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National licensing

moving forward Edition 1-2010 Master Builders Executive Council President – Ross Barrett Treasurer – Simon Butt Commercial Builders Council Chair – Sam Delorenzo Civil Contractors Council Chair – Peter Middleton Residential Builders Council Chair – Andrew Kerec Professional Consultants Council Chair – Hans Sommer Suppliers and Subcontractors Council Chair – Peter Fairburn Master Builders Management team Executive Director – John Miller Deputy Executive Director – Jerry Howard Director Industrial Relations – Mike Baldwin Senior Management Accountant – Louise MacCallum Director Skills Development & Research – Grant Daly Marketing & Membership Development Manager – David Leitch Master Builders Group Training General Manager – Wendy Tengstrom

Master Builders Association of the ACT 1 Iron Knob St, Fyshwick ACT 2609 PO Box 1211, Fyswick ACT 2609 Tel: (02) 6247 2099 Fax: (02) 6249 8374  Email: Web: 1

Federal State and Territory governments have taken the next step towards national licensing for the building and construction industries with the publication of an Exposure Draft of the National Occupational Licensing Law. Once passed by all parliaments the law will establish the framework for uniform national licensing. It is currently expected that the national licensing body (covering a number of industries including building and construction) will be operating by January 2011, with national building industry licensing to take effect from July 2013. The Master Builders Association has supported the governments’ proposals for the universal licensing regime with some minor changes to specific elements of the licensing arrangements outlined in the Exposure Draft. Uniform national licensing would replace the current unsatisfactory mutual recognition arrangements for building industry licensing. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has agreed to develop a national licensing system that will remove inconsistencies across state and territory borders and allow for a more mobile workforce. Under current arrangements, many occupational trades are licensed to differing requirements in each state and territory. National licensing will see a national approach.

Building Occupations COAG has agreed that the national system will initially apply to the following trades: • air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics • building occupations • electrical occupations • land transport occupations (passenger vehicle drivers, dangerous goods) • maritime occupations • plumbing occupations • property agent occupations. Master Builders has agreed to support the establishment of a National Licensing System for Specified Occupations including building and construction, to reduce red tape. It supports the draft legislation with the inclusion of proposed amendments including: • the business category of Partnerships should be included along with sole traders and companies as business entities which can be issued with a national licence. • Uniform fees should be implemented for all national licences and with the payments being pooled and redistributed to all jurisdictions based on an agreed and transparent formula.


Mike Baldwin – Director Industrial Relations Background Mike comes to the MBA with approximately 17 years experience in industrial relations both as a practicing lawyer and advocate. Having started his industrial career in Canberra with the old ConFACT, he is very pleased to return to the city where he spent many of his formative years, to take up this most important post. Prior to taking up this role, Mike enjoyed a varied career in industrial/workplace relations in a number of industries including: resources (hard rock, iron ore, gold, coal, mineral sands) manufacturing and construction. His career has seen him practice in all Australian jurisdictions with the exception of South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. In recent years Mike has specialised in the construction and mining industries occupying senior roles with Macmahon Contractors (managing one of the larger construction sites in the Pilbara region for BHP) and Anglo Coal, where he was responsible for the IR strategy across all of Anglo’s Queensland coal mines. In the coal industry the CFMEU is the predominant force with most employees displaying a stronger loyalty to it than the various coal operators. The tactics used by the mining division of the union are not dissimilar to those of their construction cousins, so Mike feels sufficiently well schooled to manage the relationships with construction unions in the ACT.


As a lawyer Mike has managed a number of large disputes in the AIRC in addition to test and national wages in the same forum. With the coming of Fair Work Australia Mike is looking forward to adapting to the changes the new Act will bring to the ACT industrial landscape, in the belief that the MBA and its members will adjust to the new regime in a manner that will see the industry continue to grow.

Career highlights Since the early 90s Mike like all MBA members has witnessed much change in the Australian industrial landscape. When asked for personal highlights, he unhesitatingly pointed to the Patrick’s dispute of 1998, where he was part of the Freehill’s team acting for the company. Whilst in some respects unedifying, the resolution of this dispute eventually saw the modernisation and maturation of the Australian waterfront which has been of enormous importance to the nation in the age of the global economy.

Conclusion Mike is very much looking forward to the new role and hopes that he brings to the table a set of skills beneficial to the MBA and its members. In the coming months he looks forward to meeting as many members as possible, whilst focusing on delivering a professional service to all MBA stakeholders.

On–Site Insight Edition 1-2010

Revolutionary “Breathable” Thermo-Reflective Insulation for Cladded Walls When you’re building with cladded walls you’ll know that many cladding materials require installation with a breathable sarking product behind it so that vapours are allowed to permeate without damaging the cladding material. In addition to that you’ll still need to install some sort of insulation product. AIR-CELL® Insulation, Australia’s premier insulation innovators, has just made things a lot easier with its new Permishield®, a revolutionary 3-in-1 breathable insulation, thermal break, and vapour-permeable sarking. Designed specifically for wall applications, Permishield® is ideal for insulation behind lightweight cladding materials that usually require installation with a breathable membrane. Manufactured with a patented closed-cell, cross-linked foam structure sandwiched by highly reflective foil surfaces and pierced with tiny, evenly-spaced breather holes, Permishield® allows building professionals to do away with the traditional sarking-plus-batts combination in order to achieve thermal compliance as well as satisfy vapour permeance required by many lightweight wall cladding materials.

AIR-CELL Technical Services Manager, Mr. Keith Anderson, explains: “Conventional building methodology requires a perforated sarking product as well as bulk insulation to be installed into the walls. And if it’s a steel-framed wall then a thermal break product is also required. Permishield® is a revolutionary product that can achieve all this in one go - saving significant time in the construction process.” Due to the conductive thermal bridging properties of metal and steel, the Building Code of Australia (BCA) requires that certain buildings with steel-framed walls are required to include a minimum thermal break of R0.2 between wall cladding and the steel frame to reduce thermal bridging and conductivity between building elements. Refer to BCA: Vol. 1 J1.5(e), and Vol. 2 As with all AIR-CELL products, Permishield® is fibre-free, non-allergenic, environmentally friendly and fast and easy to install. Permishield® has been stringently fire tested and is CodeMark-certified to Australian Standards and the BCA.



Balcony Deck Construction and Waterproofing

Introduction The penetration water from exposed balconies is one of the most common water penetration problems, especially in medium density developments.

Exposure to the Elements The severity of exposure to wind is the most important factor in the specification and installation of windows and doors in openings. Components and installation practices, which are acceptable in sheltered situations, may quickly fail when exposed to the full force of the wind and rain. Ensure that you follow the window manufacturer’s installation specification for the appropriate Terrain Category and height of building, and remember that many manufacturers’ brochures provide information for sheltered building no more then one storey high.

Design Details When one reviews architectural drawings it is often noticed that obvious and easy details are shown but difficult and critical details are not shown. Water


leakage into the inside living areas from balconies is a common compliant to building authorities and to building industry organizations. The intention of this editorial is to highlight this increasing problem to design and construction professionals and draw their attention to design and detailing of this aspect in the architectural drawings. The interface between the balcony and interior of a building rarely receives the proper attention to waterproofing. Poorly detailed and constructed balconies present water leakage problems to building and homeowners. What is considered to be a trivial detail becomes prolonged and difficult to solve water leakage and interior damage issues for the owners. Too often reliance is placed on the use of adhesive sealants, membranes and special coatings for effective waterproofing of joints without adequate thought through details for construction and maintenance for the effective life of the building. Sealants do fail and have limited life span much shorter than the expected life span of a building.

The responsibility for detailing must be with the architectural designer of the building. These details must then be reflected in the structural engineering drawing details – in particular with concrete construction – so that the formwork contractor can prepare the formwork to include weatherproofing details such as step- downs (Freeboard) to interfacing internal and external structural elements. Builders’ should insist on these details on the working drawings and construct accordingly. If no details are given on drawings and construction decisions are made on the run, then very likely the builder and the building certifier may be held responsible for the design as well as for the rectification of subsequent water leakage problems into the building.

Detailing and Historically Good Building Practice The step down to finished concrete or sub-strate level of the balcony should be at least 100mm allowing for a tile bed, this will depend on conditions such as: • The drainage provision and its effectiveness. • Extreme weather conditions expected on the balcony. • Wind driven water penetration. • Capillary suction potential of the cladding material used. • The area of the balcony and the level of protection over the balcony. Once the adequate freeboard is estimated, allowing for any topping or tiling thickness, it should clearly be detailed on the drawing. The drawing should also show the drainage provisions, direction of fall and grade. In number of multi-storey multi-unit buildings water penetration problems were observed, where water penetration from an external balcony penetrated into the living area below. These problems are mainly attributed to not providing sufficient freeboard by turning up the waterproof membrane far enough up the face, or inside the wall cladding, to contain and drain the water. In many cases subsequent topping of the balcony slab or tiling has substantially reduced the freeboard and in some cases no freeboard was provided, that is the water containment level outside was higher than the finished floor level of the residence internally. A recipe for disaster! A cross section detail showing the internal living area and external balcony should provide a clear waterproofing method with adequate freeboard to the internal floor area – the water proofing membrane or flashing should extend higher than the door threshold within the surrounding external walls

Using Pre-Cast Concrete Floor Panels In this type of construction, often the internal panels or slab continues outside to form the balcony, which has no freeboard between internal and external floors. From a waterproofing and long-term durability point of view this is not a satisfactory construction method. There are multi-unit residences constructed like this with precast panels having long-term water leakage problems to adjacent internal floors from balcony as well as to the living areas of units below. Several attempts to repair these leaks with adhesive sealants and waterproof coatings were not successful.

If a construction method such as the above is considered then the designer must consider and detail the waterproofing system for the balconies. Sealants, coatings and membranes are relied on for waterproofing in such areas.

Sills to Balcony Doors Many medium density units have large sliding doors to balconies, and these need careful thought and specification, especially when facing the weather. Large areas of glass can generate large quantities of run-off during a storm, and the frame and sealing must be designed to cope. The provision of small holes to drain water from track recesses at the base of the window is not acceptable as they are susceptible to flooding.

On–Site Insight Edition 1-2010

Who is responsible for details?

Drainage to the sill section must be in proportion to the area of the window and large slots or other means of getting the water away are required with full height windows. The sill flashing must have sufficient freeboard to work. The amount of freeboard necessary varies in response to exposure conditions, but a minimum of 100mm will be required between the balcony slab and the underside of the windowsill.

Balcony Door Mullions Large sliding doors are also vulnerable to wind effects, and must not bend far enough to allow water to be blown past the frame. Depending on the vertical sealing detail, the amount of bending necessary to cause leaks may be quite small. Frames with an “L” shaped seal are inherently safer than those that rely on brushes or similar. Make sure the window manufacturer understands the severity of exposure to the elements. Modern sealants are reliable and can be used with some confidence but sealants can deteriorate with time and fail. In designing waterproofing details, sealant and coating failures should be considered and reapplication of sealants without the need for major remedial work should also be part of the design and detailing consideration. It is not acceptable to have buildings that require frequent and expensive maintenance of waterproofing systems by builders or homeowners.

And the problems continue! One would think from lessons learned from the past experiences that Architects, Engineers and Builders would address these water proofing problems in their design and detailing. Unfortunately this has not been the case. At the MBA we receive regular calls regarding the above problems. The most recent being a 20-unit development, which is six years old, and of the 20 units six of the balconies are leaking into the habitable areas below.

Timber Deck Structures The above discussion is equally applicable to timber balconies and decks. Waterproofing issues are the same. Timber balcony and deck connections to the building also require special attention. Water ingress and accumulation within joints and connections can result in deterioration of timber and may result in structural failures. 5

The timber should be of a suitable durability class for external use. The designers and builders have an obligation to provide an inspection and maintenance guide, if they consider connections or joints that were used may be susceptible to water ingress and deterioration of timber unless maintained with re-application of protective coatings.

External Tiling and Waterproofing External tiling is commonly provided to balconies and roof terraces. Tiles, like any fired clay products, tend to grow after they come out of the kiln, and this expansion should be allowed for in the detailing of tiled areas. • The edges of tiles that abut up against walls should always be provided with an expansion joint. This should extend through the tiling screed right down the membrane. An easy way to do this is to tape a suitable piece of unicellular foam of the same height as the screed to the wall/floor junction before the screed is placed. This joint is then finished with a suitable flexible sealant after the tiles are laid. • Expansion joints should be provided to tiles with an area greater than 16sq.m to allow for thermal movement. • Falls to drains are not to be less than 1:60, especially where the exposure is severe. Water must not be allowed to pond on the balcony. Tiles and screeds are not waterproof and any habitable areas below will need be protected with a membrane. The performance of a membrane below tiles can be effective providing a few simple rules are observed: • The membrane should be designed as a drained tank, and should not run under bounding walls. • The membrane should be suitable for continuous immersion as the screed above could be permanently damp. • Acrylic membranes and vapour barrier materials, such as ‘Fortecon’ are not suitable for this task. It should also be flexible to facilitate small distortions caused by thermal and shrinkage movements. • A suitable sheet membrane rubber or similar product is preferred, and in all cases, membranes beneath tiles must be installed with the utmost care as repair is very expensive. • Liquid applied membranes must be provided with a bond breaker at upstand corners to allow movement. To succeed with this type of material in this situation, the standard of preparation and application must be very high and the use of flexible sheet membranes is preferred. • Normally, a slip sheet must be provided above membranes, and it should be specified to respond to the thermal conditions and the membrane type. Membranes with good tolerance to movement, such as EPDM types used in shaded situations, only need simple slip sheets, whereas membranes with low tolerance to movements used below tiles exposed to sunlight all day may need 6

a slip sheet incorporating a thermal break. Remember that joints in membranes may provide a mechanical key to prevent relative movement; in this situation, a grout bed above the membrane will be required to provide a flat surface for the slip-sheet. The minimum slipsheet is a single layer of 200-micron polythene. • Screeds above slip-sheets should be carefully laid and expansion joints in tiles should be carried down to the membrane. In situations where temperature extremes are expected, reinforcement should be provided to the screed, discontinued at the expansion joints. • The reinforcement must be able to withstand permanent immersions, and galvanised steel must be used. • Penetrations necessary for such things as railings should be carefully considered so that they do not provide a weak point through the membrane. Preferably, there should be no penetrations. If the membrane is penetrated, the penetrations should be sealed as for plumbing penetrations to a flat roof using a base flashing of the membrane material with a cover flashing.

Conclusion The intention of this editorial is to bring this waterproofing issue to the attention of the design profession, to the builders and to the building certifiers so that each party can take the necessary steps to address the detailing and construction of balconies, decks and other external wall fixtures such as windows and prevent the water from entering the interior of the building. It is far better to spend some valuable time preparing a proper specification including the selection of the proper waterproofing system which will in the long-term save the builders from expensive remedial work and building owners from expensive building maintenance in the future. By Jerry Howard Deputy Executive Director

Commonwealth, State and Territory governments have agreed to develop uniform OH & S laws however the agreement is still a long way from being translated into uniform national legislation. Workplace Relations Ministers except for Western Australia have agreed a model OHS Act. Currently, there are ten principal OHS statutes across Australia; six State, two Territory and two Australian Government and over 400 OHS regulations and codes of practice. States and Territories around Australia, other than Western Australia, have agreed to enact the agreed model OHS Act. Western Australia has agreed to continue to aim for national harmonisation of occupational health safety laws and to continue to participate in Safe Work Australia. Commonwealth Industrial Relations Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said, “Creating uniform occupational health and safety laws around the country has long been recognised as the most important regulatory reform needed to create a seamless national economy.”

Reduce Red Tape And Compliance The reform is intended to ensure that equal standards and protections apply across the nation and to reduce red tape and compliance problems for Australian businesses operating across State borders. The draft legislation will recast the duty of care approach by introducing the concept of a person conducting a business or undertaking as being the central duty holder under the law. The laws will also include a new approach to personal liability and create new enforcement powers and higher penalties for OHS offences.

As part of the process of passing the new uniform code through the ACT Legislative Assembly the Government will b e required to review existing OH & S legislation for inconsistencies with the uniform code.

On–Site Insight Edition 1-2010

Uniform OH & S rules on the way Better, Not More Laws Master Builders Australia called on the Government to use the opportunity for the proposed model Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act to introduce better, rather than more, OHS regulation that is nationally consistent across Australia. The CEO of Master Builders Australia, Mr Wilhelm Harnisch said, “Master Builders supports the overhaul of OHS laws and the model OHS Act put forward by the Government, that is, in many areas, fair and reasonable to employers and on balance provides a suitable framework for OHS into the future. “However, changes are required to key areas of the draft model OHS Act, including to some duties, union right of entry provisions and penalty levels to ensure that the Act meets the test of being fair, balanced and reasonable.” Mr Harnisch said, “The model Act could be improved by making the extent of duty holders’ obligations clearer and by making sure that the obligations relating to building design and manufacture take into account the very long life spans of buildings. The duties must be sensible and capable of being implemented by the building and construction industry. “Master Builders wants a model Act that delivers both improved workplace safety outcomes and an effective legislative framework that will encourage employers and workers to be proactive and collaborative in improving the safety of their workplaces.”


“Sustainable Future” reports can influence planning reviews The ACT Government has published a report on progress on its “Sustainable Future” program which points towards further changes in the ACT’s planning regime. The “Sustainable Futures” program is part of the ACT Government’s climate change policy, the objective of which is to reduce the impact of the ACT’s development and population growth on the environment. As part of the “Sustainable Future” program the Government has published a report covering the discussions in six workshops held in 2008 and 2009. The workshop discussions will be taken into account in the review of the land use codes in the Territory Plan, with the residential and subdivision codes being the highest priority. The review of the ACT Planning Strategy, which is required under the Planning and Development Act, is already underway. The report contains no firm recommendations but the workshops included considerable discussion about reducing the environmental impact of development including housing and infrastructure, requirements for greater planning flexibility, smaller houses, more compact development, housing which consumes less non-renewable energy and transport and infrastructure which has less environmental impact.


In his introduction to the report on the workshops Planning Minister Andrew Barr says the three-year “Sustainable Future” program is focusing on reviewing planning policy and identifying strategies and measures that will complement the government’s sustainability policy, “People, Places and Prosperity”. “The program recognises that the built environment, which includes transport, contributes to more than 60 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in the ACT,” he said. The workshops sought to draw out “ideas on how to both reduce climate change and mitigate its effects through smarter/better planning. The program is now mid-way and this workshop findings report is an integral output highlighting views for change and proposals for our future.”

The Master Builders Association of the ACT is continuing to press the ACT Government and ACTPLA over changes to its Work Cover fee, which has resulted in it being applied to average residential building projects for the first time and is a substantial increase in fees for most other construction. Following representations from Master Builders, ACTPLA has revised the threshold for the fee for a single private dwelling unit to $375,000 from the previously implemented $265,000. The Construction Occupations Registrar relayed the concerns of the Master Builders to the Attorney General, Simon Corbell, who approved an amendment to the previous Attorney General’s Fee Determination. The $265,000 threshold fee had been charged from 01 July 2009, adding an additional charge of $678 for the typical residential house. As a result of this additional increased charge to builders, Master Builders is now seeking refunds for those projects where the additional charges were applied since the 01 July 2009 implementation date.

On–Site Insight Edition 1-2010

Continuing concern over ACTPLA Fees and Charges Master Builders wrote to ACTPLA last year expressing its concern regarding the then implemented fees and charges and, particularly, the implementation of these charges without adequate consultation or notice of the impending change. ISSUES WITH FIXED-PRICE CONTRACTS Master Builder members were, in many cases, locked into fixed-price contracts with no opportunity to recover the additional costs and were particularly concerned that they received no advance warning of the increase. Master Builders estimated that the revised fees and charges incurred additional fees of $1193 for a typical 230sqm house; an increase of 59%, specifically related to building construction levies. We are therefore very keen to recover excess fees paid by our members. Master Builders acknowledges that appropriate fees and charges should be paid based on the reasonable cost of building work and the MBA believes the industry should receive at least two months’ notice of any significant increases in fees and charges.

New laws restricting the type of water heaters that can be installed in Class 1 buildings from 31 January 2010 The ACT Legislative Assembly has passed amendments to the Water and Sewerage Act 2000 and associated Regulations restricting the types of water heaters that can be installed in Class 1 buildings, as defined in the Building Code of Australia, which have not been occupied or sold as a place of residence. The restrictions are intended to reduce the greenhouse emissions produced from the operation of water heaters in the ACT. The new laws come into effect on 31 January 2010. The ACT Planning and Land Authority (ACTPLA) is aware that some wording in the legislation may make it unclear as to how and when the new provisions apply. A fact sheet has been prepared to outline how the legislation will be applied by ACTPLA and its plumbing inspectors and will be available for download from ACTPLAs website from 5 February 2010.

Transition and Exemptions The requirements will not apply to class 1 buildings for which plans have been approved under section 28 of the Building Act 2004 before 31 January 2010. All other class 1 buildings will need to comply with the requirements in recognition that many industry members already install water heaters to the new standard. The new provisions also do not apply to: • Replacement water heaters in houses built prior to the introduction of this legislation; • Hot water systems being replaced under warranty; and • Hot-water systems containing solid fuelburning equipment being installed in a class 1 building located in an area of non-urban land. A full copy of the legislation is available at http:// If you require any further information please email 9

Master Builders National Survey shows industry

stabilising Builders’ own levels of activity and their expectations about future industry levels of activity both fell in the December quarter, according to the quarterly Master Builders Australia’s National Survey of Building and Construction.

effects of the global financial crisis it is crucial that fiscal and monetary policy settings encourage productive investment and job creation.”

However Government stimulus spending continued to cushion the industry against a severe downturn,

“Residential builders remain positive about the outlook, with key forward indicators providing some encouragement, although the ending of the first home owners boost scheme and sluggish investor activity mean that it will be some time before a fully-fledged recovery becomes evident.

Master Builders Australia Chief Economist, Peter Jones, said: “Despite twin challenges of reduced credit availability and weaker economic conditions, the Government’s stimulus spending and low interest rates are preventing a collapse in construction activity.” ACT builders (together with Victoria and South Australia) were the most positive about their own business conditions for the quarter, the survey shows. Builders’ current levels of own business activity fell in the December quarter. The index declined to 57.9 from 60.1 in the previous quarter. The index has recovered substantially from its weak readings in late 2008 and early 2009, but it remains well below levels achieved in 2007 when building conditions were strong. The survey shows the industry is continuing to perform better than builders themselves had previously expected. Mr Jones said that “Thanks to the Government’s well-targeted stimulus measures, the building and construction industry has stabilised after threatening to nose-dive early in 2009. “What remains to be seen is whether the rebound in building confidence from the depths of pessimism experienced at the height of the global financial crisis actually translates into improved business conditions.”

Most Doing It Tough He said, “Despite a pick up in operating conditions and greater optimism about the outlook, the industry still faces major stumbling blocks and the likelihood of a volatile period ahead. “Although pockets of the building and construction industry are doing well, particularly those exposed to government stimulus spending, most other sectors are ‘doing it tough’. “To ensure the building and construction industry continues to help insulate the economy from the 10

“Spending on the schools program and social housing initiative are helping to offset industry weakness, particularly in nonresidential building and construction.”

“Australia needs a strong phase of house building to prevent strong demand simply translating into higher prices.” “A strong supply response will be thwarted and housing affordability will once again become a front page story unless all levels of government urgently rethink land availability and developer charges policies,” Mr Jones said.

Hopes For Profit Improvement Builders’ own actual conditions dipped in the December quarter. After a wild ride over the past 12 months, the index is beginning to stabilize but at a level well below average industry conditions. Profitability also fell back in the December quarter and the index slipped into negative territory again. But respondents expected profits to improve slightly over the next six months. Jobs may not be cut to the extent previously thought. In the latest survey, builders are now indicating that their workforce will remain stable or decline fractionally in the period ahead. Sales and forward orders are still falling and there is spare capacity in the industry. There is little difficulty finding labour, although the easing in skill shortages may have troughed. Non-residential building is struggling overall, and builders do not expect much to change in the period ahead. Residential builders are still expecting to see some improvement, but are becoming less upbeat about prospects. Financial constraints associated with the credit squeeze and higher borrowing costs remain an ongoing concern, and builders expect interest rates to rise significantly over the next 12 months.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has announced two new alternative ways of calculating eligibility for fuel tax credits which it says may fit better with the way some businesses operate. The two new methods for calculating eligible litres for claiming fuel tax credits are: • The Alternate Percentage Use Method, which is designed for businesses with medium to large fleets of vehicles or equipment, and • The Average Fuel Consumption Rate Method designed for businesses that keep records of the hours their equipment is used. The ATO says these two new methods provide additional options that may be more operate to the some businesses operate. The existing methods for calculating Fuel tax Credits are: • The Percentage Use Method; and • Estimated Use Method A more detailed explanation of the four alternatives is available from the ATO website at http:// content/71994.htm&page=9&H9=&pc=001/003/04 4/009/008&mnu=9955&mfp=001/003&st=&cy=1 Briefly:

Percentage Use Method • Use if eligible use is consistent over time. • This method is easiest if you use one type of fuel for a single activity. • To use this method, you must keep detailed records of the fuel you used for each activity for 12 weeks.

Alternative Percentage Use Method • Use this method regardless of the amount of your entitlement in a financial year. • Where your eligible use is consistent over time, you can calculate your eligible litres using the alternative percentage use method. • This method is most suitable if you have medium to large fleets of vehicles or equipment, but can be used by any business with consistent eligible fuel usage.

On–Site Insight Edition 1-2010

New methods for calculating Fuel Tax Credits Estimated Use Method • Use if the amount of fuel you’re likely to claim in a financial year is less than $5,000. • If you operate a small business or use eligible fuel on a small scale or seasonal basis, check what proportion of last year’s fuel acquisitions you used for eligible activities, as this may provide a guide. • When you estimate what proportion of your fuel will be eligible, you must be able to show how you arrived at your estimate and that it is reasonable. • To use this method, you must still keep records showing that you acquired the fuel and be able to demonstrate your eligibility. You must also keep details of any fuel you have lost, sold or disposed of.

Average Fuel Consumption Rate Method • Use if you keep records of the hours your equipment is used in your business activities (for example, for billing or maintenance purposes). • To use this method you simply work out your equipment’s eligible litres by multiplying its operating hours for an activity by its average hourly fuel consumption rate. • You will need to establish average hourly fuel consumption rates for your equipment. You can do this by keeping records of the operating times and the actual fuel used over a sample period. Alternatively you can use the fuel consumption rates published in the manufacturer’s performance guide. If you use the average fuel consumption rate method, you will need to keep appropriate records that detail how the eligible quantity was worked out.


Coming events for 2010 Trade Night - Landscaping

Date: Thursday 18 February Time: 5.00pm - 7.00pm Where: Master Builders Headquarters Throughout 2010 Master Builders will be holding a series of themed trade information nights at their headquarters in Fyshwick. The first Trade Night of 2010 will focus on Landscaping, and will include expert guest speakers from the industry and innovative product displays.

Master Builders Charity Golf Day

Date: Monday 22 February Time: 6.35am onwards Where: Yowani Country Club The Master Builders Charity Golf day remains a favourite event for our members. The day includes Stableford rules team golf, a sausage sizzle lunch and the chance to pick up some fun prizes.

Master Builders Group Training Apprentice & Cadet Awards

Date: Friday 26 March Where: Eastlake Football Club Master Builders Group Training will hold its annual awards presentation to celebrate the success of their apprentices and cadets.

Master Builders & Boral Excellence in Building Awards

Date: Friday 18 June Time: 6.30pm Where: National Convention Centre The night of nights for the building and construction industry will this year take place on Friday 18 June. This event showcases the exceptional work being done throughout all sectors of industry in Canberra and the surrounding region. For more information about registration or to receive an entry form, please contact us.

ACT Private Sector Building Activity $100


$80 $60 $40 $20 $0













The above graph and table below summarise private sector building activity for the various building sectors in the ACT over the past 12 moths. The values for each month are depicted in millions of dollars.

Additions and Alterations (Residential) Commercial Building Work Garages, Pools, Decks and Similar Structures Multi Unit New Homes


Jan-09 Feb-09 Mar-09 Apr-09 May-09 Jun-09 2.03 4.74 3.87 3.15 4.12 6.86 15.63 27.61 10.03 35.59 27.49 42.55 1.19 1.79 1.52 1.48 1.34 2.09 3.56 4.87 14.73 0.94 0.00 4.57 15.40 27.15 40.64 58.64 20.50 42.59

Jul-09 4.83 57.82 2.40 41.44 43.08

Aug-09 Sep-09 Oct-09 Nov-09 Dec-09 9.18 8.49 5.12 39.16 8.39 66.61 10.57 25.98 84.75 96.67 3.55 3.45 3.03 3.21 4.39 4.34 10.69 19.70 90.94 66.97 41.24 63.24 54.92 53.91 54.79

On-Site Insight Edition 1 - 2010  
On-Site Insight Edition 1 - 2010  

Master Builders Association of the ACT newsletter