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The next “silent killer� Taking mental health seriously Plumbing in paradise Your industry magazine

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*Compatible phones only. Availability dependent on local road rules. ^Toyota Genuine Accessories are not applicable to all models/grades. See your Toyota dealer to confirm Accessories suitable for your vehicle. Refer to Owners’ Manual for gross vehicle mass limits. Colours depicted may vary from actual colour due to display process. Visit TFM2130 MPA VIC 06/19






10 Beware the next health crisis

7 Industry news

The serious dangers of silica dust and its potential consequences

14 Snapshot around the nation

20 Stigma kills

34 Member news

Wayne Schwass encourages people with mental health conditions to speak up

36 Product news

26 Tune up your trade Plumber-turned-trainer who returned to his trade refreshed

32 Marsh Insurance

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

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

30 Plumbing in paradise Employment pathways from Melbourne to Kiribati


See page 28

Advertising Christine Watson T (03) 9321 0798 E

Suppliers Scott and his partner Ed now oversee a team of more than 30 staff and describe Gallant Plumbing as dynamic, modern and led by remarkable customer service. Full story, page 26.

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 | Spring 2019

You get out of your association what you’re prepared to put in


from the President and CEO

You get out what you put in

Plumber priority plus

I am often asked by members and those looking to join Master Plumbers about the benefits of membership and what’s involved in being a member. My answer is straightforward: you get out of your association what you’re prepared to put in.

As we move well into a new financial year, it should come as no surprise that building member value remains Master Plumbers’ number one priority.

What I mean by that is all associations offer a range of member services and benefits, and it’s through active engagement that you get the best value. Some members are looking for information and discounts and that’s a great starting point. We are continually improving the range of these and how we keep members informed about them. It may be that membership is valuable for the access to technical, WHS and IR advice, and staffing solutions (such as apprentice and labour hire) from the association. What’s even better is if you’re using these services. But the members I speak to, which get more out of their membership, are the ones that are actively involved in training, CPD activity and helping our association formulate policy and solutions for the challenges our industry is facing. Typically, this involves participating in Division meetings, attending events and being involved in discussions that determine our industry’s future. A strength of Master Plumbers is that we all bring different views and experiences to these discussions. This is always welcomed. But if you don’t bring it, you won’t get much sympathy from your mates when you just sit back and complain. You get out of your association what you’re prepared to put in. Master Plumbers is governed by a National Council and Board elected by members, which oversees the strategic direction and monitors the activity of the association. We are all volunteers, taking time from managing plumbing businesses, which represent the diversity of our industry. We prioritise this time because it is an amazing experience that broadens your perspective, builds incredible new skills, which benefit your business and allows you to give back to the industry that has supported your career. Master Plumbers has had an incredible 2018-19 year, with membership growing strongly, new world-class training facilities constructed in Narre Warren, more value being delivered to members and a solid balance sheet. This doesn’t happen by accident, it’s the result of members getting involved and volunteering their time to make our industry a better place. I strongly encourage members to invest time in keeping up to date with what is happening in your association and actively participating wherever and whenever you can. Scott Dowsett President, Master Plumbers

During 2019-20 we will further expand our member benefits program with discounts and savings on products and services, which members need, including the range of OHS, HR and Industrial Relations advice. We will introduce new workplace solutions advice to assist small and medium enterprises to manage their business and we will work with larger members on a new enterprise agreement for the plumbing industry. We are very excited to commence teaching at the world-class new Narre Warren campus with pre-apprenticeship, Certificate III and post-trade training classes. We will reinforce our commitment to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for Members and their employees. At the time of writing this column, 70 members (150 plumbers) had signed up to this voluntary training program since its launch earlier in the calendar year and we expect this to grow steadily as we develop a greater range of material and deliver face-to-face and online courses across Victoria. Our Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria (PAV) and Plumbing Staff Solutions (labour hire) arms will retain the high quality and competitiveness that differentiates us in a price-sensitive market, focusing on developing well-rounded and skilled future plumbers for the industry. We will continue to advocate members’ interests to government, regulators, industry and standards bodies through direct action with the help of member volunteers. We are seeing some good progress on vexed issues such as complex plumbing, the plumbing training package and gas appliance servicing requirements amongst others, and we will keep the pressure on. We have strong working relationships across the state and territory with Master Plumbers associations and will build the strength of Master Plumbers Australia & New Zealand on national advocacy issues and collaboration programs. We are also reinvigorating our Division activities to drive better engagement between our Association and members on industry technical issues and have held a number of well-attended meetings recently. To help us achieve our targets for the coming year, I especially ask that you advocate the benefits of Master Plumbers’ membership in all the communities you can influence. Your contribution in this regard will help us grow membership and make our association stronger so that we can, in turn, build the strength of the broader plumbing industry. Peter Daly CEO, Master Plumbers | 5


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Industry news Demand for plumbers as educators There is no indication the demand on plumbers in Victoria will decrease anytime soon. In May 2018, the Victorian Government announced a $172 million investment in 50 free TAFE courses, including Certificate II in Plumbing (Pre-apprenticeship) and Certificate IV in Plumbing Services, creating more pathways to employment in the plumbing industry. Brendan Gould, General Manager Training and Industry Development at Master Plumbers, says the high industry demand has resulted in exciting career-change opportunities for plumbers who want to down tools and enter the classroom to become trainers. “The plumbing industry is buoyant and while there is plenty of work in the construction sector, more plumbers are happy continuing in the industry as it is financially more rewarding,” he says. “However, the promotion of training as a career opportunity has not been well advertised. The Government is promoting the opportunity to study in the VET sector but is doing little to encourage people to become teachers and trainers in the sector.” “Educating is great fun, the working conditions are good and there is

Fast Fact

opportunity for personal development,” he says. Brendan himself is a former plumber who now oversees Master Plumbers’ expansive range of courses, ranging from pre-apprenticeship to posttrade industry programs. He couldn’t be more satisfied with his career change. “It’s a way to stay involved in the industry but to support it in a different role, and to give back to the industry,” he says.

has been working with TasTAFE to provide a scholarship for plumbers to undertake a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, to increase the number of trainers. “Teaching is a great career change and we should do everything we can to support people who want to enter the industry,” Brendan says.

Becoming a qualified trainer involves completing a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, which Brendan says costs approximately $2000. The need for an influx of new trainers was evident in a recent meeting with the 17 Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) that deliver plumbing training across Victoria, where it was identified that there is a shortage of up to 30 positions across the sector. It is a similar story elsewhere. “There is a nationwide shortage across the plumbing sector and wider VET sector for many industry areas,” says Brendan. Solutions are being sought elsewhere. In Tasmania, the Master Plumbers Association of Tasmania

1 3

After 10 years working in industry, TasTAFE plumbing teacher Bevan Britton made the switch from tradie to teacher last year and hasn’t looked back. “I wanted a lifestyle change and also thought it was a good opportunity to challenge myself a bit more. It was a good opportunity to get off the tools and do something different,” Bevan said. “It’s been good so far. The best thing about it is working with the students – teaching them something new and passing your knowledge on to them.”

of all of Australia’s plumbers are employed in Victoria | 7

Industry news Protect yourself now

caused by a simple slip of a spanner, putting a plumber out of work while stitches heal or surgery to repair tendons has occurred.

Keep your insurance premiums down and your people safe. Natalie Reynolds explains how. The cost to people, business and the industry, as a result of failing to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), is too high.

policy of his employer. Razor wire kicked up on site cutting his lower leg. Enforcement of the policy on site would have prevented this injury, which in the worst case could have resulted in a more costly outcome, both for the health of the apprentice and the bottom line of the employer.

In Victoria there has been a 7.1% growth in treatment costs as a result of injuries to April 2019 year on year, and this only captures claims where there are more than 10 days off as a result of an injury.*

* Worksafe Stakeholder Reference Group

meeting stats presented on 11 July 2019

Similarly, the risk of a fall from a height can be mitigated by the use of a harness and long sleeves can protect against the harsh effects of the Australian sun. These are simple measures to prevent significant, debilitating injuries and claims with a long tail.

The actuarial models across the country are unknown, but we continue to see increased premium costs replicated across plumbing businesses, and these really hurt. It’s time to focus on the simple and the preventable, and change the industry culture – making sure we all use the hierarchy of controls to take the risk of injury seriously and manage those risks.

And gloves? Wherever practicable make them part of the uniform, use them routinely and ensure they are matched to the type of work being conducted – Cat 5 gloves for sheet metal work and work gloves for situations where more grip is required. Too often we hear of reported preventable injuries

Simple and preventable injuries can turn deadly. Recently, Master Plumbers learned of an apprentice who did not follow the long/long

Fast Facts

Of course, we can look at other PPE as a must – goggles, face shields, breathing apparatus and masks and the like – but let’s start here. It’s time to change the culture and protect our plumbers, and in doing so protect our hip pockets.

Australian plumbing services 2.7%



Annual growth 2014-19


People employed in plumbing in Australia



Plumbing businesses in Australia ibis world

8 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2019

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Beware the next

health crisis

10 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2019

It has been described as the biggest lung disease crisis since asbestos. And if you work with concrete, bricks, tiles, sandstone or granite, it’s crucial to be aware of the serious dangers of silica dust and its potential consequences, including the irreversible lung disease silicosis. Kathryn Kernohan reports. The dangers of silica dust have been known since the early 1700s, when Italian physician Bernardino Ramazzini discussed the asthma-like symptoms observed in stonecutters. However, the potentially fatal dangers have become more understood in recent decades. In the US, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) calculates that there have been more than 2,000 fatal cases of silicosis since the start of the 21st century. Closer to home, the Cancer Council says that close to 600,000 Australian workers including stonemasons, plumbers, construction workers, miners and engineers were exposed to silica dust in the workplace in 2011. They estimate that a staggering 5,758 of these people will develop a lung disease during their life. Stonemasons are one of the professions most at risk as shown by some alarming local statistics.

More than 100 stonemasons in Queensland were diagnosed with silicosis in a recent six month period, and in Victoria, 35 stonemasons lodged claims with WorkSafe Victoria between July 2017 and March 2019. “While plumbing is not at the top of the at-risk register, every plumber needs to be vigilant and protect themselves and educate their staff,” Master Plumbers CEO Peter Daly said. “Knowing the risks means we can do something to stop it becoming the next silent killer, the next asbestos.”

What is silica? Crystallina Silica is a naturally occurring mineral common in rocks and rock products. It is most prevalent in reconstituted stone, where it comprises more than 80% of the material. Many reported cases of silicosis in Australia have been of workers who work with engineered stone products such as kitchen benchtops.

Silica also comprises up to 45% of tile and 15% of brick. When materials such as composite stone, granite or sandstone are crushed, drilled, cut, sawed or polished, they generate silica dust. These particles are often so small they are not visible, but can embed themselves deep within the lungs regardless of whether there has been high exposure over short periods of time or low exposure over longer periods.

What are the risks? Like exposure to other dust materials, silica dust can initially cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. Over time, some of the more serious risks include lung cancer, kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and silicosis. Silicosis is a potentially fatal and irreversible scarring and stiffening of the lungs with no cure. It occurs in three forms. The most common is | 11

chronic silicosis, closely linked with respiratory problems and developed from long-term exposure to low quantities of silica dust. Acute silicosis results from shortterm exposure to large amounts of silica dust and is linked with low blood oxygen levels, and accelerated silicosis leads to swelling in the lungs at a faster speed.

What is being done? Fortunately, as more is being learned about the dangers of silicosis, leaders across the country are pledging action. Before the Federal Government was re-elected in May, it committed $5 million to establish a national dust diseases taskforce. The taskforce will bring together medical professionals, researchers and industry figures to develop a national strategy for preventing dust diseases, including silicosis, as well as strategies around early detection methods and effective treatments. In Victoria, the State Government has announced a range of initiatives headlined by a statewide ban on uncontrolled dry cutting of materials that contain crystalline silica dust.

12 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2019

A 2013 controlled study found that wet cutting reduced respirable dust concentration by 85% compared to dry cutting

Free health screenings for stonemasons and a new compliance code for businesses that work with silica are other measures to improve health and safety for workers.

size of materials to lessen the need for cutting.

Dry cutting of engineering stone is already banned in Queensland, and organisations such as the Royal Australasian College of Physicians continue to advocate for the ban to be extended nationwide.

“In scenarios where working with materials that produce silica dust is unavoidable, it is important to employ wet cutting methods on materials like brick, tile, concrete and stone,” Mr Daly said.

There is also action in the court rooms, with law firm Slater and Gordon recently announcing plans for a class action against several manufacturers of constituted stone products, claiming they failed to adequately warn workers about dangers. The firm is representing a number of stonemasons across Australia in the action.

A 2013 controlled study found that wet cutting reduced respirable dust concentration by 85% compared to dry cutting. “Additionally, dust extraction devices can be used with a variety of handheld tools to remove dust as it is being produced.”

Implementing strategies to minimize exposure to silica dust in the first place is the best way to avoid danger.

“Workers who may be exposed to silica dust on a regular basis can further prevent exposure to silica dust by utilising respiratory protective equipment and, where possible, wearing disposable clothing at work to avoid bringing hazards home.”

These can range from substituting materials that will produce silica dust with safer materials, through to ordering only the required

To stay up to date with the latest research visit the relevant state authority website or Safe Work Australia.

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from around the nation Master Plumbers

Henry Ford

Free health check Incolink, in partnership with Australian Prostate Centre, recently launched the Incolink Bus, a new initiative that delivers enhanced health checks to construction workers in Victoria and Tasmania. Getting to the doctor can be a hassle for construction workers, so the doctor is coming to them. The brand new, purpose built mobile facility is fitted with two fully equipped consulting rooms and a waiting room. It will enable GPs and nursing staff to travel to construction sites across Victoria and Tasmania delivering health checks such as prostate, skin cancer, cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure checks to workers. The 12-metre-long, custom built Scania coach will be funded and run by the construction industry’s redundancy fund and aims to tackle the rate of prostate cancer among men in construction among other health issues. Individual health checks take 20 minutes per worker and are bulk billed so there is no cost to workers or employers. It is anticipated that 14 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2019

Don’t get old… learn around 4,000 health checks will be delivered to construction workers each year on the Incolink Bus. Incolink CEO Dan O’Brien said the bus would play an important role in improving construction workers’ health and wellbeing, with Incolink committed to ensuring workers are fit and healthy as well as safe on-site. “Too many Australians, particularly men, put off a trip to the GP because they’re too busy or just not keen to discuss their health issues,” he said. Mr O’Brien said the health checks would be voluntary and confidential, while helping put workers in touch with other support services when needed. “Seeing a GP or nurse is often the first step in talking about something that’s been bothering you physically or mentally,” he said. “Incolink Health Checks can help provide peace of mind to workers or deliver an early warning to consider lifestyle changes or seek further advice.” Learn more at incolinkbus or call 03 9668 3013.

Henry Ford once said: “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty”. Henry’s passion for learning materialised in the Model T Ford and invention of the assembly line – two innovations that revolutionised American society and molded the world we live in today. Without the desire to learn, whether via necessity or curiosity, Henry would most likely have lived out his days plowing the fields on his family farm in Michigan. And who knows… we could still be travelling around by horse and cart, and burdened by inefficient manufacturing processes. Learning is the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience, or being taught. The simplicity of learning means that you know more today than you did yesterday. It’s the same with your job. You learn your trade during your apprenticeship. You have a teacher who will help hone your technical knowledge in the classroom and an

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

Master Plumbers Association Queensland employer who will guide you through the practicality of the job itself and help you through real life experiences. Unless there’s a point during this period where you are told that you know everything there is to know about your chosen field, why should your learning stop? We can’t let our industry stop learning and our members get ‘old’, so Master Plumbers has developed a continuing professional development (CPD) program to provide an avenue for all plumbers to keep up to date with their plumbing knowledge. Think about how confident you would be walking into your doctor’s office not knowing if they had done any training since their formal qualification? Would you feel assured that they would be able to correctly diagnose whatever ailment you presented with? The same can be said for plumbing, consumers are wanting their plumber to have the most up-todate technical skills and knowledge of regulatory guidelines. Master Plumbers’ members that participate and record CPD are now able to provide this assurance to consumers.

Register today for FREE at and dive into the educational fountain of youth


2019 Plumbing and Gas Industry Award winners

Two decades of celebration Some of South East Queensland’s most innovative and exciting construction projects featured at the 2019 Plumbing and Gas Industry Awards, celebrating the outstanding contributions of Queensland’s plumbing industry. The Howard Smith Wharves revitalisation project and the new world-class Brisbane Quarter Precinct were among the stand out projects that won on the night. Presented by Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland (MPAQ) in partnership with Event Partner Tradelink, this year’s awards saw 570 attendees come together to celebrate a milestone 20 years of recognising the outstanding achievements made by plumbing and gas individuals and companies. There were 77 outstanding nominations across 18 award categories with 20 awards being handed out on the night. Alongside the world-class projects, this year the plumbing industry recognised the ongoing

contributions and exemplary leadership of Slade Brothers Plumbing’s Kelvin Slade with the WFI Industry Leadership Award. In a plumbing career that has spanned almost 30 years, Kelvin has been active on multiple industry boards and panels, including being President of MPAQ, led training courses that help ensure the industry continues to upskill and provide high-quality and safe work, and awarded a Churchill Fellowship to travel the world and research best practice in legionella management and treatment. There were also six apprentices who were recognised for their outstanding plumbing and gas knowledge, ability and growth. MPAQ’s Executive Director, Penny Cornah, has praised the number of nominees who applied this year and the high calibre of projects put forward. “It has been great to see the outstanding efforts and successes | 15


from around the nation Master Plumbers Association Queensland that the professional individuals and companies in our industry have made this year, which is a testament to the emphasis that has been put on further training and development. The advantages of this increase in upskilling is reflected in the innovative approaches to work and business operating methods.” Ms Cornah said: “We are incredibly proud that the Plumbing & Gas Industry Awards are able to recognise a diverse range of individuals and companies, from the innovative and exciting projects that have helped to transform the aesthetic of Queensland’s cities to the apprentices who highlight the positive future of our industry and the leaders who work hard, perform exceptional work, and inspire others.”

A full list of all winners and finalists can be found here: https:// plumbingandgasawards. com/awards

Plumbing stalwart honoured Bill Watson, Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland (MPAQ) Life Member, was appointed an Order of Australia for his services to the plumbing industry. Bill has been awarded for his commitment and dedication to the plumbing industry. He has contributed over 45 years to the trade as an apprentice, employee, employer, business operator, industry regulatory representative, government board appointee, and accredited trainer. Bill has contributed not just at a state level but also at a national level through his participation on the Board of Master Plumbers Australia and New Zealand, of which he is a director. Bill is also a councillor of MPAQ. Having gained a broad spectrum of expertise across the trade, Bill has been responsible for

steering and implementing change for a number of key industry issues. Bill has provided extensive past and present input into vocational education and training in addressing skill needs for the future – providing industry input to committees and workshops for the curriculum of pre-vocational and apprenticeship courses for the plumbing, drainage and gas fitting industry. As an employer, Bill has employed and mentored more than 20 apprentices, and as a business operator he brings real world knowledge to our trade. Kent Vickers, President of MPAQ, said: “We are extremely proud of Bill for his dedication and contribution to our trade, and this award is very well deserved. “(His) lifetime of dedication and support in promoting our industry has seen so many tradespeople enjoy a better quality of life because of his contributions”. Since the introduction of the Awards in 1972, there have only been a few plumbers awarded for services to our industry. Bill will be presented with his award at government house later this year. MPAQ would like to congratulate Bill on his outstanding achievement!

16 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2019

DON’T GET CAUGHT IN HOT WATER As a plumber, your work is often required on commercial sites after significant construction has been completed or in residential properties after things have gone wrong. Not having the full picture could potentially expose you to a costly liability claim! Plumbers Liability Insurance required under the Victorian Plumbers Ministerial Order1 can be arranged through Marsh Advantage Insurance. This cover can provide protection in the event a claim is made against you. We can also arrange automatic Errors and Omissions (E&O) cover as part of your Plumbers Liability Insurance to offer protection from certain financial losses that may arise from your advice. Stick with a partner who has worked with plumbers just like you for over 10 years and understands the unique pressures that you face. To get a quote, call 1300 300 511 or visit Marsh Advantage Insurance is endorsed by the Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia 1

‘Licensed Plumbers General Insurance Order 2002’ issued by Ministerial Order under the Building Act 1993 (Vic)

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 19/071. 19-0707.


from around the nation Master Plumbers Association Tasmania

Master Plumbers Chief Technical Adviser Gary Bath giving industry the run down on the PCA 2019

Certificate II students finishing up with our President Anthony Balik, and Board members Cath McDowell, Todd Raynor and Paul Bottomley

Carbon Monoxide training

Certificate II in Plumbing

MPAT HQ has rolled out a large

The introduction of the Certificate II in Plumbing has been a fabulous addition to the suite of training offered by TasTAFE.

training program across the state covering the PCA 2019 and Carbon Monoxide testing procedures. We had over 200 participants and the feedback was very positive.

The Cert II has proven very popular and we are unable to keep up with demand. The Cert II is a fabulous

way for people to get a taste of plumbing and all the aspects of the trade without committing straight up to an apprenticeship. It also offers employers the opportunity to meet keen students and assess their skills prior to taking on an apprentice.

CPD auditing moratorium complete The moratorium for auditing CPD finished on 1 July 2019. When renewing your licence after 1 July this year, you will need to provide proof of your CPD for the previous licence period. This means that if your licence was for three years you need to provide proof of 36 CPD points. If it was one year then 12 CPD Points.

18 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2019

MPAT members can access online training via the CPD Toolbox as well as book into any training we have coming up. The CPD Toolbox has information on how members can earn CPD points – see “What is CPD” on the top menu bar. There is also a link to the CBOS Calendar of CPD events on the CPD Toolbox home page.



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Stigma kills

20 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2019

The stigma that surrounds mental health is the reason why many who suffer are reluctant to seek help. Former AFL star Wayne Schwass is determined to break down that barrier by detailing his own experiences to encourage people dealing with mental health conditions to speak up. He shared his story, and his subsequent work with Puka Up, with Master Plumbers Radio host Daniel Carroll. | 21

You, I, everybody has an opportunity, but I also think we have a responsibility, we need to stand up and if stigma exists, it needs to stop because it’s stopping people from getting help.

DANIEL There is a photo you tweeted in 2017, from the 1996 AFL Grand Final. There’s you standing arms out-stretched, premiership medallion hanging around your neck having achieved a goal that many would dream of, and yet below that picture was the following caption, “This is what suicidal looks like. The fake smile, act happy, celebrating premiership success with the North Melbourne Football Club in 1996. Truth was, incredibly suicidal, looking for my wife in the crowd because I wanted to end my life. Only two people knew in a crowd of 95,000: my wife and my GP.” Tell us about that day. WAYNE I shared that because I want people to understand that mental health conditions and suicide can affect any one of us. You can be a premiership player, you can be reasonably well paid, you can be doing something that very few people get the opportunity to do, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t or aren’t exposed with mental health conditions. And on that particular day – it’s a great moment in my life. I love it, and I have fond memories of it – but the reality is that I was three years into my diagnosis by that stage. It had morphed into depression, anxiety, and obsessivecompulsive disorder. I had three concurrent mental health conditions which were wreaking havoc on every area of my life yet, I was able 22 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2019

to go out on the biggest day of my sporting career and become a premiership player and have a reasonably good game. I used that photo because it’s really important that people understand that material possessions and money have nothing to do with happiness, because I had all of the things that you would think or assume would make you happy, yet I was miserable. And I was thinking about how I can end my life, and that was a struggle that I was in for four and a half years. DANIEL During that period you won two Best and Fairest awards at North Melbourne. For people that don’t follow football that closely, there’s a man by the name of Wayne Carey, one of the all-time greats, who at that time was at the peak of his powers, and you won back-to-back club Best and Fairest ahead of him… that shows how you can still be performing at a high level while dealing with other issues. WAYNE Yeah, I’m really glad you’ve said it that way because that’s one of the messages that I share with people, that you can achieve anything you want to achieve whilst living with mental health conditions. And I think that’s encouraging for other people. It doesn’t have to stop your life. DANIEL I can understand having to hold onto some of these things because of the stigma and

everything else that’s attached. One of the things that you talk about in your work at Puka Up is the #stigmastopswithme. How important is that for people to understand that these conditions exist and the stigma needs to break down for people to move forward? WAYNE The #stigmastopswithme is really important because I lived with so much shame, guilt, and embarrassment for 12 and a half years because of the way that I thought towards myself because I had mental health conditions. I hid that behind this paralysing fear of shame, and that prevented me from getting healthy, from getting well, for a long period of my life.

You, I, everybody has an opportunity, but I also think we have a responsibility, we need to stand up and if stigma exists, it needs to stop because it’s stopping people from getting help. It’s also potentially a contributing reason why we lose so many people with the issue of suicide… and that’s not right. What drives me is that in Australia we lose, on average, eight people a day to suicide. Six of those eight suicides are men. Why is that happening? Because we’re living in a world that conditions men to disconnect emotionally because that’s not what a man is meant to do. That’s wrong, and that’s got to change.

It’s not weak to cry. It’s not weak to ask for help. It’s not weak to put your hand up and seek professional help.

DANIEL Mental health doesn’t discriminate, people of all ages and all walks of life struggle with varying states of mental health. That extends to the job site as well. Rates of suicide are growing alarmingly among people in construction. The increased emotional and physical strain on the modern tradie coupled with the macho image that they’re expected to maintain is almost creating the perfect storm for people to really have a problem. WAYNE The construction industry,

along with the mining industry, resources industry, even the financial industry, the rates of people that work in those industries that are living with significant mental health conditions, that are in crisis, that are thinking about taking their life or are taking their life are disproportionately higher to the rest of the general population. It’s an issue, and it’s an issue everywhere and I’m incredibly passionate about challenging the definition of masculinity and the narrative that a lot of males, myself included, have been fed for decades. What we’re actually doing is we’re limiting men’s ability to stay connected emotionally. It’s not weak to be vulnerable. It’s not weak to cry. It’s not weak to ask for help. It’s not weak to put your hand up and seek professional help.

65,500 people attempt to end their lives every year in Australia. That’d make it the fifth largest town in Victoria and the 27th largest town in Australia! If we don’t challenge the messaging around that, we cannot realistically expect to address the issue within the construction industry and across the country. The numbers of people living with these conditions is going up. The number of people taking their lives is going up. We had 3,128 in 2017. The year before, it was 2,866. DANIEL It’s also alarming that 20 times that amount made an attempt to take their lives… more than 65,000 people. WAYNE 65 and a half thousand people attempt to end their lives every year in Australia. That’d make it the fifth largest town in Victoria and the 27th largest town in Australia! DANIEL …And suicide is the leading cause of death in people aged 15 to 44. That is crazy!

valuable people within our communities, within our businesses, within our country that we believe don’t have to end their life. We’ve got to do something proactively that gives these people the opportunity and the space for them to get the appropriate help that they need much earlier.

Puka Up is a social enterprise founded by one of Australia’s leading mental health advocates, Wayne Schwass. Puka Up’s vision is to make genuine conversations around mental health a part of everyday life, with the aim to eliminate suicide. If you or someone you know needs help, visit

You can listen to the full podcast by scanning the QR code below with your phone camera or by searching for Master Plumbers Radio on Google, Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

WAYNE Yep. If that is not alarming enough for individuals, for communities, for businesses and for this entire country to sit back and go, “We’ve got to address this,” then I don’t know what is. Having said all of that, Puka Up’s focus is on addressing it because it needs to change. We’re losing too many | 23

You need to create a safe space that invites the person that you’re worried about into a conversation

It’s OK to talk DANIEL One of the things that stops many from getting involved with the struggles of their friends, family or colleagues is that they simply don’t know how to and instead do nothing, in fear that their actions may make things worse.

So, how do you know if someone is struggling and what can you do to help? WAYNE Warning signs or signs and

symptoms of somebody being under emotional stress are lack of sleep, being agitated, they might be coming to work late, they might be going for longer lunches, they might be leaving work earlier, they may not even be coming to work at all. They might be increasing their alcohol intake, become confrontational, argumentative, isolating when normally engaged and loves to chat, not returning phone calls, not replying to emails or text messages or not going to social settings. They’re all things that could potentially indicate somebody may be under emotional stress, and things that we can look out for. I think having the ability to identify something that may give you reason to think that something’s not right is only half of what should happen. The other half, and this is just as important if not more important, is

24 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2019

Language, tone and delivery are really important… you want to facilitate a space for somebody you care about to be able to come into and talk to me about whatever they want to talk to me about

how do I have this conversation with someone that I’m concerned about? It’s got to be done in such a way that your language, your tone, the way that you deliver the message is supportive and nonjudgmental, because if we try to call someone out, it may have quite a negative impact on how that person responds. It needs to be about creating a safe space that invites the person that you’re worried about into a conversation. It may be something as simple as “Hey, Daniel, let’s go and have a coffee… mate, is everything okay? I’m not sure what the problem is, but you seem to be a little bit different. If you want to talk to me about it, I just want you to know that I’m here to talk to. I may not have the answers, but I just want you to know it’s important for me that you know, if you want to talk to somebody that you can trust, I’m prepared to listen.” This is a really simple example of how we can begin these conversations, because it’s giving the person that I’m worried about the option to choose whether or not you want to come in the conversation. I’m not criticizing or putting someone down. I’m not telling you that you’re weak. I’m not telling you to harden up and be a man because that is destructive

language. If I use that language, I may be manifestly making the situation for a person I’m concerned about, especially men, worse because I’m telling him that he’s weak and he’s soft. So don’t use any of that. Use language and questions that hopefully create a space where the person that I’m concerned about can trust me enough to talk to me about it. Language, tone and delivery are really important because all you want to do is facilitate a space for somebody you care about to be able to come into and talk to me about whatever they want to talk to me about. And I have these conversations with a lot of male mates, that wouldn’t have happened 10 years ago. I won’t judge them. All I’m interested in is how can I support this person who may be going through a tough time? We’ve all got the same opportunity. If it’s having an impact in your life, my strong advice is to go and seek help. Don’t do what I did and ignore your health for six years, self-medicate through alcohol and drugs because it doesn’t work. Put your hand up or go and find someone that you can trust and ask for help, because once you get help, you can start to get healthy and well again – that is the most important thing.

Questions on the job?

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Scan the code below with your phone camera to sign up today.

Tune up your trade Scott Robinson of Gallant Plumbing took a risk and it paid off. Kathryn Kernohan speaks to the plumber-turned-trainer who returned to his trade refreshed.

Many people long for a mid-career change. Gallant Plumbing Director Scott Robinson actually did it – and found it ultimately improved his trade as a plumber. After more than 20 years working as a plumber, largely for himself, Scott took a year off in the mid-2000s to renovate the family home. During that time, his wife saw something that caught her eye while scanning job advertisements in the newspaper. “She saw that there were vacancies for sessional plumbing teachers, working two days a week. It was something new and I thought ‘why not’ – and I ended up teaching plumbing at Victoria University TAFE 26 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2019

for the next 10 years,” he says. In 2011, Scott was recognised as Trainer of the Year in Skills Victoria’s Victorian Training Awards and also won Victoria University’s prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s Award for educational leadership for adapting an e-learning course to allow students to progress through their Certificate III in Plumbing at their own pace. “I loved teaching and it really made me understand plumbing more than I had before, and gave me a new passion for the industry. You don’t realise the importance of plumbing at the start of your career but later – when you’re licensed in plumbing,

gas and roofing – you understand it is a really important role.” After a decade of teaching and starting to miss being on the tools and the challenge of running a small business, Scott went back to plumbing and began working in the pre-purchase inspection field. There he met his future business partner Ed Clark, who invited Scott to become a partner in a plumbing business he had recently bought. Cashmore Plumbing, an established business that had provided plumbing services to Melbourne’s eastern suburbs for close to 40 years, was rebranded as Gallant Plumbing in 2016.

Scott and Ed now oversee a team of more than 30 staff and describe Gallant Plumbing as dynamic, modern and led by remarkable customer service

As Directors of the business, Scott and Ed now oversee a team of more than 30 staff and describe Gallant Plumbing as dynamic, modern and led by remarkable customer service. “We are passionate about customer service – I see the service industry as like a café in the sense that people spend money with you and expect you’ll do the job well and hassle-free. Following up with people, open communication and honesty are all key.” Scott says technological innovation is one of the main ways the industry has evolved over his time. Gallant Plumbing use cloud-based software to manage jobs, which Scott says

equally benefits the business and customers.

a 12-month leadership development program run by external consultants.

“Being able to have all the information about a job right there, like history, photos and emails, means that our guys have access to it on the road and that customers can see what they are seeing.

“We love giving people the opportunity to improve and empowering them to grow in their roles,” he says.

“It’s changed the way we do things and made the whole industry more efficient.” Scott and Ed are also passionate about developing leaders within their business. More than 20 staff members at Gallant Plumbing, including the two Directors, are currently involved in

“A program like this isn’t necessarily common in our industry but we know that if it helps people grow outside of work it also benefits their work, and ultimately the customer.” Gallant Plumbing has been announced a finalist for this year’s Telstra Business Awards. Join us in congratulating Gallant Plumbing on this achievement. | 27

Sneak peek behind

The Block

Damian De Vincentis is the Director of beOnd Plumbing. He spoke to Matt Reynolds about what it is like working on the award-winning, reality TV program The Block. How did you get the opportunity to work on The Block? My cousin Maurice Del Vecchio from Del Vecchio Building was the builder for Shannon and Simon on season 9 of the show, The Block: Glasshouse, which won the series with the highest purchase on auction day. Following his debut and success he was approached by contestants for this series. He was initially reluctant to do it again due to the pressure and time constraints we all see watching the show. It was also set to be the biggest build the series has ever seen. Eventually, he agreed to take on the project with the condition he could use all his own tradies as he knew it would take the best to tackle this project. He chose our plumbing and electrical divisions 28 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2019

to work with him. Maurice made a call to me on a Friday night; following a lengthy discussion we agreed to do it and we were onsite the following Saturday for induction and to get ready for a demolition. Was it what you expected, in terms of the pressure and time constraints you mentioned? Like many tradies, I’ve always been interested in the show. You think a lot of what you see is put on; a show just for the cameras. I can assure you, all that chaos you see, all the dramas and arguments, they are not just for the cameras. The pressures that are required to get a job done can raise frustration levels beyond anything imaginable.

Everything is up to the contestants and their tradies, and I can assure you there’s no extra help. You’re trying to complete months of work in a week so it’s only natural that the pressure skyrockets. To paint a picture, we had to rush out at 2am early one Sunday morning because the tilers got delayed, which threw our allocated time to fit off back. Room reveal is at 10am Sunday morning so you have no choice, you drag your employees out of bed and you get it done. That’s just how the show works. It was a great test for us and challenge for all at our company. They really thrived in that competitive environment. How did your team go working under the pressure? Thankfully, we have a great team. None of us had any idea what was really involved and what the expectation was going to be. This was the biggest build the show has ever done, a multi-level townhouse development and as we

know from watching the show, it’s to be built by people who have never renovated before with tradies who have never worked together before. We had a team meeting before we committed to the project and the whole team decided we would view this job as a challenge for 2019. You don’t really get any plans to work from, at least anything detailed anyway. So, all decisions are made on the fly. The team very quickly found themselves relying on their experience and just had to grind it out, they did incredibly well. One of our strengths as a company is that we have a great skill base, we can think outside the square and we are good at dealing with unforeseen issues. It probably comes from the emergency response and maintenance work we do every day. Did anything surprise you about working on the show? The turnaround time is unbelievably tough and the success of the show depends on the tradies. You feel that pressure straight away. I would often mention to our contestants that their success is dependent on their ability to engage with the tradies who have the resources and knowledge. And from what I experienced on the project, the contestants that had a good level of time management and communication skills were generally the ones that were constantly putting themselves ahead of the rest. Take away the lights, cameras and microphones, and you still have a building project that needs to be completed. Everything needs to be done to code and everything needs to be done right. People will be living in the property and they will rely on services you install for many years to come. You obviously can’t take shortcuts, but the pressure continues to mount every day so we had to adapt to that pretty quickly working in and around multiple trades at one time.

One of the things that often gets spoken about among tradies is the potentially low quality of a rushed build, what’s your opinion on the quality after being involved directly in the construction phase? Being a licenced tradie, most of the hurdles and dramas arise because of the high level of standards and regulations we need to work to. It’s a good thing, it forces us to think of ways to get the correct job done quicker, we can’t cut corners. The foremen, Keith and Dan do a great job ensuring everything gets done correctly and in accordance with the appropriate standards and regulations. We’ve seen that the waterproofing has been an issue in past seasons and had to be redone on multiple occasions because of this. By no means would I ever recommend that people attempt at home what they see on TV though, simply because unless you can afford to pay all the tradies to wait in your driveway ready to jump in when you need them it just won’t happen. All the suppliers need to be onboard too; be willing to open after hours and have any product delivered to site in under 30 minutes. So, the quality stays the same but every other aspect involved in making that happen is put under huge pressure. Is it actually a paid job for the trade companies? All contestants get a budget, their responsibility is to complete the build to that and the trades get paid under that. The rates are negotiated before you start but it’s a flat fee and by no means rates you would experience on a standard project, there isn’t really any allowance for after-hours work. However, we have to ensure all our employees are paid correctly under awards, which our company absorbs.

Do you plan to use the exposure of being on the show in your marketing going forward? We never did it to get exposure, we went into the project on a competitive basis, to see if our team could do it, to test ourselves. We wanted to see what we could achieve, to see where we stood on the big stage and how we would go competing against other trades. The team, as I said, was up for it so we went for it. As a result, I’m sure beOnd will been seen on TV and regardless of the exposure we receive, it never really had any influence on us entering the challenge. We had some long serving partners in suppliers and work wear providers (e.g. Get Real Workwear) jump on board and assist with the required apparel and supplies that supported our investment made towards our participation in the series. Are you putting your hand up to work on next year’s season? I’d never say no but I would approach it very differently. Rather than going in cold, I’d plan much better in advance for each room. Gaining a greater understanding from contestants of their overall design goal would be an area I would focus on. For example, keeping the tapware the same through the entire site would be a big time saver. Any advice for other plumbers thinking about going on TV? I recommend you have a lot of labour behind you and flexibility to change things on the fly. You need to have the time to do it right, and it will take more time and more resources than you think. You never know what the next phase of the job will be, so be ready, it’s quite a ride.

From the trenches Matt Reynolds is an award winning plumber who writes about the game as an industry insider. You can find him at or as the Director of XRM Plumbing Services on LinkedIn. | 29


in paradise Employment pathways are unlocked in this innovative partnership between Melbourne and Kiribati. Kathryn Kernohan reports.

Bryan Ornsby, Manager Plumbing at Melbourne’s Chisholm Institute, doesn’t hesitate when asked to reflect on his visit to Kiribati. The first word that comes to mind is “gorgeous.” The Micronesian independent republic of Kiribati comprises more than 30 atolls and reef islands – just over 20 are inhabited - and the raised island of Banaba. About 120,000 people call Kiribati home, with around half of them residing in the capital Tarawa, located roughly halfway between Australia and Hawaii. “It’s a long way to get there, but it’s a beautiful place. Culturally, I loved it, and everyone is extremely welcoming,” says Bryan.

30 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2019

“[Kiribati] are facing lots of challenges in terms of overpopulation which is difficult in a plumbing context, as well as logistical challenges in terms of getting fresh food, sanitation and energy.” Through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia is the largest bilateral aid donor to Kiribati, and provides about 20 per cent of the state’s total Official Development Assistance. Last year, a partnership was established between Chisholm Institute, a Victorian vocational education and training provider, and Kiribati Institute of Technology (KIT), a Government of Kiribati owned TVET institute, which runs a range of accredited and non-accredited

courses across trade and non-trade industries, to assist skill development and open up pathways to employment. More recently, in June, Kiribati’s only Certificate III-qualified plumber Tetarae Inatio spent three weeks in Melbourne working closely with Bryan and his team at Chisholm, and undertaking industry visits, including to Reece’s distribution center. Tetarae is Kiribati Institute of Technology’s Plumbing Lecturer and took part in a Training and Leadership Fellowship at Chisholm alongside the institute’s Accounting Lecturer, Head of School Business and Deputy Director of Quality.

It’s a long way to get there, but it’s a beautiful place. Culturally, I loved it, and everyone is extremely welcoming.

Kiribati’s only Certificate III-qualified plumber Tetarae Inatio spent three weeks in Melbourne working closely with Bryan and his team at Chisholm, and undertaking industry visits, including to Reece’s distribution centre.

“I have been in the plumbing industry for about five years. We have a lot of people at home who want to become plumbers, but we can only teach 18 students each year. We have lots of applicants so we select the top ones,” she says.“ I learned a lot from the team in Melbourne, especially comparing things with the plumbing industry at home and the teachers we have on the island. The mentors I have been working with are very experienced and I will take these skills and techniques back to teach people in Kiribati”. Kiribati Institute of Technology currently offers two Certificate II qualifications in Plumbing which cover drainage, metal roofing and cladding.

Kiribati Institute of Technology engages Chisholm Institute as a sub-contractor to act as a final assessor following initial assessment conducted by KIT. These courses are now recognised in Australia and around the world, and also meet the Australian VET Quality Framework standards. The Australian Government also funds Kiribati Facility, which is operated by Scope Global as appointed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Kiribati Facility in turn operates the Skills for Employment Program at Kiribati Institute of Technology, which offers demand-driven skills training.

Brendan Gould, General Manager Training and Industry Development, says that the partnership complements other international training offered by Australian providers. “Master Plumbers sees the partnership as a recognition of the quality that the plumbing training program offers.” Bryan says that his team looks forward to continuing to develop relationships with Tetarae and the team at Kiribati Institute of Technology. | 31

Marsh Advantage Insurance Promotion

Is your toolbox complete? Insurance solutions for plumbers Every day you walk onto a job site, you work with a large array of tools – all of which are essential to getting the job done. Yet you might be missing one vital tool in your plumbing tool kit – insurance! I know what you’re thinking, “do I really need that?” With a range of challenges unique to your industry, it’s important to consistently check if your toolbox is complete with insurance solutions that protect you on the job. Public Liability: Public Liability Insurance is considered a must have for plumbers, providing protection in the event of personal injury or damage to a third party or their property. If a claim was made against you or your company, you could be liable to pay for damages and any legal costs incurred and if you’re a sole-trader, you are legally and financially responsible for all aspects of your business, putting your own personal assets at stake. We arrange public liability insurance to cover you for such claims and also ensure cover satisfies the Victorian Plumbers Ministerial Order. Errors and Omissions: Did you know product or installation advice you give as a plumber could put you at a financial risk? If the advice you give to customers results in loss or

damage, this form of liability insurance provides financial protection to manage legal expenses and monetary damages, helping plumbing companies or contractors avoid a significant financial hit. Property Insurance: The second most common claim for tradesman according to AAMI’s business claim data, is the loss or damage of portable and valuable items1, including the tools you use daily to get the job done. If your tools, equipment or resources were suddenly lost or damaged from events such as natural disasters or theft, you inevitably will not be able to carry out the work you intended to complete, leaving you out of pocket as you will need to replace the items, which minimises your potential income. Employment Practices Liability: In 2017, the Australian Fair Work Commission reported that a total of 14,135 unfair dismissal applications were lodged, representing the largest category of applications received each year2. This is only

one example. If you own your own plumbing company, it is important to understand that employees and former employees have the ability to sue you for a raft of alleged acts such as claims of unfair dismissal, underpayment, discrimination, bullying and harassment. Employment practices liability insurance for plumbers provides cover for claims relating to such allegations. At Marsh Advantage Insurance, we have arranged insurance for thousands of plumbers across the country and have come to understand the unique requirements of the industry. For more information on the policies described above or to update your toolkit with appropriate insurance cover, please contact our expert plumbers team at 1300 300 511. 1 AAMI, (2015) Top 3 Insurance Claims for Tradies ( business-insurance/small-biz-tips/tradeinsurance-claims.html) 2 Fair Work Commission (2017) 2016-2017 Annual Report: Access to Justice. Page 77

Notice: Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (Aust) (MPIB) is a trading name of Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303, AFSL 238 369). 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. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting, or legal matters are based solely on our experience as insurance brokers and risk consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax, or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. 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. LCPA 19/059.

32 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2019

The 29th

Annual Bendigo Plumbers Charity

GolfDay Friday 4th October 2019 Neangar Park Golf Club, Bendigo

It’s on again! Be part of our annual charity golf day and support a great cause! 9.00am BBQ brunch / 10.00am Tee off / 4 ball Ambrose event. Plumbers, tradies and general public welcome. Great prizes, huge raffle and auction! All funds are donated to Camp Quality, creating a better life for kids living with cancer. Over $310,000 raised so far! Entry is only $45 per player and includes a BBQ brunch and afternoon tea.

Proudly supported by

Complete and return the attached booking form by 20 September 2019 to secure your place.

Limited to the first 120 fully paid players. For further info please contact the Bendigo Plumbers Charity Golf Day Committee:

Geoff Moroney - 0418 682 628 / Phil Kelly - 0457 578 000 / Brett Crapper - 0418 510 377 | 33

Member news Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards The Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards (PFIAs) will be held on Friday 13 September; the closing event for the triennial World Plumbing Conference (WPC 2019). WPC 2019 is the biggest event on the international plumbing community calendar and Melbourne is this year’s host city.

Geelong Fire Services – Winners of the Project of the Year Award 2018

The international guests of WPC 2019 will join the Victorian Plumbing and Fire Protection industry at the PFIAs for a night of celebration. The PFIAs were created as an opportunity to recognise hardworking individuals and companies and to acknowledge excellence within the Plumbing and Fire Protection industries.

Fast Facts

34 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2019

Breanna Szitarity – Winner of the Tradelink Women in Plumbing Rose Curtis Award 2018

The night will be filled with Awards, great food, dancing, and entertainment – two performances from Cosentino, the world-renowned Magician, and Tim Campbell as MC and singing with his band.

of Hydraulic Service Consultants

The PIFAs is a joint initiative driven by key industry stakeholders the Master Plumbers, the Association

For more information or

Australia, the Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union, the National Fire Industry Association, and the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre. last minute tickets contact

Clean water 844 million

people don’t have access to clean water

every minute

a newborn dies from infection caused by lack of safe water and an unclean environment

Congratulations to all students who were nominated, won awards or graduated. The future of plumbing is indeed in safe hands.

Apprentice Awards and Graduation A great night was had by all who attended the 2019 Awards, with a long list of nominees for each award demonstrating the skill, effort and commitment of the students within the Master Plumbers RTO and Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria (PAV) programs. Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria Nominees:

Norm Yazbek, Daryl Williamson, Damon Koutsouras, Brad Giblin, Simon Micallef, James Mort, Michael Langdon, Troy Powell, Hayden Dickson, Victoria Tomkins, Bruce Gao, Tahley Houghton, Harley Volgyesi, Jackson Pollock, Charlie Zhu, Rodman Fulton, Mitchell Butt, Mohseen Amer, Taylor Vanderwiel, Lachlan Simpson, Corey Delidakis Sir Rohan Delacombe 1st Year Apprentice Award: Charlie Zhu Peter Pratt 2nd Year Apprentice Award: Jackson Pollock Don Pritchard 3rd Year Apprentice Award: Hayden Dickson Alfred Atherton 4th Year Apprentice Award: Troy Powell

Master Plumbers RTO Nominees:

2019 PAV Graduating Apprentices:

Joel Anderson, Tahley Houghton, Jeremy Chea, Tadan Vitacca, Zachary Berthun, Michael Miller, Nathan McManus, Jonathan Magnone, Joshua Traine, Dean Milliken, Jack Sharp, Felipe Bley da Silveira de Oliveira, Salem Zoghaib, Troy Powell

John Robinson, Clark Blyth, Mark Robb, Juan Francisco Mochales, Daniel Grillo, Cristofer Chiera, Joseph Temple, Matthew Bisognano, Dylan Pyndiah, Craig Sterling, Jake Jokic, Matthew Jolly, Corey Baker, Karly Tapner, Jack Basile, Aidan Wood, Brandon Bresolin, Jake Fisher, Darcy Urry, Luke Volpe, Shaun Rehill, Stuart Masson, Blaise Menzies-White, Thomas Orr, George Betts, Dafydd James, Benjamin Armstrong, Mokhtar Mahamood, Ciaran Lawrence, Lochlan Burton, Lochlan Cassie, Lucas Poretti, James Trusler, Victoria Tomkins, Karl Agyeman, Carla Piscitello, David Sigle, Joel Pante, Lachlan Phelan, Tao Hing Lim, Jye Collins, Jack Deany, Mark Pasini, Bobby Morton, Zachary Racovolis, Luke Pettenon, Marcus Pickles

Most Outstanding Pre-Apprentice Award: Dean Milliken Most Outstanding 1st Year Apprentice Award: Felipe Bley da Silveira de Oliveira Most Outstanding 2nd Year Apprentice Award: Joshua Traine Most Outstanding 3rd Year Apprentice Award – General Plumbing: Tahley Houghton Most Outstanding 3rd Year Apprentice Award – Mechanical Services: Troy Powell | 35

Product news Allproof innovation

Abey solution

Aquatechnik Pex saves

The Allproof Industries Hot Water Cylinder Tray Tundish is a simple yet innovative proprietary plumbing fitting that provides a physical, visible and direct termination point for the TPR and CWEX relief drains, whilst still allowing the safe draining of the cylinder tray. Product features include:

It is recommended that flexible hookers be checked every year and changed every five. Still, statistics show faulty flexible hookers account for more than 20% of water damage claims*. Why do they fail? Braided stainless steel hoses have been found not to provide adequate rust protection. Rusting corrodes braiding, leading to inner liners bursting. Abey Australia has come up with the solution – the Abey Polyamide Hi Class Water Hooker. The hooker has a 15 year Abey Rust Resistant Warranty and is Watermark Approved.

The plumbing industry has increasingly adopted Pex piping systems as a substitute for metallic piping systems, due to the cost savings. The Aquatechnik Safety System has a size range between 16mm and 63mm, which means it can be a total solution for residential, commercial and industrial applications and offering considerable cost savings compared to large diameter copper pipe systems. The safety system comprises a multi-layer pipe (Pex/Al/Pex) in conjunction with a PPSU (polyphenylsulfone) fitting. 1800 809 143

• Grate with pipe outlet locators meets minimum air gap requirement as per AS/NZS 3500.2 • 50mm BSP Outlet • Grommet with diminishing ID for either 20mm or 15mm pipe • Body and Grate moulded in high temperature rated plastic suitable up to 130 degrees 03 9394 1883

*According to 2016 research released by general insurer IAG

36 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2019

Kingspan’s SENSiT® Rainwater tanks are like solar batteries in the garage: able to bring you water when it’s not raining, now they’re getting smarter with Kingspan’s latest innovation called SENSiT® by measuring water consumption and flows. A new domestic telemetry system for smart tank monitoring allowing homes and businesses to track rain event inflows, rainwater usage and storage volumes in the rainwater tank and puts all the data online so it can be accessed from your devices wherever you happen to be.

RIDGID FlexShaft NEW FlexShaft Machines quickly and efficiently deliver wall-to-wall clean in 1 ¼-inch to 4-inch (32 mm to 100 mm) residential and commercial pipes up to 70 feet (21.3 m). RIDGID FlexShaft Machines utilise specialised chain knockers attached to a flexible cable that are spun at high speeds by a cordless drill attached to the centre drive shaft. The chain knockers expand to the size of the pipe to quickly clear the entire circumference. Since the cable spins inside a durable nylon sheath that is housed within a fully contained drum, there is less jobsite mess. FlexShaft can also be operated while an inspection camera is in the line, letting you see while you clean. 1800 743 443 | 37

Product news simPRO efficiency Plumbing businesses across Australia are using simPRO, an operations management software provider, to automate and digitise a range of administrative and fundamental office and in-the-field workflows. simPRO’s latest tool is a mobile solution, conveniently named simPRO Mobile, that is being continuously expanded upon to become a one-stop shop for field workflows.

Aussie’s Mini Jetter It includes: • Timesheet management • Service and maintenance workflows • Upselling and quoting simpro-mobile

Aussie Pump’s Black Box pressure cleaner is being adopted by plumbers for cleaning small internal drains. The high-pressure blaster is easily converted into a portable mini jetter that is ideal for clearing drains in apartment blocks or even two storey buildings. “The Aussie Black Box is a heavy duty, electric drive pressure cleaner that packs a real punch,” said Mal Patel, Aussie Pumps’ product manager. “It’s a single phase unit with a 10 amp plug that you can connect anywhere.” The Black Box is Aussie’s 2,000 PSI, compact pressure cleaner designed for commercial cleaning applications. Plumbers can attach a 15 metre ¼” worm hose with a drain cleaning nozzle in place of the normal lance to clear blocked shower drains, downpipes and small grease traps.

38 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2019

Cbus Promotion

Protecting your super changes The 2019/20 financial year also brings the start of the Protecting Your Super package of reforms – we’ve been working hard to make sure our members are ready for these changes.

Insurance From 1 July, if your account hasn’t received any contributions (or you haven’t received a rollover and combined another account with your Cbus account) in the last 16 months, you’ll need to opt in to retain your insurance cover by visiting Cbus insurance is specially designed for workers in the building and construction industry, including those working in hazardous environments. You should consider what insurance is right for you and the impact

insurance premiums can have on your account balance. Your existing insurance cover may be cancelled if your account is inactive, and you don’t opt in to keep your insurance.

No exit fees A key part of the Protecting Your Super changes is the removal of exit fees – with no exit fees to pay, now could be the perfect time to consider bringing your extra super accounts to Cbus, a super fund that’s run to benefit our members. Visit for more details. As part of your Cbus membership, you can speak to our advisors for more information on protecting your super changes. Call 1300 361 784 or visit to request a call.

This information is about Cbus. It doesn’t take into account your specific needs, so you should look at your own business needs, objectives and requirements before making any financial decisions. Read the relevant Cbus Product Disclosure Statement and 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

Simple and easy super administration with


Your choice of SuperStream compliant online administration solutions to suit your business: Employer SuperSite and App

Cbus Clearing House

Suits businesses with a small number of employees who are Cbus members

Suits businesses with many employees and many super funds

Contact Daniel for your business super needs Daniel Tentser Business Development Manager, VIC

0439 372 365

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. | 39

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Multi-layer Pipe & Fitting System for Residential, Commercial & Industrial Plumbing • HOT & COLD POTABLE WATER • COMPRESSED AIR • • HVAC • PUBLIC SWIMMING POOLS • MARINE • AGRICULTURE • 40 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2019 AQA1720 Safety half-horiz API 185x123.indd 1

✆ 1800 278 283 3/5/19 2:21 pm

End-to-End Operations Management Automate & Consolidate Your Business Workflows

Build bigger and better processes than ever with: Advanced workflow automation Real-time, office-to-field connectivity Streamlined Project and Asset Management lifecycles

Integrations with industry-leading accounting packages Complete transparency in scheduling Insightful reporting across business areas

To learn more, head to | 41


PLUMBERS PACK! Complete Package includes: Raider V2 Water Jetter SR602WL WiFi Drain Camera Trogen TRS2000 Locator Only






/week Inc GST


Plus GST

* TAP, based on 5 years with a $2500 deposit

Call now 1800 816 830

Valves, controls + systems

Complete system for balancing and hygiene of potable water

Innovation + Quality

REGUMAQ-X for Commercial Potable Hot Water Production

AQUASTROM VT, T-Plus for automatic and C for static

• Hygienic production of potable hot water using the continuous high flow principle • Energy saving with reduced heat source capacity needed and output continuously matched to building demand

• Multi-function, with isolating, presetting, temperature display, draining, sampling and flow measurement possible from one valve • Precise automatic control of flow temperature

• Space saving in plant rooms with reduced buffer volume • Time-saving “plug and play” installation • High quality materials throughout, fully insulated • Watermark Certification

balancing of potable hot water systems.

Oventrop offer OV Assist hydraulic systems engineering design and on site commissioning assistance via factory trained local representatives. 42 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2019

• Ability to elevate temperature to kill Legionella spores • DN15 to DN25 size range • Watermark certification


Phone: +61 (0) 414 670 806 E-Mail: Germany OVENTROP GmbH & Co. KG 59939 Olsberg / Germany Phone: +49 2962 82 300


IAPMO issued conformity assessment has helped plumbing and gas manufacturers make their mark in the marketplace for years. Partner with the only organization that can rapidly grant product certification based on your needs: WaterMark, GasMark or OceanaMark seals of conformity. Choose IAPMO for the best service. Contact us today for more details. +61 03 8684 9580

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7/30/19 8:28 AM | 43




Taylor 3rd Year Apprentice Area: North-West Melbourne Water Sanitary Gasfitting Drainage Roofing Mechanical



Experience:      

Alex Qualified Plumber Area: South-East Melbourne Experience: Water Sanitary Gasfitting Drainage Roofing Mechanical

     

Who can we help you find?

Hiring on your terms

For subscription changes, call 1800 133 871 or email

PO Box 214 Brunswick VIC 3056

If undeliverable, return to

Call Natalie or Jeff on (03) 9329 9622 to find your labour hire solution

Profile for Master Plumbers

Australian Plumbing - Spring 2019  

Australian Plumbing - Spring 2019