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Issue 9 June, 2012

Aussie Painting Contractor Principles of Work Life Balance Series #2 Use Technology Wisely


Have You “Created� Your Difficult Clients?

Lead Paint in Older Homes A hidden danger for families!

Is Painting & Decorating a Good Career Choice?

Join Aussie Painters Network and Receive... • Join NOW! membership is Tax Deductable

• • • • • •

Instant access to our TWO pricing and estimating guides Quotation guide to assist you when quoting Work Method Statement and Risk Assessment Guide Special Pricing with Resene Paints (Lower Paint Prices) $55 credit with Motorpass Join for chance to WIN Sunshine Super Clean Kit Value $129

• • • • • •

Personal service and phone advice Web Listing for prospective customers to find you easily Free targeted online marketing & advertising Back-links to assist you in SEO rankings Your own page on Painter Help section if you are looking for work or looking for painters to help

If now is not the right time to subscribe we can still offer you a complimentary 1 page listing in our ‘Find a Painter’ section.

Supply your details to obtain your complimentary page NOW! Make sure you include your address, phone number and current web site if you have one, if you don’t, use ours!

$49.97 is all you pay for one year’s subscription

June Monthly Super Special

END OF FINANCIAL YEAR SALE Buy a minimum 70 litres

from the Resene Premium Paint Range & receive Selleys gap filler

for $1.00 a tube

Come in store to take advantage of this great offer from one of our ColorShops listed below:

Burleigh Heads ColorShop

Labrador ColorShop

Yatala Trade Centre

Geebung Trade Centre

Greenslopes ColorShop

Crows Nest ColorShop

Paint Prices for Members of Aussie Painters Network

offer is valid from 1 June 2012 - 30 June 2012

(offer valid for the month of June – redeemable in store onlymaximum 1 box per transaction - monthly limits apply – while stocks last)


Editor Nigel Gorman

Deputy Editor Caroline Miall

CONTRIBUTORs Belinda Ross Caroline Miall Deb Cross Ian Scanes Jennie Gorman Jim Baker Leanne Staff Michael Farrugia Mel Holzworth Nigel Gorman Rai Malisauskas Stephanie Gadd Tamara Simon GRAPHIC DESIGNER J.Anne Delgado

6 7 8

Editor Member Consultant Principles of Work Life Balance Series #2

Use Technology Wisely

10 Taxable Payments Reporting 14 Outsourcing


Have You “Created” Your Difficult Clients?

20 the best add-on you can give Customer Service

22 24 26

Let’s get some rave reviews! Disposal of Paint The Right Way

Lead Paint in Older Homes A hidden danger for families!

32 WorldSkills Australia 36 Colours in the Office 40 Is Painting & Decorating a Good Career Choice? What’s on trend 42 for Weddings right now? 44 Industry Idiots 45 Important Contacts

Welcome to the Ninth Edition of the Aussie Painting Contractor eMag. If you read last month, or have been following the news of late, you might have seen the issue of Lead Paint receiving a lot of attention, following the poisoning of a family in Queensland. We are now providing on our site the new Lead Paint Register. We want those qualified to remove Lead Paint to be easily found by those home owners who need you!

From the Editor Nigel Gorman 0430 399 800

Towards the end of another financial year, you may be considering how you can achieve some or more significant savings in the year ahead; we hope you find a few solutions inside this month’s eMag! There are most definitely opportunities to save in becoming a member. Join Aussie Painters Network this month (while you can still claim it on your next tax return) and next year you could save more than enough to have a good holiday. Members that are using the benefits are saving thousands. All you need to do is see our website or read on! You’ll also be supporting those businesses that are supporting us and the painting industry. You really will find some great savings are available. So, enjoy this month’s issue and feel free to contact us and let us know how we’re doing.

Opinions and viewpoints expressed in Aussie Painting Contractor Magazine do not necessarily represent those of the editor, staff or publisher or any Home Painters Info staff or related parties. The publisher, Home Painters Info and Aussie Painting ontractor Magazine personnel are not liable for any mistake, misprint or omission. All information contained in Aussie Painting Contractor Magazine is intended to inform and illustrate and should not be taken as financial, legal or accounting advice. You should seek professional advice before making any business related decisions. We are not liable for any losses you may incur directly or indirectly as a result of reading Aussie Painting Contractor Magazine. Reproduction of any material or contents of the magazine without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited.

Wow! Here We Are Again, End of Financial Year!!! How about jumping onto and join us before the end of June?

MEMBERSHIP IS TAX DEDUCTABLE! Remember, we offer great benefits to our members which we’re adding to all the time. If you’ve already joined, don’t forget to take full advantage, and you’re membership will have paid for itself in no time – easily in a single transaction! For example….Motorpass offer our members $55 credit on your card straight up! That is more than your membership costs, so there it is paid for, and you are in front already. I would love to hear from our existing members about how they have already used and benefited from their membership. We will continue to expand and seek further benefits that you may use when you join us at Aussie Painters Network. As Nigel has mentioned, he is working on setting up a Lead Register, with Painters listing their businesses as Lead removal specialists. I am also keen to start a similar register on our website for Wallpaper and Special effect Decorators. I would like to call out for any Painter Decorator to contact us to list their business on our Wallpaper Register. This will be great for any Consumers looking for a Wallpaper specialist, or any painters needing a bit of a hand in that area. I hope that you have all had a productive and prosperous financial year. May the Tax Man be kind to you all!

Members Consultant

Stephanie Gadd Membership Consultant 0433 724 794

Principles of WORK LIFE BALANCE #2

Use technology wisely Don’t let it be your ball and chain!

What would we do without current technologies? They make everything so much easier, communication so simple and save us so much time‌ or do they?

Information and communication technologies are so very efficient and prevalent in our work and personal lives now that it’s almost out of our control! Whilst making things simpler, they may also have increased our workload to a point where finding a balance with our personal, off-line, lives is nearly impossible. Is your email in box so full of stuff you plan on getting to later, that you never get through it? Do you get distracted from the important stuff by texts, emails, facebook, or are you twittering your life away? The fact is there are just so many technological mediums out there that, if used wisely, can undoubtedly help you in your work, and free up your time for the things you love, but if not employed professionally and kept in check, may well complicate life and waste precious spare time. A lot of us couldn’t imagine life without our smart phones, wireless internet and laptops or I pads. It’s undeniable that these can be powerful professional tools and, indeed, if you’re not using some of them, you probably should be! But the down side is that they are all loaded up with gizmos, games and functions that have no place in your work day, or when you could otherwise be spending time with family! To turn this around, find out the bits and pieces in your favourite gadget which will help you save time and investigate those thoroughly. There are fantastic ‘apps’ and programs available that can help you plan, budget, communicate, schedule, navigate etc., so search some app reviews and take advantage of them. (Apps are generally dirt cheap too, so you can try a few out without losing $$) As a small, or large business, or even an independent contractor, an online presence is so important now, because that is where people are seeking their services; and utilising social media like facebook and Linkedin is also an astute way to be seen. But it can get complicated and overwhelming if you don’t approach it carefully, and they too can chew through your time. Consider using social media sites as part of your advertising plan, but look into getting guidance on how to build up your “likers” and what ways to use the medium to your best advantage. There are plenty of professional services that do this now. And keep your professional profile separate to your personal one. So, its not the technology, but the way in which we use it which can become the problem. Here are a few tips to ensuring that you keep your use of technology effective on a professional level:

• Turn off, or silence the devices when you are with people -- give people a higher priority than

technology – Especially when you are quoting!

Don’t be tempted to multi task with your phone or lap top when you’re on a phone call, or worse, face to face with someone. Even if the other person will never know you’re checking your email whilst on the phone; it’s a respect issue, and you may miss important details.

• Try to avoid wearing a Bluetooth earpiece around. Apart from looking a bit self-important,

the nonverbal message you’re sending to everyone around you is, “You can talk to me but at any moment someone more important than you may call me and I’ll need to answer it.”

• Don’t email, sms etc., anything that should really be spoken in person. It’s difficult to convey

tone and emotion in text and if you have something with any detail that need to be explained it can really create problems.

Technology is great for business, and can make our personal lives simpler and save precious time, if it is used properly. The key is to use technology to serve you, not the other way around. This requires you to make deliberate choices of when to engage with technology so that it aids in your accomplishment of what is most important in your business and your life. Just be careful to be the master not the slave!

Taxable Payments Reporting Building and Construction Industry

Overview From 1 July 2012, businesses in the building and construction industry need to report the total payments they make to each contractor for building and construction serviceseach year. You need to report these payments to us on the Taxable payments annual report. To make it easier to complete the annual report you may need to change the way you currently record your contractor information.

Background As part of the 2011-12 Federal Budget, the government announced the introduction of taxable payments reporting for businesses in the building and construction industry. The aim of the system is to improve compliance with tax obligations by those contractors who are currently not doing the right thing. The information reported about payments made to contractors will be used for our data matching to detect contractors who have not:

• Lodged tax returns • Included all their income in returns that have been lodged. Click here For more information...

From 1 July 2012 you need to report if all of the following apply:

• you are a business that is primarily in the building and construction industry

• you make payments to contractors for building and construction services

• you have an Australian business number (ABN). You are considered to be a business that is primarily in the building and construction industry if any of the following apply:

• in the current financial year, 50% or more of your business activity relates to building and construction services

• in the current financial year, 50% or more of your business income is derived from providing building and construction services

• in the financial year immediately before the

current financial year, 50% or more of your business income was derived from providing building and construction services.

If you’re interested in cutting business costs, have you ever thought about outsourcing some of your business services offshore? More and more business people are turning to the Virtual Assistant model from Asia as a legitimate staffing solution. Your business work gets done, under your supervision, remotely, overseas at a fraction of the cost! There are many benefits to you to be found in outsourcing some of your basic professional functions tokeen employees in the Philippines or India. The employment is performance based, just a flat contract rate and comes with no obligation. We utilise favourable time zones, working with Asia (Philippines 2 hours behind us,India 5 hours behind us). It is our job to match the right overseas worker with the skills you need help with in your business. We are seeing our clients successfully embracing this model and achieving great leverage and cost savings. For as little as $120.00 per week you could hire a full time virtual assistant for 40 hours per week, to help you with some of the following:

• • • • • •

Inbound sales enquiries Inbound support desk enquiries Bookkeeping Invoicing Debt Collection Customer Service such as calling and updating your clients • Emailing clients • Lead Generation or Data Mining

• • • • • •

Appointment Setting Cold Calling Form Filling Researching information Editing Documents Data Entry and Updating your Database • Managing an e-commerce backend system

• • • • •

Project Management Content Writing Updating social media Updating Website Uploading email newsletter content into email marketing software • Search Engine Optimisation • Working with XL

Even if you don’t need a full time person, you probably have ‘one off ’ jobs that need doing where significant savings are to be made by using contractors from overseas.


Iphone App Development

Web Design

Facebook Design Accounting

or companies we recommend

Some of these include:

• • • • •

The offshore contractors

• • • •



Lead Generation

Architecture and Drafting

are degree qualified and their rates vary from between $3.00 and $15.00 an hour.

Finding a Quality Offshore Virtual Assistant Has Never Been Easier As an example to best highlight how this might be done, take one business service such as bookkeeping. Instead of paying your bookkeeper $50.00 per hour each month, you are looking at $5.00 per hour by hiring a skilled bookkeeper from the Philippines, using an online bookkeeping system that keeps you connected. Switching toa system like this, such as “Zero”, gives you the convenience of being able to log in from any internet connection, making it very easy for both you and your offshore bookkeeper to access the information at all times. I would have an experienced Zero bookkeeper to set up the chart of accounts initially, ready for the offshore bookkeeper to take over.You can either scan your receipts and email them over, or log them into a spread sheet, or email or text each amount individually.For ongoing communication you would use skype and email. You might think to yourself I’m not going to trust someone overseas with my books. To be honest I would not blame you. But using a recruitment service such as ours protects you from risk and enables you to source the best and most reliable worker to help you, especially if you are time poor or lack the confidence to get started.

Call us at 0414 707751 or visit “” If you would like to talk further about how to go about employing a virtual assistant for your business today.

Hire One


Have You ‘Created’ Your Difficult Clients? Many business owners/managers would probably scoff at this idea and say “of course not”. But as Business Consultant, Tamara Simon, points out, we do actually create rather than gain many of our difficult clients. For many businesses, difficult clients are defined as those who • Don’t pay on time

So here’s some the tips to turn your difficult clients into ambassadors for your business:

• Don’t pay at all

Tip 1: Ensure any communication is written

• Change the brief/specification

with the client, rather than you, in mind.

• Contact you on a very regular basis

Too often, businesses write in jargon and industry terminology rather than in language

(email or phone)

the client can quickly and easily understand.

• Ask ‘silly’ questions • Aren’t organised • Want to or have to have everything explained to them (often on numerous occasions).

Tip 2: Develop your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) FAQs, placed on your website and provided

So now think about the clients you would deem as ‘difficult’ within your business?

to new and existing clients, can not only

• Why do you classify them as difficult?

and provide you with more information

• How many do you have?

on how you help and add value to them.

• How long have you had them? • Do you really know why they are unhappy or ‘difficult’?

minimise phonecalls and emails but help your clients (and you) understand their needs

Tip 3: Develop a ‘so what happens now’ letter. Many clients may have never undertake work


like you offer before; and yet, we provide so

customers are your greatest source of learning,”

much information about what will happen

and yet many businesses choose to either

throughout the process verbally with little or no

defame or ignore them instead of finding out the

written documentation to back up the conver-

real cause of their grumblings and use this infor-

sations. And we wonder why clients keep ring-

mation to improve their business.

ing and emailing with questions!







Tip 4: Provide progress updates. Even with a ‘so what happens now’ letter, clients still need to be advised of where their job is at, particularly when they see with little or no action for a while because of work being done behind the scenes and other circumstances. It is really important to understand their job is their number one priority, even though it probably isn’t for you; so email or phone them to advise how the job is tracking in relation to the initially agreed completion dates. Tip 5: Keep to your terms and conditions. Many businesses have terms and conditions which clearly outline what will happen when the client doesn’t pay on time etc, and yet by continuing with the work and not enforcing these terms, you are educating your clients it is OK not to follow procedures (and that you are happy to work for FREE!). Tip 6: Gain regular feedback during and upon completion of each job. Not only is it essential to get feedback from individual/group consultations and feedback forms, but more importantly, it is the process you have to review and act upon the feedback as well as having an open mind to new ideas that will keep improving your business Tip 7: Charge or not to charge….that is the question. Too often, clients change the brief and yet a variation process is not enacted, meaning work is undertaken for free rather than making an informed decision about whether the client should be charged for this change or not. Consequently, clients start to believe that any change isn’t chargeable rather than being ‘educated’ about what changes do and do not constitute additional fees. By implementing these tips, they will not only save you time and money, but they will help you build a more sustainable and profitable business. And finally, in order to turn your ‘difficult’ clients into those who want to always refer you to others, remember keep these two ideas at the forefront of your business. “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” Jeff Bezos “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so.” Mahatma Gandhi


Tamara Simon was a Queensland Finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards. With extensive experience in over 10 industry sectors including building design, training, auditing and marketing, she is passionate about helping build profitable and sustainable service-based businesses.

Insurance Premium Funding A lending facility for business clients who wish to spread the cost on annual insurance premiums over monthly instalments so that they can smooth out their cash flow.

Unsecured or secured by policies financed: finance is generally available without tying up the business and personal assets. In most instances no additional security is required. Directors’ guarantees are usually required when financing is >$250k. Flexible financing term: terms of 6 – 12 months, smooths out cash flow by breaking one lump sum into a series of payments over the year. Finance a variety of insurance types: bundle all insurance costs together, such as PI, Workers Compensation, general business insurance, motor vehicle fleet registrations etc. Budget with certainty: rate and repayment are fixed for the term. No ongoing fees: upfront documentation fee is the only fee applicable, competitive interest rates and fixed monthly instalments

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Mobile: 0421 383 314 (Rod) 0421 383 315 (Ian)


ABN 37 128 508 494 434 Anzac Av, Kippa-Ring QLD 4021 PO Box 446 Kippa-Ring QLD 4021 P: (07) 3283 8848 F: (07) 3283 8847 E:

Treat your beneficiaries equitably If you’d like to pass an asset that represents a significant portion of your wealth to a particular beneficiary, Life insurance can be used to ensure your other beneficiaries are treated fairly.

What are the benefits? By using this strategy, you could: • Provide additional funds to equalise your estate in the event of your death, and • Ensure all your beneficiaries receive sufficient assets to achieve your estate planning objectives.

How does this strategy work? When planning the distribution of your wealth, you may want to pass an asset of significant value to a particular beneficiary. This could occur if you would like to leave, for example, an investment property or the family home to one of your children. But what if this asset represents a large portion of your total wealth and you are unable to ensure your other children benefit equally? One solution is to take out a suitable amount of Life insurance. In the event of your death: • The asset of significant value could be passed on to one of your children, and • The proceeds from the life insurance could be added to your other assets to ensure all of your children receive the same amount. This can enable you to equalise your estate and treat your children (or other beneficiaries) fairly.

A financial adviser can help you determine how much Life insurance you may require and can review your insurance needs over time to make sure you remain suitably covered. Because the law can vary in each state, you should also seek professional legal advice before using this strategy.

Customer Service

the best add-on you can give The one thing that is lacking, that stands out to me above all others things, especially in business, is the lack of customer service and acknowledgement of our clients.

So, what can you do to add value to your business this year and have your clients talking about you? I suggest that you ask yourself, ‘how can Icreate a better service to my customers/clients’, without it costing an arm and a leg? I believe we are in for another business year of becoming more aware and pro-active if we wish to succeed. So I suggest that you start to use your imagination by becoming creative so that you can stand out from others around you. Are you acknowledging the people who are your customers already? Can you do more for them? Are you aware of how to make their experience with you a better one than they get with others? What do you do that is different so they will talk about you and your business?Are you acknowledging their importance to you and your business? Word of mouth marketing (networking/relationship building) is the most powerful way to make your business grow, especially if your dollars are limited. Whilst I was shopping for some birthday gifts, I became aware of the lack of customer service in many of the shops. I decided to go for the first time into the new fancy low budget store near my home. Even though it was a beautiful new store, with large aisles and plenty of stock, I was highly critical of their lack of staff and service to the customers they were wishing to attract. Even though their shelves were bulging there was no one around to help support and direct their customers. I left the store with only one article when I was looking to purchase 6 presents!

Visit my website today!

by: Jennie Gorman

I was overwhelmed when I ended up at another well know low cost storein the same complex where I found staff in many aisles, ready to help, who had an understanding of not only their stock but where to find it. I saw them helping their customers find whatever they were looking to buy. Of course, their children had already let them know what they wanted, but where do I find it, is the question! Where do I spent many dollars? If you are like me, and dislike shopping, this customer help person in a shop is always a Godsend! Of course, being a business networker I chatted to people as I walked around myself and supported them where I could too. The one thing that I did do was tell others of my experience with other stores and where there was a lack in certain areas! Good word of mouth marketing for the customer, not so good for the particular stores! So, where is your point of difference going to be both now and in the future? If you want to learn more on how you can create some new innovative ideas for your business’ customers, talk to me via Skype at jennie.gorman1 or email me at to set up a time and to find out how you can move your business forward. I wish you a good financial business year ahead and may you reap the benefits from your time and effort put into your planning to be more successfulfor both yourself and your business.

PO Box 118, Clayfield Qld 4011

Phone: (07) 3262 5343 • Fax: (07) 3262 5805 • Mobile: 0414 278 344

Let’s get some rave reviews!

Just about every business relies on some form of ‘proof’ that they can deliver what they are offering. Gathering testimonials from your best customers is a guaranteed way to increase your professionalism and reassure your prospective clients that they are choosing the right business for the job.

Generally testimonials from clients need to be short and sweet. Focussing on the positive results of working with you and your team and answering all the right questions. Give them some guidance, ask questions such as: • What was the challenge and how did your business solve it? • How much time or money was saved using your services? • What was the most impressive feature of your service? • Would you recommend this business in the future? It is also important to ask these questions shortly after your project with this client has been completed. Create a list of your clients who you know have had a GREAT experience with you and your business. It’s not necessary to do this face to face, put your questions down in an email and ask your clients and, where possible, to include photographs. This adds visual interest and credibility to the testimonial. Once you have your testimonials, a few tweaks and edits maybe necessary (always pass them back to the client for a final approval!). Then you are good to go, load them up onto your website and use them in any promotional literature you can. Even better, get your client to share them on your facebook page! Try and make this process part of your sales cycle. As you complete a project ask them for a testimonial. Most happy customers are only too happy to share their positive experience, so don’t hesitate, start asking them today! Testimonials are one of your most effective and powerful marketing tools and they don’t cost you anything.

Disposal of Paint... the Right Way!

When purchasing paint, remember to estimate the exact amount required for the job. Buy only what you need. Ask your retailer for assistance.

Solvent-based paints need special disposal practices. They are also ignitable and present other hazards. These products must never be poured down storm drains, the household sink (especially if you have a septic tank), Always be sure to read the label, which or on the ground. contains important information regarding Solvent-based paints should be disposed of the product. as a household hazardous waste. Many State The best and easiest way to dispose of left Governments and local Councils provide a over paint is to use it all up. Apply a second service to collect and properly dispose of coat or touch up, as needed. waste household paint.

Leftover paint can be given to someone else, who has a need for the product. Make sure that any product you “donate” is in its own original containerand has its label intact.

In Victoria, paint can be disposed of through the “Detox Your Home” program. Similar programs are available in other States including Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.

In NSW, the State Government provides assistance to local Councils to offer Household Water-based paints can be left to dry by Chemical collection days, which also accept removing the lid and allowing the leftover certain quantities of left-over domestic paint. paint to dry. This should be done in an area If your local community does not undertake which is well away from children and animals. such programs, contact either your Local or Allow the paint to dry completely. Most local State Government Environmental ProtecCouncils will allow the container to be disposed tion Agency, for disposal guidance. of in the weekly houshold trash. However, it is advisable to check first. Remember to leave Finally, paint thinners, turpentine, mineral the lid off, so that the refuse remover can see spirits and solvents should never be poured down a drain for the storm sewer. that the paint has hardened.

Representing the Australian surface coating industry Tel: 02 9876 1411 • Fax: 02 9876 1433

Lead Paint in Older Homes A Hidden danger for Families!

Families may be unaware of its presence, and the high risks associated in disturbing it. Houses built pre 1970 are likely to be affected and should be tested automatically prior to any renovation work taking place, especially painting preparation work.If you are unsure as to whether the paint you are about to disturb contains lead, you can purchase a lead test kit from the Lead Group, a hardware store or paint shop for only a few dollars.

Lead based paint is dangerous and should not be disturbed by anyone other than a professional. Paint flakes, dust and fumes from burning off or sanding the old paint are the major contributors to lead poisoning. Inhalation and ingestion are the main ways that people get elevated blood lead levels. Lead is absorbed and can accumulate in the body and if left untreated, can be fatal. Common symptoms of lead poisoning are loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, abdominal cramps and constipation, headaches, fatigue, irritability, confusion, fitting, muscle weakness or paralysis. The people most at risk are those removing the lead based paint, the occupants and neighbours if dust is dispersed, and family members of the people working in a lead affected environment. Children have a tendency to place things into their mouths, play more in potentially affected areas, and can absorb up to 50% of the lead entering their bodies while their nervous system still developing. Studies suggest that even low levels of lead in children can adversely affect their intellectual development and behaviour.


are the most vulnerable to lead poisoning, and are at a higher risk and affected more severely at lower blood levels.

For women during pregnancy, lead may pass through the placenta from mother to the baby which in turn can affect the development of the nervous system of the baby as well as increase the risk of premature birth. Breastfeeding Mothers can be unwittingly passing on a double dose of the toxicity if the home is affected. The only way to identify lead poisoning is through a blood test. A doctor should be consulted immediately if you suspect lead poisoning. Pets often show the first signs of lead poisoning due to their size and their habits e.g. (getting dust on their paws and licking them clean).

It is so crucial that if you suspect your home has lead based paint in it, you undertake the necessary checks and contact a contractor that has lead based paint removal experience. You can find a list of Painting Contractors that specialise in lead abatement.

Looking at becoming certified in Lead Paint Removal?

Check out our site

for the next available course in your area.

Even low levels of lead are harmful Paint contractors, parents, renovators, child-care centre operators, teachers, landlords, agents, pet-owners: Find out if paint, dust, Soil, drinking water, toy paint, Plastics, ceramics, jewellery, and other items are safe for humans and pets.

Buy a DIY-sampling / lab analysis lead kit

The LEAD Group’s lead test kits are the only ones available in Australia for testing a wide variety of samples at a lab (which charges us a charity rate so you pay less). Order online • print form • fax/call : 1800 626 086 You take the samples, and send them to Sydney Analytical Labs. The lab analyses the samples, and we explain the results. Click here for videos on how to use the sampling kits The LEAD Group is a charity (ABN 25819463114 )

donate NOW

*The water test kit requires less lab work and a lot less interpretation that is why it costs less Prices include postage within Australia, handling, lab charge, results, interpretation & GST.

Our Mission

To contribute to sustainable economic prosperity through the development, recognition and promotion of excellence in skills.

WorldSkills Queensland WorldSkills Queensland delivers a number of programs to promote and showcase youth skills excellence. Try’a Trade and a series of Regional competitions are key features of the WorldSkills program. Regional competitions are run for open categories and VETiS (Vocational Education and Training in Schools). There are five regions within Queensland: Wide Bay (including Sunshine Coast), South QLD (Including Toowoomba), Central QLD (Including Rockhampton and Mackay), North QLD (Including Townsville and Cairns), and Brisbane (including Logan and the Gold Coast). WorldSkills Queensland currently has three full-time staff members based at SkillsTech Australia. WorldSkills Queensland is responsible for the coordination and management of WorldSkills activities including, but not limited to: 1. Marketing and promotional activities of WorldSkills Australia and WorldSkills Australia Try’a Trade within Queensland. 2. Ensuring the co-ordination and/or facilitation of all WorldSkills Try’a Trade activities in Queensland. 3. Liaising with the five WorldSkills Queensland Regional Committees to organise the WorldSkills Australia Regional and VETiS Regional competitions. 4. Management of the Queensland Team attending both the WorldSkills Australia National and International Competitions. 5. Building sponsorship and industry support for all WorldSkills Queensland activities. 6. Working effectively with Registered Training Organisations (both public and private), industry associations and sponsors to ensure optimal success for participants at all events. 7. Consulting with and reporting to the Department of Education and Training and WorldSkills Australia on all activities of WorldSkills Queensland through Senior Management of SkillsTech Australia.

2013 WorldSkills International Competition, Leipzig, Germany On 2 July 2013, Leipzig Trade Fair will open its doors to over 1,000 competitors, 2,000 experts, 3,000 volunteers and 200,000 visitors for the 42nd WorldSkills International Competition. It is here that the world’s most skilled young people from 58 countries and regions will be competing in 43 skill areas for the prestigious title of world champion. Once the results are announced from WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Sydney 2012, medallists may then be eligible for selection as part of the 2013 Team Australia Skillaroos who will travel to Leipzig in a bid to be titled the world’s best in their chosen skill area. The 2013 Team Australia Skillaroos will be officially announced in November of 2012.


Resene Clinicalcote is a low odour, washable waterborne paint with antimicrobial silver for use on broadwall areas in building s such as hospitals, rest homes, medical centers and clinics.

For many people the word ‘hospital’ conjures up thought of drab, institution buildings. However this is not the case today as designers strive to create healthcare facilities and buildings that support wellness and uplift the spirits of patients and staff with the use of Resene Clinicalcote to enhance, protect, deodorize, and sanities. This is more true today than ever. Hospitals must be easy to clean and maintain so appropriate and durable finishes and materials need to be specified for each functional space. New anti-microbial silver paint coatings (Resene Clinicalcote) minimize bacterial contamination and cross-infection as well as providing a durable finish designed to withstand alcohol and glycol containing hospital cleaners and an enhanced appearance to aid in the healing process with comforting colours. These facilities provide care for non-acute and long term conditions. Most residents are aged and/or frail but not necessarily bed-ridden. As these are ‘homes’ to the patients they need to be sensitive and responsive to long term human needs and wellbeing, both in a physical and emotional sense. Studies have proven that certain colours help with calming anxiety, stress, accelerate healing and rehabilitation. With the expert knowledge of Resene’s dedicated staff, we are able to assist in the colour selection process with rendered images of the chosen/recommended colour schemes to ease the feeling of anxiety over treatment and unfamiliar process that contribute to stress.

Colours for the Office Let me tell you a story, a true story actually, one I heard today, from a colleague in the paint industry. She was telling me about her boss, who for many months of working in his home office would end up Angry at the end of Every Day! He could feel it building up and up every day and just didn’t really know why. Then all of a sudden one day he realised… he had a feature wall in his office, not behind or beside him, but right in front of him, he looked at it every day for hours, TA DA! This must be it he thought, “I’m going to paint out this RED wall!” and he did, and his anger went away and now he loves his office and is happy to be in there. So, it’s very true that colour can and does affect our mood, whether we believe it or not, it just happens. Here are a few tips to avoid the ‘red-wall’ syndrome in your office. 1. Use a neutral, peaceful colour 2. Then vamp it up just a bit (depending upon what you do for a living in your office) 3. Never use an aggressive or bright colour for a feature wall or whole office space, use them in small pieces around the office if that is your favourite colour. 4. Don’t make it too peaceful that all you want to do is play ‘Solitaire’ on the computer! 5. Choose a shade of your favourite colour to accessorise in your office, eg, filing trays, picture frames, stapler etc. 6. Be aware of Black! Some people (me included in the early days) think black will work with everything – WRONG! It can be very draining and now I hide the filing cabinet in the robe, the trays are gone, I still have a black sticky tape dispenser and stapler and hope wildly that someday I will purchase ones that I really like! Black is a colour for 40% of the population, the rest of us need something else.

An example for number 1 could be, liking Dulux Hog Bristle (one of their classics) then painting your office in Russian Toffee, accessorising with gold frames with Royal Purple matts, or white box frames. For number 2 still using Dulux Hog Bristle or Russian Toffee, add a feature of Angora Blue, or Frills, or choose a green or other colour range of your liking. Colour but not too deep, dark or bright, soften it just a touch. If red is your colour of choice then use it to matt some frames, or use folders, boxes or other decorator office pieces to bring in the bright red, orange, aqua, even black can be used here. If your office space is too sedate, you may well relax too much and just want to fool around in there! Remember it is a place to work, and work we must, that’s what makes the world go round, sorry. My other Hot Office Tip is to find some inspiring pictures of a place you’d love to go, or someone who inspires you eg. Paris, J K Rowling (Harry Potter Author) and place a picture, quote, image that reminds you of why you work, what inspires you to keep going, why you do what you do. Then go for it. Until next time… take care and keep smiling.

Belinda Ross Call me at : 0413 464 289 07 3886 4488

How To Become A Really Successful Painter My name is Jim Baker. I have been a painter for 42 years and have run my own successful painting business in Brisbane for 27 years under the name of James W Decorating. At the Dulux National Conference in 2004 and 2006, I won the title of Dulux Accredited Painter of the Year for Queensland. I have also been a finalist in the Action Coach My Business Awards for Best Small Business in 2008, the Dulux Accredited Business Professional finalist in 2011 and the Micro Business Queensland Telstra Business Awards finalist also in 2011. When I was first in business, my main concern was to be cheaper than my competitors’ price. Experience has taught me that this is not what a client is looking for, which is the reason I wrote a book, “How To Become AReally Successful Painter”. If you are in business, or one day want to start up a business, then my book can help you. I can show you how, using a series of 8 easy steps, your business will be one jump ahead of your competitors and more profitable. It doesn’t matter if you want to be a one man operator or have 50 people working for you. The outcome is the same. Success for your business!

My book has been thoroughly approved by Dulux, Master Painters, Be Constructive Qld. and TAFE teachers from various colleges around Australia. 1200 books are being given out by Dulux to every final stage painting apprentice and Post Trade graduates in Australia each year. It is also being used as a reference book by Dulux in New Zealand and a TAFE College in Fiji. If you are looking for improvements in your business, then “How To Become AReally Successful Painter” can really help you. A copy of my book is available by emailing your name and address to Regular retail price: $25.50 (inclusive of GST and postage).

What I have learnt through trial and error, attending seminars, observing how others run their business and being in the trade myself for 42 years, will be of huge benefit to you. I will show you how to: • Advertise efficiently without spending a fortune. • Get more exposure. • Increase the number of your potential clients. • Win the job even though you are the highest quote. • Improve quote acceptances. • Be more of a business person rather than ‘just a painter’. • Make your quotes more appealing. • Design graphs to help keep track of calls and clients. • Get and keep that competitive edge over other painters. Just one small detail could mean either a Yes or a No on a job acceptance. By following even a few of my proven ideas, I assure you that you will have more success in winning a job over your competition. This is not done by lowering your prices. From feedback I receive from my clients, I am often the most expensive and I am usually booked 3 to 4 months in advance.

Grab a Copy Today!

Is Painting & Decorating a

Tulia Nacola at her Graduation from APTC

Emily Tane

I remember when I was in Australia I would often go to career expos and schools speaking about painting and decorating as a career option. I was a popular as bad breath, I remember a young man talking to me at our career expo stall, his mother came over and grabbed him by the arm and said “you’re not interested in that…” Many parents would like to think of their child becoming a doctor, lawyer, or brain surgeon. So it is not surprising that the most popular stalls at a career’s expo are those of Universities. In the Pacific Islands where opportunities are rare and people have to work with adversity, it is understandable that the career you choose can have a very big impact on you and your family. Every college and university will paint a wonderful picture of how doing their course can make you happy and bring endless wealth and prosperity. Look, let’s be honest, they are a business and they want enrolments. Students are consumers and they need to thinkwisely about what they will do with their lives. Take Emily Tane for example, Emily studied a year at a university doing Marine Biology. Emily tells her story “My father had to take a job on another Island to support me going to Uni. It was very hard on the family. What made me start to think was my uncle told me that he was conducting interviews for a low paying clerk’s position. He told us that many of the applicants were people with degrees that could not find work. I started to think, at my university we had four groups of students doing a four year degree in Marine Biology with an average of around 100 graduates each year. What was really scary is that we were not the only University doing Marine Biology. What are the chances of me being successful? My lecturers were not even convinced that everyone would get a job.

Good Career Choice? Meanwhile Rachel Elder a friend of mine who had left Uni to do a certificate III in Painting & Decorating had an awesome job and was really enjoying herself. So I decided to leave Uni and work as a painter. This was an excellent choice for me as I now can see doors open that I could not see before. My father now has been able to return home and I we are under much less financial hardship.” Emily Tane is also being trained as a researcher and junior author for Edubytes, a company that develops educational resources for the painting & decorating trade among other things. “It was hard at times, many of my friends that were at Uni thought I was crazy.” Said Emily.

Tulia and her employees. 3rd from the front.

Tulia Nacola is the daughter of a prominent Fijian family that had high expectations for her. Her father is a High Chief of Fiji from the NakoroTubu Ra and a retired government minister. So when she told her parents that she wanted to be a painter they were not impressed. Tulia explained “I was bored with Uni, I was good with my hands and I really wanted to do a trade. When I saw what the painters studying at APTC were doing I really wanted to be part of it.” Tulia now is doing well with her own paint company called Perfection Painters. She even has her own website Her parents have come around and are very proud of Tulia. They can see she is independent and has her own business. Tulia was also voted as deputy chair of the Fiji Master Finishers Association. As we see the painting and decorating industry grow and emerge in the Pacific we hope to see more and more positive stories about people being successful choosing Painting & Decorating as a career choice. By Michael Farrugia of, one of the directors of the Painters Institute Rachel Elder

What’s on Trend for Weddings Right Now? Whether you are the type of person to follow trends or avoid them, it’s always good to know what’s popular right now. Weddings are great events to let your personality and flair shine through and to add your own take on what’s trending. Trends come and go and like fashion they come back again, so here are our top 5 wedding trends of 2012 and a few of those things that are passé.

1. Classic traditional cakes are back in vogue. Forget cupcakes or topsy turvy cakes, while

some people still choose these, they have lost the popularity they had a few years ago. Beautiful cakes, skilfully piped and decorated are very popular right now. Think traditional white or ivory fondant icing - the type we saw in the 50’s and 60’s. Mud cake is still the most popular choice and brides are choosing tiered cakes (but sitting on top of each other sans the little column things) with different flavours, even throwing in a fruit cake from time to time. 2. Photobooths have been popular for a year or so now, but very popular with couples who

want their wedding reception to have an element of fun. Photobooths provide some great casual photos for albums but keep guests entertained and are a fun keepsake of your wedding for your guests...way more fun than a handful of sugared almonds. 3. Gourmet Jelly Shots - these fabulously colourful and tasty treats are appearing at wedding

cocktail hours more frequently. Versatile and limited really only by imagination you can create gourmet jelly shots in colours to match your theme and served like a canapé, they are sure to get your guests into a celebratory mood. Check out these Cosmo jelly shots…Mmmm!

4. Rainbow Bridesmaids - back in the 70’s we saw lots of weddings where the bridesmaids each wore the same dress in different colours - it’s BACK! Brides are not limiting themselves to one or two colours…and why should they Splashes of colour brings a real sense of celebration to an occasion. A word of warning though…choose the colours together so that there is happy cohesion between the colours and they don’t appear like a miserable coexistence. 5. Seating in The Round these ensures that everyone gets a great view of the action. This trend is particularly popular and effective for smaller weddings (50 people or less) - everyone gets to feel included and not relegated to the cheap seats. We are even seeing some ceremony venues set up with spirals of chairs so that the happy couple can walk past and greet each and every guest. It takes a little more space to set up like this, so make sure you have enough room.

For more ideas on wedding and event trends you can follow me on Pinterest - I have hundreds of beautiful and interesting photos all sorted into easy to find folders.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE Just search for “Debra Cross”. Email: if you would like an invitation to join.

Happy Celebrating!

The Industry Idiots

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Aussie Painting Contractor June  

The Aussie Painting Contractor Magazine is here to assist Painters and Decorators, Small Business as well as consumers.

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