Page 1


plumbing I N D U S T R Y






intelligent products and design PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

achieving your business goals TOP TOOLS

getting the job done

2 0 1 2

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welcome F R O M



Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine Plumbing Industry House 525 King Street West Melbourne VIC 3003 T 03 9329 9622 F 03 9329 5060 E The Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine (Industry and Member editions and occasional supplements including the MPMSAA Group Training News, are official journals produced by the Master Plumbers’ and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) ABN: 56 296 473 997 Print Post number: 381712/02399 ISSN: 1325-6289

MASTER PLUMBERS ASSOCIATION LOCATIONS Head Office 525 King Street West Melbourne VIC 3003 T 03 9329 9622 F 03 9329 5060 Brisbane Group Training 91-93 Commercial Road Teneriffe QLD 4006 T 07 3854 2345 F 07 3854 2346

Welcome to the March issue of Australian Plumbing Industry magazine – our first edition for 2012!


I hope all our readers enjoyed their break over the holidays and have returned refreshed and revived for another year. 2012 looks to be a busy year for the plumbing industry, with reviews planned across a number of areas and work progressing on the National Workplace Health and Safety Regulations and Codes. In this issue, Sarah Murphy provides a Construction Forecast for the start of 2012, looking ahead to see what is in store across the commercial and residential building industry. Our Top Tools feature takes a closer look at some of the latest pieces that can help you complete jobs faster and to a higher standard. As a plumber you are well placed to provide clients with information and advice on the best products and technologies for their needs. Our Clever Kitchens feature looks at some of the latest products that combine style with convenience and allow consumers to make cleaner, greener and more environmentally efficient choices.



MARCH 2012

Our Mastering Workplace Relations series continues. In this issue, Master Plumbers Workplace Relations Advisor Sharon Kraemer discusses how effective performance management can support your business objectives. Looking to expand your skills base or add value to your business this year? Check out our Industry Development piece (page 21) to find out about some of the great courses on offer 2012. New courses available this year include Geothermal Heat Pump Systems (part of the Green Plumber suite of courses) and license level training for Victorian plumbers – both courses are available at the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC) in Brunswick. Happy reading,


Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre 306 Albert Street Brunswick VIC 3065 T 03 9356 8921 F 03 9356 8929

CONTACTS Publisher The Master Plumbers’ and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) Editor Melissa Chrys T 03 9321 0703 E Advertising Tremain Walles T 03 9321 0780 E Suppliers Salt Creative Printgraphics Direct Mail Corporation

A BIG DIFFERENCE This air-conditioner is unique. It has no outdoor unit. The Italians have done it again. The Unico from Olimpia Splendid represents the latest in air-conditioning technology. Instead of a big outer box, it’s got two small holes. The air-conditioner is installed from the inside, quickly and without any complex masonry. This means fast and low cost installation. Four models with Inverter technology to choose from. Four models with On/Off technology. With or without heat pump technology. Unico. It means “the only one”, in Italian. You’ll agree. It’s unique.

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DEFY GRAVITY Create wet areas wherever your customer needs them.




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New training courses on offer in 2012 / see page 21



44 16 28 Apprentice news / page 38

From the CEO / page 9 A message from our CEO and our Association’s President

Clever kitchens / page 28 Check out the latest kitchen products and innovations

Member news / page 10

The glass ceiling myth / page 32 What is holding your business back?

Mastering workplace relations: performance management / page 40 How effective performance management can support your business objectives

Construction forecast / page 34 Looking ahead to the year in construction

Product news / page 44 Getting on top of your financial situation

Workers compensation – are you covered? / page 36 What you need to know about workers compensation insurance

WPC news / page 50

Rick Taylor – Life Member / page 15 Long time Association member is recognised Industry news / page 16 Industry development / page 21 Top tools / page 24 We take a look at some of the latest pieces for your toolbox

Disclaimer Statements and information appearing in this publication must not be interpreted as having the endorsement of being the opinion of the publisher, which takes no responsibility for the correctness of the statements made. It is a condition of purchase or acceptance of this publication that the publisher does not assume any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage which may result from any inaccuracy or omission in the publication, or from the use of information contained herein and the publisher makes no warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to any of the material contained herein. The publisher shall not be liable for any failure to publish any advertisement where such failure results from circumstances beyond their control. If advertising material is not supplied in accordance with deadlines, the publisher reserves the right to repeat any material previously provided by the advertiser. The publisher reserves the right to refuse and edit material. All prices and specifications are subject to change without notice. Copyright Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher.

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welcome F R O M



I HOPE ALL OUR MEMBERS, FRIENDS AND FAMILIES HAD A SAFE AND HAPPY BREAK OVER THE HOLIDAY PERIOD. In 2012, the Association will continue to further the interests of its members and we have a number of key issues on our agenda for this year. One of our highest priorities is to lobby the Plumbing Industry Commission (PIC) to improve its inspection and audit processes, particularly in relation to plumbing in the residential sector. The Association does receive complaints from customers about sub-standard work by plumbers and inadequate responses by insurance companies. The industry is determined to protect its status as a licensed occupation and to protect the health and interests of the community and we continue to work with the PIC to ensure this outcome. A strong and well run commission will ensure high standards are upheld and that consumers receive better service and outcomes. We will keep all our members informed as we move forward. In other matters, I am looking forward to the annual Gold Medal and Training Awards, which will be held on June 27. This is the 105th anniversary of the awards and I am excited to meeting and recognising the efforts of another group of talented plumbers, apprentices and students. On behalf of the Board and the staff at the Association, I’d like to wish you all a happy and prosperous 2012.

Stephen Atherton President, Master Plumbers Association



WELCOME TO THE FIRST EDITION OF 2012 At this time of the year we tend to try and anticipate what the new year will bring and what will be required of us. Already the economy looks to be at best unsettled during 2012, with building approvals and starts varying from state to state, but not looking strong. In the area of Industrial Relations, a new EBA has been finalised with the Plumbing Union for a four year period commencing in 2012. However there are also government reviews planned in relation to the Fair Work Act and how it is operating and in relation to the implementation of ‘Modern Awards’ and whether further work is required in that area. Information about the proposed changes to the National Licensing system is still not available for public comment. This COAG initiative is running well behind schedule and the Association is aware that a draft Regulatory Impact Statement and set of Regulations is under consideration by the Licensing Regulators. The Association continues to expand the range of training programs that are available through the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre, with Electrical Disconnect/Reconnect training for licensing purposes and Thermostatic Mixing Valves both available throughout 2012. The development and implementation of the new National Workplace Health and Safety Regulations and Codes are still progressing. The aim is to have nationally uniform health and safety laws for all employees. In January the Building and Plumbing Commissioner, Mr Tony Arnel resigned and was replaced by Mr Michael Kefford. Michael has previously worked in the role of Plumbing Industry Commissioner and his appointment is welcomed by the Association. It certainly looks to be a challenging year ahead and we look forward to working with all our members and the industry to promote the interests of the plumbing sector.

Ken Gardner CEO, Master Plumbers Association

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Master Plumbers members can take advantage of these great current offers.

Members renewing for the 2012/13 period will now have access to the Master Plumbers Member Benefits Program. A great program for you and your staff, which offers exclusive discounts and savings on a wide range of lifestyle, leisure and financial products and services. Through the program you can access savings on: > Dining and entertainment > Travel > Shopping > Activities and attractions > Much, much more! Stay tuned, further details will be released to members shortly.

CALTEX STARCARD Members who apply online ( for a Caltex Starcard will receive: > Two cents per litre off the pump price for the following products: ULP, PULP, Diesel, Vortex Diesel, E10, E-Flex, Vortex 95 > A reduced monthly card fee of $2.75 per card (a saving of $2.20) Members must apply for a new Starcard account using the online application. Visit and follow the link to Business Services and select the Prepaid and Fuel Cards option. Select your membership in the affiliation section and include your membership number.

CELLARMASTERS Special introductory offer – Master Plumber members receive a $50 discount voucher! Spend $120 and receive $50 off your purchase. Log onto the Master Plumbers website to claim your $50 discount voucher.


2012 GOLD MEDAL AWARDS ON THE WAY The 2012 Gold Medal and Training Awards will be held on Wednesday 27 June. This year is the 105th anniversary of the awards which recognise excellence in the plumbing and mechanical services industries as well as awards to encourage indigenous school students to continue with their studies. The Association was delighted to receive this letter recently from Kristina Butjer, the recipient of the 2009 George Stone Award. I would like to thank you for selecting me as the recipient of the George Stone Award in 2009. I am glad to share with you that I have completed my year 12 studies with a final ATAR score of 98.65. I am currently hoping to attend Monash University in the hopes of completing a double degree so that I can pursue future studies in medicine. It was your scholarship that enabled me to feel confident in my academic abilities and thus succeed in my VCE studies. Once again, thank you for f your encouragement.

2012 will be 2 2 award winners 201 w the September featured in th issue of Australian Plumbing Aus Industry magazine. mag


MARCH 2012

2011 MASTER PLUMBERS CHRISTMAS SURVEY – WINNERS! Thank you to all the members who took the time to complete the 2011 Master Plumbers Christmas survey. We had a great response and your feedback will be used to help us improve the services and benefits we offer our members. Members who completed the survey were placed in the draw to win one of five $300 Visa gift cards. Congratulations to the following members: Karl Forti, Your Y Waterworx Greg Brown, W&M Plumbing Group Linda Gell, Rosedale Plumbing Stephen Wishart, Swish Air Heating, Cooling and Plumbing Ross Wilkinson, Goulburn Ovens Tafe T

NEW WEBSITE LAUNCHED! The Master Plumbers Association has unveiled a brand new website – The new site makes it easier for members to access our services and contains a number of vital business resources, including important information on workplace relations, safety and training. The improved find a Master Plumber search function allows consumers to quickly and easily search for a member plumbing business in their area. If you have any queries regarding the website, please contact Melissa Chrys, Marketing and Communications Manager on 03 9329 9622.

We’d also like to thank our survey sponsors: Endless Solar, Estimate One and Aquaknect. For further information regarding survey results, please contact the membership services team on 03 9329 9622.

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2011 CHRISTMAS COCKTAIL PARTY There was a great turnout to the annual Christmas Cocktail party which was attended by nearly 200 members on Thursday 1 December 2011. Master Plumbers’ CEO Ken Gardner, launched the Association’s recently published history, In the pipeline: the story of the Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia. In addition, long time Master Plumber member Rick Taylor was presented with a Life Membership to recognise hiss ongoing contribution to the Association and the industry. Read more about Rick on page 15 of this issue. The cocktail party was a wonderful opportunity for members to network and catch up after a busy year.

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New product release: the Bosch Professional Plus.

KEY BENEFITS: Delivery capacity of 26 litres/min at a 25°C rise 50oC limited - no need for additional tempering valves 5.53 star energy-efficiency rating Cost effective Install up to four optional temperature controllers Easy installation Available in Natural or LP Gas Premium Domestic Warranties > 3 years parts and labour > 10 years heat exchanger (part only)

The latest project range of Bosch continuous flow hot water systems offers high energy efficiency and simple installation for your building projects. Whether building a new home, or replacing an existing hot water system as part of a renovation, a Bosch Professional (21L/min) or Bosch Professional Plus (26L/min) provides superior quality, while being compact, space-saving and cost-effective. KEY FEATURES: Delivery capacity of up to 26 litres/min at a 25°C rise Energy-efficiency ratings of 5.5+ stars 50oC limited - no need for additional tempering valves Optional temperature controllers (up to 4) Comprehensive domestic warranties Available in Natural or LP Gas 1300 30 70 37 |


life member

For over 34 years, Victorian plumber Rick Taylor has been dynamic ynamic and dedicated member of the Master Plumbers Association. n. In December 2011, he was granted life membership in recognition gnition of his contribution to the Association. Rick has been an active member of the Master Plumbers Association since joining in September 1977. He was appointed as Chairman of the Ballarat and Western Region in 1984. In 1993, Rick became Chairman of the LPG group and in 1994, along with fellow members Jack Williamson and Bevan Kayberry, met with industry representatives at the Plumbers Gasfitters and Drainers Regulation Board to discuss reintroducing standards for LPG installations. As a result of this campaign by Rick and his fellow members, the then Minister, Mr Mclellan authorised the Regulation Board to release a Regulatory Impact Statement, and in 1995 the Minister was in Ballarat to announce the reintroduction of prescribed standards for LPG installations. At the same time Rick, along with Rodney Eeles and former CEO Ray Herbert, helped to design the inaugural Plumbing Certificate of Compliance and System of Insurance. In 1998 Rick was elected onto the Master Plumbers Board. He was made Vice Chairman of the Environmental Division in 2004 and became Chairman of the Gas Division in 2006. Rick has represented the Association on several Australian Standards committees for gas regulations, and in 2006 he travelled to England to meet with the Council of Registered Gas Installers and the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors to compare gas training and licensing systems. Rick remained on the Master Plumbers Board until 2011, when he resigned in order to provide younger members with the chance to join the Board and contribute to their Association. Rick took some time out from his business, Taylorheat, to answer a few questions for API magazine.

How do you feel about receiving a life membership to the Association? “I feel very privileged. I’ve always admired our Life Members and the contribution that they made to the Association and our industry, particularly arly the late Jack Williamson. To be considered for membership of this special groups quite humbling.” What stands out the most about your times with the Association? “I am always impressed by the willingness of our members to take an active role in resolving issues that impact on our industry. “Also, the Association is an invaluable networking opportunity. I have met some wonderful people, several of whom have become great friends. It’s these people for whose support I am very grateful; they are the eagles that helped this turkey fly.” Why are Associations like ours so important for the industry? “My time as a Board Member highlighted the absolute need for our Association to be the major voice for our industry. “Without Master Plumbers representation, decisions about our trade and our future would be made by others; people not necessarily from our industry.” Any advice for plumbers who are just starting out in the industry? “Consider the benefits of joining our Association. It’s great being part of a group of like-minded people who all want to grow their businesses and keep up with changes in administrative issues and technology. “But joining also means active participation. It means having a say in the deliberations at the time and making an effort to network with allies. “Being a member of an Association is a bit like being a member at a gym – not much point if you don’t go there.”


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The new administrative body for the carbon-pricing mechanism, the Clean Energy Regulator, will begin operation from 2 April 2012. The Clean Energy Regulator will be responsible for administering the carbon-pricing mechanism, the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System, the Renewable Energy Target and the carbon Farming Initiative. The responsibilities of the Clean Energy Regulator include: > Providing education on the carbon pricing mechanism and how it works > Assessing emissions data to determine each emitting entity’s liability > Operating an emissions registry > Monitoring, facilitating and enforcing compliance with the carbon pricing mechanism > Allocating units, including freely allocated units, fixed price units and auctioned units > Administering the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme (NGERS), the Renewable Energy Target (RET) and the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) > Accrediting auditors for the CFI and NGERS

Sign up for The Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave and be part of one of Australia’s biggest and most popular fundraising events! Join more than 125,000 people and shave or colour your hair this 15-17 March. The money you raise will fund blood cancer research and free services to support the 11,500 Australians projected to be diagnosed with leukaemias, lymphomas, myeloma or related blood disorders this year. Be brave and shave! Sign up at or call 1800 500 088.

The Carbon Market Institute ute has released Australia’s Clean Energy Legislative Package: A Guide for Business, a comprehensive e and accessible guide to inform businesses about how the carbon pricing mechanism operates and what it will mean for different scheme participants. ants. “Businesses are more likely to achieve the best outcomes from a national carbon pricing mechanism if they have a solid understanding of the content of the scheme and are able to easily navigate their way around the Legislative Package that underpins the scheme,” says Carbon Market Insititue executive director Mike Tournier. To download a copy of the guide, visit


MATE OF MINE IN MARCH Mate of Mine is a social business engine which enables users to find local businesses through mutal friends on Facebook. Users are encouraged to support businesses they value and trust. Mate of Mine in March is a national movement aimed to encourage Australians to ‘buy local’ for the month of March. The Mate of Mine movement recognises the importance of small businesses to the overall economy and local communities. March is a month to support the small, independently owned businesses that we can’t live without. To find out more or to list your business on the Mate of Mine Facebook business directory, visit


MARCH 2012

TAPPING INTO BROADER SKILLS Plumbers today require generic skills as well as technical skills to meet the needs of environmentally sustainable plumbing. Published by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), Plumbing, sustainablility and training, by Sian Halliday-Wynes and John Stanwick, examines how the industry is changing, what is driving these changes and what the skilling and training needs are. The report finds that while overall technical skills remain largely unchanged, legislation, regulation and demand from consumers who want watersaving, ‘greener’ plumbing products, are driving change in the industry. The report also found that plumbing skills need to be responsive to changing technology and incorporate more generic skills such as customer service. It identifies how and when to impart these skills as one of the biggest challenges for the plumbing and vocational education and training sector. For a full copy of the report visit

NEW BUILDING AND PLUMBING COMMISSIONER Victoria’s building and plumbing industry commissioner, Mr Tony Arnel has resigned. Mr Arnel’s resignation was announced by the government in a press release on 30 January 2012. The Planning Minister the Hon Mathew Guy thanked Mr Arnel for his service in the position for 12 years. Minister Guy also announced the appointment of Mr Michael Kefford as Victoria’s Building and Plumbing Commissioner for a one-year term, while a process to appoint a permanent replacement is undertaken. Mr Kefford will advise on appropriate reforms and oversee the implementation of the government’s response to the Auditor-General’s report into the building permit system. Mr Kefford has a wealth of experience and a distinguished background in the industry, having previously served as Victoria’s former Plumbing Commissioner for six years until his retirement in 2004.



7-9 May 2012 Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre ARBS is Australia’s trade exhibition for the air conditioning, refrigeration and building industry. Showcasing the latest innovations and technologies, ARBS connects local, national and international exhibitors with major buyers, specifiers, design and consulting engineers and technicians. This major HVAC and refrigeration event features a trade exhibition and seminar program as well as the national awards gala. To find out more visit

27-29 June 2012 Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre DesignBUILD 2012 showcases building materials and utilities for residential and commercial projects. Source the latest sustainable construction solutions and get hands on with the latest tools, equipment and vehicles. To find out more visit

AUSTRALASIAN INTERNATIONAL PLUMBING CONFERENCE 24-26 October Cairns, Queensland Join Plumbers from across the country and the region for a full program of conference events and social activities. More information in the June issue!

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news PIPING HOT – THIEVES POUNCE ON COPPER Earlier this year thieves broke into the former Carlton police station in Melbourne (which has been empty since late 2010) and stripped the copper piping from its gas heating and hot water units. It is the latest example of metal theft in Australia, a global problem driven by copper prices that remain historically high, despite having dropped in recent months on the back of the European debt crisis. THE TREND WE This theft follows a case SEE IS THAT in Bendigo in October in WHENEVER which thieves stripped COPPER brass fittings, including PRICES RISE, handrails and brackets, THERE IS AN from five of the city’s INCREASE IN historic trams. ATTEMPTED Copper is trading at COPPER about $US3.40 ($A3.30) THEFT ON THE a pound at the moment ELECTRICITY – less than the record NETWORK prices hit last year, but more than three times its value before the mining boom. Last year on Sydney’s north shore, sports grounds were plunged into darkness following attempts to remove copper wiring from floodlights.



MARCH 2012

Metal theft—especially the pilfering of copper—hit the headlines in the years and months leading up to the global financial crisis in late 2008, when the price of copper surged from less than $US1 a pound to more than $US4. The price plummeted to $US1.30 a pound in the wake of the GFC, before surging back above $US4 a pound last year. According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, metal theft is a “lucrative and attractive venture for thieves.” The federal government has estimated the annual cost of the crime at $100 million. It is a problem for police, utility companies and rail operators around the world with thieves willing to seek out dangerous and obscure sources of metal despite the risk of fines, jail injury and death. In July 2011, thieves stole copper signalling wire from a section of the Albury to Melbourne track, owned by the Australian Rail Track Corporation. The wire is becoming redundant and is being removed, as the company switches to digital signally. However an ARTC spokesman said copper theft was a problem. “People are risking their lives,” he said. On Ausgrid’s New South Wales electricity network, the number of thefts rose to 126 last financial year, up from 78 in 2009-10, and the cost of annual repairs is now around $300,000. “The trend we see is that whenever copper prices rise, there is an increase in attempted copper theft on the electricity network,” an Ausgrid spokesman said. “Copper thieves not only put their lives at risk, but they are risking the safety of the crews who work on the network.” Metal recyclers were paying about $5.50 a kilogram for top-grade copper, said Paul Ryan, from the Australian Metal Recycling Industry Association, a price he expects to rise well above $6 a kilo over the coming months. He said metal dealers work with police to catch thieves, but metal was hard to trace because it could be reshaped or remoulded.

The ONE event that connects the HVAC & R and Building Services industry

“ Could not be better. We attend a number of shows and no one does it as well as ARBS ”

“ An excellent show. Very well organised. Good cross section of trades. Great location ”

“ Well organised. It is a true global exhibition in terms of quality ”

ARBS 2012 is Australia’s ONLY International HVAC & R and Building Services trade exhibition. Showcasing the very latest innovations and technology ARBS connects over 250 local, national and international manufacturers and suppliers with thousands of decision makers, designers, specifiers, engineers, contractors, technicians and service professionals. Save the date for this HVAC & R and Building Services mega event held over 3 days and featuring the trade exhibition, an informative seminar program and the national awards gala event.

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INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT TRAINING UPDATE – NEW COURSES IN 2012 Geothermal heat pump systems The first geothermal heat pump systems course will be delivered later this month. The new course focuses on geothermal technology from a plumbing perspective and covers: > general principles of geothermal technology, specifically ground source heat pumps; > using ground source heat pumps to heat and cool residential and small commercial buildings in Australia; > system characteristics and components; and > basic design and installation requirements. Please note, this course will not provide plumbers with the accreditation required to install ground source heat pump systems as this is manufacturer and system specific. Geothermal heat pump systems is part of the Green Plumber suite of training programs. For training dates and times visit or contact PICAC on 03 9356 8902 for more information.

Licence level training Registered plumbers who wish to obtain their licence in a class of plumbing in Victoria are entitled to attempt the Plumbing Industry Commission’s licence theory assessment at any time for that class. However it is highly recommended that plumbers attend training to help them develop the skills and knowledge they require to successfully undertake the exam. In 2012, Master Plumbers is delivering the three common licence level training courses at PICAC. Plumbers who want to apply for their licence in any stream must produce evidence of competency in the following skills; > Carry out work based risk control processes; > estimate and cost work; and > small business legal and risk management requirements Participants who successfully complete these courses with the Master Plumbers will be issued with a Statement of Attainment. The PIC will accept this Statement as evidence of competency and will not require the plumber to sit the theory examination in these areas. These courses are suitable for a variety of participants and are delivered on Tuesday evenings at PICAC from 6-9pm. Contact PICAC on 03 9356 8902 for more information.

NEW DISCONNECT/ RECONNECT ROOM IS GO Work has been completed on the new disconnect/reconnect practical training and assessment rooms at PICAC. Constructed over the Christmas break, the new room is a dedicated training space for plumbers who wish to achieve their restricted electrical licence. The disconnect/reconnect course was very popular with plumbers during 2011 and we hope the new facility will encourage even greater enrolments in 2012. A number of courses (evening and day) are scheduled this year. Visit for course dates or contact PICAC on 9356 8902 for more information.

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INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT Ove 300 Over apprentices ap have completed ha P n e Gre all one or more on r fo g trainin tices green plumber gr n e r tra training programs app as part p of the Green Skills for Trades project ssince April 2011. The next generation of plumbers is taking environmental sustainability very seriously and want to develop their understanding of emerging technologies. Green Skills for Trades will continue in 2012. The project provides free green training to apprentices at PICAC during single day courses, evening courses or the fast track ‘block’ program (seven courses in five days). We are also working with a number of TAFE partners to offer the green plumbing training to apprentices on campus as a value add to their apprenticeship qualification. Check with us to see if your TAFE is involved – or better still, ask your TAFE. The feedback from apprentices who have completed training has been very positive; many apprentices have encouraged their mates (and the odd boss) to attend as well. However we know we have many more apprentices to train and we want to double our enrolment numbers in 2012.


Prizes prizes prizes! Employers who release their apprentices to attend three or more Green Skills for Trades training courses will go in the monthly draw for an iPad2, and apprentices who bring their boss to training will get an iTunes voucher valued at $20 (the employer trains for free too). To find out more visit or contact Bart Scheen on 03 9356 8915 or email





A raingarden is a water saving garden specially designed and positioned to capture stormwater from hard surfaces or stormwater downpipes. Raingardens work to filter pollution from the stormwater and slow the rate at which stormwater leaves the property. While they can be constructed by home owners or landscape gardeners, any modifications to the stormwater must be undertaken by a licensed plumber. Melbourne Water has introduced a new Healthy Waterways initiative. The ‘10,000 Raingardens’ program aims to improve the management of stormwater in residential areas. As part of this program, Master Plumbers has been working with Melbourne Water to develop a short training course for plumbers on raingardens. The course will provide plumbers with the skills and knowledge they need to understand the different types of raingardens and get involved with their installation and construction. Details will be posted on the Master Plumbers’ website. If you are interested in participating in the pilot training course for this project please contact Alexandra Mannell on 03 9321 0710.

MARCH 2012

QUICK BITS Thanks to strong support from Energy Safe Victoria (ESV), the Master Plumbers will recommence carbon monoxide testing training courses in April/May 2012. Stay tuned for more information. Chromagen have recently installed the first operational manifold commercial hot water unit in the practical training room at PICAC. The unit will form an integral part of the Master Plumbers Commercial hot water training course; Chromagen-specific training courses are also being developed. The Master Plumbers Type B gas appliance service courses are now available in day time block programs for participants who can not attend evening courses. Contact PICAC on 03 9356 8902 for details.

NEW SPEED SLOT Bi-metal Hole Saws ®

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CUTTING THE HOLE IS PRODUCTIVE. STRUGGLING TO REMOVE THE PLUG ISN’T. Introducing the new LENOX SPEED SLOT T hole saw — it cuts wood 2X faster and lasts 2X longer when cutting through metal.* The job goes even faster with our T which makes plug removal easy. revolutionary SPEED SLOT,

To claim your free SPEED SLOT hole saw simply log on to and be more productive. Limited to one 51mm (2”) sample per person and per email address. Offer strictly limited to 1,000 samples. *vs prior model |


Tools, a tradesman can’t do their eir job without them them. While they represent a significant investment, choosing the right tool for the job can help you complete a task more efficiently and to a higher standard. Technology moves quickly and there are always new products on the market. In this issue of Australian Plumbing we take a look at a few pieces that might be missing from your toolbox.

THE PERFECT CUT: STRAIGHT AND EASY WITH LENOX® PLASTIC TUBING CUTTERS PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) plastic tubing is commonly used for hot and cold water plumbing. Since its introduction, the adoption rate has steadily increased, replacing the more expensive copper piping. The many advantages of PEX plastic tubing include its durability and flexibility, resistance to corrosion, and low labour and material costs due to its ease of use. Its flexibility and strength at extreme temperatures makes it versatile enough to use in any climate despite the time of year. Leaks or breakages typically occur at the joints of traditional plumbing materials; due to its flexibility, PEX tubing installation requires fewer directional fittings for manoeuvring around corners and weaving through tight spaces, drastically reducing the chance of leaks. PEX cannot be joined by solvent cement or heat fusion methods. One of the few installation processes not eliminated by the use of PEX tubing is the need to cut it for both sizing and the installation of mechanical fittings. Cutting is key to correct installation, so specialised tools are required to properly cut PEX plastic tubing. A straight, flush cut will have maximum contact, reducing the chance of leaks at the fitting. The superior LENOX Plastic



MARCH 2012

Tubing Cutter has a rugged, ergonomic design to deliver straight, clean cuts with less effort. The amount of force needed and spring life are key differentiators that make the LENOX Plastic Tubing Cutter a market leader. The cost and maintenance of PEX plastic tubing can be further reduced if installed with the help of proper tubing cutters, making LENOX Plastic Tubing Cutters a key step in proper installation. The patent-pending blade of the LENOX Plastic Tubing Cutter is made with serrated stainless steel that requires 25% less cutting force than other cutters on the market to reduce user hand fatigue and provide a straight, burr-free cut. The LENOX Plastic Tubing Cutter is designed with a conveniently located locking latch that allows for true one-handed operation of the springloaded cutter, freeing the other hand to stabalise the tube. LENOX also offers a range of PVC cutters, including the S2 CPVC cutter with cast aluminium body and high carbon steel blade, as well as the R1 and R2 PVC ratcheting cutters, perfect for larger diameter tubes. Replacement blades are available for all models. To find out more visit

EASIER COPPER TUBE PRESSING: VIEGA PROPRESS Viega continues to deliver innovations to its Propress copper tube pressing technology. Developed in Germany, the Viega Propress has been widely adopted throughout Australia by both commercial and residential plumbing specialists. Both gas and water system fittings are available in the range of DN15 to DN100, and plumbers can choose from two Swiss manufactured battery operated pressing tools. The choice of pressing tool is generally governed by the maximum size to be pressed. The lightweight Pressgun Picco can press DN15 to DN 25, so is generally used by residential plumbers. The larger and more powerful Pressgun 4B can press DN15 to DN100 fittings making it popular with commercial plumbers. Thanks to feedback from customers, Viega has developed a DN32 jaw to suit the Picco tool, due for release later this month. “This will make the lightweight Propress Picco much more attractive to a wider range of plumbers and mechanical services companies,” says Robert Hardgrove, Business Development Manager for Crane Copper Tube. “We expect that major contractors will start using a combination of Propress Picco and Propress 4B tools.

“The Propress Picco is half the size of the 4B, has an overall length (including jaw) of just 350mm, weighs only 2.5kg and is beautifully balanced for one hand operation. “The Pressgun 4B is predominantly used on projects with DN40 to DN100, although it still can be used on the full range of sizes where appropriate.” Viega will soon introduce ring jaw sets for pressing DN15 to DN32 for use with both the Propress Picco and Propress 4B. The individual ring jaws can be placed around joints that are very close to surfaces and other obstructions, and pressed using a clamping jaw fitted to the pressing tool. The combination of 360° positionable ring jaw, a 180° rotatable tool head and the 180° tool pivoting range during pressing makes virtually any tight spot accessible. This makes these ring jaws particularly convenient in repair/ refurbishment work where access is often limited. “The design features and proven reliability of the Swiss manufactured Viega Pressgun Picco and 4B machines has been a major factor in the continued spread of the system throughout Australia,” says Robert Hardgrove. “Users really appreciate the ease ase and speed that jaws can be changed ed on the Viega tools, and the electronic warnings and jaw bolt monitoring which prevent damage and pressing failures. Also Viega tools can now be fully serviced rviced in Australia, have a service interval erval of 4 years and can provide up to 66% more pressings per service than an competing equipment.” To find out more visit

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The Milwaukee 18v Bandsaw allows plumbers and electricians to cut pipes and cables close to walls and other surfaces. It also allows for the cutting of metal close to plastic, an important feature because the nearness of plastic restricted the use of oxy-acetylene.

The Super Ego PowerClean 2000 Drain Cleaning Machine is a compact, robust and powerful mobile drain cleaning machine suited for pipe 20-200mm, with a working length of 55 to 80m, dependant on the cable used. The PowerClean 2000 has a powerful 1.23HP motor makes it ideal for almost all working conditions. The wheeled transporter allows for greater ease ving both time of use and mobility, saving and energy. For more information on the PowerClean 2000 Drain n Cleaning Machine, visit or call 1800 186 657.

Cutting heavy duty cables The above photograph was sent in by a linesman, who was, on a daily basis, using a hacksaw or a grinder to cut these heavy duty cables, a tiresome task. In many cases there was no need for a perfectly straight cut, but on other occasions a clean cut was essential. This is where the Milwaukee bandsaw came into its own, as it was able to cut perfectly straight within seconds thus reducing time and effort. Day in and day out it was used, requiring only the occasional battery recharge. The Milwaukee 18v Bandsaw comes in its own carry bag, complete with two 3.0amp batteries and a charger. Milwaukee Tools are only sold in specialist tool stores, to ďŹ nd out more, visit



MARCH 2012

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CLEVER KITCHENS The kitchen is one of the central rooms in the home, a communal space where families and friends congregate to share food and conversation. The correct design and installation of kitchen plumbing protects your client’s investment and saves them from costly repairs in the future. As a plumber you are well placed to provide your clients with information and advice on the best products and technologies for their needs.



MARCH 2012

Design and technology is constantly evolving and today there are countless products that combine style with convenience and allow consumers to make cleaner, greener and more environmentally efďŹ cient choices. Australian Plumbing looks at some of the latest kitchen products and innovations.



A new U.S. study has found that putting food waste into a garbage disposer results in lower global warming potential than putting it in the trash and sending it to landfill. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) report was commissioned by InSinkErator, a division of Emerson, and a leading manufacturer of food waste disposers. The report found that if a community of 30,000 households (the size of Newport Beach, California) switched from sending food scraps to landfill to using a disposer instead, the reduction in global warming potential would be the equivalent of eliminating nearly 2100 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. This is akin to eliminating about 4.6 million miles of car traffic. Landfills are a major source of methane, a greenhouse gas at least 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Because food scraps are a significant component of waste sent to landfill, diverting it for recycling into resources is becoming a major goal of cities worldwide. Food waste disposers pulverise food scraps and send the resulting slurry to wastewater treatment systems. Many advanced wastewater treatment plants can convert food scraps into renewable energy through a process called anaerobic digestion. These plant food scraps can also be turned into fertilizer products, known as biosolids, which can help build healthy soils. “The LCA confirms a multitude of research and validates that food waste disposers are more than just convenient – I like to think of them as an environmental appliance,” said Tim Ferry, president, InSinkErator. “After people look at the environmental benefits of using disposers instead of landfills, we think they will be compelled to bypass the trash can and put food scraps down the disposer instead.” More information about the LCA study, visit

ABOUT INSINKERATOR A food waste disposer from InSinkErator provides a responsible answer to the growing problem of food waste along with practical convenience. Fitted easily and discretely under the sink, a waste disposer effortlessly grinds food waste into tiny particals that are automatically flushed away down a standard kitchen drain into the local waste treatment system or septic tank. With its compact design, a waste disposer is easily installed and can be fitted to most sinks. Just about any food waste – including meat bones – can be dealt with by the waste disposer. Safety is also not a problem, the grind ring that does the work is safe and there are no blades. To find out more about the InSinkErator range, visit or call 1300 136 205


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Today’s kitchens are not what they used to be. Amazing kitchens are now being built in al fresco areas, granny flats and guest suites; they can even be found in garages or increasingly popular ‘man caves’. Sadly, plumbing challenges often get in the way of builders or renovators achieving their dream design outcome. Often clients are told that their planned kitchen is too far from the plumbing mains, or below the level of the mains. On other occasions they may have been advised that the task of achieving a traditional plumbing outcome is too destructive, complex or expensive. The Saniflo Sanivite provides a sophisticated, state-of-the-art plumbing solution that allows clients to situate their new kitchens in locations too hard or expensive to plumb using traditional techniques. Sanivite is a quiet, modern, concealable pump system that can lift waste water up to five metres vertically or up to 50 metres horizontally – easily reaching the nearest plumbing mains. And because it enables the use of small diameter uPVC waste pipes (25mm), it minimises the amount of disruption to existing structures. The Sanivite system can make your client’s dream of an island kitchen, kitchenette or outdoor kitchen a reality. The location of their kitchen is now only THE LOCATION limited by their imagination. OF A KITCHEN IS NOW ONLY The Sanivite unit is reliable and quiet and can be LIMITED BY easily hidden away under the sink (or in any other kitchen cabinet). It comes with a two year warranty IMAGINATION and can operate with water temperatures of up to 60 degrees. To find out more visit or call 1300 554 779.



MARCH 2012

HOT WATER ON TAP InSinkErator’s popular steaming hot water taps dispense filtered 98°C water, the perfect temperature for making hot drinks, speeding up the preparation of pasta or vegetables, cleaning dishes and a host of other kitchen tasks. The new HC3300 and H3300 are stylish additions to the InSinkErator range and have been created to complement contemporary kitchen designs. Both taps dispense hot water using a unique single handle and benefit from an automatic hot push-lever locking mechanism. The HC3300 also provides cool filtered water. To find out more, visit or call 1300 136 205



NEW DRAIN INSERT CERTIFIED AS ALTERNATIVE TO P-TRAP PRIMING SYSTEMS Odour from floor drains is a common problem and sources are often sewer gases and bacterial colonisation. The traditional P-Trap can block the odours as long as it remains charged with water; should it dry out, the odours will infiltrate the room together with the risk of disease. In commercial premises, especially sensitive ones such as hospitals and nursing homes, an option is to install an automatic priming system to periodically fill the P-Trap with water. These systems cost up to $400 per drain when designed into a new building and are virtually impossible to retrofit into an existing building. Another common but undesirable practice is to pour chemicals down drains. While this method has short term deodorizing effect, the treatment must be repeated within a matter of days. Cost of chemicals and labour make this an uneconomical choice and it also creates environmental havoc downstream in the sewer treatment systems.

INTRODUCING DRAINGUARDIAN™ Designed and marketed by Melbourne-based Eco Guardians Pty Ltd, DrainGuardian™ offers a triple solution to the problem of odours and vermin in floor wastes. Hydraulic Consultants who have examined DrainGuardian believe that it is a superior product which they would specify instead of the P-Trap priming system. Unlike other systems, DrainGuardian™: > Uses no chemicals > Is anchored to the drain grate so that it cannot be dislodged > Uses a unique, patented combination of water reservoir and an elastomeric element > Is impregnated with ionised silver, a highly effective bactericide. DrainGuardian is available in fittings for tiled and vinyl floors and in sizes to suit common floor diameters in Australia (100mm and 80mm).

Eco Guardians’ Doug Wilson says: “DrainGuardian is an exciting product, developed and manufactured in Australia. We are delighted with the high level of enquiries from professional specifiers as well as from individual households. We have some key reference installations which include the change rooms at MCG and it is specified into a number of sites where hygiene is particularly important such as schools for children with special needs. Clients and specifiers finally have a cost-effective solution to a chronic problem.” To find out more, visit or call 03 9534 3288

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THE GLASS CEILING MYTH Business coach Brett Burden outlines the four key spheres of business.

A whopping two-thirds of businesses in the plumbing sector generate annual revenue below $200,000 and employ fewer than five people*. Why is this? In some cases it is because the owner prefers it that way; happy to be the boss and the employee at the same time. However, most people would prefer to have a business that gives them the freedom to get off the tools, or the flexibility to take a holiday when they want. So what is holding them back? The one thing I can say without a shadow of a doubt is that a business can only grow to the extent of its weakest link. The gold circle graphic pictured below depicts the four spheres of any business: Leadership; Marketing/ Sales; Operations; and Finance.

No one sphere is any more or less important than the others, so if a business owner isn’t conscious of the requirements and performance of all four spheres then the business can quite easily languish, or even go backwards. Ask any business owner to be completely honest with themselves and the majority will openly acknowledge that they lack the depth of understanding necessary in one, maybe two or possibly even three of the spheres. But amazingly very few will equate this with the frustrations of an underperforming business, and will usually put it down to less confronting outside influences. There are countless business success stories out there from business owners who for many years believed their growth and success were capped due to perceivably hitting a glass ceiling, and with no way past it, frustration suddenly spilt over. Faced with a moment of truth they finally realise there was no glass ceiling, just a few obvious constraints holding them back. By eliminating each constraint one by one the business was able to achieve the results always thought possible. If you are in the majority, and have come to the conclusion that you lack a strong and equal understanding of the four spheres of business, what should you do next?

Firstly, give yourself a pat on the back for the acknowledgment. Secondly, set about discovering where the strengths and weaknesses lay and then create an action plan to build on the strengths and eliminate the weaknesses. While it sounds simple enough, following a formal process at this point will yield a much higher rate of success and far better results. This is where a business coach comes in. A business coach is equipped with the right tools and has the experience required to assist you to better understand your business and to help you devise a strategy to move past any constraints. Once your plan has been agreed upon, a business coach will hold you accountable to completing the strategies one by one. It’s irrefutable that accountability (coaching) works, particularly when it comes to elevating an individual’s (or organisation’s) performance to match their potential and gain a higher rate of achievement. Don’t go fooling yourself in believing you can do it by yourself. If you could have you would have.

Brett Burden has been helping business owners get the most from their businesses since the late 80s. Six years ago he joined forces with ActionCOACH to gain access to their proven systems and strategies which he said increased the rate of client success immediately. There is a very good chance that Brett could help you take the leap and grow beyond your ceiling. Give him a call on 0418 339 757 or visit




Discover the convenience InSinkEratorÂŽ NEW 3300 Series Steaming Hot Water Taps




The new HC3300 and H3300 are stylish additions to the InSinkErator range and have been created to complement contemporary kitchen designs. Both taps dispense hot water using a unique single handle and beneďŹ t b from an automatic hot push-lever locking mechanism. The HC3300 also provides ambient cold ďŹ ltered water.

The Emerson logo is a trademark and service mark of Emerson Electric Co.

Go to or call InSinkErator is a division of Emerson 1300 136 205 for your nearest stockist. Electric Co. Patents Pending.






SARAH MURPHY LOOKS AHEAD TO SEE WHAT IS IN STORE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY IN 2012 While 2012 started with a modest upswing in construction starts, the next three months look tentative for the building sector as builders and developers maintain a wait-and-see approach as the sovereign debt crisis in Europe continues to play out, and banks maintain a tight rein on lending practices. The civil sector, however, continues to drive any positive long-term growth as work related to the mining, oil and gas projects enter the construction pipeline. BUILDERS AND Retail construction is one of DEVELOPERS the bright spots nationally MAINTAIN A by NSW with over $380M WAIT-AND-SEE led of construction slated for Q1 APPROACH AS THE as major shopping centre SOVEREIGN DEBT expansions get underway. WA, CRISIS IN EUROPE however, has the highest yearCONTINUES TO PLAY on-year growth as business OUT, AND BANKS confidence improves in line MAINTAIN A TIGHT with the resources boom. REIN ON LENDING The resources boom continues PRACTICES to fuel construction in most of WA’s other sectors as well, such as residential, which had a 121% increase in construction over the last 12 months. Post-disaster reconstruction in QLD and northern NSW also contributed to positive activity last year, but the outlook going forward is grim in most states with a drop of 29% in construction nationally for the next three months. The next three months are also looking gloomy for education. Education construction dwindled throughout 2011 as the last of the Building the Education Revolution projects exited the pipeline. VIC and WA are the only states expected to see positive growth largely due to tertiary education and private school development.

Ever-increasing demand for health infrastructure will largely keep community construction ticking over in 2012. VIC has the highest value of construction starts at over $140M with several upgrades to sporting and health facilities on the books, but it is in SA that the sector has bounced back the most with more than a 300% increase in construction starts over the last 12 months. In the commercial sector, NSW had the most new office space come onto the market last year, but as market becomes saturated, levels are expected to plunge; a downward trend that will be mirrored in all states except QLD. As access to financing remains an obstacle for private developers any sign of activity may only be short-term. It has been a quiet start to the year for the industrial sector with very little construction underway for January/ February nationally. This may be a seasonal low rather than long-term in some states such as VIC, which has seen construction activity increase by 86% over the last 12 months as its economy shows signs of recovery. Construction in the resources driven states of WA and QLD may also get a boost if major mining, oil and gas projects finally come to fruition. As manufacturing continues to contract, SA is expected to be hardest hit, with little to no long-term growth forecasted.

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WORKERS COMPENSATION – ARE YOU COVERED? New laws came into effect on 1 January 2012 which will for the first time, standardise occupational health and safety (OH&S) legislation around the country.

Under the new national Work Health and Safety Act, the person who is primarily responsible for complying with the new law is defined as the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU). This person could be an employer, a corporation, an association, a partnership, a sole trader or a volunteer organisation. The laws mean the PCBU must take all reasonable and practical steps to eliminate any risk of injury to workers. A key change under the new Act is a new definition of who constitutes a worker. The definition covers salaried employees, labour hire staff, apprentices, people on work experience, contractors and sub contractors.



MARCH 2012

RESPONSIBILITIES It is up to the PCBU to ensure workers understand their OHS obligations and ensure that those unfamiliar with the work environment stick to safe work practices and comply with evacuation drills. The PCBU must also ensure that they provide a safe place to work and that workers are trained to comply with safety requirements. These responsibilities also apply to visitors, so processes to ensure that visitors obey safety rules must be implemented.

WORKERS COMPENSATION INSURANCE Workers compensations insurance is a regulatory requirement in most States in Australia. This cover is important as it provides you with insurance against: > Injury to a worker whilst engaged in work-related activities > Any ongoing medical costs related to the treatment of the injury suffered at work > Any loss of income resultant of your inability to work due to the injury sustained a work

It goes without saying that the higher the degree of danger involved in the work, the higher the duty of care that needs to be shown by the employer. For example, in South Australia, you only need to be found negligent to the extent of one per cent and the workers compensation body is entitled to recover 100 per cent of their loss. This means the duty of care the employer is expected to display at the workplace has never been greater. A small error of judgement can result in a workers’ compensation claim being made against the employer.



An apprentice was injured at the workplace when she tripped on a plastic strip from a half open pallet that was lying across the walkway. She suffered injuries to her knees and back which continued to trouble her. The apprentice made a claim against the employer and was paid $350,000. Such an incident could have been avoidable if the employer had followed OHS guidelines, such as removing items obstructing a walkway, or displaying a cautionary sign around accident zones.

For more information or to arrange cover for workers compensation for your businesss*, contact a representative at Marsh, trading as Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (Aust). Phone: 1300 300 511 Email: DISCLAIMER *Marsh does not arrange insurance in those States where there is a government scheme and provides only consultancy services in those States. Statements concerning legal matters should be understood to be general observations based solely on our experience as insurance brokers and risk consultants and should not be relied upon as legal advice, which we are not authorized to provide. All such matters should be reviewed with your own qualified legal advisors. Marsh Pty Ltd (ABN 86 004 651 512 AFSL 238983) trading as Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (Aust) (“MPIB”) arrange the insurance and is not the insurer. The insurance solutions referred to in this article are underwritten by various insurers. When arranging insurance for you Marsh Pty Ltd will disclose to you the insurer and the basis upon which it acts. The MPIB name is owned by the Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) and used under licence by Marsh. MPMSAA receives a financial benefit when a policy is arranged by MPIB, enabling it to continue to provide further services to the plumbing industry. This article contains general information only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. For full details of the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations of insurance cover and before deciding whether a policy suits your needs please refer to the specific policy document or Product Disclosure Statement which is available from Marsh Pty Ltd. 12/0031 Copyright Marsh Pty Ltd, 2011

UNDERSTANDING THE INSURANCE NEEDS OF PLUMBERS IS OUR BUSINESS. Marsh Pty Ltd, trading as Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (Aust), has been operating in the plumbing industry for over 10 years. We have been working closely with Master Plumbers to provide insurance solutions tailored to the plumbing industry. For your insurance needs, contact Marsh, the preferred insurance broker to Master Plumbers & Mechanical Services Association of Australia. For obligation-free quote, call 1300 300 511 or email Marsh Pty Ltd (ABN 86 004 651512 AFSL 238983) trading as Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (Aust) (“MPIB”) arranges this insurance and is not the insurer. The MPIB name is owned by the Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) and used under licence by Marsh. MPMSAA receives a financial benefit when a policy is arranged by MPIB, enabling it to continue to provide further services to the plumbing industry. This ad contains general information only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. For further information about Marsh, visit 11/0204

Partnering for impactSM Marsh is one of the Marsh & McLennan Companies, together with Guy Carpenter, Mercer, and Oliver Wyman.

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RHYCE FIELDER Third year apprentice Rhyce Fielder started with the Master Plumbers Qu Queensland Group Training Scheme in February 2010. Following year 1 10, Rhyce decided that the academic wo world was not for him and left school to pu pursue other options. After working in a ran range of part-time retail positions, Rhyce found a job as a labourer for a co commercial plumbing business at the Qld Q Museum and the Gallery of Performing Perfor Arts. the work so much that Rhyce enjoyed th he enrolled in a pre-vocational plumbing course at trade sschool to formalise skills and gain some more some of his skill in the trade. hands-on experience exper successfully completing preAfter successful course in December 2008, vocational cours about trying to find Rhyce then set a himself a full-time full-tim apprenticeship. “Initially it was rreally hard to find a plumber to take tak me on because there wasn’t as much mu work around and I didn’t really real know anybody in the industry to give me a start,” says Rhy Rhyce. “However, all that changed “Howev once I contacted c the Master Plumbers Group Training Plumb Scheme where I realised that Schem I wou would finally be able to start my ap apprenticeship while getting the encouragement gettin and support s I needed to make it through.” Since S ince jjoining the Scheme, Rhyce has worked for several host h ost com companies in Brisbane and has h as been exposed to a range of pl plumbing skills and working environments. e environmen n His host is Accurate Plumbing H is current ho and a nd Drainage, where Rhyce is gaining experience on commercial sskills kills and exp as some work in the si as well a sites maintenance m aintenance field.

Rhyce says he is really enjoying the variety of work and gets along with all the tradesmen that he is placed with. He adds, “The biggest challenge is learning the different ways that different hosts want things done. Everyone has been taught differently and has their own preferred way of getting the task completed.” Rhyce lives with his family at Holland Park, has just bought himself a 2008 Toyota Hilux ute. His nickname on site is “Rhyce Lightning”. The Master Plumbers Group Training Scheme Queensland Area Coordinator, Steve Coolahan is very pleased with Rhyce’s progress on the job as well as at trade school. “Rhyce has been a consistently good apprentice and has progressed very well at trade school, with only his gas modules left to complete,” says Steve. Rhyce is expected to complete his apprenticeship in August 2013 where he has plans to eventually run his own business after having a short break and going fishing.

GROUP TRAINING SCHEME VICTEC PLUMBING APPRENTICES JOIN THE MASTER PLUMBERS TEAM Master Plumbers is pleased to announce the successful transfer of a group of plumbing apprentices from the 370 Degree Group (also known as VICTEC) to its group training scheme. Around 30 apprentices have now joined the Association’s ever growing Group Traning Scheme, which is regarded as a leading employer and one of the premier group training schemes in the industry.

Most of the new apprentices and their host companies come from the commercial sector. Group Traning Scheme Manager, John Clarke, has enthusiastically welcomed the latest inux of new apprentices. John says, “While this move does not represent a net increase in apprentice numbers in the Victorian plumbing industry, these new additions to our scheme will be able to support our current host companies, especially when this sector is dealing with an increase in work in 2012.

“Our Group Training Scheme has been running for over 30 years and we now have over 180 apprentices in our scheme. “It’s great to see the Group Training Scheme expand and we are proud to provide the industry with high quality, reliable apprentices.â€? To ďŹ nd out more about the Master Plumbers Group Training Scheme, visit or call the Master Plumbers Association on 03 9329 9622.

The plumbing industry has been relying on


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performance management

The Australian Workplace Relations environment presents a unique set of challenges for employers. In this series, Sharon Kraemer (Master Plumbers Workplace Relations Advisor) explores how implementing simple and practical employment practices can be the key to improving employee performance and effectively manage risk.

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT Performance management is intended to assist employees to perform their duties to the standard required by you, the employer. As the employer, you are entitled to determine the reasonable standards of performance and behaviour required by your business and will be responsible for addressing concerns relating to those standards. Effective performance management can support your objectives to achieve improvements in employee performance and behaviour. It can also assist you in legal proceedings.

POLICY AND PROCEDURE It is strongly recommended that you establish and implement a performance management policy and procedure. It is also essential that you take reasonable steps to notify employees of the policy and their obligations under it.

performance management

UNSATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE Unsatisfactory performance refers to ineffective completion of job requirements and the need for improvement to achieve the required standards. In most cases, a failure to fulfil job requirements results from a lack of clarity about performance standards.

Examples of Unsatisfactory Performance

Possible Causes of Unsatisfactory Performance

Resolving Unsatisfactory Performance

Lack of skills or knowledge required to perform all duties satisfactorily (competence)

Employee is unclear about the goals or standards required

Informal Performance Management (counselling)

Employee is unaware of how they are performing due to lack of feedback

Training/ Retraining

Unsuited to the role, work team or work situation (compatibility) Lack of confidence or motivation toward the role, team or situation (commitment)

Lack of skill or knowledge required to perform duties to required standard Unfitness for work Personal issues that may be impacting at work

Clarify job role/goals/performance standards Formal Performance Management (written warnings) Release from employment

UNSATISFACTORY CONDUCT Unsatisfactory conduct refers to inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour by an employee that has, or may have, an impact on the workplace. Unsatisfactory conduct may include harassment, deliberate breach of policy, procedure, or a breach of law (regardless of an employee’s ignorance of the law).

Examples of Unsatisfactory Behaviour

Possible Causes of Unsatisfactory Behaviour

Resolving Unsatisfactory Behaviour

Breach of policy or procedure (incl. SOP, JSA)

Unaware/unclear about the required standards or obligations

Informal Performance Management (counselling)

Breach of law (including industrial instrument, criminal)

Unaware of how they are behaving due to lack of feedback

Training/ Retraining

Absenteeism/lateness Rudeness/insubordination Refusal to follow a lawful and reasonable direction Unfitness for work

Low morale/ poor work environment Personal issue that may be impacting at work

Clarify behaviour standards Formal Performance Management (written warnings) Release from employment Redirection Redeployment

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EFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT Managers should consider substantive and procedural fairness when managing an employee’s performance and/or conduct, including: > Allowing the employee adequate notice that the employer intends to address concerns > Identify/confirm required standard(s) > Identify/confirm the standard(s) achieved > Example(s) of unsatisfactory performance or conduct > Providing the employee with an opportunity to respond to the concerns > An action plan for improvement, including timeframe (where relevant) > Potential consequences (including further disciplinary action or termination or employment) > History of concern It is strongly recommended that you identify and address performance issues in a timely and effective manner and keep appropriate documentation relating to performance management.


FITNESS FOR WORK In the circumstance that an employee appears unfit to perform the full duties of their ordinary position, employers must take reasonable steps to ensure that the employee does not expose themselves or others to risk. Evidence that an employee may be unfit for their regular duties may include: > Frequent or extended absences from work due to illness or injury (including unexplained or unsubstantiated absences) > Comments/ requests made by the employee to vary ordinary duties > Changes in the employee’s workplace behaviour > Comments or concerns raised by other employees > Concerns about the employee’s performance Managing unsatisfactory performance due to injury or illness can be a challenge for employers due to the complexities of different legislation that applies to employment. Further advice should always be obtained in these situations.

Master Plumbers members can access information, advice and resources relating to workplace relations matters. Our dedicated Workplace Relations Advisor can help you clarify your obligations in relations to terms and conditions of employment, wages, entitlements and other matters. Contact Sharon Kraemer on 03 9329 9622 or 1800 133 871.



MARCH 2012

performance management

TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT In circumstances where the employer has decided to terminate employment or take steps to end the employment relationship, it is important to consider whether the reasons and procedure for termination are consistent with employment legislation. Taking the correct steps can minimise or prevent legal action by the employee in relation to unfair dismissal or unlawful termination claims. Employers are encouraged to seek advice before proceeding with termination.



Available 24/7 Add your business details Tell your story and describe what makes your business unique.

Because your business is more than just a listing. Did you know, plumbers who claim and add content to their TrueLocal business listing can increase visits by up to 60%* ? – It’s easy and it’s free. Promote special offers, upload photos and engage with your customers. Visit to get started. *Source: TrueLocal site data, Sept 2011

Save time... go online with eToolbox eToolbox is the best way for Victorian plumbing practitioners to renew their plumbing licence or registration, purchase and lodge Compliance Certificates and book drain or recycled water inspections using the internet.


he Plumbing Industry Commission (PIC) is committed to helping Victorian practitioners utilise all aspects of the eToolbox system. If you are yet to register a user name or

have queries about how to navigate the website, please contact the PIC as soon as possible. Dedicated eToolbox staff are available to help solve any issue or query you may have. You can also find information in the forms of a user guide, video tutorials and information sheets on the PIC website.

Go to or call 1300 815 127 during business hours.

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AUSSIE PUMPS: SUMP PUMP SELF CONTROL Australian Pump has announced the availability of an automatic submersible pump system designed to be simple to set up without the complication and expense of a control box. No control box means no additional wiring or power requirements other than the standard pump power cable. Both installation and maintenance costs are therefore dramatically lower.

These super tough, lightweight, pumps have a proven track record for long life in both continuous and intermittent sump applications. The pumps are controlled by robust float switches which are simply adjusted to the required activation height. The system uses two automatic pumps, one of which has a third, additional float switch. The pumps automatically switch on when the water level rises, and switch off when no longer required, thus saving power. The pair of pumps can be set to run alternately, but if the water continues to rise both pumps will work together until the level drops to that pre-set. “These PU pumps are very versatile. You can set a pair up in tandem to share the load or to operate alternately depending on the water level” said Bill Miller of Mr Drains. “Simply by setting the heights of the automatic float switches any plumber can control when the pumps start, stop, whether they work together or alternate,” he said. The PU series of submersible pumps is manufactured by Tsurumi Pump at the Kyoto plant, Japan. Tsurumi is the g submersible pump world’s largest manufacturer with the capacity ca to build up to one million units pe per year. The pumps in the PU series ser produce flows of up to 800 litres p per minute, with vertical heads of 16 metr metres. The series includes both three phase phas and single phase options with two pole p motors up to 1.5kW and are availabl available with 1 ½”, 2” and 3”discharge bores Further information on the th complete range of Tsurumi T submersible subme pumps is available on the Australian Australia Pump website ( (www.aussiep and from Aussie Pump Pu Distributors throughout Australia. Austra



news IAPMO R&T OCEANA IAPMO Oceana certify plumbing and drainage products to use the WaterMark™ symbol to meet regulatory requirements. In addition they also offer certification services to their own GasMark™ and OceanaMark™ product certification schemes to Australian and international standards. IAPMO Oceana is “first is fast, professional certification”. When you choose IAPMO Oceana as your certification partner you are also choosing our intenational reputation for excellence. With a worldwide presence, IAPMO has the flexibility and capability to provide first class service anywhere in the world. To find out more, visit





According to data from consumer review site,, plumbers who claim and add content to their free TrueLocal business listing can increase page visits by up to 60 per cent. General manager of TrueLocal, Simon Carson says that it’s important small businesses have access to free marketing services that enable them to showcase their services to the consumer. “The great thing about TrueLocal is that it provides local businesses with a free way to market themselves.” Carson advises plumbers to not only add content to their free listings on TrueLocal, but encourage customers to review their business online after a job. “Consumers now rank online reviews as the second most trusted source of information when making a purchasing decision behind only word of mouth marketing. Figures from TrueLocal indicate that if your listing has been reviewed, you will receive quadruple the number of views than a basic listing. “More and more we are seeing consumers turn to their peers on the web for help with purchasing decisions, which may be attributed to our growth as an increasingly time poor and cynical society,” says Carson. Regular TrueLocal reviewer, Diane Rowland, says that when searching for a tradesperson online, she will choose the business that has reviews and additional details listed on their page, such as pricing and credentials, rather than just a name and contact number. “I tend to favour businesses that have a lot of information about them available online, it makes the decision making process a lot easier.” If your business is already on TrueLocal but you haven’t claimed it yet, visit

Australian hot water manufacturer Dux has launched a new and improved range of Endurance® continuous flow water heaters to the market. The new Endurance® range consists of four different sizes – including 16, 20, 26 and 32 litres per minute, in both natural gas and lpg- to suit almost every customer’s requirements. Boasting an impressive five-star energy rating for energy efficiency, the new Endurance® units come in either 50C or 60C preset options. To allow further temperature control, the Endurance® range allows up to four temperature controllers to be installed, giving homeowners the freedom to set hot water temperatures from the kitchen, bathroom and laundry areas. For the water conscious, consumers have the option of installing the Readyhot® recirculating pump to any Endurance® unit within the new range. Prior to the tap being turned on, the Readyhot® recirculates the cool water sitting in the hot water pipes, back to the Endurance®, which results in a dramatic reduction in water wastage. It also means that hot water will then be available at the tap when it is turned on. The Endurance® range will continue to offer its exceptional 10 year warranty and three year warranty on parts and labour, providing peace of mind and many years of continuous hot water supply. Dux has been heating water for Australians since 1915 and is committed to high quality products and to the on-going development of new products. Dux is part of GWA Group Limited along with many other household brand names including Caroma, Dorf, Fowler, Clark, Brivis and Gainsborough. For further information on the new Endurance® range, visit

MARCH 2012




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YOUR ONE-MAN ARMY Lyco Loader is the only manually operated tailgate loading system in the world. The lightweight slim design replaces the rear or side tailgate and is Australian made for Australian conditions. Lifting up to 300kgs, one person can lift a wide variety of equipment including 400L hot water services, drain cleaners, pressure washers and plate compactors. With its compact design it doesn’t take up precious oor space, still allows a towbar to be utilised and weighing just 50kgs has minimal impact on payload.

- One person can easily lift 300kgs. - Weighs just 50 kgs. - Replaces tailgate or drop side. - Built in integral brake that holds the load at any point. - Will outlast the vehicle & takes only 1-2 hrs to install.

For our promotional offer please visit: Healy Group Pty Ltd 11/12 Northumberland Rd Caringbah NSW 2229 Ph (02) 9525 5522 Fax (02) 9525 5513

Making Hard Work Easier

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“KEEPING YOU IN THE PICTURE� Colour Inspection Camera D Compact camera design able to inspect 50mm-300mm pipes D 512Hz in-line sonde transmitter D Shock/water resistant D Self levelling camera head D 16 high intensity LED lights with polycarbonate cover

Other camera ca ame merra ra models mod and locator also available.

Monitor/Camera Control Unit D 10.4� Flat LCD Hi-Res colour monitor D SD Card Recorder D MPEG-4-SP format DO On screen counter with time, ddate & keyboard/screenwriter D 2240 VAC/50 Hz D 112 VDC inverter built in Push Cable/Reel P D Combination 12mm D push rod video cable D Water proof, dual jacket gel rod cable D Standard 60 metre length included


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MARCH 2012



BOSCH INTRODUCE NEW CONTINUOUS-FLOW PROFESSIONAL PLUS Bosch are a global market leader in hot water and heating technology. The Bosch Hot Water and Heating range consists of high quality and high energy efficiency products to suit modern households. As a result of their commitment to high quality and high energy efficiency products, Bosch have recently launched the Bosch Professional Plus into the Australian market. It is the latest addition to the Bosch Professional Series line of continuous flow hot water systems. The Bosch Professional Plus offers a flow rate of 26 l/min, and has a 5.53 star energy efficiency rating. As with the existing Bosch Professional system (which has a flow rate of 21 l/min), the Bosch Professional Plus is compact, is designed for easy installation, and is 50°C limited – meaning that there's no need for the installation of additional tempering valves. This makes the Professional and the Professional Plus ideal for new homes. Key features > 50°C limited – no tempering valve required > 5.53 star energy efficiency rating > Up to 4 optional temperature controllers can be installed > Available for Natural Gas or LPG > Premium warranty: 3 year parts and labour warranty, 10 years' warranty on the heat exchanger (part only) To contact Bosch for your high quality hot water and heating needs visit or call 1300 30 70 37.



What Makes Us Cbus continues to be Australia’s largest superannuation fund for people working in building, construction and allied industries, with a clear focus on investment performance and making superannuation easy and efficient for all our members and employers. Cbus represents over 660,000 workers, 75,000 businesses and has more than $17 billion invested. Cbus continues to invest back into your industry with Cbus Property*, our wholly-owned property development arm with a $1.7 billion portfolio. This results directly in employment opportunities and jobs within the building and construction industry.

Finally, an air conditioner that comes with no outdoor unit. With the Olimpia Splendid Unico, the outdoor compressor is completely eliminated. The Italian designed and manufactured Unico is the first fixed air conditioner without the outdoor unit. Climate control now comes without the external pipework or condensers and makes installation a breeze. The Unico comes with both inverter and fixed speed technology, enabling it to deliver great performance. With the capability to deliver cool clean air in the summer and warm fresh air in the winter, the Unico is perfect for any aspect of climate control. Another great benefit of the Unico is its very quiet operation (in fact you could call it noiseless) making it perfect for bedrooms. For more detailed information on the unique Unico, contact Noirot Australia on 03 9563 2778.

Cbus is there for you Cbus is making it easy to meet your superannuation obligations, with a range of services specifically designed to support employers. Cbus in introducing a Clearing House which will make it easier for employers to make their super payments. For more information please visit Phillip Horne is the Cbus Employer Coordinator for members of The Master Plumbers’ and Mechanical Services Association of Australia. Feel free to contact Phillip on the details below or visit the Cbus website for further information for either self-employed or employer members. Phillip Horne 03 9657 4200 0400 045 452 *Cbus Property is Cbus’ wholly owned property development company, and manages all of Cbus’ direct property investments. It is one of Australia’s leading commercial property developers and manages a portfolio of more than $2 billion across Australia.

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wpc news F R O M





WORLD PLUMBING DAY 11 MARCH 2012 World Plumbing Day is celebrated on March 11, every year… everywhere. For the past two years, the day has drawn attention on a global scale to plumbing, and has been celebrated and promoted by the members of the World Plumbing Council and by many throughout the global plumbing industry. Interviews have been aired on radio stations, television crews have interviewed local plumbers, clothing shops have targeted plumbers with special discounts for clothing in honor of World Plumbing Day, and school children have been presented with materials to help them learn more about the important role that plumbing plays in our society. The World Plumbing Council has produced a presentation on water, health and plumbing for use with school children in grades 1-5. The presentation explains the role of water and health, the role of the plumber, and introduces World Plumbing Day. The presentation slides are available at the World Plumbing Day website. Visit to find out more and to view World Plumbing Council Chairman, Russ Chaney’s message in the World Plumbing Day 2012 video.



MARCH 2012



The World Plumbing Council (WPC) and World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) have agreed to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together to achieve common objectives toward the conservation of water and energy related to building construction and operation. The organisations are therefore committed to ensuring the materials and techniques with which buildings are constructed, as well as the systems they incorporate, not only support health, safety and amenity, but also consider the impact they have on the environment and adapt to the changing climate conditions. The MoU defines a collaborative partnership to achieve the following: > improved efficiency of buildings in both energy consumption and water usage > reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions and ecological footprint of buildings > adaption of construction outcomes to regional climate changes > development of capacity in all phases of design, construction and maintenance to realize these goals. The MoU was signed by WPC Chairman GP Russ Chaney and WorldGBC Chairman Tony Arnel prior to the start of the WGBC Congress 2011 Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 3-4.

The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and the World Plumbing Council (WPC) will convene May 1-2, 2012, in Washington, D.C., for the third International Emerging Technology Symposium. A gathering of experts who will discuss policy initiatives that will drive the introduction of new technologies to market and advance the cause of water efficiency, the event is designed to provide a portal for the host organizations’ partners in the manufacturing, engineering and trade industries to display and demonstrate their innovative solutions to regulatory developments that often alter industry landscapes. IAPMO and the WPC are seeking sponsors, presenters and panelists to participate in the 2012 symposium; especially experts in the following fields: > Water, Sanitation and Health > Water and Energy Efficiency > Water Reuse > Solar and Other Renewable Energies > Water Quality > Fat, Oil and Grease Discharges > Advancements in Mechanical Systems > Plumbing Research Initiatives > Laws, Regulations and Policy Development For sponsorship opportunities and/or information on participating in the event, please contact Maria Sol Alba at 708 995 3005 or



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5995 API Magazine Mar 2012