, Hon. Jackie Trad will hand down her second budget, the 2019/20 budget on 11 June. Given that 2019 is looking to be a challenging year for our industry, with deteriorating economic conditions along with significant changes in government policy, it’s more important than ever for the state government to introduce measures to stimulate demand. We believe returning the Boost to the First Home Owners’ Grant (FHOG) in regional Queensland, increasing capital expenditure and actually spending what is allocated in the budget will increase demand for new construction, creating a wave of investment and jobs. We have urged the Treasurer to bring back the Boost to the FHOG for regional Queensland. Boosting the FHOG to $20,000 played a major role in bringing first home owners into the market, but it came to an end on 30 June 2018.

the lowest they’ve been in over 15 years. Our regions need support to get building again. A return of the Boost would help regional Queenslanders get into their first home as well as providing a much needed ‘shot in the arm’ for regional businesses. Many commercial builders across Queensland rely on the state government for a portion of their work. Unfortunately state government investment in public building and construction has declined significantly in recent years. Since 2009-10, spending has decreased from 4.4 per cent of Queensland gross state product (GSP) to 2.0 per cent in 2017-18. One quarter below the 25-year average of 2.7 per cent. For 2017-18 alone this has meant a spending shortfall of $2.5 billion from the 25-year average.

During the two years it was offered, there was a 48 per cent increase in the number of grants, with a large number of these in regional areas.

To ensure that a growing Queensland continues to have the buildings and infrastructure it needs, and the construction industry can provide long-term employment opportunities, we have asked the Treasurer to establish a Queensland Public Sector Building and Construction Capital Expenditure Benchmark. The benchmark should be set at the 25-year average of 2.7 per cent of GSP.

Unfortunately, building approvals for new dwellings in regional Queensland are now at

This would mean an additional $2.5 billion annual expenditure on top of the $6.9

8 | Master Builder

billion spent on public sector buildings and engineering construction in 2017-18. To ensure that the lion’s share of government spending is not on engineering works – road and rail projects – we have recommended a second benchmark, for the public (residential and non-residential) building component of the total spend. This should also be set at the 25-year average, which would be 0.6 per cent of GSP. This would mean an additional $1.1 billion annual expenditure on top of the $1.1 billion spent in 2017-18. In addition to allocating more funding for building and construction projects, the state government must ensure the money allocated in its budget is spent. Over the past four years (to 2017-18), only four in every five dollars has actually been spent compared to what was budgeted. In total, more than $6.1 billion that was set aside over those four years was not spent. These building projects have gone begging, leaving our industry missing out on thousands of jobs across the state. There is no doubt the Treasurer can do much more to ensure the building and construction industry continues its role as the cornerstone of the Queensland economy.

Give your workmate the weekend off Thanks to Toyota Fleet and All-New RAV4

After much anticipation, All-New RAV4 has arrived. It’s available in 2WD, petrol and electric AWD; and is our first ever Hybrid SUV in Australia. The advanced electric AWD delivers low fuel consumption of just 4.8L/100km (combined)1. And our class-leading Toyota Safety Sense comes as standard across the range. You’ll also enjoy plenty of room for your next adventure, thanks to its versatile boot. To find out more, visit your Fleet Specialist Dealer or call 1800 444 847.


Master Builders Association membership details required to redeem Gold Fleet Discounts.

1 Fuel consumption is based on Toyota GX Hybrid AWD model. Achieved in test conditions. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on driving conditions/style, vehicle condition and option/accessories fitted. TFM2117 – MBA-QLD 04/19

YOUR ASSOCIATION YOUR SAY Election 2019 Let your voice be heard

During August, voting members can nominate for a range of positions, including:

2019 is an election year for Master Builders and the process for electing our governance bodies will commence in August. During the election phase we are calling on eligible members to support Master Builders and consider nominating for a position – there are lots of opportunities to be as involved as you like. While it’s understandable that many of us are suffering from ‘election fatigue’ after the recent federal election, this is an opportunity to get involved at a grass roots level in the industry you know best.

Divisional Representative – the Master Builders Electoral College (MBEC) includes of one Divisional Representative from each of our 9 divisions.

MBEC Member (between 25-45 Members)

The President, Housing & Construction Sector Committees Chairs and other members of the Board will be elected from the MBEC. MBEC members will also be considered when filling positions on the Housing & Construction Sector Committees.

If you're located in regional Queensland, you also have the opportunity to participate at a more localised level. Positions on your Divisional or Branch Committees of Management are also available. Nominations for those positions will open in late October 2019, so look out for the call for nominations later this year. If you're interested in a particular policy area, you can nominate for a position on one of our many policy subcommittees – such as Industrial Relations, Contracts, Health & Safety, Environment, and Renovation & Technical. Nominations for these committees will also be advertised later in the year once the Annual General Meeting (AGM) election process is finalised.

Why participate? Members are our lifeblood and those who choose to participate do so to improve Master Builders and the broader industry. If you’d like to make a difference and have a say on important industry issues, consider nominating now.

Nominations open 5 August Interested in nominating? Nominations will open Monday, 5 August 2019. Download a nomination form at Completed nominations must be received by 4pm, Thursday, 22 August 2019 and can be posted or emailed. This is an exciting time for Master Builders and our members and we invite you to participate and have a voice.

Nomination forms and more information are available at or call (07) 3225 6444.

Election timeline 10 | Master Builder

August September

September October

Nominate & elect Master Builders Electoral College & Divisional Representatives

Nominate President, Housing & Construction Sector Committee Chairs & Master Builders Board

October AGM & MBEC Meetings Election of President, Housing & Construction Sector Committee Chairs & the Master Builders Board

Notice of Annual General Meeting – 15 October 2019 In accordance with the Constitution, the Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on 15 October 2019 at Master Builders’ head office in Brisbane starting at 4pm. General business to be conducted at the meeting includes: • • • • •

To confirm the Minutes of the AGM held on 16 October 2018 To receive the President’s Annual Report, Audited Balance Sheets and Statement of Accounts To appoint the Auditor for 2019-20 To notify the meeting of those persons elected to the MBEC To consider any other matter referred by the Board of Master Builders.

The MBEC meeting will immediately follow the AGM.




25-45 members

6-8 members

9 Divisional Representatives

Comprised of President, Housing & Construction Sector Committee Chairs (3-5 members)

Up to 50 per cent from Greater Brisbane


Up to 50 per cent subcontractors



October November Nominate & elect Housing & Construction Sector Committee members

10-14 members



October November Nominate Divisional & Branch – Committees of Management

November AGMs & Elections Divisional & Branch – Committees of Management

November December Nominate & appoint Subpolicy committees

Master Builder | 11


Silica dust focus of safety bust

How do I know if a worker’s been fit tested? Once a worker passes a fit test, a written record of the results should be kept for each worker with information that should include: •

Type of test performed (qualitative vs. quantitative)

Make, model, style and size of respirators tested

Date of the test Result of the test.

BUILDERS and subcontractors are being put on notice and others fined as safety authorities crack down on dust control of respirable silica.

As each individual person’s face varies significantly in shape and size, it’s important that a suitable tight-fitting respirator is chosen for each worker.

It comes as recent safety campaigns by Workplace Health & Safety Queensland are combined with increased enforcement action within the building and construction industry more broadly.

How is fit testing done?

There are two methods used for fit testing:

This information will guide you – as their employer – to which type of respirator they have been fit tested to use safely. Workers are only permitted to use the specific respirator outlined in their written record.

This has generated increased enquiries to Master Builders' WHS team. The common questions we’re asked are about wearing respirable protective equipment, for example tight-fitting respirators and the legal requirement to fit-test individual workers.

What is fit testing and why is it required? Fit testing detects if air is leaking into a respirator through gaps in the seal between the respirator face piece and the worker’s face. The performance of any tight-fitting respirator relies heavily on having a good seal between the respirator and the wearer’s face. If the respirator doesn’t create an effective seal, contaminated air can leak into the respirator. Respirators are not a one-size-fits-all item of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). 12 | Master Builder

Qualitative fit testing – a pass/fail test that relies on the wearer’s ability to taste or smell a test agent. This type of test can be used on half-face respirators. Quantitative fit testing – uses specialised equipment to measure how much air leaks into the respirator. This type of test can be used on half-face and full-face respirators.

When and how often should fit testing be done? Fit testing should be carried out before the respirator is selected and used by a worker for the first time. It should also be carried out: •

At least once per year to ensure it continues to fit adequately

Whenever there’s a change in the wearer’s facial characteristics or features which may affect the facial seal, such as weight loss or gain.

We recommend that this information be produced in the form of a fit test record card that can be easily kept on hand by the worker.

Who can complete a fit test? Any fit testing should be carried out by a competent person. This could be someone within your business who has appropriate qualifications and experience, the manufacturer or supplier of the respirator, or a consultant, such as a hygienist of medical professional. Need more information? If you’d like more information or have a question about managing the risk of respirable silica dust contact the Master Builders’ WHS team on 1300 30 50 10.

Create raised floors on balconies, podiums and green roof tops Designed for creating raised floors in external applications, such as balconies, terraces and green roofs, Buzon’s Award Winning Pedestal system can be used with any type of concrete or stone paver, timber decking of all types and metal or fibreglass grid systems. A key benefit of this innovation is the patented slope correction device. This gives up to five percent fall compensation achieving a perfectly level floor finish, simultaneously allowing for positive water runoff at structural slab level.

Using the Buzon Pedestal replaces the use of sand and cement when laying pavers, therefore eliminating efflorescence and algae and reducing weight-bearing loads on the building structure. In addition the pedestal also improves thermal insulation and reduces sounds transmission.

For even more design flexibility, the system offers height adjustment from 17mm to 1070mm, millimetre by millimetre if required. This allows for unsightly services to be concealed under the floor while still offering access for maintenance of the waterproofing membrane and drainage systems.

In commercial urban environments where space is at an ever-higher premium, a building’s roof level is potentially a rich source of usable space. Buzon say their Pedestal System can be used to maximise a roof’s potential, both hiding all manner of services and protecting roof substrates from the elements, maximising integrity and longevity.

The pedestals are extremely strong as they are precision-engineered from high strength, UV resistant, recycled polypropylene and capable of supporting loads of more than 1000kg each. At roof level, this load is evenly spread by the wide base area of each unit, making them ideal for installation on any waterproofing membrane without causing damage, they can even be used directly over insulation material. The Buzon Pedestal System is also simple to install. Desired height is achieved by thread adjustment, which is lockable when reached and a range of interchangeable spacer tabs of 2mm, 3mm, 4.5mm, 6mm, 8mm and 10mm, allow for precise gaps between pavers and provide positive drainage without any concern of ponding or flooding.

Buzon’s Pedestal System is available in Queensland through Adheseal.

For more information contact: Phone: 07 3356 0000 Fax: 07 3356 0005 Website:

BENEFITS • • • • •

Use with stone, concrete, timber, composite decking Use over existing concrete, brick or paved areas Allows for drainage and ventilation Reduces noise and increases insulation Can achieve a perfectly level deck on an uneven surface

• Adjustable heights supporting up to 1000kg • Quick and easy installation • Provides a sustainable solution • Easy access to waterproofing membrane for maintenance

Exclusive stockist of Buzon products in Australia contact:

Head Office (VIC) PASCO 13-15 Brighton Street Richmond VIC 3121 Tel: (03) 9429 9111

QLD Distributor Adheseal – Brisbane 26 Wolverhampton St Stafford QLD 4053 Tel: (07) 3356 0000

SA Distributor P. Hughes Enterprises 15 Saltram Road Glenelg SA 5045 Tel: 0432 418 255

NSW Distributor Ausdrain 1/36 Willoughby Road Crows Nest NSW 2065 Tel: 1300 287 372

QLD Distributor Adheseal – Sunshine Coast 2/18 Kessling Avenue Kunda Park QLD 4556 Tel: (07) 5477 0022

WA Distributor Civil & General Distributors 27 Oxleigh Drive Malaga WA 6090 Tel: (08) 9249 4733





Designed for business. Look no further than the Mercedes-Benz Vans range for the most reliable mobility solution for your business. What’s more, we offer exclusive offers for Master Builder’s Members. With a competitive range of business finance options available, owning your own Mercedes-Benz Van has never been easier or more affordable. Contact Mercedes-Benz Brisbane today to discover what model will suit your business and what offers are available to Master Builder’s members.

Mercedes-Benz Brisbane

Vans Sales Centre, 195 Lutwyche Road, Windsor. (07) 3251 6699. Vans Service Centre, 83 Fison Avenue West, Eagle Farm. (07) 3183 9555


In the loop The issue of non-compliance in numbers. Here's a breakdown of what's happened so far and what's to come.

$5.7 million Damages awarded to the owners of the Lacrosse tower in Melbourne. To be paid by the fire engineer (39%), certifier (33%), architect (25%) and the resident who left the cigarette burning (3%).

92% Respondents to an Australian Industry Group survey who reported non-conforming products in their supply chain.

71 Queensland Government buildings identified as having combustible cladding. Approximately 4,500 private buildings are now undergoing detailed assessment.

$126,000 The maximum fine for an individual who fails to comply with the duties under the non-conforming building products legislation.

24 Recommendations for regulatory change that came out of the Building Confidence report by Shergold and Weir.

Latest blog:

Non-conforming products and building quality The Lacrosse, Grenfell and Opal building sagas have all catapulted building quality into the spotlight. But despite these failures only occurring in large Type A buildings, regulators, insurers and the community are now looking beyond these building types. While the ‘rules of the game’ haven’t yet changed, they’re now under the microscope and are being applied more conservatively. We all need to play our part in ensuring our processes and paperwork are on point. Just because that’s the way it’s always been done, doesn’t mean it has been right. Certifiers are at the forefront of this new vigilance. In the Lacrosse case, the certifier and fire engineer who signed off the building shouldered the bulk of the liability. Other consultants won’t be making the same mistake. You’re probably already finding that your certifier is asking for more evidence at each inspection stage. The product certification system is tightening too. Earlier this year we saw the sudden withdrawal of CodeMark Certificates of Conformity for a range of cladding products. This meant they could no longer be used as Evidence of Suitability under the National Construction Code (NCC) and that projects using them – which were either underway or yet to commence – needed to seek out alternative evidence of compliance. While the intent was to tighten up compliance in Type A & B / Class 2-9 construction, these products are also used in Type C / Class 1 & 10 construction. Insurance is also feeling the pressure. There are few providers of Professional Indemnity Insurance for building certifiers left in the market and many consultants are facing fee renewal increases large enough to force them out of the business altogether. Again, while the risk is mostly in commercial, Type A construction, the loss of certifiers, engineers and designers will be felt across the whole industry. Government has responded by commissioning a report by Shergold and Weir. Their Building Confidence report provides 24 recommendations ranging from licensing to certification. Governments around Australia are now putting their plans in place to implement the reforms. It’s going to affect all types of construction. So, what do you need to do in this new environment? Ensure that you have your own business in order. Check your project documentation is thorough and accurate. Go back to your suppliers and ensure you have Evidence of Suitability for all the products used on your projects, and that it can be relied on. Check that it tells you how and where a product is suitable. If in doubt, check and ask, we’re here to help. For further information, contact Master Builders on 1300 30 50 10.

Source: Master Builders Queensland

Master Builder | 15


Mackay & Whitsunday Region

The highs of 2012/13 made the lows of the following years seem exceptionally crushing. The region is showing promising signs in the current market and this was all started in the wake of Cyclone Debbie. Our new home and unit numbers are still on the rise but we do have a way to go before we get the consistent new home numbers of pre-2012.

Malcom Hull Mackay & Whitsunday Regional Manager THE Mackay & Whitsunday region and its building and construction numbers have had some interesting highs and lows in the past five years.



Median mortgage repayment per month

16 | Master Builder


of the Mackay Airport over the next 20 years •

Mackay Port Access Road and Ring Road stages one and two

Bruce Highway upgrade – Goorganga Planes flood mitigation

Urranah Dam project

The median house price has increased to $385,900k and the rental market has also seen a strengthening in rental prices and vacancy rates. This is positive news for local home owners. There are a number of significant projects planned for the Mackay & Whitsunday region which are already approved and in planning stages, including:

Retirement villages

A major Medical Research facility has

market is looking very healthy. This all leads

The Mackay Airport Land Use Plan, which was recently approved and proposes a $900 million redevelopment

385,900 Median new house price


been approved for the local university. There's a level of positivity in the local construction industry that has not been seen for many years. This is also supported by good signs that the renovation and extension to a market that has much to look forward to for the coming years.

157,000 Median vacant land price


37,284 Median personal income per year


THE Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region is located in tropical North Queensland and is as naturally beautiful as it is resource-rich.

Greg Williamson

The region is also home to an iconic agricultural industry in sugar cane.

Mackay Regional Council Mayor

While a slowdown in the resource sector was challenging, the region has been in recovery since June 2017 and the outlook is strong. Over the past financial year, we have seen many positive growth indicators, including improved employment opportunities, a 158.5 per cent increase in residential building approvals and a 245.5 per cent increase in non-residential building approvals. Dwelling sales and school enrolments have also improved, and the region is experiencing extremely low rental vacancy rates for residential properties. There is over $40 billion worth of planned



Median family income per year


Unemployment rate in the region


of total employment in the Mackay region from the building and construction industry

Two critical road projects have also been approved, including the Walkerston Bypass, and work has started on stage one of the Mackay Ring Road, which will reduce heavy vehicle traffic through the city and offer a safe and more efficient link from Mackay to the Bowen Basin. While the resurgence of the resource sector has created countless opportunities for the region, we continue to look at ways to diversify into new industries such as defence, bio-future and tourism. Mackay Regional Council is currently undertaking a feasibility study for a mountain bike facility in the Pioneer Valley. We have also registered an expression of interest for the construction and operation of a regional wave pool and have completed construction on Mackay ARC, an international-standard sporting complex.


New dwellings approved in the region during the past 12 months



Building value in residential building approvals

Master Builder | 17

Source: Queensland Government Statistician’s Office, Queensland Treasury, Queensland Regional Profiles

On our coast you can find international tourism hotspots such as the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands. Travel inland and you will discover tropical rainforests and swimming holes at Eungella National Park and some of Australia’s largest coal mining deposits at the Bowen and Galilee basins.

projects in the pipeline, including the Waterfront Priority Development Area (PDA), which aims to transform the Mackay region’s Pioneer River and Binnington Esplanade into a key business and recreational hub to improve the city’s liveability, create tourism appeal and attract investment.


Wood - the ultimate renewable

The IPCC recently issued its latest report with a stark warning about how long we have left to moderate CO2 emissions and to halt global warming. It is no longer enough to reduce emissions, we need to start actively reducing the CO2 already in the atmosphere. The planting of more trees is the only realistic method we have of reducing atmospheric carbon but, in Australia and around the world, moves to encourage more forests and plantations are failing to generate anywhere near the levels required. Furthermore, science tells us that trees are only really effective at carbon absorption during the growth stages. Once they mature, the wood needs to be harvested and new trees planted, supported by the active use of certification schemes like FSC and/or Responsible Wood (PEFC). In the built environment wood provides thee significant environmental benefits: • Wood is the only large-scale renewable building material currently available.

Bates Smart and Lendlease have used wood extensively throughout 25 King Street, Brisbane. PHOTO: TOM ROE •

When all wooden products, including engineered timber products such as CLT, Glulam and Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL), are used in the construction of buildings, they provide long-term carbon storage – about half of the dry weight of wood is carbon, which is stored for as long as the building exists. Using wood significantly reduces the CO2 emissions that are produced when using conventional materials, which have significantly higher levels of embodied energy. As a rule of thumb if we replace a cubic metre of a solid material like concrete with a cubic metre of

timber, this will result in a reduction of approximately 1 tonne of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere. Hence, the more we build using timber, the more carbon we can store, and the more emissions can be reduced, which in turn will create an increased demand for timber that will help drive reforestation. The built environment is the primary source of CO2 emissions in Australia and around the world. It is really important to both understand and decrease the embodied energy used in construction.



Multigenerational homes are here p20 | Cloud is 'so much easier' p21 The toolkit you need p22 | Neat idea for decksheet p25 Master Builder | 19


Multigenerational homes are here

A TOWSVILLE-BASED builder is attracting “powerful” interest with his innovative, multigenerational home designs.

“Families living together is becoming a more

Martin Locke Homes Director, Martin Locke said the design allowed families at all stages of life to live together but maintain their privacy and independence.

Mr Locke’s homes are built to meet the

His home, located at Master Builders’ newest display village, Elliot Springs, was designed with functionality and flexibility top of mind.

concept would be in increased demand.

“When you look into the future, we’ve got an ageing population and there’s likely to be more people living together with, or caring for older parents,” he said. “This style of home is not just for grandparents or children who are staying at home longer, it’s a much-needed option for disabled family members or those who require additional assistance.” Complete with a separate, sounded-proofed private entry, kitchen and living area, bathroom, bedroom and backyard, the only shared room is a laundry with two-way lockable entry. “You’ve always got to be looking at new things, we believe this could be the way of the future, as it is in many European countries,” he said.

attractive option due to financial, career, time and health pressures.” principles of the Livable Housing Australia guidelines. He said accessible features, combined with the multigenerational living “We know this concept works. We built a similar home for a family in 2015 and they originally lived in the larger home and their son lived in the multigenerational area,” he said. “The son then got married and moved out, the parents relocated into the multigenerational area. Their daughter then moved into the main home with her husband and child. “The grandparents are transitioning to retirement and travel often but they’ve got their own low maintenance and secure home base and they’re there as needed for family.” Locke said building a multigenerational home was cheaper than you’d think and was a great option if families wanted the option to live independently but close to one another.

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Cloud is 'so much easier' BETTER communication and more transparency with clients was the motivation for Amrock Homes in looking to innovate their construction management processes. But they got that and a whole lot more when they moved from a server-based system to a cloud-based program. Better yet, the program could be downloaded by clients as an app on their phone. Amrock Homes contract administrator, Debbie O’Connell said the software had made their entire business process so much easier. “It changes everything we do as a company. It allows clients to login and see everything and by doing that, it really opens up the transparency in the relationship. “Clients can see variations. progress claims, warranty item and contract documentation. We take them right through the process and they can see everything at their fingertips; it’s

easier for all parties involved.”

said had been a huge benefit internally.

O’Connell said the BuilderTrend software also allowed you to schedule appointments through the warrantyphase.

“Because it’s cloud-based, our director might be overseas and can still access it. Or I might work interstate and I’m still able to do my job from New South Wales, Tasmania, wherever. Our clients don’t feel like they’ve been forgotten and nothing falls between the cracks,” she said.

“The tradie must accept the appointment and the owners also have to accept,” she said. “It sends a notification and you can go back and check when the notification was sent, which provides an easy–to-track record of the communication that gives accountability, too.” And the feedback from clients? “Really positive,” O’Connell said. “It allows for great communication as our supervisor can be on site, upload photos instantly to the app and it sends a notification to the client to let them know there’s a new progress photo.” It’s this efficiency and accountability that beyond the benefits for the client, O’Connell

She said often clients were getting in touch and wanting to know what was going on for their build weeks in advance. “With the program, we don’t need to sit there and pull up the schedule. It also makes everything more efficient, you don’t have to print off variations, you can digitally sign them through the app,” she said. “Via the app, you get a notification the same as you would for Facebook. It pops up immediately and you can action it right away,” she said.

31 July

Master Builder | 21


The toolkit you need OFTEN when we think about innovation in business, our minds go to gizmos and gadgets. But if we look at the broad definition of innovation as a new way of doing things, the opportunity to innovate in your business is endless. Sometimes innovation can be as simple as something that saves you time and frees up you or your staff to work on other

22 | Master Builder

opportunities or tasks. If your business has reached a size where you’re searching for documentation and support for managing your staff, why not innovate and try something new? Whether you’re recruiting a new employee, managing an underperforming worker or implementing policies and expectations in your workplace, Master Builders has crafted a tool for you.

The HR toolkit is a set of more than 90 resources, available for $99 inc. GST, in Word format, on USB that gives you the resources you need. If you’re implementing policies or procedures, or looking to create or foster structure in your workplace, it’s all here for you. You can find out more about the HR toolkit by calling 1300 30 50 10 or visiting

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Neat idea for deck sheet THEY say a good way to start a business is to solve a problem in the market. For builder Dave O’Farrell, it was a big one.

and their respective partners, Kerry O’Farrell and Debbie Harris, the quartet have been working hard on a new way of laying decking.

Having run Trak Construction for more than three decades, O’Farrell and his team were fed up with inconsistency of product, monotony and inefficiency of laying decking.

Enter, Decksheet. Merbau timber that’s kiln-dried and sold in sheet form as opposed to individual decking boards, O’Farrell said it was a huge time saver on site.

“Everybody on site disliked laying individual decking boards,” he said.

There are two sheet styles. The traditional 90 mm sheet made up of six boards (564 mm wide) and the wider 140 mm sheet consists of four boards (576 mm wide).

“It’s time consuming and part of the problem with individual boards is they’re never straight and they vary in width and thickness.” Partnering up with his next door neighbour, Tony Harris, owner of PHD Timber Importers

“It’s great to work with, the product is so easy to lay that once people start using it, we’ve had builders come to us and say they’ll never

go back to strip decking again,” he said. “Part of the problem with individual boards is that they’re never straight and they vary in widths and thicknesses. Whereas Decksheet is machine cut so that it cuts the grooves and the water flutes in. “Then in another machine it’s cut square to make it dead square. It’s so uniform and very straight and square, the look and feel of the deck is great.” O’Farrell said the product would be about 10 to 15 per cent more expensive than individual decking but anticipated it was between six and 10 times faster to lay.

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Principal Advisor Workplace Relations

Manager Housing Services

Manager WHSE Services

Principal Legal Officer Members Legal

THE building and construction industry can be complex, which is why we receive thousands of member enquiries each year. Here at Master Builders, our friendly and knowledgeable experts are on hand to answer your questions about the issues you face in the day-to-day running of your business. This advisory service is free to members – and it’s just one of many ways we’re committed to giving you a valuable membership experience. Over the following pages, this edition’s panel of experts share some of the common questions they are asked.

We’re here to help, whether you need advice about: • Contracts, including which contract to use • Disputes and getting paid • Employment, wages and staffing • Workplace health and safety practices • Industry compliance and licensing requirements • Enterprise bargaining agreements • Legislation and how it applies to you • Insurance products • Plus much, much more.

Remember, if you’re seeking professional advice, call Master Builders on 1300 30 50 10. Master Builder | 27


Workplace Relations with Emma Kirkby

Building & Planning with Phil Breeze

Principal Advisor – Workplace Relations

Manager – Housing Services



It’s important to note that an employee cannot be dismissed for a temporary absence due to illness or injury unless their paid sick leave has been exhausted and they have had absences of three months, or periods equalling three months in a 12-month period. It’s important to have comprehensive information to avoid potential legal pitfalls in terminating because of illness or injury. You can get this information from the employee’s treating doctor, with their agreement, or by requesting the employee attend an assessment with a suitably qualified medical practitioner arranged by the employer. The decision to dismiss an employee for incapacity must be based on current medical evidence about their capacity, both now and in the foreseeable future. Where an employee may be expected to return to work in a foreseeable and reasonable time frame, a dismissal is risky. If the employee cannot return to work and perform any duties for the foreseeable future, there may be grounds to dismiss the employee for incapacity. However, a decision should never be made without considering other legal obligations, such as discrimination legislation. You should always discuss these issues with our workplace relations team before initiating the management of a long-term absence.

CAN I TRIAL AN EMPLOYEE BEFORE AN APPRENTICESHIP? Employers often would like to have a prospective apprentice work for them for a trial period before making the commitment to offer the training contract. However, if you’re paying apprenticeship rates you must have the person signed onto their training contract within two weeks of starting work. If you don’t have the training contract signed in this period, you will need to pay the person as a labourer until the contract is entered into. Because there are no junior rates in many construction-related awards, this can be an expensive option. It’s worth considering that all apprenticeships have a 90-day probationary period. To make best use of this probationary period and make a true assessment of the desirability of maintaining the relationship, it’s advisable to have regular feedback sessions with the apprentice during this period. If you’re dissatisfied with the apprentice’s progress, you can lodge an application to extend the probationary period provided it isn’t extended beyond six months from commencement and the application is received at least 14 days prior to the end of the 90-day probation period. Whether a training contract has been signed or not, the apprenticeship or traineeship may be ended by the employer or apprentice or trainee at any time during the probationary period.

Contact the Workplace Relations team on (07) 3225 6411 or 28 | Master Builder

There has been much debate centred on non-combustible building elements and their components used in buildings required to be of Type A or B construction. To help you ensure the products are fit for purpose you must get a copy of a product certification (evidence of suitability). You should also, at a minimum, check the evidence of suitability is in accordance with Building Code of Australia (BCA) A5.2 (BCA 2019) or the relevant BCA section at the time of the issuing of the building approval. Check the following: the test/certificate, authorisation date, the expiry date of the certificate, any limitations and exclusions on the use of the product. You should take the time to read the product certificate contents, taking particular notice of, the appraisal report, opinion report, any other reports and ny conflicting reports (e.g. conflicting test results). Don’t just accept product certificates on face value – scrutinise them.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ANCILLARY ELEMENT VERSUS EXTERNAL CLADDING? The interpretation about what is external cladding as opposed to an ancillary element (previously referred to as an attachment) has, in the past, allowed a few in the supply chain to sell, and or install materials that were not tested to the more stringent non-combustible external cladding standard. The current BCA changes go some way to rectify that situation in requiring external cladding materials to be used in buildings required to be Type A and B construction by providing a verification method using AS 5113. How do we differentiate for this purpose between an ancillary element and external cladding? Ask yourself the following questions: •

Does the product provide weatherproofing, energy efficiency or acoustic benefits?

Does the product compromise the non-combustibility and or the Fire-Resistance Level (FRL) of the wall?

Is the external wall insulation or sarking non-combustible material in accordance with BCA Specification C1.1, clauses 3.1(b) and 4.1(b)?

Is the product located near or directly above a required exit so as to make it unusable in a fire?

Does the product constitute an undue risk of fire spread via the facade of the building?

Does the product interfere with the required FRL in that part of the building?

If you answered yes to any one of the above questions, the material is to be treated as part of the external wall system.

Contact the Housing team on (07) 3225 6444 or via email at


Workplace Health & Safety

with Stephanie Gaylard Manager – WHSE Services

I HAVE A WORKER WHO IS REFUSING TO WEAR THEIR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT, WHAT SHOULD I DO? The first important step is to stop the worker from working in order to ensure their safety. Sit down with the worker and address the issue with them directly as there may be reasons as to why the worker feels the personal protective equipment (PPE) cannot be worn (incorrect fit/size, wrong item for task). Remind the worker of company personal protective equipment policies and provide any re-training required. A failure to follow a reasonable and lawful instruction (such as wearing appropriate PPE) may be grounds for disciplinary action. It’s also important that you review your company policies and procedures to ensure that the requirement for PPE is adequately covered and understood by your workforce.

I HOLD A B CLASS ASBESTOS REMOVAL LICENCE, BUT DO MY WORKERS NEED TO UNDERTAKE ANY FORMAL TRAINING TO REMOVE MORE THAN 10 SQM OF ASBESTOS? Yes they do. Any worker carrying out licensed asbestos removal work must hold a certificate in either CPCCDE3014A Remove non-friable asbestos if the work involves the removal of bonded asbestos, or CPCCDE3015A Remove friable asbestos if the work involves the removal of friable asbestos.

I’VE BEEN TOLD MY WORKERS NEED TO HOLD A LICENCE TO UNDERTAKE SCAFFOLDING WORK. WHAT IS SCAFFOLDING WORK? Scaffolding work is work that includes putting up, changing or taking down a temporary structure that is used to support a work platform, where a person or object could fall more than four metres.

DO I NEED TO HAVE A HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEE FOR MY BUSINESS? Establishing a health and safety committee forms part of a health and safety consultation process. It can be an effective way of ensuring health and safety issues are communicated, raised by workers and resolved within your business. A person conducting a business or undertaking is legally required to set up a health and safety committee within two months of being requested by a health and safety representative, or by five or more workers in a workplace or as required under a Regulation.

Members Legal with Tracey Wood Principal Legal Officer – Members Legal

HOW SHOULD I IDENTIFY THE CORRECT ENTITIES TO BE NOTED ON THE CONTRACT? It’s vitally important that the correct legal name of each party is noted clearly in writing on the contract. If either party holds a Queensland Building and Construction (QBCC) licence, the entity name must match the QBCC licence holder’s name and not just the trading name. If one of the entities is a trust, the full name of the trustee must be noted along with the words “as trustee for” then the name of the trust, for example, “Joe’s Plumbing Pty Ltd ATF Smith Family Trust” or “Joe Smith ATF the Smith Family Trust”. A trust cannot enter into a contract but its trustee can in its capacity as trustee. However, this must be noted on the contract. To assist, we recommend doing a few online checks prior to entering into the contract. Check out: a. – If the party is a company, confirm the Australian Company Number (ACN). We recommend that a “Current Extract” be obtained to confirm who is/are the director/s of the company and can sign the contract to bind the company

b. – confirm the Australian Business Number (ABN) for the entity regardless of the type of entity it is

c. – confirm the licensed entity’s name and licence number and ensure it matches the contract. Ensure you’re searching for the entity name, not the trading name.

Keeping in mind Chapter 3 of the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 is now in action, it’s important the correct entity is listed from the get-go. Why? Because this may affect your right to make a claim for payment for the work you’ve done.

WHAT IS THE NEW DLP NOTICE? If a builder holds cash retention or security on a subcontractor, it’s now required by section 67NC of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (QBCC Act) to issue a notice to the subcontractor within 10 business days of the end of the defects liability period stating: 1.

The date the defects liability period ends; and


For a retention amount – c.

The amount to be paid to the subcontractor at the end of the defect liability period, if no money is needed to correct defects in the building work under the contract; and


The date the retention amount is proposed to be paid to the subcontractor.

A person conducting a business or undertaking can also voluntarily establish a health and safety committee if they feel the need.

Contact the Workplace Health & Safety team on (07) 3225 6406 or

Contact the Members Legal team on (07) 3225 6440 or Master Builder | 29


Have you got the right licence? Here's what you need to know to ensure you've got the correct Queensland Building and Construction Commission licence for the type of work you need to carry out.

BUILDERS To find out how call

07 3289 6800 Email: Web:

30 | Master Builder

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If you’re doing building work in Queensland, you need to have the right Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) licence. However, it’s important to know there are some exemptions to this, particularly for employees and ownerbuilders, which are set out in schedule 1A of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991.

The work is incidental to building work being carried out by the licensed trade contractor, and •

The work is carried out by: ̕​̕ An occupational licence or a fire protection licence holder if it’s work of that type, or ̕​̕ The licensee or a licensee who holds a licence to carry out that work.

There’s also an exemption for subcontractors, but only if they are contracting to a licensed trade contractor and doing work that’s within that trade contractor’s QBCC licence. However, a licensed trade contractor doesn’t include a contractor who holds a builder licence, regardless of whether they also hold a trade contractor licence. It’s irrelevant whether that contractor is a subcontractor or the head contractor – if they carry a trade contractor licence as well as a builder licence, then all subcontractors to that contractor must hold a QBCC licence of the appropriate class.

However, not all trade contractor licences permit ‘incidental work of another class’. Schedule 2 of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Regulation 2018 provides details of what building work falls into each licence class. For example, waterproofing and fire protection licences don’t allow for incidental work.


Common problems have recently arisen around the joinery licence. Holders of a joinery licence aren’t permitted to install stone benchtops even if they contract a stonemason licence holder to do that work. This is because the joinery licence doesn’t permit benchtops other than timber or

Some trade contractor licence holders are able to do building work of another class provided: •

The total value of that building work is $3,300 or less, and

laminated timber. Whilst incidental work of another class is included in the scope of the joinery licence, installation of a stone benchtop is likely to exceed $3,300 for labour and materials and is not incidental to the work that the joiner is likely to be doing. A stone benchtop is likely to be a significant portion of the work. Some examples of incidental work of another class include minor plastering work when completing a re-paint, or small painting works when completing a kitchen install or replacing wall tiles in the bathroom. You need to check that your licence class covers incidental work.

It’s important to note that the $3,300 limit is the value of the building work and not just the price paid to the contractor to install – so it includes the value of the labour and materials regardless of what payment is actually made to the contractor.

S51B QBCC ACT – OFFENCE It’s an offence for a licensed contractor to contract with an unlicensed person. Section 51B of the QBCC Act provides the penalties for each offence which the QBCC can issue at their discretion. A maximum fine for the first offence is 80 penalty units (approx. $10K) and 8 demerit points on your licence. To avoid contracting with unlicensed people, we recommend that you conduct regular QBCC licence checks through the QBCC website on all of your subcontractors to ensure you comply with your obligations under the QBCC Act.

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To charge or not to charge? That is the question IT'S A HOTLY debated topic in the building and construction industry. But in today’s competitive environment, where time is money, and every day and dollar counts, can we really afford not to charge for quotes? Charging for quotes is common place in many industries. But in our industry where not everyone is doing it, it can be a daunting decision to consider and make. For some builders and contractors, charging potential customers for quotes is part of their business model. Mackay-based Urban Trend Construction owner Ken Ogilvie took the leap and made the decision to start charging for quotes in 2011. For Ken, it ended up being a good move and has worked well for his business. He said while many builders provide free initial quotes, they prefer to charge for


quotes upfront and avoid costly variations and disputes down the track. “We pride ourselves on the highest level of quality and attention to detail in everything we do and that extends to quotes and tenders,” he said. “By charging for quotes, we are able to provide a much more detailed response, including pricing from suppliers and subcontractors, which reduces the risk of disputes, extensions to contract periods and cost blow outs. “While the upfront quoting charge deters some potential customers, we’ve found that the more detailed quotes we can provide as a result, have seen us win a higher percentage of work. And feedback from our clients suggest they like the certainty our detailed quotes provide.”

Charging for quotes won’t suit every builder, contractor or business. You need to consider your customers, the kind of work you do and what your competitors are doing. For contractors who work on smaller more frequent jobs, this may not be viable. Whatever you do, it’s essential you’re consistent in your approach and are upfront with the client from the get-go. If you decide to start charging for quotes, ensure you have the right business process in place and your team are trained.

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New MFR phase is in action right now PHASE two of the Minimum Financial Requirements (MFR) reforms are now in action and will impact your business. The reforms started from 2 April 2019 and go a step beyond the Minimum Financial Requirement Regulation that was introduced from 1 January this year. Self-certification category 2 (SC2), here's what's changed: • The SC2 licensee revenue limit has now increased to $800,000 • If you have a turnover of between $600,000 and $800,000 and are relying on a deed of covenant and assurance to meet your net tangible assets (NTA) you can continue to rely on your deed until 31 December 2019 • The minimum NTA required for the SC2 category has increased from

$36,000 to $46,000 from 2 April 2019. You have until 31 December 2019 to submit the required selfdeclaration form to the QBCC that shows how you meet this requirement.

Here's what came into action from 2 April 2019:

Turnover exceed $30 million? If you’re a category 4-7 licensee, this impacts you: • Higher reporting standards are now in place for companies with a turnover over $30 million • You’re required to notify the QBCC if your NTA decreases by more than 20 per cent by submitting an MFR Report. To make it easier to submit information, you can upload your reports though the online portal, myQBCC. For further information, visit

• The existing MRF Policy is now revoked and replaced with the MFR Regulation • As a licensee, you might be required to provide additional information to substantiate deeds and related party loans • There are now stronger penalties and enforcement action for licensees that don’t comply with the new requirements • Licensees will be required to provide annual financial information. For more information, head to the QBCC’s annual reporting page at

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National Construction Code 2019 CHANGES to the NCC were recently announced; here’s a snapshot of the ones that will affect builders and trade contractors in Queensland. Taking effect from 1 May 2019, the National Construction Code (NCC) is published in three volumes: • Volume One: Class 2 to 9 buildings • Volume Two: Class 1 and 10 buildings • Volume Three: Plumbing So, what’s changed in 2019? READABILITY The layout to the NCC has changed to improve accessibility by introducing a consistent format and includes new verification methods and acceptable construction practices. QUANTIFICATION There is a significant change to the NCC as a performance-based code. An estimated 40% of the Performance Requirements can now be quantified by a Deemed to Satisfy (DTS) method or by using a Verification Method (VM).

months applies until 1 May 2020 during which time the new NCC 2019 or NCC 2016 may be used. Part has been amended to clarify that star ratings must include separate heating and cooling loads. The modelled energy loads of a building must not exceed; a. the total load limit corresponding to the applicable star rating; and b. the heating load limit; and c. the cooling load limit. The heating and cooling load limits are specified in the ABCB Standard for NatHERS Heating and Cooling Load Limits which can be accessed EARTH RETAINING STRUCTURES New part 3.1.2 applies for retaining walls associated with the construction of a building or structure where the embankment is steeper than stated within the NCC. Australian standard AS 4678: 2002 Earth Retaining Structures is the new acceptable construction manual that may be used to design a retaining wall with a typical design life of 60 years if required.

The remaining performance requirements of the codes will be quantified by a DTS or VM for NCC 2022.

Retaining walls can also be designed using the other structural design manuals referenced within the code.

Volume 2 Changes - Class 1 and 10 Buildings


ENERGY EFFICIENCY The energy efficiency provisions of part 3.12 have changed. A transition period of 12 36 | Master Builder

New parts 3.3.5 Masonry Veneer and 3.3.6 Isolated Masonry Piers have been added and include new acceptable construction practices Technical requirements of the masonry

standards AS 3700 and AS 4773 have been referenced and provide detailing for masonry units, mixes, joints, cavities and damp proof courses. Detailing is also provided for subfloor piers and masonry piers that support carports, verandahs, porches and similar roofed structures. Flashings to Wall Openings A new part includes new requirements for wall flashings. Flashing must be suitable for the framing, cladding, window reveal, door system or any architrave or finishing trims that are installed. The top of an opening need not be flashed where it is adequately protected by an eave of a width more than three times the height of the cladding above the opening (See Figure Flashings must be securely fixed at least 25 mm under the cladding and extend over the ends and edges of the framing of the opening. DECKS AND BALCONIES New part 3.10.6 includes acceptable construction practices and attachment methods for decks and balconies to the external walls of a building. They can only be used where the floor surface of the deck or balcony is not more than three metres above the supporting footing. Where a deck or balcony is constructed outside the conditions listed, the method of attachment to the building must be designed by a professional engineer.

SERVICES & ADVICE CONDENSATION A new part 3.8.7 includes provisions for the installation of water control membranes (sarking), ventilation of roof spaces and the discharge of exhaust systems. Minimum flow rates apply to exhaust systems for kitchen and laundry (40 L/s), bathroom and sanitary compartment (25 L/s) Exhaust from a bathroom, sanitary compartment or laundry must discharge directly or via a duct to the outdoor air, or a roof space with evenly distributed openings having a total unobstructed area of 1/300 of the respective ceiling area if the roof pitch is more than 22°, or 1/150 of the respective ceiling area if the roof pitch is not more than 22°. 30% of the total unobstructed area must be located not more than 900 mm below the ridge or highest point of the roof space, measured vertically. BUILDING SEALING

a rise in storeys of 4 or more and an effective height not more than 25 m. Two new types of fire sprinkler systems have been included, as well as concessions for other fire safety features. BONDED LAMINATE CONCESSION The ability to use a bonded laminated material, with specified characteristics and controlled fire hazard properties, where a non-combustible material would otherwise be required will remain for NCC 2019. A similar concession has been included for certain sarking-type materials, and some other minor components have been exempted from the requirement to be noncombustible. ENERGY EFFICIENCY Section J of the 2019 edition of the NCC has been significantly re-written and the commercial building energy efficiency provisions have undergone their first major overhaul.

Part has been amended to include that a door between a Class 1 building and an unconditioned Class 10a part of a building must be sealed to restrict air filtration at the bottom edge with a draft protection device, and at the other door edges with a foam or rubber compressible strip.

The new measures focus on reducing energy consumption by a potential 35 per cent.

The sealing requirements of ceilings, walls, floors and any opening must be enclosed by internal lining systems that are close fitting or sealed at junctions and penetrations with close-fitting architrave, skirting or cornice; or expanding foam, rubber compressive strip or caulking.

A transition period of 12 months applies until 1 May 2020 during which time the new NCC 2019 or NCC 2016 may be used.

Volume 1 Changes - Class 2 to 9 Buildings FIRE SAFETY Schedule 7 is a new non-mandatory Fire Safety VM based on the International Fire Engineering Guidelines with a delayed adoption date from 1 May 2020. Specific design scenarios must be considered to demonstrate that the fire safety aspects of a building design comply. FIRE SPRINKLERS IN CLASS 2 & 3 BUILDINGS Table E1.5 includes a new requirement for fire sprinklers to be installed in Class 2 and 3 buildings and Class 4 parts of a building with

New VMs have been introduced to demonstrate compliance with the relevant Performance Requirement by way of NABERS and Green Star.

OCCUPIABLE OUTDOOR AREAS A new part G6 is included for buildings containing an occupiable outdoor area to ensure that materials and assemblies restrict the spread of fire and heat to maintain tenability to permit egress. The fire hazard properties relating to flammability and flame propagation will apply to these areas.

residential balconies (class 2 or 3) or smaller balconies (less than 10 sq m) found in commercial buildings. ACCESSIBLE ADULT CHANGE FACILITIES New part F2.9 includes requirements for accessible adult change facilities in certain new or redeveloped public buildings such as shopping centres, museums, theatres, sporting venues and airports. The sanitary facilities have additional features to assist people with more profound or complex disabilities who are unable to independently use standard accessible facilities. CONDENSATION MANAGEMENT A new part FP6.1 contains performance requirements for the management of risks associated with water vapour and condensation. New DTS provisions have been included for water vapour and condensation management, including the installation of water control membranes, the discharge of exhaust systems and the ventilation of roof spaces. A new VM FV6 is provided as an option by using modelling to assess the effects of various factors to be considered when managing condensation to meet the performance requirements. In conclusion NCC compliance is a statutory requirement, and you should always review and check that your work complies with the applicable sections of the code. The NCC is available free online at If in doubt, ask Master Builders first and avoid a costly mistake on code specific issues, by calling (07) 3225 6419 or emailing

This is in recognition that occupants of an occupiable outdoor area are constrained by the building, and therefore require a means of evacuation in an emergency. Occupiable outdoor area means a space on a roof, balcony or similar part of a building; a. that is open to the sky; and b. to which access is provided, other than access only for maintenance; The provisions are not applied to private Master Builder | 37


Steel standard effectively law THE Australian Standard for Structural Steelwork – Fabrication and Erection (AS/ NSS 5131) will effectively become law. How? It will be referenced in the steel design standard AS 4100 Steel Structures called up in the National Construction Code. And, as a result, AS/NZS 5131 will be equivalent to law. In Queensland, AS/NZS 5131 is also more likely to form part of Queensland Government contracts and a growing number of engineers are referencing the standard in their project documentation. In Queensland we also have the nonconforming products ‘Chain of Responsibility’ legislation, which means if you’re part of the chain to select and install building products, you’re required to take responsibility for product conformance. What’s this mean for you? Given the increased reliance on AS/NZS 5131 by government and industry alike, as a builder, you should be aware of your obligations under the Standard.

38 | Master Builder

Are there benefits?

have the processes in place to satisfy the

AS/NZS 5131 and the National Structural Steelwork Compliance Scheme it details, substantially minimise the level of risk to your projects. How? It greatly reduces the likelihood of failure and non-compliant steelwork. It is fit-for-purpose and risk based, making it cost effective compared to specific prequalification. Basically, the scheme removes the guesswork for builders.

Construction Category specified. They must

How does it work? Steel fabricators are certified and audited by the independent Steelwork Compliance Australia according to the Construction Categories set out in the Standard.

employ trained staff, demonstrate material traceability, and have welding and document controls in place throughout the fabrication process. The Scheme prequalifies your steel fabricator for you, ensuring you only receive compliant steelwork. What’s the cost? While using non-certified fabricators may seem cost-effective initially, it is worth investigating how (and why) these fabricators

Engineers confirm the necessary steel fabrication Construction Category for their project. This sets the level of quality and assurance controls to ensure the structure meets their design assumptions and appropriate risk mitigation.

are able to offer reduced quotes.

Fabricators certified under the Scheme and contracted for a specific project must

questions, a member of our team is here for

For further information on how this works in your business and the associated costs, visit or If you have any you, call 1300 30 50 10.

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Tradie: Nathan Gilby NATHAN Gilby runs Patchers Australia, a Gympie-based concrete patching company. Nathan loves seeing a project come to fruition and have his quality work on display for thousands to see each day.

At what age did you start working in the industry? How did you get into it? I started concrete patching about five years ago through a friend’s uncle. He was working for a company at the time and they needed an extra hand. Within about six weeks, I was basically leading hand as I understood everything about the job at that time and knew what every person was doing. Being an ex-house remover / re-stumper, it was great to take a step back and slow down a bit.

colour. As I was trained by Packer Leather to make colours from scratch, I was one of only a handful of people at the time that could make this happen and made the correct colour from scratch using our fairing coat product and oxide. This work is seen by thousands every day.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? “You have two ears and a mouth, use them in that percentage.” This is absolutely bang on in any industry if you want to learn.

What appealed to you about this profession?

Is there someone who inspires or mentors you? If so, who are they?

At the start it was just another job that I was going to try (I’d had many by this time as I couldn’t find anything that held my interest, including being a qualified website designer and computer technician). It soon became a passion knowing that I could walk away from the job knowing my work was either a) a final finish that was on display forever and a day or b), the reason the company/ the job signed off and over the line as we are the ones that rectify any issues with the concrete. The satisfaction of having been part of a massive project pushed me further to be the best I can be in this industry.

My inspiration would have to come from my father in-law, Peter. He’s a man of many talents, including being a house remover and the best salesman I’ve ever seen. I owe all my sales experience to him and a lot of the person I’ve become has been derived from him and the experience that he has taught me over the past 15 years. Without him and the support of my family, I would be a shadow of the man I’ve become.

Tell us about one of the most memorable jobs you’ve done The most memorable job would have to be the University of Queensland in St Lucia. I was on that project with the form company from the start, then I was working subcontract for a patching company that got the contract to put all the final touches on it. This included colour matching massive panels that had not quite come out of the batch the right

What do you love most about your job? What I love most about my job is being able to make a project come to fruition and 80 per cent of the time being the last person to touch it. Therefore my work is on display for everyone to see in its rawest form.

What do you find most challenging about your job? The most challenging thing about my job is to outthink a problem. Half of what I do is simple, but then I get some real stumpers that make me think way outside the square

(as I do in everyday life). And being able to pull that job off and give the client the result they are looking for to get it over the line.

Where do you see yourself five years from now? In five years I’d like my company to be Australia-wide with great working relationships with big and small Australina companies and possibly abroad. I can’t see myself really getting off the tools as I’m always looking for ways to further the industry and develop new ideas.

Have you completed any training with Master Builders? If so, what courses were they and how have they helped you? I’ve not completed anything as yet but the two years I’ve been a member have been the most valuable to date as I can’t speak highly enough about the support and help I get from the team at Master Builders Sunshine Coast. I am, however about to undertake an electrical testing and tagging course which will be invaluable to my company.

Complete this sentence: Every tradie needs … a cold beer in the afternoon.

What interests/activities do you do in your spare time? I love nothing more than to have a fish with my daughter and a cold beer on the beach.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself. I’m actually a website designer and computer technician buy trade.

Master Builder | 41


Tradie: Jacob Bain JACOB Bain heads up Rockhampton Carpentry based in the Central Queensland city of Rockhampton. He's passionate about his work and is now looking to expand his team locally as the business grows.

How long has your business been operating? I started as a handyman business in 2015, then got my QBCC licence for carpentry a year ago.

Tell us a little bit about your business. I started out with nothing but a few tools in the back of the family car, just doing small handyman jobs. I also did a lot of real estate work. I’ve been slowly growing the size of the jobs that I do as cash flow keeps increasing. I’ve slowly bought more tools as various jobs come up, bought a work van and hired someone to work with me. Last year, I got my QBCC contractor’s licence and changed the business name to Rockhampton Carpentry. The size of the jobs I do has really increased now that I’m not limited by the size of the job we can do.

At what age did you start working in the industry? How did you get into it? I started my carpentry apprenticeship in 1996 at age 16. My parents had always encouraged me to be a builder and so they organised for me to do a TAFE course in construction after I finished year 10. This led into starting the apprenticeship the next year. I had a long hiatus from the building industry, but am really glad to be back and now working towards becoming a licensed builder.

How do you get ideas for the work you produce? A fair bit of what I’m currently doing is maintenance/replacement so we’re often

matching what was there (like rebuilding a Queenslander staircase or replacing French doors). For things like bathroom renos, I read magazines to keep an eye on the latest trends. Also while I was in Brisbane at Christmas time, I went and had a look around a Master Builders display village to have a look at the styles and trends that are being built there.

I still feel that I am starting out in the industry myself… I just keep looking for good people with experience and keep asking plenty of questions.

What’s been one of the most rewarding jobs you’ve done or creations you’ve made?

What are your top three tips for anyone starting out in the industry?

I really enjoy building hardwood staircases for the old Queenslanders. Marking out the stringers and building them from scratch onsite. I think things like this are becoming a bit of a lost art.

What’s been one of the most memorable moments of your career? Receiving my carpentry qualifications.

Cashflow matters. Don’t build faster than your cashflow can keep up. Look for good people who are happy to help you out, either just with good advice, or on JV projects that you can learn from.

What do you love most about your job?

Do what you love, and love what you do. This helps you to work hard.

Working with my hands and creating something that wasn’t there before or restoring something that was falling apart.

What’s the best advice you can give to someone about running their own trades business?

What do you find most challenging about your job? Balancing paperwork with paid work. It’s a bit of a catch twenty-two… you don’t get paid for doing paperwork, but if you don’t do paperwork, you don’t get paid.

What do you like most about being a Master Builders member? Having someone to call with all my random questions (thanks Dennis Bryant, Central Queensland Regional Manager).

What do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out in the industry?

Hire a good team and trust them to do their job. (P.S, I’m looking for a good chippy to join the team if you know someone).

What is your formula for success in business? Keep learning.

Complete this sentence: Every tradie needs a … can-do attitude… and a reliable vehicle.

What hobbies do you have? When I’m not working I enjoy spending time with my family. I also play guitar and sing. Master Builder | 43


Grand vision brings duo together

44 | Master Builder

MEMBERS CORNER IT’S A CREATION like you’ve never seen before and one that brewed in the mind of designer Lisa Costa for more than 25 years before being brought to life by builder-turned husband Trevor Bostock. Inspired by a trip to Northern Thailand in 1993, Costa said her outthere designs had been shot down by countless builders who said it simply wasn’t possible to create or would not be worth the cost. It was through attempting to bring another design visualisation to life some years earlier that Costa was introduced to Omni Homes’ owner, Bostock. Standing together on a vacant block of land, vocalising her design, Costa said he was the first person to support her vision and make her believe her seemingly impossible, grandiose creations could become a structural reality. “Other builders simply wouldn’t look at it or kept telling me over and over how difficult or hard it was going to be,” Costa said. “When I met Trevor through a friend, he was supportive and encouraging and I looked at him thinking, ‘either you’re a genius or you’re full of it’.” The Northern Thailand-inspired creation came to be known as The Peak and is currently their place of residence and show home. Bostock made no secret of the challenges in bringing the vision to life.

“There was a lot of pain and tears that went into retaining that actual design, as you can appreciate,” Trevor Bostock, Omni Homes “One of the big things that was an issue was digging out the side of the hill; we hit rock.” He said the roof itself was “an absolute challenge”. “Specifically where it comes down to almost touch the ground, we used a lot of new style finishes. It was the first time in Queensland it had ever been used on a domestic building,” he said. “The ceiling is made out of Paulownia (Australian timber) which we actually produced all by hand. We stained it all and it looks phenomenal. “We had 3,000 metres of it all cut and stained and set in place.” He said even small features in the design were complex. “We designed invisible drains in our bathroom so the water looks like it runs into the wall,” he said. “All the tiles in the main bathroom and patio are set on pedestals.” Costa, who has become a qualified builder herself said the house was designed to the symmetry of the Golden Ratio (1:1.61). “I’ve always, always had this mad thing for designing homes. It did take us a while to build this house though, because we were working on other people’s jobs and because it was ours, it was sidelined while we were doing other things. But having it finished, it’s an amazing space to live in," she said. The home went on to win Individual Home $1.26 million - $2 million and Best Residential Bathroom in Master Builders Far North Queensland Housing & Construction Awards 2018. Recently listing The Peak for sale, Costa said they were ready to move onto their next grand design project. Master Builder | 45


Trio find their 'secret sauce'

THEY’VE been in business for just 18 months and now a trio under 35 are building Australia’s largest architecturally designed passive house in Auchenflower, Brisbane.

and wanted to expand into property development.

“I just kept saying, ‘It will cost more but we’ll play a longer burn’.”

“From the get-to, I said I wouldn’t invest a dollar into anything that wasn’t sustainable.”

Fourth generation builders, brothers James, 25 and Paul McElhenny, 33 started Solaire Properties with Yeppoon school friend Harley Weston, 34, whose background lays in exploration drilling and mining.

Initially this was a massive change for the McElhenny brothers after coming from project management with one of Queensland’s largest construction companies to working in a business of three building sustainable homes.

“It came down to me explaining the shift to environmentally mindful homes and how we had to have a point of difference in the market,” he said.

With Weston based in Central Queensland, he said the partnership came about after he began to research the idea of building Australia’s first carbon positive home. “But honestly, I couldn’t build a chook house,” he laughed. “James and Paul were in building already 46 | Master Builder

“But after a few months of discussions, research and only one small heated discussion, we managed to find the secret sauce and our team took off with the first Paddington property being coined Brisbane's most socially responsible home by,” he said.

Their first eco build, Bellevue at Paddington, broke $1M, a street record, sold before completion and the buyer purchased the home because of its value. The trio followed it up with La Fleur at Auchenflower. Now, they’re culminating their learnings from those builds as they embark on their latest venture, Vanquish, a passive house at Auchenflower.

MEMBERS CORNER What is a passive house?

This includes ensuring the home is built to the five passive house design principles:

The Australian Passive House Association (APHA) says “it’s fundamentally about design”.

• Thermal insulation • High performance windows • Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery • Airtightness • Thermal Bridge Free construction.

Images are render only

Originally developed in Germany, Passive House (PassivHaus) has spread globally. According to APHA, 40,000 houses, schools and other buildings have been built to the stringent Passive House standard around the world.

Weston made no secret of the unchartered waters they were navigating with the build. “We’re setting the bar for build quality by building a passive house that’s luxury and triple glazed, but you can still open it up like a traditional Queenslander,” Weston said. “We’re basically writing the book on how to do it. “It’s madness, a little risky and borderline ridiculous but the finished product will be something to behold. “Once it’s complete, it will be the fourth largest passive house in the world.” Weston said he and his business partners were all “universal characters”. “We believe the people we need will come

around,” he said. And by the sound of it, so far they have. “We’ve got Ecolateral director, John Moynihan consulting with us (on Vanquish),” Weston said. Ecolateral is an appointed Sustainability Advisor to the state government’s Queens Wharf project. “It came about quite organically when I first met him and told him what we wanted to do. We were discussing the passive model and he’s involved with the Australian Passive House Association.” He said numerous other industry elites had offered discounted or pro bono work just so they could be part of the unique project.

The passive house project is now under construction and is anticipated to hit the market at the end of the year. Weston noted the other challenge they were facing was breaking down the stereotype and mindset of a sustainable, eco home. “People think hippy, mud brick houses or tipi,” he said.

“We’re building executive homes that look, feel and smell like a mansion but they’re sustainable." Harley Weston, Solaire Properties “We’ll be looking to take this philosophy to the town house market later this year.” Master Builder | 47


$17.5 billion in lost super – how much belongs to you? FINDING a lost super account could give your retirement savings a boost and save you money in fees and charges. You may think there’s a low chance some of Australia’s $17.5 billion in lost and unclaimed super belongs to you, but it’s possible you have an account you don’t know about. In the area of Yatala to Brisbane’s south there is over $33 million in lost super and in the Toowoomba area in southern Queensland there is over $53 million waiting to be found. These are just some of the areas in Queensland the owners of the state’s $3 billion in lost super are believed to be living. Do you know where all your super is? More than a third of Australians have multiple super accounts with many unaware they have more than one account, losing touch with an

account when they changed jobs or moved house. If you have multiple accounts you’re likely paying fees on each account and possibly insurance premiums. By combining accounts you could save money on these fees and charges. HOW TO FIND YOUR SUPER

BUSSQ is here to help you find any lost super you have. Call Troy Wolter on 1800 856 722 or visit Important information: Statistics sourced from The information supplied in this article is general advice only and does not take into account or consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting, you

You can do a simple super search to find other accounts you might have and easily roll the funds into one account.

should review the relevant Product Disclosure

Remember that rolling over your super into one account will close your other accounts, so make sure your employer is paying into your preferred super account first. It’s also important to check with your other fund about exit fees and any insurance benefits you’re giving up by rolling over.

the appropriateness of the information to your

Statement to ensure you have all the information about the product and how it works, and consider needs, or seek independent advice from a properly qualified professional. Prepared by BUSS (Queensland) Pty Ltd (ABN 15 065 081 281, AFSL 237860) as Trustee for BUSSQ (BUSSQ Fund, ABN 85 571 332 201).


BUSSQ Our leading industry super fund has been helping members of Master Builders for over 30 years. We’re here to help you and your family get your super sorted to build for your retirement. Choose BUSSQ by calling Troy Wolter on 1800 856 722 or visiting







The information supplied in this advertisement is general advice only and does not take into account or consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting, you should review the relevant Product Disclosure Statement to ensure you have all the information about the relevant BUSSQ product and how it works and consider the appropriateness of the information to your needs or seek independent advice from a properly qualified professional. Prepared by BUSS(Queensland) Pty Ltd (ABN 15 065 081 281, AFSL 237860) as Trustee for BUSSQ (BUSSQ Fund, ABN 85 571 332 201). For further information about rating and award methodologies, see au and Past performance is not an indicator of future performance. Ratings and awards are only one factor you should consider when deciding how to invest your super.

| Master Builder 48CCJ17385-MasterBuilder_HalfPage_FA.indd


1/4/19 4:16 pm

The real deal


AS A BUSINESS owner your day-to-day expenses and project running costs can quickly add up. At Master Builders we’re here to support you, so we’ve teamed up with some industry partners to help your dollars go further. We give you access to exclusive deals, discounts and special offers that can save you money on the things you need to operate your business effectively. But, life isn’t about all work and no play, which is why we've got your holidays and lifestyle covered for you too. Our range of member discount providers have been sourced across different categories to meet your diverse needs. Categories include vehicle and fleet, advertising and marketing, health and safety, travel and lifestyle, tools and equipment, and products.

Get a deal on your workwear Master Builders’ members get a minimum 15 per cent discount on the range at Totally Workwear. As Australia’s largest network of service providers in work wear, corporate wear and safety gear, Totally Workwear are backed by Australia’s best buying power to ensure value and quality. Want the deal? Present your Master Builders membership card along with a copy of your driver’s licence in store (unless listed as an excluded store). For more information visit

Your access to fuel network here Apart from making your life easier by consolidating all your on-road expenses in the one place, StarCard provides your driver using your fleet with access to the largest fuel network in Australia. This gives you the confidence of knowing the drivers and vehicles in your fleet and you’re never far away from the quality fuels, products, services and facilities you need to achieve maximum efficiency. For more information visit

Fleet rates for your business Have you taken advantage of convenient servicing options and National Fleet rates, normally only offered to large businesses yet? It’s all available to you when you purchase a new vehicle from Master Builders' discount partner, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited. To utilise this deal, present your Master Builders membership card at any one of more than 200 authorised dealers throughout Australia. For more information visit

These are just some of the great deals available to Master Builders members. For a full list of discounts and special offers, visit

Member discount providers

BMW, BUPA, Caltex, The Courier-Mail, Departure Lounge, Go To Flooring, Holden, Inndox,Isuzu, Kennards Hire, Mini, Mitsubishi Motors, MyConstruct, Nissan, Officeworks, Protrade, St John Ambulance, Telstra, Thrifty, Totally Workwear, Toyota, Xact Accounting. 49 | Master Builder


New recruit joins fold at McInnes Wilson OLIVIA Roberts recently joined the fold of the McInnes Wilson Lawyers Construction and Infrastructure team. She took time out from providing clients tailored legal solutions to answer a few questions for Master Builders. How long have you been a construction litigation lawyer? I have been a construction litigation lawyer for more than 12 years. Throughout these years I have gained a vast range of experience, legal and technical knowledge, and commercial understanding that is required to service clients in the construction industry. Have you worked with Master Builders before? I have been involved with Master Builders for many years and have acted for builders from Cairns to Townsville, Rockhampton, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

What is something you would tell potential clients? I have a genuine interest in helping clients resolve disputes as cost-effectively and efficiently as possible by providing clients with a range of options specific to their situation and desired outcome in mind. I am determined and enthusiastic in my approach and I enjoy helping my clients in establishing best practice when it comes to managing projects and avoiding common pitfalls that result in litigation. I give 100 per cent to my clients, and I will continue to do so while I serve as a member of the legal profession. If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be doing? Running my own personal training business or working for an organisation like the RSPCA. I am an active community volunteer and advocate, having been involved in community groups and not for profit organisations like the RSPCA for many years. Although I enjoy

what I do for a living, I also enjoy helping the community and standing up for what I believe in. Contact McInnes Wilson on (07) 3231 0600 or email

Look to the experts in plasterboard PLASTAMASTA Toowoomba is the only dedicated plasterboard distributor in Toowoomba. The sought-after supplier and their expert staff services the needs of plasterers, builders and renovators alike in Toowoomba and surrounds. They also supply regional towns and areas west of Toowoomba, including St George, Roma and Goondiwindi, Warwick and Stanthorpe. Store Manager Craig Knauth and his talented and qualified team have boundless expertise to assist your project requirements. They are committed to customer service and pride themselves on supplying orders on-time and in full. Their Toowoomba store stocks a full range of Knauf Plasterboard and steel as well as a comprehensive range of tools and accessories. They offer insulation, James Hardie products and AMF ceiling panels and specialise in fire and acoustic systems. 50 | Master Builder

Backed up with the Knauf technical team, PlastaMasta offer engineered solutions to most construction situations. PlastaMasta Toowoomba products and services include the following: •

Knauf Plasterboard

Knauf Steel


AMF grid and tile

Screws and fixings

Automatic and hand tools

Full James Hardie Stockist

Technical assistance

Delivery service

Prompt and friendly staff

Knowledgeable sales team

No job too big or small.

Contact PlastaMasta on (07) 4635 0260 or email


More than one super account? Insurance change impacts you THE government’s Protecting Your Super package was announced in the 2018-19 Federal Budget and passed in an amended form by Parliament in late February 2019. These changes will come into effect from 1 July 2019. INSURANCE The Protecting Your Super reforms are designed to ensure that arrangements for insurance in superannuation are appropriate and that fund members are not paying for insurance cover that they do not know about or premiums that inappropriately erode their retirement savings. As part of the Protecting Your Super reforms, superannuation funds will be unable to provide insurance by default when an account has been inactive for more than 16 months. From 1 July 2019, the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act (SIS Act) will

prevent a superannuation fund from offering or maintaining insurance for its members holding a My Super or choice product if the account has been inactive for 16 months or more, unless the member has advised they wish to maintain the insurance. Funds must also notify a member once their account has been inactive for 9, 12 and 15 months, giving the member an opportunity to take steps to maintain their insurance cover if they wish. One of our industry’s leading super funds, BUSSQ will be implementing a multi-channel communications strategy over the next few months, designed to ensure their members are fully aware of the implications and how to keep the insurance cover that suits them. If you have a BUSSQ superannuation fund, look out for communication in May and June that will call on you to opt-in for insurance cover you wish to keep.

You should also check your super accounts, and if you’ve got more than one account with multiple funds, make sure the insurance cover you have is what you need. OTHER PARTS OF THE LEGISLATION The legislation also: • Caps fees on low balance accounts (under $6,000) at a maximum of 3 per cent and bans exit fees when you close your super account from 1 July 2019. • Requires funds to transfer inactive low balance accounts (under $6,000) to the ATO so they can be reunited with a members “active” account. The first ATO transfers of low balance inactive accounts will occur in November 2019. If you want to maintain more than one superannuation account, let your super fund know. For more information, contact BUSSQ on 1800 69 2877. Master Builder | 51

WHAT'S ON Industry Info Session

Industry Info Session

Breakfast Club Series







Industry Info Session

Industry Info Session

Industry Info Session

Up-Skill Session









Industry Info Session

Industry Info Session

Industry Info Session

Industry Info Session

IBC Breakfast

Hervey Bay

Mission Beach









Industry Info Session

Industry Info Session

Influencers (Women in Building)

Industry Leaders Lunch


Airlie Beach

Sunshine Coast






MAY 2019

JUNE 2019

Breakfast Club Series

Start your day by growing your knowledge with an industry-targeted presentation. This series has a focus on business essentials such as finance, advertising, insurance and contracts in the commercial sector.

Commercial Builders Forum

Builders and subcontractors, this is your opportunity to be updated on industrial relations, workplace health and safety, and other key issues affecting the commercial sector.

Industry Info Session

(formerly Industry Access) – Held twice throughout the year, these events are designed to keep you informed on the latest industry developments.

Local Info Session

(formerly Local Update) – A local version of the Industry Info Session events, held throughout the year regionally. Get the important updates on your local industry.

Gold Coast

Sunshine Coast

Master Builders BUSSQ Golf Day

If you’re looking for a fun day out for yourself and your team, add this to your calendar. Master Builders BUSSQ Golf Days feature a day on the green networking with other Master Builders members while engaging in a little friendly competition.

Influencers (Women in Building) Workshop

Join us for our Influencers (Women in Building) workshops which are tailored specifically to the needs of women involved in the building and construction industry. Network in a relaxed environment and increase your knowledge within the industry.

Up-Skill Session

Subcontractors Forum

Transitioning from a tradesperson into a business person isn't easy. And being an expert in your trade doesn't always mean you're a business natural. The good news is our UpSkill series can teach you to become a better business person.

Industry Leaders Lunch

Held in Brisbane as an annual event, the Industry Leaders Lunch attracts key senior members of the commercial sector. With the focus around a keynote speaker, this event provides topical insights into some of the industry’s most pressing issues.

Subcontractors Forum

Subcontractors, this is your opportunity to be updated on industrial relations, workplace health and safety, and other key issues affecting the commercial sector.

Housing & Construction Awards

Time to party. Come along to the Housing & Construction Awards to celebrate with peers, colleagues and partners as we reveal the prestigious winners of our annual awards program.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of these events, dates and regions – details are subject to change. Please refer to the What’s on calendar on our website for the most up-to-date information at 52 | Master Builder

WHAT'S ON Industry Info Session

Commercial Builders Forum

Industry Info Session


Gold Coast

Breakfast Club Series







Influencers (Women in Building)

Industry Info Session

Industry Info Session

Master Builders BUSSQ Golf Day









Local Info Session

Housing & Construction Awards

Local Info Session

Local Info Session









JULY 2019

Local Info Session

Housing & Construction Awards

Master Builders BUSSQ Golf Day

Mission Beach

Downs & Western





Up-Skill Session

Housing & Construction Awards

Master Builders BUSSQ Golf Day

Housing & Construction Awards

Local Info Session

Gold Coast

Wide Bay Burnett

Port Douglas

Sunshine Coast

Gold Coast






Local Info Session

Commercial Builders Forum

Influencers Housing & Housing & (Women in Building) Construction Awards Construction Awards


Housing & Construction Awards Gold Coast SATURDAY 3

Gold Coast

Central Queensland

Mackay & Whitsunday


Sunshine Coast






Local Info Session

Master Builders BUSSQ Golf Day



North Queensland

Far North Queensland







Housing & Housing & Construction Awards Construction Awards

Master Builders BUSSQ Golf Day

Master Builder | 53


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Your exclusive insight into the awards Women in Building Wide Bay Burnett winner (2018) Aletha Walters, Stroud Homes Wide Bay Remodelling Project over $1M, House of the Year, Central Queensland winner (2018), D R Moore Constructions Trade Contractor of the Year, Sunshine Coast winner (2018) G T Tiling The juding process: Adjudication is now underway, here's everything you need to know about your entry


Aletha leads by example WITH three offices, 15 staff and four children, Stroud Homes Wide Bay director Aletha Walters admits the juggling act of daily life is “never-ending”.

and day out, but I think we have found a good balance and make sure that the health of the business is very much in tune with the health of our relationship,” she said.

Winner of the 2018 Master Builders Wide Bay Burnett Women in Building category, Walters was nominated for the award by the women in her office.

She said she didn’t take lightly the responsibility of being a good role model for her daughters either.

“I was proud to know that I had set an example for those around me, my children and particularly my daughters. Construction is a male-dominated industry and to know that my efforts had been valued on a local level was lovely,” she said. Working in partnership with husband Slade, the pair met as teenagers and have built their lives and business in their hometown. “It is hard working with your partner day in 56 | Master Builder

“It is important to me as a mother of daughters for them to know that life doesn’t just end at having children. They are a huge part of why I push myself to succeed and set an example for them as adults. “My husband and I started this business to provide for our children, but also to show them that with hard work anything is possible.” She said the lived experience of nurturing a family and a business had taught her a lot.

“I have learnt along the way that you will not get along with everyone and that you can’t please everyone,” Walters said.

“You have to continue to get up each day and do what you think is best for your business, family and staff as a whole," Aletha Walters, Stroud Homes “I face each day looking at each individual hurdle in my life and think to myself, will I even remember this in five years? If the answer is no, then I don’t let things affect me.” Walters said her biggest advice to other women in the industry is to own what you do and educate yourself as much as you can.


Strong-willed perfectionism TEETERING on the edge of a steep slope with high winds, limited site access and one, cyclone ravaged road up the mountain, Darren Moore knew he’d signed on for a challenging job. The Central Queensland builder, owner of D R Moore Constructions agreed to take on a million dollar renovation of an exposed brick home, the first house built on Mt Archer in 1976. But just a few weeks into the grunt work of the project, Rockhampton Regional Council began major works to repair the access road up the mountain. Public access was closed and locals were permitted entry through a pin code. Given it was his ability to come up with a solution and get on with the job for the client that won Darren the job in the first place, he took on the added challenge and ran with it. Wife Connie said if someone were to tell her

husband something can’t be done, he’s a bull to a red flag. “Challenge accepted, he’ll find a way, simple as that,” she said. “It has to be done the right way or he’s not the guy to do the job for you.”

“When he takes on a job you’ve got his heart and soul, he does everything he can to make it right for the client," Connie Moore, D R Moore Constructions It’s this type of strong-willed perfectionism and attention to detail that might not always ride well with staff and subbies but is honey to bees for clients and judges. Impressed by the quality of work in the house and the list of challenges overcome throughout the life of the project, judges

awarded the Mt Archer project Residential / Remodelling Project over $1 Million and House of the Year in Master Builders 2018 Central Queensland Housing & Construction Awards. The double storey home features four bedrooms, a study, three and a half bathrooms, three living spaces, a three car garage, outdoor kitchen, spa, sauna, gym and cellar. And as sloping sites are notorious for lack of storage, they also built a workshop under the lower garage suspended by a concrete slab for additional storage. As he now works to prepare his submission into the 2019 Awards program, Darren said he remained very appreciative of the win. “It was really nice to get the recognition for all the hard work and for the attention to detail,” he said. Master Builder | 57


Left field work wins WHETHER you’re taking a phone call at 8pm or sending an email at 3am, being 100 per cent committed is G T Tiling owner George Borge’s biggest advice for success. George has been working in the industry for more than 30 years and being a preferred tiler with Hutchinson Builders means he gets to take on some of the biggest projects on the Sunshine Coast. Just last year, the business took home 2018 Sunshine Coast Commercial Trade Contractor of the Year award for their intricate and precision work on the vibrant tiles at the Youi Headquarters in Sippy Downs. He described the work as a little bit of out left field but said it was refreshing to be able to do something different. “You stick what are essentially little square things down all day long and you get sick of them after a while,” he said. “So it was nice to be challenged by a project that was different and unusual and had different features.” But as any tiler knows, whether you’re working on a domestic or commercial project, job sites are a buzz of activity and working around other tradies can be tough. “It’s important to not impact on the work of other trades,” he said. “By having good management skills and being able to coordinate and work in with other trades, and I think the fact we do it so often, it just became second nature.” He said the award was great for business. “It’s nice for people to recognise the fact that we have talent,” he said. “I’ve been doing work a long time on the coast so the award was really special to us.”

WOULDN'T IT BE BEAUT IF YOU WON A TRITON UTE One lucky Regional Awards attendee will win a brand new Mitsubishi Triton GLX. It could be you. Terms and conditions apply. For full entry details, visit Car image is illustrative only. Prize may vary.

There is a cold front coming in!

Residential | Commercial | Maintenance P: (07) 5524 4439 | 1300 265 337 E: 58 | Master Builder


We offer qualified tradesmen, to carry out your repairs and maintenance. For your Air Conditioning and Mechanical Ventilation solutions, speak to us today.


Awards judging is now underway JUDGES for the 2019 Housing & Construction Awards are now making progress in adjudicating winners for the various categories of the awards program. As a 2019 entrant, you will firsly be allocated a judging time. We will contact you to advise your allocated inspection time. We receive lots of entries and only have a short period of time to view them all, so we appreciate your cooperation. Flexibility around judges inspection dates and times is limited; however, we will endeavour to give as much time as possible to allow you to make suitable arrangements with staff and building/ home owners. Next, our independent judges will inspect and judge your entry according to the Master Builders’ judging criteria before deliberating and choosing a winner for each category. From July through to August, the regional winners will be announced at each regional

Following the regional award ceremonies, regional winners will be shortlisted by the panel of state judges and re-evaluated against all other regional winners for the Queensland Awards. Queensland winners will be announced at the Queensland Housing & Construction Awards at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday, 1 November. A selection of Queensland winners are then chosen to compete at a national level, with winners announced at the National Excellence in Building and Construction Awards in November.

Award ceremonies Even if you didn’t submit an entry into this year's awards, you are more than welcome to come along to the award ceremonies held across the state. The glamorous evenings are a great opportunity to catch up with your industry peers, mingle and be wowed by the calibre of Queensland projects.

For more information about the Housing & Construction Awards, visit our website at or call Master Builders on 1300 30 50 10.

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Master Builder | 59 29/3/19 12:13 pm


EACH year we take to the road with an important topic for our industry and this year we certainly had a lot to talk about.

on or after 17 December 2018.

invoices to clients (payment claims), receiving

Penalties in this space are severe, so you need to get it right.

invoices from subcontractors (payment

The new Building Industry Fairness (BIF) laws came into place from 17 December2018. What's that mean for you and your business? It’s time to fine-tune your business processes so you know you’re meeting your obligations and ensuring you will get paid.

And the best place to start is to ensure you use the right contract. We recommend any work you do be covered by a contract – it’s the best way of protecting yourself and ensuring you are paid the money you are owed.

The new laws apply to payment claims given

60 | Master Builder

We covered a lot in Roadshow 2019 from engaging with subcontractors to sending

schedules), receiving invoices from suppliers (payment schedules), due date for payment of invoices, retentions and ATO obligations. If you have any questions, we are here for you. Contact 1300 30 50 10 and a Master Builders team member will assist.


Master Builder | 61


On the Green Golf Day Sometimes when life presents you a bunker you've got to down the tools, take a break and recalibrate. It's an undeniably tough year for our industry but our members know how to rally together, support each other and push through the grit ... and sand.

62 | Master Builder


Skills, jobs, training Business Breakfast Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman joined us for our Business Breakfast at The Calile Hotel as we discussed sustaining our industry's employment growth.

Master Builder | 63


Looking to upgrade your skills? Whether you’re aiming to get your builder’s licence or want to become a site supervisor, here’s a snapshot of the courses you may need to consider when applying for each licence type.



Course: Business Management for Trade Contractors

Course: Cert IV in Building & Construction

Eligibility: You need to have completed your Cert III (Construction Trades)

Eligibility: You need to have been working in the residential sector and be 12 months-post trade or have no trade licence, but have experience you can demonstrate.

What you’ll learn: The managerial skills and knowledge to set up and run a successful trade contractor business. This includes business structures, planning and marketing, business name registration, obligations and licences, business finance, insurance and contracts, compliance management, communication and marketing, accounting and taxation, and job costing.

What you’ll learn: Building construction theory and practices related to low rise buildings. This includes managing OH&S, building principles and codes, project site surveys, resource management, project management, planning building and construction work, contract management and managing small business finances.

What you can do with the qualification: Upon completion, you can apply to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) for a Trade Contractor’s licence.

What you can do with the qualification: When you have the required site supervisor experience you can apply for a Builder’s Low-Rise licence through the QBCC.



Course: Diploma of Building & Construction (Building)

Course: Advanced Diploma Building & Construction (Management)

Eligibility: You need to have either completed a Certificate IV in Building & Construction or minimum of one-year experience working in the commercial sector. What you’ll learn: Managing health and safety risk, tendering, estimating and managing contractors, selecting and managing subcontractors, project planning for builders, applying building codes and standards, managing commercial building projects, and selecting and managing materials. What you can do with the qualification: When you have the required site supervisor experience you may apply for your Medium Rise Builder’s licence through the QBCC.

Eligibility: You need to have completed your Diploma of Building & Construction (Building) What you’ll learn: Made up of ten units based on the issues we know are important in the building and construction sector today. What you can do with the qualification: When you have the required site supervisor experience you may apply for your Open Builder’s licence with the QBCC.

To secure yourself and your workers a place in this vital training or for further information on which course you require, call 1300 136 002 or visit 64 | Master Builder


Upcoming courses Month


Why Apply



Asbestos Worker Program*

Get qualified to legally remove non-friable asbestos

Central Queensland

Building Contracts workshop

Learn how to correctly complete residential building contracts

Far North Queensland

Business Management for Trade Contractors*

Apply for your trade contractors licence

Wide Bay Burnett

Electrical Testing & Tagging

Test and tag your own electrical equipment

Brisbane & Downs & Western

Building Contracts workshop

Learn how to correctly complete residential building contracts

Downs & Western

Business Management for Trade Contractors (accelerated 1-day course)*

Apply for your trade contractors licence

Downs & Western & Gold Coast

Business Management for Trade Contractors

Apply for your trade contractors licence

North Queensland, Brisbane, Central Queensland & Sunshine Coast

Estimating Essentials

Get skilled to accurately estimate materials, labour, costs and time

North Queensland


Call us on 1300 136 002 or view our training calendar at

Need your Waterproofing qualification?

*Nationally Accredited Courses



eligible $500 for students* SAVE $3,800!*

If you’re looking to get your Waterproofing licence with the QBCC, you need your Waterproofing qualification^. Master Builders Certificate III in Construction Waterproofing^ is a combined RPL and 4-day workshop course, helping you get qualified fast with industry experts. Our course is open to builders and anyone with experience who holds a relevant trade qualification^ and will help you reduce defects and supervise high quality work.



CALL 1300 136 002 TO REGISTER

*Eligibility criteria applies - call 1300 136 002 to find out more. ^CPC31411 Certificate III in Construction Waterproofing. 4-day course – RPL eligibility criteria requirements for course entry | RTO 30097

Master Builder | 65


AKD Softwoods focus on quality AKD Softwoods is a 100 per cent Australian owned and operated integrated forestry and timber processing company with operations in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. AKD is distinctive among its key competitors for its scale, family ownership, technological innovations in sawmilling, its exceptional customer service and vertically integrated operations which comprise: •

Six sawmills processing more than 2,000,000 cubic metres of sawlog per annum

Approximately 10,000 hectares of radiata pine plantations located in Victoria and South Australia

Three preservation businesses

A softwood chip export operation

Multiple log export locations

Since its founding, AKD has continually made significant investments to ensure long-term growth and prosperity.

The latest timber drying technology

The company’s mission is to ensure that Australian homes for generations to come are built using AKD’s sustainable structural pine framing.

speed, air temperature and humidity

The company’s ability to invest for the long term comes from its stable ownership, loyal customer relationships, sustainable log supply, its own plantations and state-of-the-art processing innovations. AKD is proud of its 60-year history, having retained its original headquarters at the site on which it was founded in Colac, Victoria in 1955 by an association of local family companies. The four equal shareholder companies that own AKD have been involved since day one.

All of AKD’s products are certified under either Forest Stewardship Council or PEFC/Responsible Wood Chain of Custody.

Along with the company’s rich history and family values, AKD’s scale today means that its investment in trialling new technologies is leading the industry.

The quality assurance of an Australian manufacturer meeting the required Australian Standards provides peace of mind for their whole supply chain.

Talented optimisation and mechatronic engineers lead the company’s research and development programs.

AKD has a strong supply channel to market on the East Coast with a vast customer network of timber merchants and timber frame and truss fabricators. As a regional employer, AKD plays an active part in supporting a variety of local community activities and sees its employees as the vital ingredient in its past and future success.

High speed automated scanning and imaging devices throughout the process help determine maximum yield, board recovery and quality from the AKD process; 3D, gamma ray and acoustic scanning devices are employed to assess log rotation, grading of timber, board density and fibre stiffness, which are essential to determining a product’s end use.

of Continuous Drying Kilns (CDKs) involves the careful control of push to ensure air circulates in a particular manner to ensure consistent drying of every board. This process helps to create an end product that is more stable across varying Australian climate conditions. In addition, dry wood is lighter (reducing the cost of transport) and insulates better with a higher electricity resistance. AKD utilises state-of-the-art treatment processes on its termi-blue™, ecowooddry™ and losp-clear™ new generation products. Blue Pine termite resistant treatment for Australian pine frames was developed more than two decades ago and is the proven and preferred solution for peace of mind against termites for the structure of any home. These processes ensure the durability, protection, performance and reliability of all AKD’s products. Specific treatments are undertaken to ensure structural integrity and protection against termite attacks, decay and weather. Every house lot of AKD’s structural pine framing stores approximately 12,600kg of carbon for its life.


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