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Plumbing innovation More than meets the eye Are plumbers keeping up with client’s needs? Your industry magazine

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10 Continuing your training

8 Industry news

A stronger industry relies on regular training

14 Snapshot around the nation

20 Always innovating

28 Tax time

No matter how old your business, you need to innovate

30 Technology talks

22 Crisis management

34 Workplace Relations

Print post number: PP100019076

Reputation rigour required for businesses big and small

36 Marsh Insurance


40 Member news


Meet the winner

The Master Plumbers’ and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) E

24 Product news

32 Superannuation tips

26 Lessons from a legend The Prince of Property provides his secrets to success

Andre will take a $5000 trip thanks to Caroma and Master Plumbers

See page 32 Innovation is important in the plumbing industry. For centuries, plumbing and engineering professionals have been solving the world’s problems. From separating sewage from drinking water to piping hot and cold air. This edition’s cover is inspired by what it takes to be innovative. Cover image by Salt Creative/Shutterstock.

26 Australian Plumbing Industry magazine 15/306 Albert Street Brunswick VIC 3056

Subscription changes To change your details or to unsubscribe, call 1800 133 871 or email

Advertising Christine Watson T (03) 9321 0798 E


Disclaimer API is published for the Plumbing industry and Master Plumbers Members by the Master Plumbers’ and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) ABN: 56 296 473 997. Responsibility for comment in respect of elections in Master Plumbers is taken by Peter Daly of 15/306 Albert Street, Brunswick, VIC, 3056. Advertising: No responsibility is accepted by the publisher for accuracy of information contained in advertisements in API. Publication of any advertisements does not constitute endorsement by the publisher of any product, nor warrant its suitability. Advertisements are published as submitted by advertisers. Copyright: No part of this magazine may be produced without the publisher’s written permission Contributors: The views of external contributors and advertisers are not necessarily the views of Master Plumbers. Master Plumbers supports green printing initiatives. This magazine has been printed on FSC certified paper using vegetable based inks by Southern Colour under ISO 14001 environmental certification.

4 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Summer 2018


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It’s important to remain vigilant about workplace safety


from the President and CEO

The path to life-long learning

Facial innovation for health

Since completing our formal qualifications, which for many of us began with an apprenticeship, much has changed in our industry.

Our health is everything. Sadly, many in our community do not look after themselves as well as they could, and this applies to the physical and mental health of both men and women.

Just as everyday life changes to embrace new technology and adapts to different ways of doing things, many aspects of the plumbing industry have, and will continue to evolve over time. Ongoing changes to plumbing regulations and standards require the development of effective and efficient solutions for all plumbing works. Manufacturers continually refine their products to take advantage of the latest advances in technology and drive innovation using new materials and best practices. And subject matter experts and regulatory bodies will continue to monitor trends in society and improve safe work practices and the health of the community. As you will read on page 10, Master Plumbers believes the time is right to introduce continuing professional development (CPD) in plumbing, starting on a voluntary basis for Master Plumbers’ members. We are developing this industry program with two main goals: to keep participants up to date with changing technology, legislation, regulations and requirements in plumbing; and to improve the knowledge, skills, standards and professionalism of the plumbing industry. Importantly, our vision for industry CPD will provide development pathways for practitioners to extend their work into new business areas in a safe, responsible and ethical manner. As one example, consider the mediumsized domestic plumbing enterprise which wants to pursue work in the commercial/complex plumbing field. Without the right technical knowledge, business set-up and work practices this can be a real challenge. Upskilling through industry CPD is one way to mitigate this risk, safeguarding the quality of our work and maintaining the standards of our industry. As 2018 nears an end, on behalf of the Master Plumbers Board and staff I extend my best wishes to all readers for a safe and happy festive season. I hope you have a good break and return in 2019 looking forward to another busy and exciting year Scott Dowsett President, Master Plumbers

As we prepare to go to print for your December issue of Australian Plumbing I am asked about what is happening above my top lip. It’s Movember, I say and I’m doing my bit for men’s health by growing a Mo and supporting Movember. Admittedly, it is currently a slightly sad excuse for a moustache, especially when compared to the heroic Mo’s sported by some of our members and apprentices (see page 40). But it is a great way to start a conversation and that is what it’s all about. We know mental health and suicide is a huge issue among our communities and in our industry. Plumbing and construction in general can be a tough workplace: high risk, long hours and sometimes pretty high levels of stress for employees and employers. Frighteningly, 3128 Australians took their own lives last year. Of those lives lost, 75 per cent were men. Suicide is now the 10th highest cause of death among Australian men and the leading cause of death in men aged 15 to 44. The good news is that we are now talking about it more than ever before and there is plenty of credible and authoritative information to assist: online, by telephone and in person. The recently-launched Bluehats Suicide Prevention initiative in Victoria is one example aimed at helping construction workers doing it tough by providing someone to talk to onsite. With only a few weeks left until Christmas and the summer holiday period, we are all under pressure to get jobs completed prior to the holiday break. But during this high-risk time, it’s important to remain vigilant about workplace safety and take a zero-tolerance approach to shortcuts, whether it’s a two-minute job or a more comprehensive one. As the festive season approaches let’s all ensure everyone gets home safely. If you need help or know someone who does, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. If life is in danger call 000. Peter Daly CEO, Master Plumbers | 7

Industry news Addressing silicosis Australia’s largest business network, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has welcomed the COAG Health Council’s commitment to address silicosis in Australian workplaces. Silicosis is a lung disease caused by silica dust, and displays itself by shortness of breath, cough, fever, and cyanosis (bluish skin). “The Australian Chamber is proud to contribute to all Australians being safe and healthy at work through our membership as an employer representative on Safe Work Australia (SWA), Australia’s peak body on Work Health and Safety (WHS) policy,” Australian Chamber CEO, James Pearson, said recently “SWA has been taking action to address dust hazards and occupational lung diseases for more than 10 years.”

• Begun an analysis into the feasibility of scoping a national registry for occupational lung diseases; • Conducted exploratory research into dust exposures in stonemasonry, and options to improve data on occupational lung diseases; • Begun development of additional guidance materials and education; • Minimising dust exposures in small and medium-sized enterprises;

• Delivered a series of six virtual seminars on silicosis, in which leading experts share insights on preventing illness and disease, and controlling worker exposures to dust.

“We look forward to working with Government in increasing awareness of this issue and to equip employers and workers to prevent further harmful exposure wherever possible,” Mr Pearson said. Master Plumbers is an active member of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Tradies listen up 85 100

8 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Summer 2018

• Identified occupational lung diseases as a key priority in its 10-year Australian WHS Strategy;

• Helping employers and workers identify hazards and minimise risks in workplaces; and

Earlier this year, SWA’s tripartite committee involving unions, employers and WHS regulators reviewed actions to address silicosis in response to increased concern and reports of more silicosis cases.”

Fast Fact

Since then, SWA has:

The number of decibels in the Safe Noise Threshold.

The number of decibels power tools often exceed. Common culprits are pneumatic hammers, drills and saws.

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Keeping up

with your industry

Four decades ago, Gary Bath completed his plumbing apprenticeship. While this was his golden ticket, Gary, now Master Plumbers’ Chief Technical Advisor, tells us why he advocates for industry-led, continuing professional development. I think we would all agree that since completing our formal qualifications, which for the majority of us is our apprenticeship, much has changed in the industry. This year in Victoria, as a result of another tragic death from Carbon Monoxide poisoning, the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) heavily promoted an additional series of information sessions on how to detect negative pressure and CO for gasfitters. These sessions, delivered by Master Plumbers, managed to attract some 5,000 Licenced and/ or Registered gasfitters. Considering that there are more than 20,000 gasfitters in Victoria and the sessions were held in both regional and metropolitan locations, in the evenings and were free to attend, it is hardly the response

you would expect on an issue that directly relates to public health and safety.

What has changed anyway? Outside specific technical changes such as the release of AS/NZS 35002018 standards in July of this year that cover hot and cold water, sanitary drainage and roofing/ stormwater installation, there are: • Local Council and other statutory body requirements relating to changes in the built environment such as bushfire zones, compacted building envelopes, etc. • Federal and State changes to employment conditions/ apprenticeships • Workplace Health and Safety requirements • Changes to taxation requirements, ATO reporting requirements, etc.

How do plumbers keep up to date? The majority of the information on changes is accessed by plumbers on an as-needs basis – I’ve just employed an apprentice, I need information on salary. Regulators in the main, do a good job at providing general technical information in the form of technical data sheets or their equivalent. This information is general in nature and tends to cover broad topics that arise from an installation type issue, change to a standard or as a result of non-compliance. However, for some time now regulators, particularly those that operate within a self-certifying regime are less inclined to provide specific installation information particularly in light of the uptake on performancebased outcomes that exist within the Plumbing Code of Australia. | 11

Manufacturers information, you know that bit of paper we all look for after initially discarding it when we can’t get the tap set to fit correctly or we realise that the pan will be too close to the wall is another I would suggest fits into the “as needed” information. Gas Appliance Manufacturers are required to supply installation information along with the appliance, but accessing appliance servicing information is often extremely difficult, but a necessary part of carrying out the task. There’s so much information accessible via the smartphone in the palm of your hand that the concern is the source of the information and whether it can be trusted rather than where do I get it from. Take a quick look through YouTube and you can find many examples of “experts” explaining installation techniques for any number of trade occupations, some of them Licenced. So, in respect to the above, I would suggest that having access to reliable and reputable sources of information are key, but is it Continuing Professional Development (CPD)? 12 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Summer 2018

What is compliancemodelled CPD

are usually targeted to a product or appliance.

While the overwhelming majority of jurisdictional regulators support CPD as a concept, Tasmania is the only regulatory body to mandate it as a requirement for Licencing. They have used a model of achieving a particular number of points over a given time period in order to maintain or be in a position to maintain their Licence. The allocation of points is defined by the regulator in terms of time to complete (eg: one-day course/one hour information session), as well as content. It can also include some online courses that can be completed at a time that suits the Licence holder.

It’s fair to say that a CPD model that is driven by the regulator does tend to focus on rectifying compliance type issues, which is great and that’s their role but there are examples where the recommended training/ information sessions become “how to complete this particular application”, hardly what you would consider professional development.

The current requirement of 12 points annually (36 over the three-year Licence period) does not appear overly onerous and the current listed training provides a broad range of specific technical and contractual/compliance type training. It also provides for manufacturers training sessions, which often are a valuable source of information for the industry but

What do we need? I am the owner of a smart phone. It can connect to my emails, take photos, and allow me to access the world wide web to connect to any number of information points. It allows me to turn on my home climate controls and I’ve even made the odd phone call from it! Do I use all of its capacity? No. Importantly, do I understand what else it can do? Not at all. Would I like to know how I can better utilise it? Yes, I would. So, what would that training look like? For me that might be a very broad explanation of all its capacity. Based on that I could then determine where I focus my attention. Maybe

There’s so much information accessible via the smartphone in the palm of your hand that the concern is the source of the information and whether it can be trusted rather than where do I get it from

I want to learn how to set appointment alerts. Yep, I do, so show me how. Once completed, I would get confidence through repetition and I’m soon looking at enhancements to that application. CPD in our industry should be the same. Make it easy to determine what my specific benefits might be and how I get there. Once I have a full appreciation for how that enhances my work, I can then choose to go further or go back to something else. Our training bodies have a major part to play as enablers to provide formal training as required, equally our manufacturers have a vested interest in ensuring that their product is installed and maintained correctly. However, it is our industry associations that can steer this with an eye on innovation and where our industry might be positioned in the future. A good system of CPD has a limited number of mandated requirements with the ability to undertake a very broad allocation of learning modules that suit individuals’ experience. (Now, does anyone know how to turn off this calendar alert on my phone?)

Take a quick look through YouTube and you can find many examples of “experts”

Master Plumbers’ message Master Plumbers has a long history of providing professional development and training to our members. The plumbing profession is constantly changing and it’s become increasingly difficult to keep up as the pace of change has accelerated. We strongly believe that a CPD program which is relevant and useful to plumbers will play an integral role in sustaining a professional and proficient industry. The time is right to introduce formal Continuing Professional Development in Victoria, building on the success of the program in Tasmania. Accordingly, Master Plumbers will shortly launch our new CPD program and will call for volunteers from our members to help us test and refine it. Keep an eye out for more detail through our online newsletter and social channels. Master Plumbers’ CEO Peter Daly | 13


from around the nation Master Plumbers Association Victoria

Planning for the long term management of asbestos is important for community safety Around 70 per cent of the country’s asbestos containing water main pipes are located within Victoria

Managing Australia’s legacy asbestos in water mains The cost of dealing with 40,000 kilometres of water main pipes containing asbestos across Australia is expected to significantly rise, according to Master Plumbers CEO Peter Daly. Mr Daly said it was time for a national approach to managing asbestos in water mains. “Every year we wait ensures the costs of addressing the deterioration increases,” he said. The call comes after the release of a new report by the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency. The report 14 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Summer 2018

examines six cases of rehabilitation of water and sewerage pipes containing asbestos in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, and identifies best practice for safe and effective management and removal. The issue is most significant for Victoria, with around 70 per cent of the country’s asbestos containing water main pipes located within the state. Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Peter Tighe said: “Around one quarter of Australia’s water main

pipes as well as 5000 kilometres of sewer mains contain deteriorating asbestos.” “While there is no evidence that asbestos in cement pipes is a danger to drinking water, planning for the long term management of asbestos is important for community safety. Mr Tighe said the cost of rehabilitation of asbestos water pipes is about $400 million nationally. “This cost is expected to rise significantly as the infrastructure ages, and this has implications for water consumers.”

Find your local association

Master Plumbers & Gasfitters Association of Western Australia T (08) 9471 6661

Master Plumbers Victoria T (03) 9329 9622

Master Plumbers Association ACT Inc T (02) 6112 8630

Master Plumbers Association of Queensland T (07) 3273 0800

Plumbing Industry Association of SA & NT Inc T (08) 8292 4000

Master Plumbers Association of Tasmania T (03) 6272 2199

Master Plumbers & Mechanical Contractors Association of New South Wales T (02) 8789 7000

Currently there are no nationally consistent regulations around asbestos pipeline programs. “Water authorities and governments around the country are encouraged to follow the findings of this report to ensure that planning is in place, and that best practice in removal of legacy asbestos from water mains is followed,” Mr Tighe said. The agency recommends governments, water authorities and the industry all work toward the development of a clear set of nationally consistent regulations around practices to remove asbestos from water mains.

New asbestos compliance codes The Minister for Finance, Robin Scott, approved the introduction of new Managing Asbestos in Workplaces compliance code in October and has removing Asbestos in Workplaces compliance code.

Transporting dangerous goods? The Victorian Government recently changed the Dangerous Goods (Transport by Road or Rail) Regulations 2018 (DG TRR Regulations). While the new DG TRR Regulations are mainly the same, they do reflect changes that have been made nationally in relation to the transport of dangerous goods. These changes affect those that: • hold or require a dangerous goods vehicle or driver licence; • transport empty dangerous goods packaging; • transport dangerous goods in limited quantities; • transport of bulk ammonium nitrate-based explosives to manufacturing sites; and • transport cylinders.

The codes are available for download from and can also be viewed at any WorkSafe office.

A range of supporting information has been developed to provide a clear overview of the changes to the DG TRR Regulations to ensure those impacted in the Victorian community are aware. For more information contact the WorkSafe Advisory Service between 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, on 1800 136 089.

Safety when suspending loads In Victoria recently, there have been numerous incidents involving people being struck or nearly struck by loads that were being lifted, lowered or suspended in workplaces. Please remember to check all safety requirements for employees and the community when using cranes or other equipment to suspend or lift loads. For more details, visit More Victorian Member news starts on page 40. Master Plumbers Victoria CEO Peter Daly

Xmas Facts TIPS

$15 million is the estimated

$1.9 million is the

amount that Australian water utilities spend each year removing wet wipes from sewage systems.

amount Who Gives a Crap donates to charity. Not bad for a recycled toilet paper company.

This year ban wet wipes from your Christmas festivities. Do not put security cameras in your toilet.

They wrap their toilet paper in Christmas themed paper. Reuse it to wrap your presents or give this cool looking toilet paper as a present.

60 drips per minute is the estimated number from a leaky tap. This can equate to more than 7570 litres of water a year. Don’t leave those plumbing problems for another year. Use this festive season to fix them. | 15


from around the nation Master Plumbers Tasmania (MPT) Boom times

Tasmanian Members working MPT

We are very fortunate that the Tasmanian construction industry, and therefore the plumbing industry, is flourishing. There is no doubting that our industry is strong and will be for the coming years. While this growth brings many opportunities it is imperative that the association continues to maintain a focus on its constitutional objectives.

Of significance are the collective efforts of the Board and those of individual board members. Their commitment to keeping us strong and viable and representing the association and the plumbing industry both locally and nationally, delivers the outcomes the industry needs and consumers deserve.

The objectives of the association are to: • Promote the highest standards of training within the plumbing industry; • Advocate for the betterment of the industry; • Enable members to operate within the plumbing industry at the highest technical and ethical level; • Further and protect the interests of its members; and • Provide support to members regarding the operation of business and meeting legislative requirements. I am confident that we have met these objectives over the past years and will continue to do so building on our work from past years.

16 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Summer 2018

Everything they do to protect and promote our industry comes at huge personal and business cost. Their business acumen and technical skills and expertise are second to none. It is with these contributions that we maintain relevance and viability and are known as an association that

promotes and delivers expert, committed professionals to the Tasmanian community. This September we held our 71st Annual General Meeting where we farewelled Michael Overeem (Overeem Gas and Plumbing) as our President. Michael’s passion, diligence and preparedness to step up and be the public face of the association has bettered our industry in Tasmania. Michael will still play an active role on the Board becoming Vice President to Anthony Balik (Twentieth Century Plumbing). Anthony has big shoes to fill but is more than capable.

Fast Fact

Introducing MPT Board


Work-related deaths across Australia

CPD Innovation for 2019 MPT has successfully managed our CPD program providing training across the state and our CPD Toolbox online portal has recorded 3264 hours in CPD over the last financial year and is growing daily. MPT will launch CPD Toolbox Version 2 in early 2019 with new and improved features and useability.

Executive and Board Members as of September 2018 President Anthony Balik Twentieth Century Plumbing Vice President Michael Overeem Overeem Gas & Plumbing

Carbon Monoxide training

Treasurer Cath McDowell Howrah Plumbing

Damien Briggs Briggs Plumbing

Very special thanks go to Master Plumbers Victoria for helping us out by delivering Carbon Monoxide safety training across the state over the past few weeks. This has been fabulous and will assist our gas fitting industry in reducing the risks from CO poisoning.

Paul Keutmann Tassie Trade Services

MPT scholarship program

Board Members Robert Pearshouse Rosetta Plumbing

Together with the Tasmanian Building and Construction Industry Training Board, we have initiated a scholarship program for members to undertake the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to enable our industry practitioners to deliver nationally recognised plumbing training via TasTAFE. The next Scholarship intake is underway and enquiries are welcome.

Todd Rayner Professional Plumbing Pty Ltd Grant Chugg Grant Chugg Plumbing Staff Executive Officer Angela Bennett Business Manager Janette Price

Lastly we wish you all a fabulous Christmas and New Year. Whilst our office will be shut over the festive period, I’m always available to members via mobile or email. Stay safe and have fun! Master Plumbers Tasmania Executive Officer Angela Bennett

Work-related injuries

Fast Fact



The cost of work-related injury and disease to the Australian economy


of work-related injury and disease costs are borne by workers

Safe Work Australia | 17


from around the nation Master Plumbers Association of Queensland (MPAQ) Landmark legislation passed MPAQ Executive Director, Penny Cornah, has applauded the Government for passing important, much-needed legislation. Plumbers and gas fitters across Queensland are very supportive of these new reforms that will make work associated with medical gas, licensed work. These new laws will ensure Queensland is a safer place. We are all aware of the tragic circumstances that occurred at the Bankstown Hospital in New South Wales and our condolences go out to their family and friends. The entire plumbing and gas industry supports the fact that the Queensland Government is actively

taking action to make sure that this type of incident is not repeated in the State of Queensland.

and cooling) work is complex and fundamental to the functionality of a building.

The passing of this legislation, ensures that the people who undertake the installation and maintenance of this vital work are skilled and qualified. The Queensland community expect that medical gas pipes and associated work are installed in our hospitals and health facilities by skilled and qualified persons.

MPAQ and its members supports the creation of an occupational mechanical services licence. The fact that mechanical services has been unlicensed is viewed as inappropriate by all major stakeholders involved in our industry.

The Bill also introduces a plumbing – mechanical services category of licence. This licence is also vital to protect the health and safety of the Queensland community. Mechanical service plumbing (predominately comfort heating

Woman at the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Queensland Awards. This prestigious award was presented to Penny in front of more than 500 industry peers who came together to celebrate the excellent work performed by women in the construction industry. This award recognises Penny as a leader in Queensland’s construction industry.

The new laws have also taken the first step to address the legacy issue around the occupational and contractor licensing situation. Ms Cornah commends the Government for taking our feedback on board and passing this legislation, which will make a positive impact on the Queensland community.

health and the environment. Penny is a strong leader in a male dominated industry and has earned respect throughout the plumbing community. She has developed strong relationships within the Queensland Government ensuring the industry’s voice is heard at the highest levels.

CEO awarded for achievements

MPAQ is one of Queensland’s most influential trade associations and is in a position to highlight the pivotal role that plumbing professionals play in the living standards of all Australians.

MPAQ President, Kent Vickers, said “With her positive attitude, hard work and dedication, and drive to make a greater difference, Penny is an inspiration not only to the women in the construction industry but also to everyone that has the pleasure of working with her.”

On Friday 19 October, MPAQ Executive Director, Penny Cornah, was awarded the ADCO Constructions Award for Achievement as a Business

With such a pivotal and high profile role, Penny identifies her key responsibility as heading the organisation that is the conduit between protecting community

Penny is clearing the way for many women to follow in her footsteps and is actively working towards increasing the number of qualified female plumbers.

18 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Summer 2018


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Fostering your business Innovation is not always visible, it’s about evolving yourself and your business to stay ahead of the pack, according to Shaun and Cheryl Foster. Small business success is difficult. It takes dedication, determination and a point of difference. These three essentials and the desire to continually learn are what Shaun and Cheryl say have driven their business for 29 years.

It hasn’t always been an easy journey for Cheryl and Shaun. The couple had moved from the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria to Bendigo. The dream was to reduce the amount of travel and gruelling traffic gridlock.

“I get a lot of satisfaction from our business and from the plumbing work,” Shaun says, “but the most satisfaction comes when we are able to resolve a problem where other people can’t.”

Shaun worked for a few companies in Bendigo before going out on his own. It was a tough time. The recession had hit Australia.

Shaun started his plumbing apprenticeship in 1983, straight out of technical school and has worked with many, highly technical bosses, which has evolved his skills through his career. “I still use all my training from all the bosses I have had, picking up all the details I can,” he says. “It’s about never being too full of yourself and listening to the other trades, they have also some great ideas.” The end result: “We are able to resolve the problem where other people can’t,” he says. “I can normally always get to the bottom of the problem and fix it.”

You can ring up Master Plumbers and ask for assistance when you are stuck and they give you the confidence to move forward. It is sometimes really hard to retrieve quality information in this day and age but Master Plumbers has the answers.

“My employer had to put me off and I fully understood that,” Shaun explains. “We saw no other option than to make a go of it on our own. It was very tough at first.” Luckily, at that time, Cheryl was working within a very large building company in Bendigo and they engaged Shaun. After the first five jobs they recognised Shaun’s systematic, solution-first style and his dream of going solo was realised; Shaun Foster Plumbing was launched. Eight years later, Cheryl left her job to come into the business full time. In almost 30 years, the couple have seen a lot of changes. They have had to keep up with technology in accounting, in online communication and in the products coming through. Two years ago they rebranded their business and launched a new, more modern website for customers and ongoing clients. “We needed to freshen up, we shortened the name to Foster Plumbing, as it is just two of us, and to lessen the complexity of the new logo,” Cheryl says. “The original logo was from the 80s.” Shaun adds: “We wanted to bring the business to the current state of the society we work in.”

Foster Plumbing’s jobs are almost 95% domestic; and their slogan is ‘no job too small’. “A lot of people won’t ring thinking it’s only a tap or it’s only a leaking toilet, so that’s what we aim to do, we aim to fix a clients’ problem no matter what the size,” Cheryl explains. “The longer you do something, the better you are at it. You try to help the client; answer the phone immediately and really attend to their needs. For maintenance you have got to be there for the client, even if you can’t get there straight away, you should be able to talk to them and be able to answer the phone.” Part of Foster Plumbing’s continual evolution drew them to become members of Master Plumbers. “It was part of the restructuring of our business to get a new image but it was also part of continuing my training,” Shaun explains. “Whenever Master Plumbers run an event in our area I am always ready to attend, like the Carbon Monoxide sessions and the forums; all of it.” Cheryl adds: “It’s also the extra information you can access. You know you can ring up Master Plumbers and ask for assistance when you are stuck and they give you the confidence to move forward. It is sometimes really hard to retrieve quality information in this day and age but Master Plumbers has the answers. It is like a support network.” Foster Plumbing Bendigo, M 0411 361 870 T 5443 8072 | 21

Fazio may have thought it was too small to get caught up in a major corporate crisis, and then found out the hard way. To be fully crisis prepared there are two separate activities and both need to be addressed. For any business, the first step is to identify and manage the issues which have the potential to become crises. Proactive plans then need to be put in place, and there are simple ways to do this.

Be prepared not alarmed Don’t be fooled, it’s not just big companies that need to be crisis prepared writes Tony Jaques. It’s a common misunderstanding that only big companies and big brands need, or can afford, crisis planning. It has been reported that many smaller businesses regard crisis planning as too expensive or too hard to establish. Some smaller businesses may even believe they are less likely to be hit by a crisis. None of those things are true. A crisis is an event beyond the scope of business-as-usual, which has the potential to damage your organisation and/or your reputation. And a crisis can affect any business, regardless of size. Big organisations and big brands typically have more resources and sometimes in-house specialists. Plus their crises are more likely to make the headlines or go viral. Yet smaller organisations are just as much at risk. Moreover, because they’re smaller, the impact of a crisis can be even greater. So if you think your business doesn’t need a crisis management plan, then 22 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Summer 2018

you may be making a serious mistake and placing the whole enterprise at unnecessary risk. It’s easy to say: We’re too busy; We don’t have the resources; We need to focus on the business; It’s all too difficult; It’ll cost too much; and most damaging of all, It’ll never happen to us. Any plumbing company which thinks it’s not likely to be struck by a crisis should spare a thought for the mid-sized American operation, Fazio Mechanical Services, which had a contract to maintain refrigeration and HVAC at Target stores. Because Fazio Mechanical’s computer system was not kept fully protected, a phishing assault by criminal hackers used the contractor’s online access to break in to Target’s accounting system. They stole 40 million credit and debit card numbers and 70 million personal information records in one of the biggest ever data breaches of its type. With just 125 employees,

The second step is to establish a straightforward but robust process to respond when and if a crisis does actually strike. One of the reasons companies give for not being crisis prepared is that there are just so many potential crises you can’t possibly deal with all of them, so you might as well not deal with any. Clearly every business has different needs and different risks, depending on the industry where it operates, its size, its profile, its reputation and many other factors. But while you can’t prepare for every possible crisis, every business has what I call ‘natural’ crises. These arise from the risks which are natural to the company or the industry and represent the most probable crises. A good place to start reviewing crisis risk is to ask yourself some tough questions. How strong is our business continuity plan if we faced a sudden unexpected event? Could we demonstrate that we have effective processes in place if we were accused of allowing sexual or racial harassment, or workplace bullying? Are we well prepared to handle a major product failure or recall? When did we last audit our compliance with environmental, health and safety regulations? Do we encourage ‘no fault’ upward reporting of problems and near misses? How well is our computer system protected against breakdown, data loss, breach of privacy or cyber attack?

It’s essential to remember that these are not remote or unlikely crisis risks. Consider how Fazio Mechanical got caught up in a massive crisis. Or consider the Geelong builder fined $12,500 for bullying an apprentice. Or the Melbourne construction company and its directors recently fined almost $900,000 after the death of a young employee. Or the small company servicing regional Queensland, which has just been penalised about $265,000 for underpaying staff. And don’t forget the widespread publicity and reputational damage last year when a batch of ALDI taps were alleged to be causing high levels of lead in drinking water. Identifying possible crises needs a genuinely honest look inside the company. But it also helps to look outside. What kinds of crises have other companies in our industry had? What did we learn and how well would we have performed if it happened to us? Are we actively engaging with our trade association to keep abreast of trends and changes and emerging issues? Are we listening to our stakeholders to properly understand their concerns? And, most importantly, do we have a process to identify and respond to risk issues and red flags? The American management expert Kurt Stocker once wrote: “When you look at the majority of crises, what happened should have been on or near the top of the list of possible events. Why wasn’t anyone prepared?” It’s a good question and one every company should ask. However, identifying and managing potential crises before they occur is just the first step. To be fully crisis prepared also requires a process in place to respond promptly and effectively if preventive measures aren’t sufficient and a crisis does strike. In other words, when you move from crisis prevention to crisis response. Despite what some consultants advise, there is no one-size-fits-all

crisis response plan. It could be a 300-page document with detailed instructions across dozens of different departments and communication templates for every possible scenario. Or it could be a simple set of guidelines for what to do and say in the event of a crisis. Regardless of scale, it must be appropriate to the organisation and it must be updated and tested on a regular basis. While the format will vary, these are some of the core requirements: A designated crisis management team comprising the people who will be most help in a crisis situation, not necessarily the full executive group. An activation process which can be used 24/7 to assemble the team. A well-equipped crisis management location which can be accessed at all hours. An agreed plan of roles and responsibilities. Designated and media-trained spokesperson(s) who can speak with both compassion and authority. Even the smallest business should determine who will be the nominated go-to person in a crisis and they should be media trained. Contact lists prepared in advance: including emergency services, regulators and elected officials, news media, customers, suppliers, insurers and others. Pre-prepared information about the organisation which is up to date and ready for immediate use. A schedule of training meetings and scenarios to make sure the response plan is a live document which doesn’t just gather dust. It’s impossible to overstate the importance of having a plan and being able to implement it quickly. While big companies typically have experienced crisis managers and spokespersons, smaller companies sometimes make a crisis worse by not speaking at all, or saying the wrong thing.

Take the case of a recent incident in Melbourne when a crane dropped a load of wet cement, which killed one man and severely injured another. The crane company was severely criticised because it said nothing publicly for more than 24 hours. Then the company issued a carefully worded statement to the media, but failed to post it on either its Facebook page or website, which had not been updated for two years. It’s easy to be critical when crisis communication is not well managed. But at the same time, none of the steps to get crisis prepared are difficult or expensive. Crisis management can seem daunting to smaller businesses, but simple planning may spell the difference between survival and destruction. Indeed, research in Australia shows that one in four organisations struck by a crisis goes out of business. Even basic crisis preparedness could save you from being the one in four which does not survive. You don’t have to commit a lot of money and resources, but you do have to consciously want to do it. Visit and log in to discover a members only check list.

It can seem daunting to smaller businesses but research in Australia shows that one in four organisations struck by a crisis goes out of business

Dr Tony Jaques is a Melbournebased crisis expert and Director of Issue Outcomes Pty Ltd ( He writes the e-newsletter Managing Outcomes and his latest book is Crisis Proofing: How to Save your Company from Disaster (Oxford University Press, 2016). | 23

Product news Removing pain points Wydaflo’s innovative design was conceived by Philip Muirhead, a builder of 50 years who was fed up with the time consuming and costly problem of matching misaligned pipework. “Phil was determined to find a solution to this ongoing problem thus Wydaflo was born and like many inventions the result was surprisingly simple,” Wydaflo managing director Peter Maguire says. After a great deal of Research and Development Wydaflo’s project engineer, Sophie Lyons determined the necessary specifications to enable factory tooling to begin. “I joined the company at the production stage and supervised the injection moulding procedure,” Peter explains. “Prototypes were made and testing provided the positive results we expected.”

saw the benefits and wished our versatile design had been available years ago.” The basic ABS plastic model is very popular with DIY renovators and kit home plumbers with many choosing to swap to the stainless steel centre insert.

“It’s very pleasing to know that Wydaflo bases are not only a game changer in the shower tray industry but good looking too,” Peter says.

Bob Maguire

For more information, visit or call +61 428941446.

As with any innovation, the next step was to gather user feedback from those in the industry. “Who better to ask than my father, Bob Maguire, a Master Plumber member of more than 60 years,” Peter says. “Having experienced the evolution of plumbing first hand, Dad instantly

Fast Fact

Philip Muirhead

Production will begin soon on a low-profile, stainless steel base that will encompass a “five way fit” including the option of an install flush with the floor height.

For more Product news see page 44 to 46

Worker injuries 15% Older workers are more likely to have shoulder injuries than younger workers

22% Injuries to the back are the most common injury for workers aged 35-54 years Safe Work Australia

24 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Summer 2018

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Lessons from a legend When you are in business you need to be one with the people you serve, Matt Reynolds gets inside the head of the prince of property to provide insights. In the two-plus hours I spent interviewing Ross Savas, we hardly spoke about property. This might surprise you considering Ross is the Managing Director of Kay & Burton, the real estate agents who held the record for the most expensive home sold in Victoria. That is until you understand how Ross thinks about his business: the business of people. “While we might market and sell some of the finest homes and lifestyle properties in the state of Victoria, we are really in the relationship business,” Ross says. Australian property has been hot for quite a while, creating thousands of trade and industry related jobs. It’s certainly been great for the plumbing industry. A significant chunk of the demand that has driven record prices locally, has come from right around the globe. Ross spends a large part of every year out of the country meeting new people, building relationships and learning how he can help his potential clients move to our lucky country. His services expand to include anything his clients need; a full concierge service that can range from introductions to business contacts, setting people up in short-term accommodation and getting their children into schools, to ensuring they settle into the local community once they arrive in Australia.

Once settled into life here, there’s a very good chance they’ll want the great Australian dream, they’ll want to own their own home. Ross believes you need to invest in your people in both a business and personal sense, a strategy that has helped Kay and Burton climb to the top of the premium real estate game and employ more than 170 people. From specific business and skill development courses to seeing a psychologist to do deeper work, Ross subscribes to the theory that if you are not growing, you are dying. “We can invest 10 years in some people to get them to the point where they are a standalone salesperson” he explained. “We rarely hire from outside the business because we believe in our culture, the way we think and the way we do things”. Great leaders focus on improving themselves every day, so Ross explained that you have to take that approach if you want to be at your best for your people. Personally, he begins his day reading for 90 minutes, studying topics including history, leadership, business and general knowledge. He also places high importance on education through travel and learning about other cultures.

From the trenches Matt Reynolds is an award winning plumber who writes about the game as an industry insider. You can connect with him on Twitter @MrMattReynolds or find him as the Director of XRM Plumbing Services on LinkedIn.

26 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Summer 2018

Ross Savas

While he once trained himself to live on just 2-3 hours of sleep a night, so he could spend more time working every time zone, Ross now recognises the importance of a good night’s rest. His problem, as he told me, was that he thought of every day as a holiday which lead to a schedule that was impossible to maintain without health challenges. You cannot build a high-quality global network without working incredibly hard, but you do need to hold your health as the most important priority. “When it comes to mastering specific business skills like negotiation, experience counts more than strategies. There’s no substitute for putting in the time because it builds confidence. You are much more likely to read the play and make better choices when you are confident.” Advice from Ross: “if you are in business you are in the people business first, so look for opportunities to invest in and support others. Find a mentor, work really hard and remember to rest well.” The full interview can be found at | 27

H&R Block Promotion

Stand out from the crowd The tax system can help your business succeed, Mark Chapman from H&R Block reports For any small business, standing out from your competitors can be the key to success. After all, there are plenty of plumbing businesses out there. So having one or more “Unique Selling Points” can make all the difference in attracting and keeping customers. That’s where being innovative with your products or service offering can help your stand out. The problem is that being innovative usually involves immediate financial investment for longer term financial gain. Is there anything the taxman can do to help?

Get a website Having a website, or an app, may not seem particularly innovative in this day and age but recent research shows that 50% of Australian small businesses still don’t have a website.

28 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Summer 2018

Those that don’t are losing business with 62% of potential customers saying they will stop considering a business if they can’t find information online. So, if your business still doesn’t have a web presence, now is the time to fix that and take advantage of the tax breaks available. The most significant of those is the $20,000 instant asset write-off that allows businesses with a turnover up to $10 million to immediately write off the cost of capital assets costing up to $20,000 per item. The government recently announced that this tax break would be extended through to 30 June 2019 and it potentially allows your business to immediately write off against profit the costs of building a website expenditure such as: • the software that allows the website to operate, typically including interactive functions, e-commerce tools, membership or “sign-in” functions. • Dedicated hardware (server, CPU and other physical assets). • Wages or contractor fees paid to IT professionals to help design and build the website.

Costs dedicated to maintaining the website, and expenses associated with uploading content, for example price lists, stock lists, text or pictures, are generally treated as operating costs incurred in the ordinary course of business. These types of costs are usually deductible in the same year that they are incurred. The hosting of a website would also typically be treated this way as this is part of the regular ongoing cost of operating the business.

Get your plant and equipment up to date The same tax break can also be used to immediately write-off the cost of purchasing the latest tools, plant and equipment for use in your business. Provided the cost of each item is less than $20,000 you can get a tax break for items like drain cleaners, pipe threaders, hydro jets and pressure sensors, to name just a few.

H&R Block’s advice is for general use. Always seek tailored information to suit your circumstances.

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How technology is changing our trade

If you haven’t already sensed it, the world is changing. And, like it or not, digital innovation is headed for the trade sector, award-winning plumber Matt Reynolds reveals how.

to discover and build the best customer experience a plumbing company can deliver in a digital format. Robots, like cars, need an efficient system to operate off.

Your phone Digital innovation is rapid and it is going to change the way we do business. The internet is no fad and if technology can change the way we live, it’s certainly going to change the way we plumb. Here are three of my thoughts on the future in plumbing:

The upside Often, when we think about technology, we can go from a calendar reminder, to upgrading 30 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Summer 2018

our phones, to robots taking over the world in just one sentence. We can all relax, we’ll see a ton of product and tool innovation in the coming years, but no robots are coming for our jobs just yet. The trade sector is very early in the technology adoption phase. Driverless cars were not a reality until after a reliable GPS was created and built. That’s where the trade sector is right now, we are starting

Take this as your official warning, you need to run your business from your phone. For the past 50-plus years, a few nice trucks on the road, a factory to work out of and a phone that never stops ringing were signs of a successful plumber. That is no longer true. The future of our industry will be owned by plumbers and plumbing companies who adopt the best software and create the best customer experience through a mobile phone.

Digital innovation is headed for the trade sector

If you want to thrive in the digital world, you need to think like your customers …think booking a taxi versus arranging an Uber

You need to start thinking in reverse of the norm. For example, do you really want a phone that never stops ringing? I certainly don’t! I want my customers logging their jobs through my app, I want them in control and I want them talking directly to my management system because then I can serve them so much better. Phone calls take too much time. I don’t want emails with plans and I don’t want emails with photos either, again, it takes too much time to manage, I’ve got actual work to do. Think booking a taxi versus arranging an Uber.

It’s not about job management There are hundreds of computer programs and apps available to run

your business. Here’s the problem – your customers don’t care about the internal workings of your business. They care about how they interact with your business. You need to think about your customer’s experience when they use your service. A new computer program, better spreadsheets and the latest people management techniques couldn’t save the taxi industry from one simple idea: what if you could request a ride from your phone? You can’t think like a business owner if you want to thrive in the digital world, you need to think like your customers. While taxi companies worked on themselves, they lost their customers. You need to think about reengineering the way you

do business from your customers’ point of view. Your success going forward will be your ability to save your customers‘ time and be the most convenient option available. Plumbers will always have a job right? Maybe. But remember, before you have a job, you have to get a job. If technology can influence political elections and turn the music, media and taxi industries upside down, it really is only a matter of time for us plumbers. Connect with Matt on Twitter @MrMattReynolds or find him as the Director of XRM Plumbing Services on LinkedIn. | 31

Winning words Andre Sardone started as an apprentice with Master Plumbers in 1986. In 2003, the highlyexperienced and qualified roof plumber, started to exhibit his steel and timber sculptures, and last year he scaled back his plumbing to focus on his art.

The competition asked entrants to compose a piece in 25 words or less about where you would travel if you won the prize and why. Andre’s entry made the judges giggle and they just couldn’t go past his clever use of puns.

Last month, Andre’s creative flair scored him a $5000 holiday thanks to Caroma and Master Plumbers.

ally ‘drained’, I’m feeling re d, the daily grin so in ‘loo’ of estination is my holiday d my to flush away (ca)’Roma’– l! istern’ Chape ‘C e th t a n o tensi

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32 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Summer 2018

Need a hand running your business? How does free access to Australian plumbing standards sound?

Become a Master Plumbers Member and get free online access to a select list of Australian Plumbing Standards.* * Standards include: Plumbing and Drainage AS/NZS 3500.0, AS/NZS 3500.1, AS/NZS 3500.2, AS/NZS 3500.3 & AS/NZS 3500.4; Fire Hydrant Installations AS 2419.1; Gas Installations AS/NZS 5601.1 & AS/NZS 5601.2; and Installation code for Metal Roof and Wall Cladding SA HB 39. See website for conditions of use.

Scan this QR code with your phone camera to get started | 33

Mastering workplace relations

Standing down an employee Can an employer dismiss an employee if they are unable to maintain relevant registration or licences required for their job? Senior Workplace Relations Adviser Phil Eberhard wades through a difficult ruling to get to the answer. A long-running dispute between BHP Coal Pty Ltd t/a BHP Billiton v Construction, Forestry, Maritime and Energy Union ended up in the Fair Work Commission again recently. The dispute erupted when an employee of BHP Coal Pty Ltd had his driver’s licence suspended after failing to pay a number of fines. As the employee had lost his licence he was incapable of undertaking a number of his allocated duties; primarily those relating to the operating of vehicles and mobile plant/equipment. The dispute centred on whether, or not, the employer had an obligation to provide the employee with alternative duties rather than being sent home and forced to use his leave entitlements. 34 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Summer 2018

The dispute notification was first heard by Deputy President Ingrid Asbury who found that: “A requirement for (the employee)… to operate a vehicle and/or mobile plant and equipment in circumstances where he could not comply with the Safe Operation of Vehicles SOP is not unlawful. As (the employer)… correctly submits, prior to the suspension of (his)… driver licence it was lawful for the Company to require (him)… to operate vehicles and mobile equipment on site. During the suspension the requirement did not cease to be lawful. What changed was (the employee’s)… ability to carry out that lawful instruction.” In the appeal decision, the Commission found that:

“At all relevant times (the employee)… worked in the Prestrip Department at the mine and his work duties primarily involved the on-site operation of vehicles and mobile equipment. At the mine, (he)… had adopted a standard operating procedure, GRM SOP 0027, for the use of vehicles and mobile plant equipment pursuant to s76 of the Coal Mining Safety and Health Regulation 2001 (Qld).” The SOP required: – All operators of vehicles and mobile equipment must hold a current Australian Driver license. Loss of license must be reported immediately to the Supervisor. Approval from the SSE or delegate is required for the Operator to continue to operate vehicles or mobile equipment on site.

The dispute was about the extent to which the employee might have been allocated alternative duties rather than being sent home

needed every member of (the)… crew to be able to operate vehicles and mobile equipment.

It was not in dispute that the employee was not permitted to resume his duties and was sent home, and subsequently did not attend work and was not paid until the period of his licence suspension ended. The dispute was about the extent to which the employee might have been allocated alternative duties rather than being sent home. The Commission continued: “In evidence before the Deputy President (he)… and other CFMEU witnesses identified a number of other duties (he)… could have performed, but (the employer)… said there were limited duties able to be performed that did not require a driving licence and (the employer)…

“Because of (the employee’s)… failure to maintain his licence over the relevant period, (he)... put himself in a position where (he)… was unable to perform the tasks that would normally be required of him ‘while complying with all legal and statutory obligations’… and likewise was not in a position to ‘work as directed’. “The Agreement did not, in the applicable circumstances, confer upon… (the employee)… any entitlement to payment beyond that provided by his contract of employment.” “(The employee)… was not ready or able to provide the service required by (the employee’s)… contract and clause 4.1 of the Agreement because of (the employee’s)… failure to continue to hold his driver’s licence.”

Lessons to be learned While all decisions turn on the circumstances peculiar to the decision, this decision demonstrates that should an employee not maintain the relevant licence or

registration, the employer may be able to stand down the employee (without pay) because that employee cannot undertake the task/s that require such licence or registration. In such circumstances, the employee would not be able to comply with their contractual obligations and as such, the employer could stand down the employee until their licence or registration is reinstated. Prior to standing down an employee, the employer should look to see whether there are alternative duties that could be undertaken by the employee concerned. In some circumstances, there could be alternative duties and these could be offered to the employee, in other circumstances there would be no alternate duties available and the employee would need to be stood down until they can lawfully undertake the tasks. As an aside to the main aspect of the decision, the Commission also confirmed that the intent and purpose of clauses in Awards / Agreement that deal with Employer and Employee Duties (refer to Clause 18 of the Union Agreement) is to broaden, rather than minimise or lessen the scope of work that an employee can undertake. The only condition is that the employee is lawfully able to carry out such an instruction.

Should there be any questions please contact Phil Eberhard, Senior Workplace Relations Adviser, Master Plumbers, on phone 03 9321 0720, mobile 0425 790 722 or email | 35

Marsh Advantage Insurance Promotion

No more leaky pipes Marsh Advantage reveals how business insurance can keep your innovative ideas flowing. Innovation is necessary for business owners and managers, but its associated risks are often a major hindrance to implementation. This has the potential to obstruct growth and business objectives. However, with numerous business insurance policies on the market aimed at risk mitigation in the plumbing industry, growth and innovation is less risky for organisations that are prepared.

Insurance drives innovation Regardless of the industry, insurance provides businesses with the peace of mind needed to undertake activities that allow for growth. For example, cyber insurance allows businesses to operate in today’s digital society while minimising business disruptions of such harm. Through various insurance policies that satisfy the risks associated with the operation of a plumbing organisation, industry professionals can be confident that their business will be adequately protected should those harmful circumstances arise. Meanwhile, owners can continue forward planning for continued business growth without the fear of the unexpected happening.

Insurance policies to consider There are many tailored solutions to minimise business harm and aid

a business to maximise innovation, specific to the plumbing industry.

or discrimination, fraud or theft by an employee, investors who feel they’ve been misled and breach of contract.

Business property insurance

In some instances, particular individuals can also be held personally liable for breaches made by the company. In order to protect employees who are vital stakeholders in any organisation, Management Liability Insurance should be considered.

Plumbing organisations may not have considered the role that business property, management liability and tools/vehicle insurance can play in maximising their business evolution and innovation.

Management Liability cover can minimise financial and reputational harm to the business while also assisting to create an environment where employees feel safe and empowered to innovate.

Compulsory Plumbers Liability Insurance, which covers organisations should damage occur to a person or property on a job site, is fundamental for minimising business risk which promotes sustainable growth and innovation.

Business property insurance provides cover against any damages or losses occasioned by natural disasters or malicious intent. Damages to such property can greatly impact business operation and therefore impede further growth. Adequate protection ensures businesses can resume operation with minimal disruption.

Management liability Insurance Growing a successful business comes with all kinds of risk but Management Liability Insurance can cover the insured against legal actions including breaches in employment practices, unfair or wrongful dismissal, harassment

Tools and vehicle insurance Without the necessary tools or vehicles, business operation is seriously impacted. To minimise unforeseen circumstances, insurance policies covering tools, equipment and vehicles should be considered. Damages to such equipment not only impacts operation, but can have a detrimental impact on financial revenue and perception by clients.

For more information, or a quotation, please contact Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers on 1300 300 511.

Notice: Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (Aust) (MPIB) is a trading name of Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303, AFSL 238369). MPIB arranges the insurance and is not the insurer. This article contains general information, does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs and may not suit your personal circumstances. For full details of the terms, conditions and limitations of the covers and before making any decision about whether to acquire the product, refer to the specific policy wordings and/or Product Disclosure Statements available from Marsh Advantage on request. The Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) receives a financial benefit when a policy is arranged by Marsh Advantage, enabling it to continue to provide further services to the plumbing industry. LCPA18/0038.

36 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Summer 2018

PLUMBERS LIABILITY INSURANCE Marsh Advantage Insurance specialises in plumbers liability insurance. Over 4,000 Australian plumbers’ insurances are currently placed through us. Your cover can be arranged immediately over the phone. To get a quote, call 1300 300 511 or visit Marsh Advantage Insurance are endorsed by the Master Plumbers Association of Australia. Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303, AFSL 238 369) (‘Marsh Advantage’) t/a Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (Aust) a trading name of Marsh Advantage, arranges the insurance and is not the insurer. This advertisement contains general information and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. For full details of the terms, conditions and limitations of the covers, refer to the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) which is available from Marsh Advantage. Marsh Advantage uses the Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) logo under license from MPMSAA (ABN 56 296 473 997). MPMSAA receives a financial benefit when a policy is arranged by us, enabling it to continue to provide further services to the plumbing industry. LCPA 18/0032. S18-0843.

International Copper Association Australia Promotion

Not all gloom Australia’s changing construction market provides plenty of possibilities for plumbers, you just need to know where to look, International Copper Association Australia John Fennell talks trade. Australians are infatuated with housing. Across the nation, it hits the headlines habitually. There are online chats, e-news bulletins and social media feeds suggesting the best investments, the next big thing and the slump that is about to hit.

Construction may be booming along the east coast of the country, but BIS says new dwelling activity looks set to ease off marginally. At the same time however, non-dwelling construction picks up steam.

All this information can make doing business confusing, particularly if you are a business owner trying to work out how to keep ahead of the pack and where best to prioritise in the future.

States like NSW and Victoria will still need to keep building to meet a sizeable dwelling deficiency in Sydney and Melbourne’s metropolitan municipalities. Both cities are expected to add another 1M people by 2027.

I put my trust in some very smart people who are sorting out the trends from the hollow tips. The latest building sector predictions from BIS Oxford makes for interesting reading. 38 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Summer 2018

That’s not the case in Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland. BIS predicts those cities will have enough dwellings to meet population growth for the foreseeable future.

Commercial on the rise Overall, the country’s total building construction is set to grow to about $120B in 2018, but will drop by 5% overall in 2019 and again by 4% in 2020. Once again not in all cities and not in non-residential construction, which will grow by 18%, 5% and 2% over the same period and be pretty much the same in all the states.

Copper to dominate The commercial boom is particularly good news for the plumbing industry and by default copper. Copper has achieved a dominant market share in the commercial and apartment building market for a number

of reasons. First and foremost, the consultants who design these buildings know that reliability, longevity and health and safety are crucial features in a major building that will house lots of tenants over a 25 to 30 year period. The recent failures of some PPR products has reinforced the consulting industry’s preference for high performance materials like copper. Cost differentials is less of an issue these days. With the evolution of quick fit installation fittings like Kem-Press, the cost variation between lower value plastics and robust copper systems has become closer than ever over the past five years. The move over recent years away from project homes to high rise residential buildings has also encouraged plumbers, builders and consultants to use more copper in

plumbing residences as it works more reliably at height and across multiple dwellings. You can find all the technical and support information you need on this rising market-including the new Hydraulic Services Design Guide and the new Plumbers Handbook at

The recent failures of some PPR products has reinforced the consulting industry’s preference for high performance materials like copper

Start skilling up A booming building market may sound like the answer to all our prayers, but it also comes with costs that need watching. Rising demand is pushing up wages and competition for workers for companies both big and small is adding a layer of stress in terms of revenue, profit and a much tougher quoting and tendering environment. The other issue is a skills shortage. Falling apprenticeship numbers has been an issue in plumbing for some time, which is starting to receive

national attention from our industry bodies and some governments. Making sure new graduates entering the market are just as skilled at working on multi dwelling or high rise towers is the other, especially ensuring they have the knowledge to install high performance plumbing or work effectively in copper where necessary. It’s an issue the copper industry is aware of and has been working to improve. | 39

Member news

Celebrating the achievements of committed industry participants

Growing to tackle a serious issue As Master Plumbers CEO explained in his column (page 7), mental health is a serious topic for discussion in our industry. Luckily, the Movember crew have created a way to discuss this issue while having some hilarity growing a mo. Last month Master Plumbers got members to have a go at becoming a Mo Bro and challenged them to go big, like our Master Plumbers’ Movember Ambassador and Vice President, Norm Anderson.

The results are in, according to the self-appointed judges, there was a lot of fine (in more ways than one) efforts, but Norm remains on top. Better luck next year everyone! See how much Master Plumbers raised at master-plumbers

New membership team members

December events

Master Plumbers’ membership team

Your Business Toolbox – December

got a boost this month with two new

Listen, Learn, Act. This one-day event will arm you with the financial tools and knowledge for your business.

team members, Alexandra Smith and Julianne Ingram, joining the team. Their job is to make sure you are getting the most out of your membership and providing even more value to members.

3 December

5 December Members-only Christmas Cocktail Function For more details and bookings, visit and go to news and events.

World Plumbing Conference dates announced The biggest date in plumbing is locked in. The international World Plumbing Conference will be held on 11-13 September, 2019 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. It is open for registrations from 11 September 2018. For more information, visit 40 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Summer 2018

Thomas Dunn from David McCarthy Plumbing received the Andrew Letten Gold Medal Award

Congratulations to all the award nominees and winners Indigenous Professional Award Winner

Plumbing party More than 500 plumbing and fire protection industry participants, partners, friends and family members attended the fourth annual Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards (PFIA) at The Sofitel in Melbourne recently. PFIA celebrates the achievements of committed industry participants who excel in their trade or whose work has made a great impact for their company or the industry. The announcement of a new Lou Maglio Medal for National Fire Protection Apprentice of the Year was a particularly poignant moment in the evening. Wayne Smith, CEO of the National Fire Industry Association and Earl Setches, National Secretary of the Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union paid tribute to their good friend Lou, who was also an industry champion and 2017 William P. Hite Leadership Excellence Award. Lou tragically passed away early this year. The award will be presented for the first time at the PFIA in 2019.

Troy Peden Jr RAW Recruitment

Tradelink Women in Plumbing Rose Curtis Award Winner

Breanna Szitarity Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria

Nominee Victoria Tomkins Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria

Excellence in Occupational Health and Safety Award Winner Ron Burgess CEPUTEC

AHSCA Commercial Plumbing Affiliate Award Winner

Geschke Plumbing Contractors

Nominee Cooke & Dowsett Nominee NSG Plumbing

AHSCA Corporate Sponsors Award Winner

Dean Rowlands SpecRep Services

Nominee Greg Brittain Zip Industries Nominee Darren Fletcher Stiebel Eltron

Mechanical Services Award

Excellence in Education and Training Award


Winner Warren James RMIT

Nominee Jye Collins Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria

Nominee Wayne Diffey Master Plumbers

Nominee Karly Tapner Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria

Nominee Gavin Hunter Fire Industry Training

Frank Maskell General Plumbing Award

Excellence in Sustainability Award Winner

The Drain Man

Nominee Cooke & Dowsett

Victaulic NFIA Apprentice Award Winner

Christopher Dunn Geelong Fire Services

Nominee Corey Normington Geelong Fire Services Nominee Joel Treeby South East Fire

Excellence in Fire Protection Award Winner Mark Buckley Contractfire


Mokhtar Mahamood Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria

Thomas Dunn David McCarthy Plumbing

Nominee Tao Hing Lim Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria/ Geschke Plumbing Contractors Nominee Bryce Healy Cooke & Dowsett

NA Smith Gas Award Winner

Stephan Putter Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria

Nominee Salem Zoghaib Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria Nominee Stuart Masson Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria

Project of the Year

AHSCA Tom Clements Consultant of the Year Award

Winner Ben Rimmington rimmQ

The Andrew Letten Gold Medal Award

Nominee Mark Alexander Alexander & Associates Nominee Jonathan Flett Cooke & Dowsett


Geelong Fire Services – For Bunjil Place

Thomas Dunn David McCarthy Plumbing

William P. Hite Leadership Excellence Award

Ken Gardner Former Master Plumbers CEO | 41

Member news Teeing off to attract funds Members and their mates lined up for their shot at glory and to raise funds for the 28th Annual Bendigo Plumbers Golf Day. More than 100 participants played their best and raised $20k for Camp Quality, who believe that every Australian child impacted by cancer – their own or someone they love – should have every opportunity to thrive. Camp Quality do this by providing innovative programs and services to develop the life skills and strengthen the wellbeing of children up to 13 years of age growing up with cancer and their families.

Learn more about Camp Quality at and start practicing for the 29th Annual Bendigo Plumbers Golf Day next October.

Compliance certificates When providing a compliance certificate for any work you have completed, it’s important to ensure that you are covered for the work you have done, and that work only. All work subject to a compliance certificate carries insurance to protect the owner/consumer against defective plumbing work and consequential damage caused by the plumbing work. Insurance coverage for defective work is for a period of six years from when the work has been completed. The compliance certificate should be very clear as to the specific work that you have completed and are certifying. Detailing the work you have completed will create a record of the work covered by your compliance certificate and may absolve you from responsibility of works carried out prior to or after your involvement. 42 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Summer 2018

A compliance certificate should include, on the installation details, a detailed list of all the plumbing work completed by you. If the work has been started but not been completed by you, a compliance certificate is still required to be provided and should include the installation details for the portion of the work completed by you. All practitioners responsible for supplying compliance certificates are required to do so within 14 days of completing the work, regardless of whether or not the work has been paid for. Examples of types of information which could be included: • Gas pipework installed and tested from meter to hot plate. Pipework terminated at future connection points for solar hot water booster and ducted heater.

• Did not complete installation as contract terminated by builder on 1/1/2018. Works completed by 1/1/2018 – Hot and cold water rough in to unit 1, Gas rough in from front of Unit 1 to future connection points of hot plate and storage hws. (include all works completed) Did not carry out any works at Unit 2. • Installed corrugated roof sheets and flashings to pitched roof on unit 1. Did not install gutters or downpipes. Did not install roof sheets or flashings on flat roof on rear unit. Invoices should also include a detailed list of the specific work completed by the practitioner. If you have any questions on completing compliance certificates, contact Master Plumbers’ Chief Technical Advisor on 03 9329 9710.

Providing plumbing businesses with high quality, multi-skilled apprentices. We take care of everything, letting you focus on your business

Find out what we do for you and your business. Call (03) 9329 9622 or scan the QR code with your phone camera to get started >> | 43

Product news Don’t be fooled Rod Luker, General Manager Aquatechnik Australia says not all piping systems are the same. “Over the past 20 years, there have been many plastic piping systems that have hit the Australian Plumbing market,” he says. “This situation has caused many of the original manufacturers to become uncompetitive. It has also led to the stagnation of technological innovation. Aquatechnik Australia have changed this paradigm, Rod says. “We are offering a world class, ultra-high quality piping system from Aquatechnik in Italy,” he says. “Aquatechnik constantly researches the needs of the plumbing market, and manufacture innovative and advanced products that are the next evolution in the piping systems sector.” The Aquatechnik safety system utilises a multi-layer pipe between 16mm and 63mm, in conjunction with PPSU (Polyphenylsulfone) fittings. This system provides advantages including 100% leadfree, full-flow performance and long-term leak-proof performance when correctly installed. For more information, visit or call 1800 278 283.

Press technology Viega is best known for innovative press technology systems for industrial, commercial and residential plumbing projects. “Since launching in Australia more than 10-years ago, Viega has worked tirelessly to establish a reputation for high quality, innovation, efficiency, reliability and cost-effectiveness,” says Viega Country Manager, ANZ, Phil Jackson. Viega systems feature in some of Australia’s most famous sporting venues including Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena and Perth’s Optus Stadium, while residential tower developments such as Melbourne’s The Light House and Perth’s Latitude Apartments have also benefited from the incorporation of Viega technology. In the commercial sector, Viega solutions have also been used for Sydney’s Barangaroo, the QLD government-occupied 1 William Street (dubbed the Tower

44 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Summer 2018

of Power), and the impressive new Mercedes Benz Autohaus in Brisbane. “The diversity of projects really reinforces the benefits of using Viega,” says Jackson. “In Australia, they’ve also been used in prisons, superyachts and defence bases.” For more information, visit

No pressure to buy

Solar solutions

Plumbers don’t have to buy a drain cleaning, high pressure jetter; they can hire one. Kennards Hire branches are now renting Aussie Cobra A jetters. Class A jetters do not require operator certification under AS/NZS4233.01. This is a breakthrough for plumbers in efficient drain cleaning, with these powerful machines capable of clearing chokes in drains to 6” in diameter.

Considering Solar? The team at Quantum Solar Hot Water System are keen to list the reasons why now is the right time. They include:

This month Aussie Pumps, the pioneering company that developed the new jetter, rolled out a Cobra A Safe Jetting training program to Kennards Hire staff in Queensland. “The Kennards Hire team were very open to the jetter training and were impressed with the ease of use of the machines”, said Aussie Pumps’ Operations Manager, trainer on the day, Hamish Lorenz. The Aussie Cobra A jetter is available from Kennards Hire branches throughout Australia.

• Hot water heating contributes up to 23% of a home’s total energy usage, which is why home owners are increasingly investing in energy-efficient solutions such as solar heat pumps. • Savings of up to 70% on monthly hot water bills • Significant government cash rebates. In fact, in Victoria there are currently up to three rebates available for installing a solar hot water system. In addition to significant savings, Quantum Solar Hot Water Systems do not require clunky and difficult to install roof panels, will continue to work effectively down to -10°C and do not have a booster element. And Quantum has simplified the rebate claim process and will help your client manage the process via a form on their website. For more information, visit

Kingspan work with you The Ripley Town Centre has earnt the Five-Star Green Star Design & As Built accreditation after demonstrating initiatives to reduce the impact of climate change, promote sustainability and improve quality of life. Kingspan is proud to have four Modline Steel tanks installed on site. Together, the tanks have the potential to harvest 25,200 litres of rainwater a year for toilet flushing and landscape irrigation. The Modline shape was selected for maximum storage, efficient use of space and to accommodate large commercial fittings. For more information, visit: | 45

Product news Pumps for puddles Plumbers and contractors are often faced with the challenge of draining water from flat surfaces or removing water from swimming pools and flooded areas like man holes and electrical pits. Australian Pump Industries’ popular submersible is ideal for these situations. Dubbed the ‘Puddle Sucker’, the lightweight, single phase residue dewatering pump is manufactured by Japanese company Tsurumi. “It is a rugged, reliable, submersible which has all the quality features of the bigger Tsurumi pumps used on construction sites,” said Aussie Pumps’ Product Manager, Neil Bennett.

Digital helper If your desk or ute looks like the floor of a TAB at 6pm on a Saturday, then you could do with a digital scanning and filing solution like Scanbot. With 10 million users and growing, Scanbot has the weight of numbers to suggest it’s got the goods when providing a solution to your scanning and filing dramas. Available as a free download from the App Store, Scanbot allows you to quickly scan, share or store documents directly from your phone. Got a paper invoice you need to keep or send to someone? Simply open the Scanbot app, hold your phone above the

46 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Summer 2018

document you wish to scan and Scanbot does the rest. There’s no need to crop your image as Scanbot automates the process for you in crystal clear 200+ dpi. Armed with a high-quality copy of your document, you’re free to send to anyone via email or message, leaving you to recycle the paper invoice. For more information, visit

The unique design of the ‘Puddle Sucker’ removes water down to 1mm. The pump uses a single phase 0.48kW, capacitor start electric motor and a 10 metre heavy duty submersible cable. A non-return valve stops any water from flowing back to the drained area. A resilient rubber base plate protects the floor from being damaged. For more information, visit

BUILDING A SUPER FUTURE WITH CBUS Through Cbus Property*, we: • Invest in property developments across Australia • Create jobs in the building and construction industry • Contribute to the Australian economy and deliver returns

Contact Daniel for your business super needs Daniel Tentser Business Superannuation Consultant, VIC 0439 372 365

*Cbus Property Pty Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cbus and has responsibility for the strategic performance and management of Cbus’ direct property developments and investments. Read the relevant Cbus Product Disclosure Statement and other related documents to decide whether Cbus is right for you. Call 1300 361 784 or visit for a copy. Cbus’ Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262.






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Plumbing is a career that’s in hot demand in Australia and overseas. Here at Master Plumbers – Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria – we are dedicated to training exceptional, multi-skilled plumbers of the future.

How? We pay you more at work and while you learn Your employment won’t stop if your boss runs out of work We get you into varied work with industry specialists You have dedicated support to help your training

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Australian Plumbing - Summer 2018  

Innovation is important in the plumbing industry. For centuries, plumbing and engineering professionals have been solving the world’s proble...

Australian Plumbing - Summer 2018  

Innovation is important in the plumbing industry. For centuries, plumbing and engineering professionals have been solving the world’s proble...