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welcome. f r o m

t h e

E dit o r

Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine 15/306 Albert Street Brunswick VIC 3056 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: 100019076 ISSN: 1325-6289

Master Plumbers Association Locations Head Office 15/306 Albert Street Brunswick VIC 3056 T (03) 9329 9622 F (03) 9329 5060

Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre

Welcome to our September issue – the heating and cooling issue! This edition is all about heating and cooling, where we cover a range of solutions and technologies on the market to suit the various built environments. Our heating and cooling feature includes; The highlander, where we look at the installation of a geoexchange HVAC system in a local government administration office; where the performance and savings have far exceeded council expectations. Climate Change – challenging our use of energy, where we look at the many schemes in place to assist in the financing of environmentally friendly energy. Hydronic heating and cooling – the SMART choice, where we get a run down on what options are available for different environments. Deliver real change with HVAC+R, where we look at what Tradelink has to offer in this space.

this issue we look at heating and cooling solutions

We have had such a positive response to our Plumber at War series, celebrating 100 years since the ANZAC landing at

4 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

Gallipoli. In this issue we meet with Master Plumber John Geschke, whose grandfather survived the horrors of trench warfare on The Western Front. We are looking for more stories for our Plumber at War series, please give me a call if you have a story to tell. Also in this issue we look at Prospects for the Construction Industry in Australia 2015/2016 in Looking Ahead and find out about The Plumbing Industry’s answer to closing the gap, through the Indigenous Plumbing and Sanitation Foundation. Our Mastering Workplace Relations series looks at the fundamentals of Enterprise Agreements, while our Safety Excellence series warns: Asbestos –it’s still out there watch out! We also have our regular member, industry and product news and much, much more. Happy reading!


Elaine Mathews Editor Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine

6/306 Albert Street Brunswick VIC 3056 T (03) 9356 8902 F (03) 9356 8929

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

Editor Elaine Mathews T (03) 9321 0703 E

Advertising Elaine Mathews T (03) 9321 0703 E

Suppliers Salt Creative Printgraphics Direct Mail Corporation

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Welcome / 8

The highlander / 28

A message from our CEO and the Association’s President

A local government has set energy-efficiency benchmarks through a multi-million dollar upgrade of its main administration building

Member news / 10 All the latest news from the Master Plumbers

Industry news / 20

Deliver real change with HVAC+R / 32

Member profile: Applied Installations / 24

Tradelink has worked hard at making sure they get their offerings just right

Charlotte Roseby meets Master Plumber and National Council Member Dusten Haass

Looking ahead / 34

Plumber at War / 26 Charlotte Roseby continues our ‘Plumber at War’ series talking with Master Plumber John Geschke, whose grandfather survived the horrors of trench warfare on The Western Front

Prospects for the Construction Industry in Australia 2015/2016

Hydronic heating and cooling – the SMART choice / 36 Partnership with focus on the future / 38 Rheem Australia Celebrates 50 years as Corporate Members of the Master Plumbers

Climate Change – challenging our use of energy / 40

Pics from our Apprentice Graduation and Awards Presentation page 10

10 The Plumbing Industry’s answer to closing the gap / 42 The Indigenous Plumbing and Sanitation Foundation launched just over one year ago

Asbestos –it’s still out there watch out! / 44 The fundamentals of Enterprise Agreements / 48 Business Interruption Insurance for plumbers – what would you do? / 50 Are your pipes fit and healthy? / 52 You might assume your plumbing can’t harm you, but you’d be wrong

The why and how of Business Awards / 54 Product news / 56 World Plumbing Council News / 66

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.

the physical and mental health and wellbeing of you and your staff is an important part of your business


from the President and CEO

Heads up – Creating a mentally healthy workplace

Master Plumbers – showing up for our industry

While safety in the workplace is paramount, the physical and mental health and wellbeing of you and your staff is an important part of your business.

At two recent meetings I attended addressed by the Minister for Small Businesses, The Hon. Bruce Bilson, he used the Harry Truman quote; “decisions are made by those who show up”.

Mentally healthy workplaces work better for everyone, and Master Plumbers are proud to have partnered with Heads Up, who are all about giving individuals and businesses free tools and resources to take action. Develop an action plan to create a mentally healthy workplace, find out about taking care of your own mental health, and get tips on having a conversation with someone you’re concerned about. Promoting mental health in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility. However small you decide to start, take the first step towards a more mentally healthy workplace today.

This statement is as true in our Association as it is in all aspects of our daily life. At its recent planning day the Board of Master Plumbers recognised the importance of member engagement and public awareness, this will result in greater emphasis on member events, communication and the use of social media to get our messages across. The Association is an organisation that ‘shows up’ and represents the needs of small businesses, whether it is with the Australian Tax Office, the Federal or State Governments or the many regulating authorities that impact our members.

Joining Heads Up means that you have some support on your journey to a more mentally healthy workplace. They can also keep you up to date with newly launched resources and share tips to make you and your workplace more mentally healthy.

On behalf of the Association I recently attended a workshop with the Building Minister’s Forum in relation to building products Standards, where again I could argue support for the Watermark scheme.

Why your business should be mentally healthy

We have also increased our engagement and representation with regulatory authorities in Victoria, including the Victorian Building Authority and Energy Safe Victoria, to ensure practitioners views are represented in the move to risk based auditing and other changes.

Heads up have some interesting stats to support the argument for more awareness and acceptance in workplaces. • At any given time one in five employees are likely to be expecting a mental health condition • Untreated depression results in over six million working days lost each year in Australia • Untreated depression results in over 12 million days of reduced productivity each year • For every $1 invested in creating a mentally healthy workplace businesses sees an average return of $2.30 Because every business is different, there’s no one-size-fits all approach to creating a mentally healthy workplace. You’ll need to think about what will work for you and develop a plan that reflects your aims. Regular updates will help ensure everyone comes along on the journey. A number of resources are available to help you develop your plan and communicate with your people.

Master Plumbers also ‘shows up’ to work with training organisations and the Industry Skills Council to maintain the standards in the training package and to protect the importance of the apprenticeship system. The Association is also actively involved in the review of the ‘White Card’ and the proposal to include gas fitting in the National Construction Code. Our members have been ‘showing up’ in large numbers to our member breakfasts, the Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria Awards night and our Plumbing and Gas Division meetings. We have a great industry and need to continue to ensure that those who work to the required standards are supported and protected.

To learn more about Heads Up and to sign up visit Master Plumbers are proud supporters of Heads Up and encourage all of our Members and the wider plumbing community to sign up make a difference.

Scott Dowsett President, Master Plumbers

8 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

Ken Gardner CEO, Master Plumbers

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member news Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria Graduation On Tuesday 14 July, over 100 guests gathered at PICAC to celebrate the 2014/15 graduates from Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria (PAV), the Master Plumbers’ group training scheme. AFL legend Billy Brownless MC’ed and was a huge hit with all in attendance – his many attempts at pronouncing some of the student’s names was a highlight of the night! Pancho Grech, PAV Manager, was thrilled to see so many apprentices graduate and said, “Completing an apprenticeship with a group training scheme can be challenging, but the rewards are worth it. “Our graduates have often worked for a number of host employers, which gives them a variety of on-the-job training and mentoring – it also means they must learn to adapt to diverse work conditions and environments. As a result they graduate as skilled tradespeople and flexible employees, which prepares them for good roles within the plumbing industry.” “It’s great to see these guys come full circle and I know that in a few years I’ll be dealing with some of them when they become owners of their own businesses.” In the 34 years it has been in operation, the PAV scheme has trained, mentored and placed over 2,800 apprentices. “The completion rate for PAV apprentices is 95 per cent, this is significantly higher than the industry average of around 50 per cent,” says Pancho. Master Plumbers’ President, Scott Dowsett, was once again impressed by the calibre of the graduates, saying, “The mentoring and guidance they have received from their host employers has been vitally important to their development as tradesmen. These graduates are the future of plumbing and I look forward to seeing the impact they have on the industry.” Thank you to the event sponsors Tradelink and CBUS for their continued support. For more information about Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria, call Pancho Grech today on 0418 562 604. 10 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

2015 Graduates Mark Alessi

Andrew McNeil

Mark has worked at Armstrong Plumbing and Geschke throughout his apprenticeship.

Andrew has worked with Fraser & Mountain and David Couper Air Conditioning throughout his apprenticeship.

Paul Blight

Ilias Messimeris

Paul has worked with Joliffe Plumbing and Project Developments throughout his apprenticeship.

Ilias has worked with Trio Plumbing and Cooke & Dowsett throughout his apprenticeship.

Duncan Blowers

Liam Minogue

Duncan has worked with Conte Services, AG Coombs and All-staff throughout his apprenticeship.

Liam is the First Sprinkler Fitter to qualify with the Group Training Scheme. Has worked for Contract Fire, Leemark and Firesafe throughout his apprenticeship.

Matthew Bulat

Anthony Moody

Matthew has worked with Contract Hydraulics and Collingwood Building Services throughout his apprenticeship.

Anthony has worked with TECDEC and Boyle & Grigg throughout his apprenticeship.

David Caldwell

Nathan Orr

David has worked with Contract Hydraulics, Collingwood Building Services and Project Developments throughout his apprenticeship.

Nathan has worked with Collins & Graham Mechanical, Coolaroo Air and North West Air throughout his apprenticeship.

Jamerson Campbell

David Pearson

Jamerson has worked with Barden Steel Deck and Project Developments throughout his apprenticeship.

David has worked with Geschke throughout his apprenticeship.

Taylor French

Zac Radchenko

Taylor has worked with PJM Air, AG Coombs, OP Industries and D&E Air throughout his apprenticeship.

Zac has worked with Collins & Graham Mechanical, Complete Plumbing & Fraser & Mountain throughout his apprenticeship.

Matthew Grech

Rene Sanchez

Matthew has worked with Regional Plumbing, Conte Services, Barden Steel Deck Industries, Complete Plumbing and BMG Roofing throughout his apprenticeship.

Rene has worked with Collins & Graham Mechanical, Conte Services, AG Coombs, D&E Air and Project Developments throughout his apprenticeship.

Thomas Grundy

David Sereno

Thomas has worked with Barden Steel Deck Industries and OP Industries throughout his apprenticeship.

David has worked with D & E Air and Geschke throughout his apprenticeship.

Aaron Maquire

Romel Spilbury

Aaron has worked with John Stroud Plumbing, Joliffe Plumbing, Cooke & Dowsett and OP Industries throughout his apprenticeship.

Romel has worked with Regional Plumbing and Cooke & Dowsett throughout his apprenticeship. | 11

member news Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria Awards Following the Graduation Ceremony Awards were given to the most outstanding 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year apprentices. The Association congratulates all the 2015 winners and wishes to thank all the sponsors who made the event possible. 1ST YEAR APPRENTICE AWARD



Stephan Putter

Jack Dainer

Cameron Barr

Sir Rohan Delacombe Award sponsored by Cooke & Dowsett

Peter Pratt Award sponsored by PBA Safety

Don Pritchard Award sponsored by Incolink

This award is named in honour of a past Governor of Victoria, Sir Rohan Delacombe, who presented the first award at Government House on 27 July 1965.

This Award is named after the late Peter Pratt. Peter was very passionate about the advancement of younger generations through the industry. Peter made a significant contribution to the Plumbing Industry through many years of dedicated service to the Master Plumbers.

This award is named after the late Don Pritchard, who was a member of the Executive Committee of Master Plumbers for many years. Don was involved in the administration of the Association and was a leading member of the Institute of Plumbing.

Jack is currently hosted by Complete Plumbing and decided to become involved in the plumbing industry after working as a gardener for a young couple who owned their own plumbing business. He was asked to fill in for an apprentice for one day and fell in love with the industry, working on school holidays until he finished school and take on an apprenticeship. Jack is currently working in sanitary and really enjoying it, he looks forward to learning more about all specialty fields to help determine an area where he would like to specialise.

Cameron is currently hosted by ‘CAB Plumbing’ and enjoys the variety of work that is on offer. Cameron enjoys the problem solving that his work involves and going into a client’s home to fix whatever problems may be.

Stephan is currently hosted by Complete Plumbing Contracting, and finds great joy in plumbing, especially after completing a job and seeing the end result and how it works. He would like to specialise in copper work and gas including hot water services and pumps. Highlights of Stephan’s first year include getting his ticket to operate a scissor lift and also to work safe heights and roofs. After completing his apprenticeship Stephan would like to be employed full time with a company that takes pride in their work.

12 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

If Cameron had to choose one area of speciality it would be gas as he loves working with copper in particular welding and bending. Cameron gets great satisfaction out of making his pipe work look neat! Cameron has ambitions to run his own business one day!


Aaron Bridger Alfred Atherton Award sponsored by A E Atherton This award is named in honour of Alfred Atherton, whose family has been synonymous with plumbing in Victoria since the 1880s. Atherton is a founding member of the Association, and has been a member for over 120 years. Aaron is currently hosted by A E Smith and has always enjoyed the plumbing industry having worked with his father from a young age. Aaron enjoys the hands on aspects and the technical skill involved with plumbing work. Aaron wants to specialise in domestic maintenance plumbing because he has enjoyed the problem solving aspect that comes along with maintenance throughout his apprenticeship. He also enjoys the variety of having multiple jobs most days. Some of Aaron’s career highlights include: completing certificate 1 in building and construction, Certificate III in plumbing and winning first place at the World Plumbing Day Apprentice Skills Competition at PICAC.

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Welcome New Members

Master Plumbers welcomes the following new members, affiliates and corporate partners who have joined the association since June 2015. Heritage Plumbing Group Pty Ltd

John McCann Heating Pty Ltd

Tig Plumbing & Gas Fitting Pty Ltd

Robinson Roofing & Guttering

Simon Wilkins Plumbing

East & Hills Plumbing

BeOnd Plumbing

Kovele Plumbing

Seahawk Plumbing & Contracting

Reid Plumbing

Seaview Plumbing & Gas

Bostik Australia

Almac Plumbing

Adam Sharam Plumbing

Iplumb Victoria Pty Ltd

David McCarthy Plumbing

Hot Flush Plumbing

Roberts Bros Plumbing Pty Ltd

Pipes Plumbing Pty Ltd | 13

member news Master Plumbers and Tradelink Business Breakfast Over 100 Master Plumber’s members and Tradelink customers gathered at ACMI, Federation Square to attend the second Business Leaders Forum bright and early on Monday 20 July. Members were delighted to hear battle stories from AFL Legend and our MC for the morning Billy Brownless! Members also heard from Industrial Relation experts who provided information the National Employment Standards and how to avoid an unfair dismissal claim. A special thanks to our guest speakers; Sean Melbourne an Employment Lawyer, Phil Eberhard Master Plumber’s Senior Workplace Relations Adviser, Andrew Saxionis from Toyota and Jason Lanham from Tradelink.

Of the event Ken Gardner, CEO of Master Plumbers said “It is vitally important for our members to keep up to date with the latest happenings in workplace and industrial relations. We are here not only to protect our members, but also to educate them, and we have designed events like this one to do just that.” Our next Business Leaders Forum Breakfast will feature new plumbing technology and will be held at ACMI, Federation Square on Monday 14 September. To secure your place please e-mail

Congratulations to our Door Prize winners! Joseph Princi, Liquid Vision, won an Official AFL Sherrin Football valued at $180 proudly sponsored by Toyota. Lee McNalley, Greg Hicks Plumbing, won a Business Advisor Coaching session valued at $699 prou dly sponsored by SP Solutions.

14 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015


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As a paying member of Master Plumbers Association, you can enjoy Gold Fleet Discounts on the unbreakable HiLux or any car you choose from the Toyota range.* TFM1838 MPA 07/15

Talk to your local Fleet Specialist today about the right deal for you. To ďŹ nd your local Fleet Specialist Dealer, call 1800 444 847. *Excluding Special Edition models.


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member news 25 Years of making a difference Camp Quality weekend at Bendigo, an update from Phil Kelly For many years I have been in the plumbing industry and have had the privilege of being a Master Plumber, and mixing with many others in the same industry. But a new dimension has evolved over recent years – that is the opportunity to undertake charity fundraising and attempt to make a difference and help others. On Sunday, 17 May 2015 I had a very great privilege to attend a Camp Quality event in Bendigo, sponsored by the $20,000 raised at last year’s annual Bendigo Plumbers Charity Golf Day. The reason for supporting Camp Quailty, was to raise awareness in the country communities regarding support for cancer patients and their families. At the event I had lunch with the families that have had to learn to cope with cancer, and I learned of the many different forms of Cancer that is prevalent in our community today. Believe me, it was a moving experience and the question is – are we making a difference? And I can assure you, we definitely are. I sat with some Mothers of cancer affected children and found myself drawn into the conversation about their ups and downs of their journey. They all seem to have similar experiences, the diagnosis, the waiting, attending hospital for days on end, with the constant hospital visits (four to five times a week), the endless tests and the waiting game for results, the future prognosis and the anxiety that sometimes follows and of course, death. There was a particular Mum who has stuck in my mind; her son has a very rare form of brain cancer, it so rare that there have only been two reported cases in Australia and only about 35 cases in the world in the last thirty years. A hospital in Boston, USA, is the only facility with specialized equipment to treat this

cancer. The survival statistic is quite low, but the experience of speaking with this lady and the positive energy and hope that came from her, was inspirational. Hearing these stories and being a part of a simple golf day which in turn has brought these families as a community together for a well-deserved rest, away from the constant battles of life and in some cases death… was this our destiny? As an Association that comes together as a commitment for the improvement of health in our areas, that we influence everyday with general plumbing skills – here we are affecting the personal health and well-being of a group of individuals that are needier than we can imagine. Is this our destiny, to be part of this support system? I believe it is, and it is truly worthwhile. Everyone involved in the Golf Day can be proud that we are able to assist and be part of this wonderful charity through our event.


Annual Bendigo Plumbers Charity Golf Day Friday, 9 October 2015, Neangar Park Golf Club Bendigo 9am BBQ brunch 10am Tee off 4 person Ambrose event Plumbers, tradies and general public welcome – great prizes, huge raffles and an auction! All funds raised are donated to Camp Quality, the children’s family cancer charity. For further details and registration please contact Master Plumbers on 03 9329 9622.

To get involved in the 25th Annual Bendigo Plumbers Charity Golf Day, contact a member of the Bendigo Master Plumbers Golf Committee which includes Geoff Moroney, Brett Crapper or myself, Phil Kelly.

Have you heard? As part of our 2015/16 consumer awareness adverting campaign we are pleased to announce that we are now advertising on Triple M, Smooth FM and RSN Radio Stations, to educate consumers to get the job done right and ‘always use a Master Plumber’. | 17

member news News from Master Plumbers Tasmania Welcome Tassie Members! It’s been another busy few months with member issues ranging from contracts to IR/WHS advice and the preparation of various government submissions to protect the welfare of the plumbing industry in Tasmania. Tasmania Building Regulatory Framework Review: As a result of the submissions to the Tasmania Building Regulatory Framework Review Position Paper that was released last year a number of issues were identified and subsequently a raft of recommendations were made by the Director of Building Control and have been signed off by the Treasurer. You may remember, when we previously reported on the issue that the ‘role of the roof plumber’, was under attack with approximately 5 out of 45 submissions in favour of removing roof plumbing as ‘prescribed plumbing work’. We submitted that this was not only short sighted but dangerous and would most likely result in increased public health risks and reduce the integrity of buildings and structures. We are confident that our submission was well received and that most likely roof plumbing will remain ‘prescribed plumbing work’ requiring qualification and licensing. The other most important issue to raise is that of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for plumbers which most likely will eventuate early 2016. The Association fully supports CPD for our industry as long as its quality and enhances the skills of our members and the industry as a whole.

Apprenticeship term under fire

New member Benefits

A recurrent theme in Tasmania seems to be a ‘dumb down’ approach to plumbing qualifications. We have been advised by Skills Tasmania that some of their Workforce Training Consultants are finding it ‘difficult to manage time served v’s competency based completions in plumbing trades’. Skills Tasmania sought the advice on the matter from the Fair Work Ombudsman and was advised to the effect that “…as long as the relevant state training legislation has provision for competency based progression, the Plumbing Award would not prohibit an apprenticeship from being completed sooner than the contracted period’ of 4 years…”

Our special appreciation to GetReal Workwear & Safety who has just come on board the MPAT TEAM and are offering our members discount of 15% across the entire range.

There has always been considerable debate around ‘competency based progression’ but at a time of emerging new technologies, skill sets, and regulatory requirements to be a fully qualified, professional and operational plumber its seems at odds to reduce the term of apprenticeship. Further we do not agree with this proposal because it is not based on any logical reasoning or forensic evidence but rather ‘something to do just because we can’. Plumbing industry employers are the best equipped to judge the adequacy of training for apprentices and not the associated bureaucracy. We, as the primary stakeholders, need solid evidence that a reduced term will not adversely affect the individual apprentice, the employer or the industry but rather enhance it. Clearly we are yet see this evidence but will consult with Skills Tasmania (again) to make our position clear. Moreover if there is a genuine need to reform the apprenticeship regime this should be based on the needs of the industry and considered nationally.

18 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

GetReal Workwear & Safety are located throughout Tasmania in Derwent Park, North Hobart., Launceston and Devonport.) This is a Tasmanian owned company so let’s get behind them and show our support by buying their product – which I must say has a great range. Lastly a very special welcome to our new members: Toby Coates Plumbing, Steve Hurle Plumbing, Derwent Park Plumbing Supplies, Gary Drew (GS & LM Drew Plumbing Services), Mark Ashton (Health Care Plumbing) and Paul Francis (Aqua Line Plumbing & Gas). Yours in plumbing

Angela Ayling Executive Officer

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industry news PICAC news PICAC Geelong update The PICAC Geelong Campus is well underway, with construction currently on schedule for completion in October.

PAV Apprentices honoured to represent Australia in the USA Following their outstanding performance at the PICAC World Plumbing Day Skills Competition, two Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria apprentices flew out to Michigan to represent PICAC and Australia at the United Association International Apprentice Contest The UA International Skills Competition, which ran from the 7 -14 August 2015. Calan Haydon competed in the Plumbing competition, while Liam Minogue competed in Sprinkler Fitting. Both competitors performed admirably representing PICAC and Australia in front of an international audience. In the next issue we will have a full run down on how Calan and Liam got on in the competition.

The new Training Centre will deliver services to Greater Geelong and the western regions of Victoria, providing access to the very best training equipment and resources. The campus is designed to meet the training needs of all the partner organisations, but importantly to also re-train highly skilled workers being forced to exit the manufacturing sector with large companies closing or reducing operations in the region. The building will consist of two levels, totalling approximately 1,058m2. The ground floor will feature a reception area, Facility Manager’s Office, Lunch Room, Toilets, Plant Room, four Training Rooms, double height Open Training Area and Machinery and Operating Area. Upstairs will include a Specialised Training area (for training at heights), two large Meeting Rooms, Staff Toilet, Server Room, Store Room and four Offices/classrooms. Keeping with the high-standards of the Brunswick Centre, the Geelong Campus will also be a Green Star rated building with a timber pergola and aluminium sun shade battens to the entry forecourt and hydronic heating and cooling coils set into the concrete slab for heating and cooling, in addition to other water and energy efficient systems.

Opportunities for plumbing students at RMIT A multi-skilled team from RMIT competed in Singapore to produce innovative sanitation solutions for the developing world. The inaugural WorldSkills Water Innovation Challenge saw two teams compete to benefit communities in Nepal and Bangladesh with innovative concepts for clean water and sewage systems. RMIT science, media, engineering, design and plumbing students were involved in the challenge, with four selected for the team that represented Australia in Singapore. “This global challenge fostered an appreciation of future graduate working conditions in a team environment and shows how trades work with RMIT researchers to add value to cutting-edge research, that results in innovative solutions to global problem,” Dr Helen Smith (Senior Research Fellow, RMIT) said. “In both Nepal and Bangladesh, communities suffer from ongoing health issues caused by poor sanitation and the outcomes from this WorldSkills Challenge will help to change this for the better for the communities involved.” Working collaboratively, the RMIT team leveraged research on the use of aquatic plants to demonstrate an environmentally sustainable and technically manageable solution for the issue of waste disposal in small communities. The solution showcased the study pathways and outcomes that differentiate RMIT from other tertiary institutions. As a result of the competition, Team USA’s winning concept will be further developed by Health Habitat and implemented in Bangladesh in 2015 – with both teams travelling to Bangladesh next year to jointly implement the winning solutions.

20 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

Bosch 4000S Internal A new internal gas continuous flow hot water system that has been specifically developed for the rapidly growing medium density building market. The Bosch 4000S is an extremely compact appliance, with design features facilitating easy installation for the plumber, and the possibility of innovative design solutions for Architects and Specifiers.

The 4000S Range Offers 3 12L (90Mj), 16L (120Mj) and 20L (149Mj) options available 3 Inbuilt temperature controller 3 Room-sealed appliances with horizontal & vertical flue options 3 Easy change-over from Bosch HydroPower & Compact models 3 No adjustment to fan speed required at installation 3 6 Star efficiency 3 Electronically controlled modulation for increased user comfort 3 Additional temperature controller available 3 50°C locked options available 3 Compact design Optiflow is a patented combustion management system that self-adjusts to the ideal gas air mix for the application to deliver: 3 Higher efficiency 3 Easier & quicker installation – No manual adjustment of fan speeds 3 Increased safety level 3 Continued performance under changing conditions Flueing examples

For more information call 1300 30 70 37 or visit

industry news Rheem Australia launches a new round of Apprentice Plumber Grants $25,000 worth of grants helping our next generation of plumbers Rheem Australia is again extending a helping hand to apprentice plumbers, with the company announcing a new round of Apprentice Plumber Grants. Rheem will award 25 grants worth $1000 each to encourage some deserving apprentices along their way. “These apprentices are our next generation of plumbers and we want to help them complete their training,” says Rheem Australia CEO Matt Sexton. “There’s a significant need for financial assistance among apprentice plumbers, and Rheem is happy to support the plumbing industry wherever it can. Since the Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants program was launched in 2012, Rheem has given assistance to 125 apprentice plumbers from all around Australia.

About the 2015 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants Applications for the 2015 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants are now open and close on Wednesday 30 September 2015, with recipients announced on Friday 30 October 2015. Apprentices can nominate themselves, or their employer can nominate on their behalf. Applicants can download the form from the website at and either post, email or fax it (details are on the application form).

22 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

Renewable energy target passes parliament Amending legislation to implement the Government’s reforms to the Renewable Energy Target (RET) was agreed to by the Australian Parliament on 23 June 2015, slashing the target from 41,000 gigawatt hours to 33,000. The package of reforms includes measures that will provide certainty to industry, encourage further investment in renewable energy and better reflect market conditions. The RET has been amended to. • protect Australian jobs and help industries remain competitive by increasing assistance for all emissions-intensive trade-exposed industries to 100 per cent exemptions from all RET costs • remove the requirement for biennial reviews of the scheme and replace them with regular status updates by the Clean Energy Regulator, to provide more certainty to industry and transparency to consumers

• reinstate biomass from native forest wood waste as an eligible source of renewable energy, including the same safeguards that were in place prior to removal of this source from eligibility in late 2011. The Government will also work to progress reforms to improve the scientific understanding of wind turbine noise and the monitoring and transparency of information relating to the operation of wind turbines. The scope of these reforms is subject to the outcomes of the final report of the Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines and agreement of the states and territories where appropriate.

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Plumbing is an important part of keeping people healthy. As a health profession, we do this for the public service and the public good. It’s a serious responsibility. And I take that on as a pleasure. I love it and I always will.

Dusten Haass:

an honest passion for plumbing Charlotte Roseby meets Master Plumber and National Council Member Dusten Haass, who – not that long ago – was a Master Plumbers’ apprentice. Now he’s the Founder, Co-owner and Managing Director of Applied Installations.

Dusten nearly managed to avoid becoming a plumber altogether. “My dad had an excavation business so I was always around plumbers,” says Dusten. “I knew the industry, I grew up around it, and I had no interest in it,” he laughs. Dusten finished year 12 not really knowing where he was going. “My schooling wasn’t so great,” he says, admitting that “he’s a bit of a Dick Smith” – the entrepreneur, adventurer and defender of Australian-made products who, after receiving Queens Birthday Honours this year, admitted that he did so badly at school that his parents wondered what would become of him.

employment information night at Victoria University, where Master Plumbers happened to have a display stand. “I was a bit cheeky to [Master Plumbers] Alan Salter and David McNamara. They just threw it back at me and said, ‘if you think you know it all, come along to a briefing at Plumbing Industry House’. And with nothing better to do at the time, I went along.”

“I was a young fella who just needed to be challenged all the time,” says Dusten. His dad dragged him along to an

The Master Plumbers could see their diamond in the rough. Dusten was one of 20 apprentices – out of 300 applicants

24 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

– taken on that year by the Master Plumbers Group Training Scheme (now Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria). The rest is history, says Dusten. He had found just the right career to challenge him. “I learned a wide range of skills, I loved being outdoors, and I loved meeting different people. I thrived in that environment, in that industry.” “If I look back in hindsight at my career, I wouldn’t have done it any other way.”

Applying his plumbing skills After his apprenticeship, and after working as a registered plumber on the tools for six years, Dusten established Applied Plumbing Solutions, with a fellow apprentice. Dusten readily admits that starting out was hard. “Being new to business we didn’t have it all down pat: we made a few mistakes. We were on a steep learning curve.” After six years, and on the back of some financial hardship for the business, Dusten and his partner decided to amicably part ways. It’s still a hard time to run a plumbing business, says Dusten. “A friend went broke recently and six plumbers lost their jobs. It is so sad when that happens because there’s so much heart and effort involved. Now, being diverse, we can shift the risk.”

Applied expands into concrete Dusten decided to diversify Applied Plumbing’s portfolio. He had previously dipped his toe into concreting after taking 12 months off after his apprenticeship, “just to see what was out there” – plumbing hadn’t quite completely taken hold of his heart at that stage. What he discovered was the civil industry, working in bulk earthworks, site development, road, pavement and car park construction and reconstruction. Weaving his civil experience with his plumbing business turned out to be the perfect game-changer. Dusten amalgamated Applied Plumbing with a civil business to create Applied Installations. What looks like bold expansion was just a natural evolution, he says. “Plumbers are good problem-solvers – in fact, most of what we do is solving problems,” says Dusten. “You do what you do well, and then customers will inevitably ask you, ‘Well … can you do this then?’ which is sometimes out of your trade, but you find yourself saying ‘Of course I can help you out with that’. That’s how you evolve.”

Keeping it all in the business Applied Installations now offers a full range of commercial construction services including plumbing, building, concreting, earthmoving, steel fabrication and roofing. “Now we have the skills to tackle just about any construction project.” Unlike many construction companies, Dusten’s company uses very few outside contractors. “This means that the buck stops with us. We can guarantee that the job will be done the way our client wants it by the deadline. It also means that when a client needs to get in touch with us, there is only one point of contact.”

It’s a business approach that is really working, says Dusten. “It maximises productivity and really alleviates the problem of the lack of ownership a project suffers from when it has multiple contractors. Working in this way also helps us keep costs down for our clients.” The resumes of the thirty staff in Applied Installations include specialist skills like high voltage entry, working at heights, confined space entry, traffic management and licenced equipment operators – so they don’t need to call in the experts, says Dusten; they already have them.

To the Delatite River and back One recent project called upon nearly the full range of their skills. Applied Installations was asked to install a new water feed from a weir on the Delatite River (which flows between the ski resort mountains of Mount Stirling and Mount Buller). The river supplies water to the town of Mansfield and the water feed mains were splitting, and had become obsolete. Dusten’s team put in a new 400 ml water feed main for about 400 metres. To do this they had to completely rebuild the weir wall, then lay new 400 ml polyethylene pipeline down across under the river. It definitely had its challenges,” says Dusten. “It was quite daunting dealing with a river that can swell in the space of an hour. So we needed to build a coffer dam to divert the water.” “It wasn’t a big job, but a real challenge, stepping out of our comfort zone. It was all about problem solving and methodology; we had to really nut it out – and be prepared to change on a whim because of the weather.” They’ve done bigger projects, says Dusten, but this came with high risk – and is big on pride. Recent larger-scale projects included a joint venture to put temporary accommodation for refugees in the Broadmeadows Immigration Centre. They also worked for Melbourne City Council to bring an existing fire system at the Kensington Waste Transfer Station up to Australian standards. Dusten’s team replaced the water mains, then back-filled and resurfaced the road. They upgraded all meters branching out from the main, capped the area with surface concrete and installed the central fire cabinet. You can see how much fun a plumber/excavator/ concreter gets to have.

Master Plumbers: support, role models and inspiration Dusten says his company is still emerging, growing and finding its place. He’s working hard to make real his vision for a strong, stable second-generation business. “We have such great people, such a great team; I want it to be an enjoyable and supportive place to work.” While Dusten grows his business, he’s also working hard to grow his industry. Dusten has now joined the Master Plumbers National Council so he can give back to the industry that, he says, has given so much to him. “The support network is important in everything we do, and Master Plumbers offers that. There are such strong role models in Master Plumbers – with all the passion they exude. I encourage anybody to become a part of the Association in whatever way they can.” He’s keen to keep the quality of people coming up through the trade that he loves so much. There are problems facing young people, says Dusten. “We need to make sure the young guys have the support and the training they need to become astute men and women – and I’m a big supporter of women in the industry.” Dusten considers his role in the National Council an important responsibility but also an honour to be involved. And it’s a joy, says Dusten. “Plumbing is an important part of keeping people healthy. As a health profession, we do this for the public service and the public good. It’s a serious responsibility. And I take that on as a pleasure. I love it and I always will.”

Applied Installations: project snapshot Citipower/Powercor/ SP Ausnet Leighton’s CBRE/Dexus Spotless Property & Facility Management Services Securrency: Currency mint Reserve Bank Department of Correctional Services: HM Barwon Prison The Lakes (senior and junior schools) RMIT Village Victoria University Kangan Batman TAFE | 25

A Geschke in the ranks It’s surprising they haven’t found the gene for plumbing yet. The Geschke family are onto their fourth generation. “Iron work, engineering and plumbing are definitely in our genetic makeup,” says Master Plumber and Co-director of Geschke Plumbing, John Geschke. His grandfather was an iron founder, his father was a plumber, his brother is a plumber, and now his son and nephew are plumbers. There’s definitely something going on there. John’s brother Steve wanted to be “a plumber like Dad” since the day he could first walk and talk. After his first day of primary school, so the family story goes, Steve came home devastated – disillusioned with the whole “going to school” thing – because, they hadn’t taught him any plumbing.

A Geschke enlists John’s grandfather Charles (Carl) Rudolph Geschke certainly showed early signs of the plumbing gene. He was born in the inner-city industrial suburb of Richmond in 1884, and became an iron founder with Galliers and Klaerr, Victoria’s leading iron founders and plumbing company. The St Kilda foundry predominantly produced stoves and heating appliances and, in 1888, patented a new gas hot water heater. In 1914, at the outbreak of the First World War, Charles, like over 400,000 other Australian men aged between 18 and 45, enlisted to join the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF).

Copping anti-German sentiment

Plumber at war Do you know of a plumber who served in the First World War, the Second World War, Afghanistan or Vietnam? We are collecting stories of plumbers at war, and we would love to hear your story. Contact Elaine Mathews on 03 9321 0703 or

26 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

Although his family had been settled in Australia since 1849, when the first Geschke emigrated to South Australia, Australian-born Charles, with his German-sounding surname, suffered from the anti-German sentiment that was building in Australia. He would have really “copped it,” says John. Before the war, the German community was well-liked and very much part of Australian life. (By 1900 they were the fourth-largest European ethnic group in all the colonies, behind the English, Irish and Scots.) Like the Geschke ancestors, many Germans were escaping from the religious persecution of Lutherans.

“There was also a potato famine at the time,” says John, “combined with a lot of talk that Australia was warm, sunny and pleasant… pretty appealing for someone in the middle of a harsh, hungry European winter”. But by the time war broke out, the ripples of international tensions reached Australia. There was a frenzy of antiGerman feeling across the country. It’s incredible to think about it now, but in 1915, Germans and Austrians were put into internment camps across Australia. German businesses, schools and churches were forced to close. Anyone of German descent or with a German-sounding surname, like “Geschke”, was treated with suspicion. Charles was tested for his suitability to join the AIF and he responded, “I was born in Australia and have lived here all my life and I am Australian,” which the authorities accepted.

An iron founder goes to war Charles embarked from Port Melbourne on the troopship HMAT Medic on 20 May 1916, recruited to the 23rd Howitzer Brigade and the 1st to 10th Reinforcements. He was in the artillery division – a gunner. It was a brutal and dangerous role. Charles ended up on the battlefields of France and Belgium. The number of casualties on The Western Front was immense, for little gain. “He was in the trenches watching his friends’ heads being blown off,” says John. Trench warfare was a pitiless existence. Life in the trenches was a continual battle with mud, lice and rats. In winter the trenches were constantly waterlogged. Supplies were running low so the men existed on a diet of thin soup with the occasional chunk of horsemeat. Men not only suffered continued heavy shelling but disease: trench fever, trench nephritis, and trench foot. This was Charles’ world for two years.

Charlotte Roseby continues our ‘Plumber at War’ series, with Master Plumber John Geschke whose grandfather, Charles Geschke, was an iron founder and ANZAC who survived the horrors of trench warfare on The Western Front.

Almost 60,000 soldiers died and 156,000 were injured on the battlefields of the First World War, according to the Australian War Memorial ( These are extraordinary numbers when you consider that Australia’s population in 1914 was just under five million.

Hayes & Geschke Plumbing begins

Charles sustained shrapnel wounds. After hospitalisation he returned to the front line, then finally made it home. He had survived. He received a medal from King George V for his war service, says John, despite him being disciplined during the war for not saluting a British officer.

In 1951 Brian Geschke and William Alfred Hayes, his colleague at Galliers & Klaerrs, started Hayes & Geschke plumbing (some years later nicknamed Haste and Guesswork – most unfairly, laughs John). The business started in general maintenance and small commercial and industrial, but quickly specialised in industrial contracts.

Charles makes it home We can only imagine the horror that Charles Geschke experienced; he never, ever spoke about it once he returned. “’It’s too horrific to talk about,’ is what Charles used to say,” says John. “That’s all that was said in our family.” This is common to returned ANZACs. There was very little known about how to help them process their experiences and heal the psychological wounds. The terms “shell shock” and “combat stress” were coined during the First World War, but now we know that many suffered deep psychological trauma, affecting their long-term physical, social and emotional wellbeing. Many, like Charles Geschke, suffered in silence. When he returned from war, Charles returned to work at Galliers and Klaerr, started a family and, although he constantly struggled with ill-health, went about “normal life”. One of his sons, Norman Geschke, joined the Royal Australian Airforce in 1942 when he was 17 and he served in the Korean War flying many types of aircraft, eventually becoming a wing commander.

Charles’ son Brian Geschke (John’s father) became a plumber and began working at his father’s workplace, Galliers & Klaerrs, installing industrial stoves made by the iron founders.

Early on in the business, in April 1955, Hayes & Geschke joined the Master Plumbers. “He was a big believer in giving back,” says John. Brian was deeply committed to the plumbing industry and in training in particular. He became a welding instructor in the evenings after work at the Royal Melbourne Technical College (now RMIT). In the years after co-founder Bill Hayes died in 1966, Brian took on some significant commercial projects including the Monash University Union Building, PLC school in Burwood and Mitchelton Winery. “Dad definitely had engineering in his blood,” says John. “Dad had a love of engineering and a love of achievement… we’ve worked on wheat silos, heavy industrial sites and on big engineering projects. I remember going along with Dad to the Repco forge. The place was hot and dark and dirty. As a kid I was so impressed; I thought this was as close to hell as it gets!” Not only that, but Brian acquired his “powder monkey” explosives licence and used it to excavate rock and demolish septic tanks. Sons Steve and John were now in heaven: they could hardly believe you could go along to Dad’s work and watch him insert gelignite and fuses into underground concrete structures or rock… apply the blasting matt… detonate the explosives… and then get paid.

The next generation of Geschke Finally in 1972, Steve Geschke – the one who was devastated when his first day of primary school didn’t feature plumbing – got to start his apprenticeship. John followed soon after (winning the Master Plumbers Andrew Letten Gold Medal and the Kembla Travelling Scholarship). Now sadly without Hayes, but happily with two Geschke sons in tow, Brian changed the company name to Geschke Plumbing. There have also been “adoptees” working with Geschke for life – a sign of very inclusive, supportive family business. Jack Dent was a site plumbing foreman for many years and took on the education of the apprentices. Gareth (Dicko) Dickson started his apprenticeship with Geschke and is now a partner in the business along with Steve and John. Brian died in 2010. He was much admired and much loved, and his business inspired the following two generations to become plumbers. John’s son David, and Steve’s son Mark are both now qualified plumbers working with the company. Geschke has moved into new purposebuilt headquarters in Keysborough. The premises are a plumber’s dream: dedicated areas for administration; plumbing management; computerised design; estimating; meeting rooms; a workshop with Oxy, MIG, TIG, ARC welding, a folder, guillotine and lathe – and don’t forget the fully equipped gym. Geschke recently celebrated 60 years membership of Master Plumbers, of which John is very proud: “We have the great satisfaction of a long history of achievement. But we also know that we have Charles’ and Brian’s genetic code. The gene for plumbing is firmly embedded.” | 27

The highlander. In the foothills of the Snowy Mountains, a local government has set energy- efficiency benchmarks through a multi-million dollar upgrade of its main administration building. And as Sean McGowan reports, harnessing the area’s natural resources is at the heart of the savings.

As the western gateway to the Snowy Mountains, the small alpine town of Tumut in southern New South Wales is known for its natural beauty and timber industry. The region, covering an area of over 4,500 sq km (about half of which is state and national parks), is home to a population of a little more than 11,000 people, and is governed by the Tumut Shire Council. The council is based in the 1980s-built Riverina Highlands Building (RHB) in the centre of Tumut, along with state government tenants such as the Forest Corporation, the NSW Rural Fire Service and Corrective Services NSW. When it was purchased by the council in 2008, an audit of the building’s mechanical services identified the HVAC plant as having reached the end of its effective operational life. Along with requiring significant and expensive ongoing maintenance, the central air-cooled plant was prone to regular failure. It was unable to meet the climate control requirements of the building, greatly affecting occupant comfort levels and productivity. In 2011, maintenance and repairs to the building cost the council approximately $80,000, with annual electricity costs totalling $165,000. This led the council to undertake an energy audit, which identified the building components responsible for the largest electricity consumption. The audit then made a number of cost-saving recommendations.

The outcome was a resolution made by the council to proceed with the Riverina Highlands Building Energy Efficiency Project (RHBEEP), which would incorporate a multi-faceted building upgrade.

Funding secured According to Tumut Shire Council environmental officer Joanne Spicer, the project’s objective was to transform the inefficient building into an energyefficient showpiece. “The RHBEEP aimed to reduce energy consumption and associated costs at the Riverina Highlands Building by replacing the existing lighting and HVAC system, and installing insulation and solar panels,” Spicer says. “Additionally, it was about educating the community on energy efficiency by showcasing best-practice strategies.” To help make the $2.1 million project viable, the Tumut Shire Council was successful in obtaining funding from both the Community Energy Efficiency Project (CEEP) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). A grant of $877,516 was provided by the CEEP, a program administered under the Australian government’s Department of the Environment to provide co-funding to local government bodies to improve amenity in community facilities, minimise energy consumption and costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The council also received a $1.18 million low-interest loan from the CEFC.

With funding secured, the council set about developing a comprehensive upgrade plan. A management team was formed to manage the various components of the project, including project management, financial management, energy-efficiency management and communications. “While we knew that saving energy would reduce council’s annual costs associated with the RHB,” Spicer says, “we also realised that we could utilise the project to educate the local community, including businesses, tradespeople and industry.” Yet despite the opportunities available, the critical function performed by some of the building tenants created significant time challenges, with two of the tenants the lead agencies in the event of natural disaster. As such, it left just half the year (late autumn, winter and spring) to complete the project before the bushfire season began. “The council had to take into consideration that throughout the renovations, these agencies still required sufficient office space,” says Spicer. “As such, we removed half of the council staff from the building during construction. “The remaining staff were moved from one floor to the next as each stage of the project was completed. This provided the capacity to undertake the construction with minimised lost work time, while not displacing all staff.”

Data taken through the summer and autumn periods has shown electricity savings of about 41 per cent over the existing air-cooled system 28 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

It was about educating the community on energy efficiency by showcasing bestpractice strategies

Geoexchange feasibility Following energy audits and feasibility studies conducted by CDE Energy on behalf of the Tumut Shire Council, a scope of works for the RHBEEP was developed. This included a complete upgrade of the building’s lighting fixtures and ceiling insulation, as well as power factor correction, metering upgrades and optimisation, and the installation of onsite power generation via a solar photovoltaic array. But by far the greatest opportunity for energy saving would come from the replacement of the building’s aging, air-cooled central chiller and electric duct heaters. Seeking the most energy-efficient option available, CDE Energy approached GeoExchange Australia to conduct a preliminary study into the retrofitting of a geoexchange heating and cooling system at the site. According to GeoExchange Australia’s managing director, Yale Carden, M.AIRAH, a few phone calls and emails was all that was required to identify the project’s suitability. “We were then commissioned to conduct a feasibility assessment,” Carden says. “This is a desktop process that uses available information on the building and local ground conditions to assess both the technical and economic potential of the project.”

The assessment identified the Tumut region as an area where geoexchange heating and cooling would work particularly well, given its good heating and cooling seasons. The Riverina Highlands Building also had a suitable usage profile (occupation, operating hours etc.). The next step was to identify an appropriate area where such a system could be installed. Not only was available space for the geoexchange field required, but also plant room access and access for the ground source heat pumps (GSHPs). And with few viable sites available, the rear carpark quickly became a logical location. “The rear carpark was just about ideal, and we knew we had good, solid rock with expected water fractures,” says Carden. “And the space available in the building would allow us to use the best GSHPs on the market in a distributed arrangement through the building.” Soon after, a test borehole was installed to allow for a thermal conductivity test (TCT). This 48-hour test determines the mean earth temperature, thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity, as well as the practicalities of drilling on the site, such as depth of rock, water flows and other factors.

“There are three main design elements – the GHX (ground source heat exchange), GSHPs and the pumping and plant room – that need to be well integrated,” Carden says. “For example, flow rates and pressure drops through the individual bore holes in the GHX need to be able to match the GSHPs and vice versa.” Once testing was completed, these design parameters were modelled in accordance with the thermal model (annual hourly loads for both heating and cooling) for the building. The GSHPs were sized and distributed in accordance with building requirements such as zoning, room areas, occupancy, tenancies and internal and external zones. “The GHX design is a function of annual heat in and out of the ground,” he says. “Thus it is important to understand the building as much as it is the ground.” The final system design comprised of a vertical closed-loop GHX featuring 35 boreholes drilled to a depth of 92m each, manifolded into five sets of seven using a reverse-return (self-balancing) manifold. Each borehole set was then to be manifolded in an underground vault at the rear of the building. A single flow/return would transfer water to the existing, old plant room beneath the building. | 29

Water, water In April 2013, about a year after the initial feasibility study, and four months after the thermal conductivity test, work commenced on the installation of the GHX field. As is the case in many drilling programs, a number of unexpected challenges presented themselves. The first came in the form of rain delays – a consequence of works being conducted in late autumn and winter. While not necessarily disruptive to drilling, wet weather did impact the welding of borehole casings, and was an OHS issue during certain periods. The second challenge came in the fracturing of a drilling head and hammer that ultimately couldn’t be retrieved. This caused the borehole to be abandoned and another to be drilled next to it. But perhaps the biggest challenge was the unexpected, higher water flow rates. Although testing had indicated a water flow rate to the surface of 3L/s, water flow rates of up to ~14L/s were experienced in one section of the GHX. “There was an old, steep-sided valley at a depth of about 14m below ground level that channelled large volumes of groundwater from the adjacent mountains,” says Carden. Although this required management procedures to be quickly implemented to control excess surface water on the site, from a system perspective the higher groundwater flows were welcome news as they increased the GHX efficiency by transporting heat more rapidly.

Once drilling was completed, the GHX system installation commenced. And in line with standard practice across the global geoexchange industry, it was constructed of polyethylene (PE) pipe, with all joins by electrofusion. Carden says PE and cross-linked PE (PEXa) are the only two GHX materials permitted by the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) guidelines. “Thermal fusion – butt, socket or sidewall electro – is the only pipe-joining method approved by the guidelines for PE,” he says. “PEXa is permitted with electrofusion or cold compression-sleeve fittings in accordance with manufacturer procedures.” The pump room for the system consists of three variable-speed pumps (one as standby) regulated by the demand call from the GSHPs. The Emergency Operations Centre in the building required that a smaller variablespeed pump was also installed to serve this area during emergency periods. This pump was also configured to operate during very low demand periods across the entire building. “The key to the variable-speed pumping strategy is to optimise water delivery to the variable-speed compressor GSHPs in accordance with individual compressor requirements,” says Carden. The selected GSHPs feature variablespeed compressors and fans, as well as high- level controls for both temperature and humidity.

The installation of the geoexchange HVAC system has far exceeded council expectations 30 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

A total of 26 GSHPs were installed in ceiling voids throughout the building to serve their individual zone areas, and provide occupants with local control. Each is also connected via a reversereturn piping system to ensure a naturally balanced system. Modulating water valves were installed at each GSHP and controlled by the compressor to optimise water flow into each. This means, for example, that the valve is closed when the compressor is off; is fully open at high-speed operation; and partially opened as required to match the compressor speed. A matching proprietary control system is used for each GSHP to provide individual control. It also provides the building manager with the ability to set parameters such as temperature bands and times.

Energy savings The Riverina Highlands Building geoexchange system was commissioned in January 2014. Although it has only operated for a little more than six months, data taken through the summer and autumn periods has shown electricity savings of about 41 per cent over the existing air-cooled system. These savings are expected to improve further as the system is refined. Combined with the installation of T5 fluorescent light fixtures, the 30kW solar PV array and ceiling insulation, the Tumut Shire Council has so far recorded electricity cost savings at the site of 66 per cent.

The Tumut Shire Council has so far recorded electricity cost savings at the site of 66 per cent

Project at a glance

Lessons from the consultant

“RHBEEP’s estimated annual electricity savings were originally projected at $94,456 but the actual savings to date are over $116,000,” says Spicer. “Additional savings of $80,000 per annum have resulted due to reduced maintenance costs and the council’s ability to increase tenancy income due to the improved building environment.”

Yale Carden, Managing Director, GeoExchange Australia

1 Team first

Importantly, the council has also noted a rapid decrease in peak power demand. Data taken during the winter heating period has not yet been analysed. But heating electricity savings are expected to meet the predicted ~90 per cent due to inefficiencies of the existing HVAC system, insulation improvements, and the new geoexchange system’s predicted heating COP of almost 6. “The installation of the geoexchange HVAC system has far exceeded council expectations,” Spicer says. “And the system has the capacity to deliver additional heating and cooling to another two council buildings.” Tumut Shire Council has undertaken a scoping report to confirm this and has prepared a business case for the potential extension of the system.

This article was published in Ecolibrium, October 2014. Reprinted by permission. Copyright remains with AIRAH, and the article may not be reproduced without the express permission of AIRAH.

The project team was the key to the success of this project. The council had a very impressive alignment of the project, from the general manager to the head of finance, to the project manager and environmental officers.

The personnel Client: Tumut Shire Council Energy consultant: CDE Energy Geoexchange consultant: GeoExchange Australia Drilling contractor: Alpine Drilling Mechanical services contractor: Atlas Air Conditioning

2 Importance of independents

HVAC equipment

GSHPs: WaterFurnace 7 Series

The importance of independent advisers such as CDE Energy, in both suggesting a solution such as geoexchange as well as verifying our advice, provided the Tumut Shire Council with confidence in their decisions.

3 Inform the client

It was important also that the client understood the process, did their due diligence, trusted advice, and had the courage to act.

GSHP control: WaterFurnace Intellizone2 Pumps: Grundfos PV solar panels: Trina PV solar inverters: Delta TL15 Solivia

4 Open processes

From our perspective, it was important to be open in our processes and what was required to provide the client with the best possible system. This cut across all aspects, from design to project management to procurement.

Go to for further information. | 31

Deliver real change with HVAC+R Tradelink understands the importance of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration and has worked hard at making sure they get their offerings just right, reports Daniel McLean, Tradelink HVAC specialist. Demand for energy efficient infrastructure for residential and commercial projects – everything from houses, schools and hospitals to office buildings and retail developments – is at an all-time high. And while community standards and government regulations have prompted a whole new approach to energy consumption, the emphasis has been on energy saving without any compromise to the comfort factor. With a rapidly expanding emphasis on energy reduction in this sector, Tradelink has looked outside of Australia to source new technologies that have already been adopted and mastered overseas. Tradelink currently works with industry leaders Oventrop, Frese and Wilo to provide both solutions and innovations to the local HVAC+R sector and its complex needs. These relationships date back many years – Tradelink worked closely with Frese, for example, to introduce Pressure Independent Control Valves (PICV) to the Australian market, encompassing contractors, consultants and the HVAC+R industry as a whole. The company has taken its expertise in this area to a higher level with Oventrop’s new PICV valve. Using slightly different technology to the Frese valve, the Oventrop product can be used to gain better performance from closed loop heating and cooling systems. The Oventrop PICV incorporates new diaphragm technology straight out of Europe and has already been used with great success in many projects. PICV is being adopted throughout Europe – as market trends suggest variable orifice balancing valves will eventually be phased out – due to factors such as the lower pressure required in closed loop systems; less commissioning hours required; and, in many cases, the superior commissioning results being obtained from a PICV system.

32 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

The fact that the system is less reliant on pressure and there is better control at each unit means the plant can be specified differently. Pump sizes can be reduced – and in many cases so can chillers and/or boilers – therefore reducing energy consumption on a long term basis and creating a saving on capital costs. With this superior control strategy comes less reliance on the plant and more of an emphasis on the valve at each unit doing the work. And, in turn, this delivers the added bonus of less time required for the commissioning. The PICVs are selected at design stage and are then set on site by the installer using the hand wheel at the bottom of the valve – which can be lead locked for greater security once installed. Flow checks of the system can be completed at branches using standard methods of balancing, as well as at the index units of that branch. The control system has not been overlooked, as most control actuators are designed to fit this valve for comprehensive control; an all-in-one valve provides versatility to the plant, the installer and the controls package. Contractors are now fully in control of the BMS system and can join most control suppliers’ system requirements. The sum result of this new technology is that we are able to deliver a more efficient system that requires less commissioning time while meeting the control needs. So the prospect of significant energy reduction suddenly seems a lot easier to achieve. By utilising products that are now available in Australia, having already been tried and tested in Europe, it is possible to make real change in our buildings and infrastructure.

We’ve got you covered Tradelink, along with its partners Oventrop, Frese, Wilo and Viega, are available to advise and help on design, system selections, coordination with consultants/engineers and information to the end user. Both Oventrop and Frese offer various other balancing options to cater for every building and system, including standard manual balancing and fixed orifice technology. Tradelink has made significant investment in the products and services it offers in this area both by partnering with global leaders in balancing valves and creating a team of highly specialised support staff skilled and experienced in advising and consulting both remotely and on site. In addition to balancing valves, Tradelink has redefined and extended its general valving range and high efficiency pumps plus all other components relevant to HVAC+R. Tradelink has a clearly defined aim to deliver the world’s best products to the Australian market and is now able to supply more than 4000 of the most highly specialised components. This new range is already having a significant effect in enabling the building services industry to develop space, energy and cost efficient solutions in the HVAC+R sector. Tradelink welcomes discussion on any projects with a view to selecting the very best option in terms of energy efficiency, cost effectiveness and ongoing running costs. To find out more about HVAC+R visit or visit your local Tradelink branch.

Looking ahead. Prospects for the Australian construction industry in 2015/2016

Australia’s economy is still struggling to recover to what is regarded as its long term growth trend as a result of the decline in the contribution from mining and resource industry investment. The Services Sector has been expected to step up to the challenge and also Building Construction and, in particular, Residential development, has been an important factor in addressing the shortfall. A spin off of residential development is subdivision work, however Civil Construction otherwise has continued to decline as mining related projects have been winding down. Consequently, there has been a recognition of the need for major capital works projects but Government funding, especially at State level, has proved difficult to source. The Reserve Bank has been using the phrase “Public spending is scheduled to be subdued” in their monthly statements since early 2014. In our recent observations and near term forecasts we have noted that the strong growth of Residential in particular (typically Private Sector) has been and will continue to be in strong contrast with the flat if not declining, results and prospects for Education and Health (typically Public Sector). The comparison between Public and Private Sector could even have been worse if it were not for a final “flurry” of civil works Q1 and Q2 in 2015.

Don Smith from BCI Australia takes a look at what lies ahead for the construction industry.

New South Wales looks to be the exception with funds to be made available from the privatisation of the “poles and wires” of the state’s electricity network. PPP’s for the Westconnex and Northconnex road and tunnel projects have got under way earlier this year and it was announced in the 2015/2016 State budget that allocated funds are to be brought forward to enable a number of approved projects to proceed. Nevertheless, after these have commenced, we do anticipate the level of Civil commencements to fall away.

growth of the residential sector will continue to be in strong in contrast with the flat if not declining, results and prospects for education and health Sectors

34 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

State budgets announced by the new governments in Victoria and Queensland have been positive in tone but constrained by limited funding availability. Victoria is proposing a more efficient treatment of Developer contributions to expedite the approval of development projects and the availability of funds for urban infrastructure which will be introduced early in 2016. Queensland has established a new independent statutory authority, Building Queensland, to provide independent, expert advice on infrastructure priorities and has committed funds for some projects such as a suite of road projects on the Gold Coast in preparation for the Commonwealth Games. Unfortunately these will take some years to be achieved and meanwhile three large LNG projects, with combined capital expenditure exceeding $60 billion, are winding down.

From a State by State perspective the relative health of the economy in New South Wales is readily apparent. Victoria has also been building in strength but neither state is expected to benefit from key major proposals later in the financial year as is the case with Queensland. A few major projects have also distorted the pattern in South Australia leading to



6,000 4,000

2015/16 FORECAST


I 2016

II 2016

III 2015

IV 2015

I 2015

II 2015

III 2014

IV 2014

I 2014

II 2014

III 2013


IV 2013


Total education construction starts in Australia ($M)

1200 1000 800 600 400



2015/16 FORECAST


II 2016

I 2016

IV 2015

III 2015

II 2015

I 2015

IV 2014

III 2014

II 2014

I 2014

III 2013


Total retail construction starts in Australia ($M)

1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800


600 400

2015/16 FORECAST



II 2016

I 2016

IV 2015

III 2015

II 2015

I 2015

IV 2014

III 2014

II 2014


Total hospitality construction starts in Australia ($M)

900 800 700 600 500 400


300 200

2015/16 FORECAST


II 2016

I 2016

IV 2015

III 2015

II 2015

I 2015

IV 2014

III 2014

0 II 2014

All in all, the market in 2015/2016 is expected to end up 1 per cent above the level of 2014/2015 reflecting growth of Building Construction of 2 per cent compensating for a decline of -1 per cent in Civil Construction, see graph 1.

The Hospitality category made significant progress during 2014/2015 and modest growth is expected next year as well, see graph 4. Moreover, there seems to be plenty of work left in the pipeline as we estimate from the new projects we have picked up at Concept and Design stage, as reported elsewhere in our Outlook Report. This all makes commercial sense as tourism is expected to flourish with improving economic conditions worldwide and the depreciation of the Australian dollar.

12,000 10,000

I 2014

Monitoring our forecasts, as we do month by month, we have not shifted from this view although we would acknowledge earlier this year we may have understated the strength of the Residential sector. We saw the market, defined in terms of construction commencements, peaking in Q3 2015 and this may carry into Q4 2015. However, as the new commencements ramp up, the amount of work in progress has been “snowballing” and there could well be constraints on the amount of capacity to handle this. There is considerable anecdotal evidence that firms in some key subcontract trades are starting to decline jobs being offered.

Two other areas which hold out some promise over the next 12 months are Retail and Hospitality. Despite, or perhaps because of, reluctance for consumers to spend, retailers have looked to store growth, like bulky goods retail outlets, and store upgrades to boost their revenue. Therefore following year on year growth of 4 per cent in 2014/2015 we expect Retail commencements to start at a good pace and achieve 8 per cent growth in 2015/2016 despite tailing off later in the year, see graph 3.

16,000 14,000

I 2014

Essentially we see a continuation of the current scenario with the declining Civil Engineering market offset by improved activity in Building Construction with growth mainly in Residential rather than Non-residential development.


IV 2013

Below are some of the key comments from our Construction Outlook Report – Prospering in a Slowing Economy – which we released in May at a series of Breakfast Briefings across Australia.


III 2013

BCI’s Outlook on the Prospects for 2015/16

In contrast with this, the category of Education has pulled the overall figures down with 2015/2016 expected to be 11 per cent less than for the previous financial year. Yet there are some bright points on the horizon with a number of PPP initiatives in Victoria and Western Australia, see graph 2. Also, there is $1 billion of funding in the New South Wales budget, however, this is not expected to be applied until the money comes available from the leasing of the “poles and wires” and we expected this would come too late for the 2015/2016 financial year.

Total construction starts in Australia ($M)

IV 2013

The outcome of this research is that our forecasts are based on the latest advice on actual projects rather than statistical models derived from historic data.

We have mentioned the significance of the Residential category in driving the growth of Building Construction. However, following an increase of 12 per cent in 2014/2015 compared with the previous financial year, we did expect that growth to ease back to just 2 per cent although we may have understated the duration of this boom period.


III 2013

Our dedicated research staff for Australia and New Zealand now number well over 150 and they use a variety of sources including Council applications, press and other news media to identify and track construction projects across the countries – although the project data is only published when we have secured confirmation from a key decision maker in the project. Our coverage is therefore significant but not 100 per cent – for example, because of Privacy Act provisions we only report on multi-unit dwellings and not individual housing.

an expected year on year growth of 45 per cent! Similarly, the figures for Western Australia would have looked a lot worse but for the Perth Stadium and a roadworks program late in 2015.

IV 2013

BCI’s approach to Industry analysis and construction forecasting

BCI Australia provides crucial construction information, project leads and tender opportunities to building product suppliers, builders and subcontractors within the Australian construction industry. To find out more visit | 35

Hydronic heating and cooling.

The smart choice.

The concept of radiant heating and cooling is not something new; the concept was developed firstly by the Romans. However, modern form hydronic radiant solutions are not the first port of call for a HVAC designer but the concept is picking up much more interest and becoming a more popular choice, reports Paul Linley, Managing Director, Hunt Heating. The Basics

Example for floor heating:

Radiant systems give heating and cooling outputs by providing a temperature profile over a conditioned surface and allowing this to exchange energy with the warmer or cooler air temperature. The radiant system is not purely radiant but around 60 per cent as through the temperature difference from surface to space will create natural convection based on temperature difference. To ascertain what can be achieve from a radiant system firstly it is required to outline the standard values for heat transfer coefficients from different surfaces to see how to obtain a general w/m² value. Below is the table values set out to establish what are the heat transfer co-efficients for heating and cooling from a surface, these values are constant and in general should not be changed when considering purely the output from a radiant system. Surface Type












Why are the values different? The radiant system is not purely radiant and convection plays a part in the achievable output. This plus the physics that warm air rises and cool air falls, then effects the total transfer co-efficient. When warm air rises we feel the additional benefit when heating from the floor, and the same when we cool from the ceiling as the cool air will also fall. Next we need to now find the perimeters for the design to find the difference of air to surface temp.

36 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

If the floor surface temp is 29°C and the desired room temp is 20°C we need to take the two values and find the difference. Floor Surface 29°C – Air 20°C = 9°C temp difference As the example is covering floor heating then we need to refer to the table value for heating and floor to use the correct co-efficient – this is 11W. Now the final part of this calculation is to simply multiply the temperature difference by the transfer co-efficient to obtain the maximum floor heating output under these specific conditions. 9°C temp difference x 11W transfer co-efficient = 99W/m² heating output Under these conditions the 99W/m² is the maximum achievable. If there is a requirement to increase this value then the only way to make this is to increase the difference of temperature from the space to the surface. Then when we have a larger difference we also have a larger exchange of energy which results in a higher output.

System types and solutions For every different building there is a different radiant solution to suit. Not each solution can fit into each building but there are enough options available to consider a radiant option for most.

Floor heating and cooling Floor heating is quite a universal option as it can be considered for any residential or non-residential building which incorporates a concrete or screeded floor. Floor cooling can also be used but this should be seen as comfort cooling providing an output approx. 40W/m² maximum. It is important when designing radiant floor systems that information is provide for specific floor build ups and floor finishes. Floor finish information is important as each have different resistance values to energy transfer and can have an effect on the achievable output.

TABS (Thermally Active Building Systems) TABS is a concept strong in Central Europe especially Germany. TABS is where hydronic cooling / heating pipes are installed into the thermal mass of a concrete building mainly providing cooling and base heating from an exposed concrete ceiling to the space below. The system can offer up to 80W/² for cooling and 35W/m² for heating. The philosophy of this system is to charge the thermal mass of concrete with cooling or heating energy and using this as a thermal store to exchange energy / absorb the heat gains generated in a building through people, equipment and increasing external temperatures. The system can be charged during unoccupied hours and used in a passive mode throughout the day so that free cooling / lower energy tariffs can be benefitted from and in most times of the year not be running during occupied hours though in peak conditions intermittent operation may be required. The system should be considered for non-residential concrete frame buildings, any type of construction (in-situ, pre-cast, semi precast) can be utilised. Early consideration should be made for a TABS system so that feasibility of such a system can be considered at concept stage with all parties involved (architect, HVAC engineers, structural engineers).

Ceiling cooling panels Integrated Cooling Panels with hydronic pipes are a relatively new system but can be used in both new build and refurbishment buildings. The panels are designed and sized so that they can replace standard false ceiling panels and provide an integrated quick reacting cooling and heating system available to offer over 100W/m² in cooling and 80W/ m² for heating. The panels offer flexibility and are easy to maintain. They can also be integrated with the required air system to give additional output as an overall system. For all systems it is advised that early technical and design considerations are taken to make the capital and running costs down through a considered design approach.

Energy efficiency and performance of heating / cooling source (EER/COP)

When we consider the operating perimeters of the chiller units when these units are working to achieve a higher cooling temperature then this means that the energy consuming part of the chiller (Compressor) can work within a more efficient parameter and that the energy used is less, compare this to the energy output means that the unit is working more efficiently and the EER class increases. With air systems they will always need to use more energy as they will work on a lower temperature which means the compressor is required to work harder and then the energy used compared to energy output means a lower EER. This is in all cases if system is designed correct.

The systems are regarded as energy efficient but why? Radiant heating and cooling systems are designed to work with low heating (heating mode) and high temperature cooling (cooling mode) flow temperatures. With this the radiant systems can offer low running costs as the heating and cooling sources are not working as hard to produce higher or lower temperatures associated with other HVAC systems. The below tables highlight the general benefits for EER (Energy Efficiency Rating, Cooling) and COP (Coefficient of Performance, Heating) classes when using both air (traditional air conditioning) and water cooled / heated sources with radiant floor systems when working to achieve the same output.

The chance to make a radiant system run efficiently can only be achieved through a considered design approach. The more specific the design can be made the more chance the efficiencies discussed can be achieved.

Air Cooled

The design of an underfloor heating system is a straight forward process consisting of 6 main steps: • Calculate the heat losses and amount of heat required for each room or zone • Determine the water flow temperature and pipe spacing • Determine the manifold location(s) • Calculate the number of circuits required

Cooling Mode EER Class

SmartCalc by Hunt Heating offers a bespoke design service using full colour AutoCAD for each project at no extra cost. SmartCalc services can cover everything from preliminary discussions, conceptual design and computer generated heat loss calculations to a final design in AutoCAD. The design drawing will indicate the manifold positions, floor construction cross sections and a recommended pipe layout. All this is provided along with an estimate of the total cost of the project including the selection of a heating/cooling source and a complete bill of materials.

Air Cooled Ducted

Air Cooled Floor

Water Cooled

Water Cooled Floor

Remote Condenser


≥ 3.1

≥ 2.7

≥ 3.8

≥ 5.05

≥ 5.1

≥ 3.55


2.9 – 3.1

2.5 – 2.7

3.65 – 3.8

4.65 – 5.05

4.9 – 5.1

3.4 – 3.55


2.7 – 2.9

2.3 – 2.5

3.5 – 3.65

4.25 – 4.65

4.7 – 4.9

3.25 – 3.4


2.5 – 2.7

2.1 – 2.3

3.35 – 3.5

3.85 – 4.25

4.5 – 4.7

3.1 – 3.25


2.3 – 2.5

1.9 – 2.1

3.2 – 3.35

3.45 – 3.85

4.3 – 4.5

2.95 – 3.1


2.1 – 2.3

1.7 – 1.9

3.05 – 3.2

3.05 – 3.45

4.1 – 4.3

2.8 – 2.95


< 2.1

< 1.7

< 3.05

< 3.05

< 4.1

< 2.8

Heating Mode EER Class

Air Cooled

Air Cooled Ducted

Air Cooled Floor

Water Cooled

Water Cooled Floor


≥ 3.2

≥ 3.0

≥ 4.05

≥ 4.45

≥ 4.5


3.0 – 3.2

2.8 – 3.0

3.9 – 4.05

4.15 – 4.45

4.25 – 4.5


2.8 – 3.0

2.6 – 2.8

3.75 – 3.9

3.85 – 4.15

4.0 – 4.25


2.6 – 2.8

2.4 – 2.6

3.6 – 3.75

3.55 – 3.85

3.75 – 4.0


2.4 – 2.6

2.2 – 2.4

3.45 – 3.6

3.25 – 3.55

3.5 – 3.75


2.2 – 2.4

2.0 – 2.2

3.3 – 3.45

2.95 – 3.25

3.25 – 3.5


< 2.2

< 2.0

< 3.3

< 2.95

< 3.25

• Plan the pipe layout • Calculate the capacity of the underfloor heating system

For more details and to organise a demonstration contact Hunt Heating. Hunt Hydronic Heating is Australia’s number 1 provider of premium hydronic heating and hydronic cooling solutions for your home or business. Since our inception in 1982 we’ve delivered you the best of contemporary and traditional design to complement any space. Hunt Hydronic Heating is passionate about service and value, and we fully support our products and brands through unrivalled after sales service. Exclusive to Hunt Hydronic Heating is our national installer network for total peace of mind. Hunt Hydronic Heating and Hydronic Cooling – the smart choice. For further information visit or contact us on 1300 00 18 00. | 37

Partnership with focus on the future. Rheem Australia Celebrates 50 as Corporate Members of the Master Plumbers

Apprentices are the future of the industry, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re committed to fostering this

Dateline 1965: Prince Phillip opens the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra; The Seekersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; single Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll Never Find Another You reaches #1 in the UK charts and becomes the first recording by an Australian act to sell more than 1 million copies; The Rolling Stones tour Australia; the first contingent of Australian combat troops arrives in South Vietnam; the movie Sound of Music is released; and Rheem Australia becomes a member of the Master Plumbers Association.

38 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

Fast forward 50 years to 2015 and Rheem and Master Plumbers continue to build their partnership to benefit the industry. Over the past five decades Rheem has partnered with Master Plumbers to sponsor awards, provide support for trade nights and business breakfasts, and provide training for apprentices. “Rheem has long forged strong relationships with businesses and associations in Australia – and Master Plumbers is no exception,” says Paul Rapson, Rheem’s State Manager, Victoria. “We are committed to the plumbing industry and to Australian manufacturing, and thus focus on establishing strong relationships with those at all levels – from apprentices to plumbers, merchants to associations. A strong focus of our partnership is to help make the industry strong and healthy. “We like to work closely with tradies to help them be well-rounded business people – and that’s a philosophy we share with Master Plumbers. We do whatever we can to support its initiatives.”

Crucial training An integral part of this strategy is to provide support for both established plumbers and apprentices – and training plays a key role. Since 2008 there has been a strong focus on upskilling of members, and Rheem has been using the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC) in Brunswick, Melbourne to conduct plumber training sessions. There is a range of Rheem systems at the PICAC facility to enable “kinesthetic learning” – i.e. those being trained can touch and feel the systems, rather than just listen to a lecture or watch demonstrations. “PICAC is a world-class facility and is the perfect venue for Rheem to undertake a range of hands-on training courses for plumbing associations, apprentices and local plumbers,” says Jon Palfrey, Rheem’s Training Manager. “We undertake training to improve the understanding and skillsets of members and their apprentices – and that doesn’t just comprise giving an overview of the features and benefits of Rheem products. We also assist plumbers with a better learning and understanding of how water heaters actually work. “The main pillars of our training courses include providing knowledge of the product, in addition to providing support with sizing, installing, commissioning and fault finding. This provides them with the competency associated with the correct water heater for the job. Put simply, it enables plumbers to leave the job

without their fingers crossed, knowing their customer’s demand for hot water will be met.”

an equally diverse range of domestic, industrial and commercial installations across the varying Australian conditions.

In recent years Rheem’s relationship with Master Plumbers has gone from strength to strength, and the company has been able to collaborate on bolstering its training courses to meet the needs of members and improve their skills and knowledge.

The nation’s – and world’s – focus on renewable solutions has also seen Rheem develop its next generation water heaters. “We have played a major role in facilitating the transition in Australia to more energy efficient and environmentally friendly water heating solutions,” Paul explains.

“That can encompass new and changed regulations, our latest innovations, such as the recently released stainless steel electric range, through to domestic gas products,” Jon explains. “Before developing new training modules, we take into consideration feedback from Master Plumbers and people we’ve previously trained to then enhance/ modify the training to suit.”

“Rheem is part of Australia – and with innovative new technology will continue to be a big part of the country’s future. We are focused on producing water heaters which deliver a broad range of applications, while meeting our own stringent standards of quality and durability.” To find out more visit

Rheem also organises tours of its Moorabbin, Victoria facility where plumbers can see the systems actually being built. “It really reinforces our commitment to local manufacturing and enables plumbers to understand the quality of our systems,” Jon adds.

The future of the industry

Rheem Australia: at a glance

Rheem’s training also takes into consideration the needs of those learning the plumbing trade.

Rheem has manufacturing facilities in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia and employs around 1,000 people in Australia

“Apprentices are the future of the industry, and we’re committed to fostering this,” Jon says. “In addition to the training courses, we also run programs such as the Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants – now in its fourth year – to provide support.”

Innovation Founded in 1937, Rheem is Australia’s largest producer of hot water systems and one of the country’s largest appliance manufacturers. “We have a clear focus on being the number one choice for plumbers, homeowners and building operators and meeting their residential and commercial hot water needs,” Paul says. Rheem’s commitment to Australian manufacturing includes fostering research and development. Since the company opened the Rheem research centre at Rydalmere in 1971, it has continued to invest in research and development (R&D) and develop new water heaters designed for a broad range of locations and applications. All R&D is conducted locally, and today Rheem manufactures a diverse range of gas, electric and solar water heaters to suit

Around 50 per cent of Rheem Australia employees are engaged directly in manufacturing Rheem is the largest manufacturer of water heaters in Australia and offers the widest range of water heater types There are around eight million water heaters in Australia, and approximately half of these have been manufactured by Rheem Australia Rheem is a major exporter and each year exports products to over 70 countries Rheem is the largest local user of steel outside of Australian automotive manufacturers, using around 155 tonnes of steel per day All R&D for Rheem’s locally made products is conducted locally Rheem has been at the forefront of driving the development and acceptance of sustainable and renewable water heating solutions for many years | 39

Climate change. Challenging our use of energy When surveying the many, many options available to heat and cool a building, homeowners and business owners can be put off going down the more sustainable route due to the often more expensive price tag attached to ‘green’ energy. There are many schemes in place to assist in the financing of environmentally friendly energy, reports Ric Brazzale, Managing Director of Green Energy Trading. Our changing climate will have implications for the way we heat and cool our homes in future. This arises due to an increase in average temperatures which results in a lower heating requirement (fewer heating degree days) but also an increase in the number of cooling degrees days. Aside from the environmental problems caused by a changing climate, it is the policy response from government that will make the biggest change to the way we use and consume energy for our heating and cooling needs. Climate change policy has been politically toxic over the last four years as we have lurched from one set of policies to another. From a carbon price under the previous ALP government, which imposed a cost on energy suppliers, to an Emission Reduction Fund under the Abbott Government, which pays those businesses that undertake activities that reduce emissions. In addition we have had 18 months of debate over the level of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) as well as changes to state based schemes that support energy efficiency. The plumbing industry needs to be aware of the programs and opportunities that support the installation of efficient hot water and heating products for their customers. These programs reduce the up-front cost of the installation and save customers money on their energy bills. Some in the clean energy industry bemoan the governments dislike for renewables (such as wind) and support for coal. Notwithstanding this the government will be committing to targets that significantly reduce Australia’s greenhouse emissions and will be announcing further policies over time that support the reduction in emissions which will in turn support renewable energy and energy efficiency.

40 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

The government is increasingly coming under both domestic and international pressure to have a meaningful emission reduction target in the lead up to the Paris Climate Change Conference later this year.

Renewable Energy Target The RET, which supports solar power and solar hot water systems, has been under review for more than 18 months. A deal was reached with the ALP Opposition to reduce the large-scale target (which supports large scale wind and solar projects) and leaves the small-scale target (which supports small scale solar and solar hot water) unchanged. The legislation to give effect to these changes finally passed parliament on 23 June 2015. The passage of the RET legislation has removed a significant area of uncertainty for the renewables industry and will provide more confidence to businesses to invest. In some ways this creates a new opportunity to the plumbing industry to re-assess its approach to the solar and energy efficiency industries.

The RET has underpinned the development of Australia’s solar industry to date and has enabled customers to receive a discount of more than 25 per percent off the cost of a solar system. For a solar hot water system or air sourced heat pump, renewable energy certificates are available on the installation of a complying system which could provide more than $1,100 for a typical system. This represents a significant contribution to the up-front cost of a system, making the system more attractive than it would otherwise be. Rising electricity and gas prices have made customers more conscious of saving energy and we have seen nearly 60,000 solar hot water systems installed and creating certificates in 2014 – see chart. Victoria has seen the largest number of solar hot water systems installed largely due to Victorian government policy measures. Queensland is the second largest market but has declined in recent years.

SyWH Systems Creating Certificates 25,000 2012















State based schemes In addition to the RET there are a range of state based programs that provide incentives for efficient hot water and heating systems. The Victorian Energy Efficiency Scheme provides an additional incentive for the replacement of an inefficient water heater. Where an existing electric water heater is replaced with a solar system an additional $450 to $800 could be available. A similar amount is also available where an efficient gas water heater replaces an electric system. The Victorian scheme also provides an incentive where an existing electric space heating system is replaced by a gas system with the potential up front benefit of more than $1800. Where an existing

gas space heating system is replaced by a more efficient one then a lower benefit is available amounting to $150 to $400. A similar scheme also operates South Australian which also provides incentives for the installation of efficient hot water and space heating systems in residential premises. Changes are also being implemented in the NSW Energy Savings Scheme, which we expect will provide support in the future for a range of efficient hot water and heating products.

Ric Brazzale is the Managing Director of Green Energy Trading. Prior to establishing Green Energy Trading in 2007, Ric was the Executive Director of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE, now CEC) and participated on the Governmentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; initial REC Advisory Committee. With more than 30 yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; experience in the industry, Ric is one of the leading advocates for renewable and energy efficiency in Australia.

Green Energy Trading helps its customers access the benefits that are available from the various schemes and are always available to assist. Please refer to our website at or call us on 03 9805 0700 to find out whether these schemes could be beneficial to your business.

Looking at ways to grow your business? Help your customers save money on their energy bills and reduce the upfront cost of installing efficient hot water and heating products. With Green Energy Trading you can access the benefits available from a wide range of clean energy schemes in Australia.

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be left in the cold. Contact us to get involved!

1300 077 784 | 41

The plumbing industry’s answer to

closing the gap. In its first year of operation, the IPSF provided practical, hands on support as well as training and development support to Indigenous Australians. One of the first organisations to benefit from the Foundation’s program was the Melbourne Aboriginal Youth Sport and Recreation Co-operative (MAYSAR) in Gertrude Street Fitzroy.

The reopening of the centre is fantastic, it gives young people a place to belong, it gives young people a place to be and to engage in our programs. Whitelion and MAYSAR are very excited about the partnership we have with IPSF. We would like to thank the IPSF, the Indigenous plumbers and everyone involved for helping to bring the Centre back to life.”

This culturally and historically significant community hub had been refurbished but was not open for use due to a number of plumbing issues. Through its industry connections, the IPSF assisted in providing the materials and labour for a major plumbing upgrade at MAYSAR. The centre is now fully operational and has reopened, providing services including a gym and fitness centre, a teaching and learning centre and a cultural and community meeting place.

In March this year, nine young Indigenous students commenced their training at the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC) in Brunswick. These young Apprentices and Pre Apprentices are embarking on the initial steps of a successful plumbing career and it is hoped they will be the first of many such groups.

Whitelion CEO, Mark Watt said “Whitelion is an organisation that helps young people have the courage to choose a better future, so the partnership with MAYSAR is a powerful partnership. It’s making a difference in the lives of Indigenous young people.

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These are encouraging steps in the right direction, but much more needs to be done. The work of the Foundation, which includes a Grants and Assistance Program, has never been more important. Sadly, conditions in many remote Indigenous Communities, particularly in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, remain unacceptably poor and Indigenous Australians remain amongst the most vulnerable.

The IPSF believes that safe water and sanitation is at the front line in the defence against disease and promoting better health in Indigenous Communities. Access to safe water and sanitation is a very real challenge for many of these groups - where the level of risk associated with plumbing works is significantly higher than it is in other parts of the country. The existing plumbing infrastructure within many of these remote locations is often old and poorly maintained. This can result in higher risks than the plumbing works in city or suburban dwellings. Unlike those in metropolitan areas, who benefit from a mains water of a quality and standard ensured by effective regulatory frameworks and managed by Water Companies, in many remote Indigenous Communities all of the drinking water comes from local, unregulated sources like rainwater tanks or is pumped from a local natural source. IPSF Chair, Earl Setches says “Our vision is simple. We believe that Indigenous Communities and Indigenous People have the same rights to access basic sanitation as the people have living in

The Indigenous Plumbing and Sanitation Foundation (IPSF) launched just over a year ago, but the Foundation is already making a contribution to improving the health and employment opportunities of Indigenous Australians, reports Richard McEncroe.

the cities. Our mission is to expand our programs and take the next step to individually fund projects like water treatment plants, to bring mains water standards to communities that have terrible third world conditions”. The Foundation is aiming to enhance the existing Indigenous Apprenticeship Program, increasing the number of trained and qualified Indigenous Plumbers in remote Australia. When trained, these local Plumbers could then work within their own communities to maintain water, plumbing and sanitation systems. Another way the Foundation will seek to meet its objectives is through the mentoring of Indigenous youth. A growing body of research demonstrates that mentoring can have powerful and lasting positive effects in improving behavioural, academic and vocational outcomes for at-risk youth. In an Indigenous context, mentoring is a particularly promising initiative because it fits well with Indigenous teaching and learning styles and can help to strengthen ties within and between communities.

The IPSF also contributes to the broader policy debates regarding the best way to improve the outcomes for Indigenous Australians, in order to “close the gap”. Most recently, the IPSF made a submission to the Western Australian Government which was in effect seeking to lower the standards required to work on plumbing in remote Indigenous Communities. The IPSF argued strongly to the WA Government that any lowering of standards in remote Communities is unacceptable. The submission highlighted that the poor pre-existing sanitary and plumbing conditions in many remote Communities and the associated risks to health, makes it more vital to ensure competently skilled and qualified persons work on these systems and installations.

Our mission is to expand our programs and take the next step to individually fund projects like water treatment plants, to bring mains water standards to communities that have terrible third world conditions

We all have to stand up and have a go at this. It’s an issue that’s been ignored, and we’re not going to ignore it anymore.”

To make a donation to the IPSF, or to inquire about the Foundation’s Grants and Assistance Program, the Indigenous Apprentice Program or any other aspect of the IPSF’s activities, please contact Razia Dzananovic on 9356 8905, or visit

Earl has put the call out for support of the Foundation. “We would like any help we can get. There’s only so much we can do on our own. You can help make a difference to all the Indigenous communities across the country. Government, companies, individuals, we all have to put our hand up. | 43


it’s still out there watch out! Asbestos is a known carcinogen and the inhalation of fibres is associated with increased incidences of a number of respiratory diseases including asbestosis, mesothelioma, pleural and lung cancers. It poses a real threat to all in the construction industry, particularly plumbers, reports Rod Tresidder, Master Plumbers Work Health and Safety Officer and Lawrence O’Shea, Vice President of Asbestoswise.

Due to its strength, durability and resistance to fire and water, asbestos was used in a wide range of building products and materials up until the mid-1980s. Products that may contain asbestos include vinyl floor tiles, cement roof sheeting, and wall lining, lagging and jointing material and fire blankets. The use of all forms of asbestos has been banned in Australia since the end of 2003. This means that the import, manufacture, supply, sale and use or reuse of asbestos and asbestos-containing products is no longer permitted. The ban doesn’t apply to asbestos installed prior to this date (in residential or commercial buildings).

The National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management The National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Management and Awareness (the Plan) is a planning document recently developed by the Australian Government. It establishes a framework within which all the states and territories are able to work cooperatively and independently to prevent being exposed to asbestos–not just at work, but in their communities. To prevent exposure to airborne asbestos fibres in order to eliminate asbestos-related disease in Australia six key strategies were identified as a means of achieving this goal: • Awareness • Best practice • Identification • Removal • Research, and • International leadership.

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Phase one of the Plan: 2014-18

Asbestos exposure

The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) oversees the coordination of the Plan and over the life of the Plan will provide insights into the dimensions of asbestos management and eradication progressing Australia toward the ultimate elimination of asbestos-related disease.

Asbestos exposure is becoming more of a concern than ever before right across Australia. We now all understand that being exposed to asbestos is something that can be very dangerous but do we all understand how dangerous it really is?

In addition to government, the safe management of asbestos involves a diverse group, including, researchers, industry, employer groups, employee representatives, not-for-profit organisations, and public health bodies. To ensure that the community’s concerns are heard and addressed ASEA is currently working in partnership with stakeholders, including Master Plumbers, to ensure the priority areas of the Plan reflect the needs of the community. Information gathered in the first phase will inform the goals to be pursued in the second and third phases to achieve the aim of reducing the risk of exposure to asbestos fibres and eliminate asbestosrelated disease. Accordingly, information obtained in the first phase may result in a shift in focus in relation to the second and third phase aims and outcomes. Following the phase one plan, further phases will be developed that will continue to work towards the goal of eliminating asbestos-related disease in Australia.

Even limited or short-term exposure to asbestos fibres can be dangerous, but exposure does not make development of an asbestos related disease (ARD) inevitable. There is still much unknown about why some people are susceptible to asbestos related diseases, while others who have been regularly exposed to asbestos may avoid contracting an ARD.

I think it contains asbestos what do I do? If you think that you have found some Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) don’t touch it. If the ACM is in good condition (undamaged, undisturbed), the safest option is to leave it alone and visually inspect the materials from time to time for deterioration and damage. Asbestos is a risk when it is disturbed in a way that produces dust that contains asbestos fibres. In many cases, the presence of ACM is no cause for alarm. Asbestos cement sheet walls or ceilings that are in good condition and coated with paint do not pose a risk to health, while they are not showing signs of degradation or damage.

If you are thinking about disturbing (handling), working (repairing) with or removing a material that contains asbestos, consider the following: • If it is in good condition (undamaged), can you leave it alone? • Do you know the alternatives to removing the material containing asbestos (painting or sealing) • Can you or the person you arrange to work with or remove the ACM comply with the laws and safety procedures? • Should you use a licensed asbestos removalist? If you have to handle or work with asbestos it is important to remember: • Do not use power tools • Do not use abrasive cutting or sanding discs • Do not use compressed air • Do not use high-pressure hoses • Do not walk on corrugated asbestos cement roofs as you may run the risk of falling through the roof • Do not leave asbestos products around the garden where they may be broken or crushed • Do not cover it over as this only hides it then someone could accidently cut into it • Do get the material tested by a NATA-accredited laboratory if you are unsure if it contains asbestos • Ensure the material is thoroughly wet down and kept wet during work to minimise the release of fibres and dust It is recommended that loosely-bound asbestos only be removed by a licensed professional, as health risks associated with handling this type of material are far greater than for firmly-bound asbestos. | 45

Who to contact about asbestos issues If you have concerns about a product/materials laboratories that analyse building materials for asbestos can be found by contacting the National Association of Testing Authorities on 03 9329 1633 or visiting Master Plumbers can assist with all your workplace health and safety needs. To find out more contact Rod Tresidder on 03 9321 0745 or email

Removal ACM A householder may legally remove asbestos from their property, however as asbestos poses a health risk during removal, packaging, transport and disposal, it is important that it is handled safely. If a material made of ACM is cracked, you could seal the crack with a sealant such as PVA glue, polyfiller or paint. Generally, if the ACM is damaged, the entire sheet should be replaced and the old sheet disposed of correctly. When deciding on how to work with, remove or dispose of asbestoscontaining materials do not forget your neighbours. Under the nuisance provisions of the Health Act 1958, any nuisances which are, or are liable to be, offensive or dangerous to health could be investigated by an environmental health officer of your local council. Plumbers can also legally remove ACM in the workplace, but first they need ask the following: • Is the asbestos non-friable? • Is the area less than 10sqm? • Will the removal task take less than 1 hour? • Do I have asbestos removal training? • Has PPE, decontamination and waste collection/disposal (EPA licensed landfill) been addressed? If you answer yes to all of the above, a licence and notification to WorkSafe is not required, but you need the relevant liability insurance cover and appropriate qualifications. If you say no to any of the above, a licenced removalist is required with the relevant liability insurance cover and appropriate accreditation and qualifications.

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There are different requirements for each State and Territory. Any building renovation work involving removal of ACM may require obtaining a building licence or in the case of removal of a building a demolition licence. Contact your local council in your State or Territory for further information. In the workplace, the Work Health Safety (WHS) Regulations set out the training and competency requirements for asbestos assessors, asbestos removal workers, and supervisors. Under the Regulations, two licences have been established — Class A and Class B. Businesses with a Class A licence are permitted to remove all types of asbestos, including both friable and non-friable asbestos. Businesses with a Class B licence can only remove non-friable asbestos. For further information on the requirements for working with asbestos under the WHS legislative framework, contact the WHS regulator in your state or territory.

Protecting your family You need to be careful, there appears to be three stereotypes emerging in relation to the removal of ACM, including those that… • are well informed and understand the dangers associated with ACM and do the right thing all the time. This group have systems in place and are very concerned about maintaining their status in the community. This group normally includes government bodies, companies, small businesses, and tradespeople. • think they are informed about the dangers associated with ACM but they inadvertently expose themselves and more importantly others because of their lack of understanding.

This group normally includes real estate agents and landlords, DIY home renovators and the general public.

• are properly informed and understand the dangers but they just don’t care about exposing themselves and others. They deliberately go about an ACM related task exposing themselves and others around them that surprisingly also may include their own loved ones. This group normally includes tradespeople and DIY home renovators. The best thing you can do is hire an Asbestos Removalist and ensure they: • are appropriately licenced and trained • puts on a protective suit and wears a P2 facemask • closes off the affected area • wets down the ACM (dependant on electrical hazards) • doesn’t use power tools on the ACM • uses a HEP filtered vacuum cleaner to clean up afterwards • is prepared to provide an Asbestos Clear Report In addition to the above, companies (including plumbers) performing the ACM removal work should be appropriately insured and arrange for the safe disposal of the ACM. Normal insurance doesn’t provide any insurance cover.

Asbestoswise – Supporting Asbestos-related disease sufferers, friends and their families Asbestoswise is Victorian based charity and advocacy group that provides a range of community awareness and support programs to the general public. Our ultimate goal to achieve an asbestos free Australia. Visit to find out more. Visit for further information and resources.

Are you PICAC trained? At PICAC we are committed to providing the highest quality training by the plumbing industry for the plumbing industry.

A wide range of industry specific courses are available including:

Classes are delivered in world class facilities with experienced and knowledgeable trainers, specifically tailored to current industry requirements.

Can’t find what you need?

• Asbestos Removal

Courses can be designed to suit your organisation’s specific needs.

• Type A & Type B Gas Appliance Servicing

Call 9356 8905 for more information.

• Backflow Prevention

Download the training schedule from today.

• Medical Gas • Welding • Occupational Health & Safety

PICAC. Meeting the training needs of the plumbing industry. | 47

The fundamentals of Enterprise Agreements

Phil Eberhard, Master Plumbers Senior Workplace Relations Advisor, covers off everything you need to know about Enterprise Agreements. The CEPU – Plumbing Division (Vic) Enterprise Agreement (CEPU Agreement) has a nominal expiry date of 31 October 2015. It is therefore an appropriate time to sit back and consider what is an enterprise agreement, how is it made, and a whole lot of other questions about the agreement making process. The first thing that should be noted is that whilst the CEPU Agreement has a nominal expiry date of 31 October 2015, it doesn’t mean that as of 1 November 2015, the CEPU Agreement (or any other enterprise agreement for that matter) no longer exists or operates. Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) the CEPU Agreement will continue to operate until it has been terminated or is replaced by another enterprise agreement.

48 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

An enterprise agreement is read in conjunction with the National Employment Standards (NES). Together, the enterprise agreement and the NES set out the minimum terms and conditions of employment that would apply to those employees who are covered by the enterprise agreement. An enterprise agreement must only contain permitted matters. Section 172 of the FW Act prescribes what are the permitted matters and provides that the following are permitted matters “(a) matters pertaining to the relationship between an employer that will be covered by the agreement and that employer’s employees who will be covered by the agreement; (b) matters pertaining to the relationship between

the employer or employers, and the employee organisation or employee organisations, that will be covered by the agreement; (c) deductions from wages for any purpose authorised by an employee who will be covered by the agreement; (d) how the agreement will operate.” The FW Act establishes the process and procedure that must be followed to ensure that the agreement can be approved by the Fair Work Commission (Commission). In order to start the process an employer must provide to all employees proposed to be covered by the agreement a Notice of Employee Representational Rights (NERR).

mastering workplace relations

In addition to providing a copy of the new enterprise agreement and any material incorporated by reference, the employer is required to provide to the employees proposed to be covered by the new enterprise agreement information on how the employees will vote. The vote can be conducted “by ballot or by an electronic method”.

A Schedule of the FW Act prescribes the format of the NERR. The NERR must be provided to the employees at least twenty one days before the employees are asked to vote on the agreement. If the time period is not met, the Commission cannot approve the agreement. Once the NERR has been provided to all employees who are proposed to be covered by the enterprise agreement, then the employer and the employees are bargaining. Or in other words the negotiations over a new enterprise agreement have commenced. All persons / parties that are involved in the bargaining process need to ensure that they bargain in good faith. The good faith bargaining principles are prescribed in the FW Act. I have assumed that the persons / parties that are involved in the bargaining process have come to an agreement on the terms and conditions of employment (and other matters) that will be incorporated into a new enterprise agreement. The new enterprise agreement is then subjected to the approval process.

Voting Under the FW Act, the employer is required to ensure that a copy of the new enterprise agreement and any material incorporated by reference is provided to the employees proposed to be covered by the new enterprise agreement. This information needs to be with the employees for at least seven days (this seven day period can be part of the twenty one day period that the NERR needs to be with the employees).

The new enterprise agreement is made (or approved) when “a majority of those employees who cast a valid vote approve the agreement”. This means that of those employees who vote, if there is a majority of the votes cast, that approve the new enterprise agreement, then the new enterprise agreement has been made (or approved). The parties to the new enterprise agreement are then required to submit the new enterprise agreement to the Commission.

The Commission The Commission will consider and determine whether the new enterprise agreement passes the tests prescribed in the FW Act. Apart from checking that the new enterprise agreement contains the mandatory terms (consultation clause, flexibility clause, dispute and grievance clause, nominal expiry date, etc.) the Commission is required to assess the new enterprise agreement. The assessment will involve the Commission undertaking a better off overall test. The new enterprise agreement will pass the better off overall test “if the… (Commission)… is satisfied, as at the test time, that each award covered employee, and each prospective award covered employee, for the agreement would be better off overall if the agreement applied to the employee than if the relevant modern award applied to the employee”.

employee covered by the agreement; or (b) result in substantial changes to the agreement.” An undertaking given by the employer (and accepted by the Commission) will form part of the enterprise agreement. If the Commission approves the new enterprise agreement, the new enterprise agreement will commence operation seven “days after the agreement has been approved” by the Commission. Generally speaking, once the enterprise agreement has been approved by the Commission, and is in operation, the Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2010 (PFS Award) would no longer have operation or application to an employee covered by the enterprise agreement. However, an enterprise agreement may be drafted in such a way that it is read in conjunction with the PFS Award, or that the PFS Award (or parts of it) may be incorporated into the enterprise agreement. It needs to be understood that this summary of the agreement process is very much that – a summary. It does not purport to represent an accurate summary of all of the requirements that parties to an enterprise agreement are required to pass. However, it does provide a summary of the agreement process.

As is the case with any workplace/ industrial relations situation, it is always best to get advice or assistance prior to taking any action. Members can access a huge range of workplace relations resources online at Alternatively members who need advice or guidance can contact Phil Eberhard, Master Plumbers Senior Workplace Relations Advisor, on 03 9321 0720 or 0425 790 722 or via email

If the new enterprise agreement does not pass the better off overall test, then the Commission will provide the employer with an opportunity to provide an undertaking. An undertaking can only be accepted by the Commission “if the… (Commission)… is satisfied that the effect of accepting the undertaking is not likely to: (a) cause financial detriment to any | 49

Business interruption insurance for plumbers What would you do? There is more to protecting your business than simply insuring the physical assets. When it comes to your plumbing business, you expect an income stream that covers the operating costs and achieves a reasonable level of profit – but how do you keep your business up and running in the event of a loss? Business interruption insurance is designed to put the business back in the same financial position as if the loss had not taken place. The cover starts from the date of the loss and extends to when the turnover levels are back to its pre-loss level. The net profit and ongoing expenses are important considerations for your insurance program. Without such coverage, your business may not be able to survive in the event of a serious loss.

What can your business be covered for? Business interruption insurance provides coverage for: • Ongoing expenses like payroll, financing and other fixed costs • Revenue earning operations, supply chain and manufacturing dependencies • Disruption caused by service providers including power, telecommunications, water • Additional increased cost that may be incurred to expedite the return of normal business operations

How long will the policy pay for the interruptions to your business? This is known as the ‘indemnity period’ and needs to be discussed in depth with your insurance adviser. The indemnity period should represent the maximum amount of time it will take to get the turnover of the business back to normal after a worst case scenario incident. Some of the factors your adviser will consider include: • Regaining customers and market share • Debris removal • Tender procedures • Repairs and installation of equipment and facilities • Purchase of new equipment, installation and testing • Pilot run and regaining stock levels However, the loss to a business as a result of an event is often unique. An experienced insurance advisor can help you understand the risks to your plumbing business, and recommend the most appropriate insurance coverage to suit your needs. For advice, contact Marsh Advantage Insurance today. 1300 300 511

About Marsh Advantage Insurance: Marsh Advantage Insurance is a leading provider of insurance broking services for businesses across Australia. Our company is built on a culture dedicated to understanding the risk and insurance needs of local and national businesses that operate in our cities, regions and communities. We are driven by a commitment to deliver industry leading service and value for our clients. Marsh Advantage Insurance sits alongside Marsh as part of Marsh & McLennan Companies, a global team of professional services firms offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and human capital. Disclaimer: This brochure is for general information. It is not a substitute for specific advice and should not be relied upon as such. We accept no responsibility for any person or corporation acting or relying on this information without prior consultation with us. Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303, AFSL 238369) arrange the insurance and is not the insurer.

50 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

IS IT TIME TO RENEW YOUR PLUMBING LICENCE? Contact Marsh Advantage Insurance for a competitive quote and join the 4000 plumbers across Victoria already with us. We can arrange public liability insurance starting from $589*, and email your certificate of currency directly to the VBA. To get a quote, call 1300 300 511 or visit *Premium includes statutory charges and broker fee and is based on two licensed plumbers on domestic plumbing work with turnover less than $200,000 per year with nil previous claims. Acceptance of cover is subject to underwriter guidelines. Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (Aust) (MPIB) is a trading name of Marsh Advantage Insurance. The MPIB brand name are owned by the Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) and used under license by Marsh Advantage Insurance. Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303, AFSL No. 238 369) arranges this insurance and is not the insurer. MPMSAA receives a financial benefit when a policy is arranged by us, enabling it to continue to provide further services to the plumbing industry. Public liability insurance is underwritten by Vero Insurance Limited (ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230 859). This page contains general information and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. For full details of the terms, conditions and limitations of the covers, refer to the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) which is available from Marsh Advantage Insurance. | 51

Are your pipes

fit and healthy? You might assume your plumbing canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t harm you, but youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be wrong says John Fennell, CEO of the International Copper Association Australia.

Design, installation, and commissioning are all part of a healthy plumbing system where you can trust the water. But one of the greatest threats to the quality and longevity of a plumbing system is stagnant water that can create biofilms in the pipes and breed harmful pathogens. Design right

Operationally correct

How can copper tube help?

During design, dead leg piping should be avoided or restricted to being as short in length as possible. A flushing facility (tap) should be provided where there is low draw-off and fixtures that are seldom used should be placed on flow lines or close to a regularly used service.

During commissioning all systems shall be thoroughly flushed out as soon as possible after installation to remove foreign matter and should continue until the water runs completely clear. The system can then be pressure tested in accordance with the relevant regulation.

Copper tubing has been the primary material for Australian and New Zealand plumbing for over 50 years. Design information, including the governing standards, are based around copper and copper pipe sizes.

Cross-connections of the drinking water supply to other water supplies, such as rainwater or recycled water, is another potential contamination. All water supply systems must be designed and installed so as to prevent contaminants from entering the drinking water supply.

When the system is connected to the permanent water supply with all taps and valves installed, all draw-off points should be opened until clear water exits the system. This will assist in the development of the protective internal film within the pipe work and draw fresh disinfected water into the system.

Correct pipe sizing during design is also crucial. There needs to be sufficient water for all the intended uses, including peak demand, and if the pipe size is too small the water velocity and friction losses will be too great, potentially causing erosion and wearing of the pipes. If the pipes are excessively oversized however, there will be insufficient flow to minimise biofilm build up and settling of silt.

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After the water system is in operation, special care needs to be given when modification, change in usage patterns or where extensions are added to the systems. The entire system needs to be checked so that all requirements of the Standards and Plumbing Code of Australia are continually being met. The Plumbing Code of Australia and Australian Standard AS /NZS 3500 set out requirements and guidelines to ensure that all these problems do not arise. For other useful design ideas and methods, download the Hydraulic Services Design Guide from

Taking the extra care and consideration when designing, installing, commissioning and operating a plumbing system will improve the quality, performance and life of the system. Of the utmost importance is the profound effect these steps can have on the quality of water being conveyed in a system.

What are Biofilms? Biofilms are formed when bacteria adhere to a solid surface and enclose themselves in a sticky polysaccharide (slime).They are formed inside of all of our water pipes, toilets and drains, and, in fact, everywhere where there is persistent water. Biofilms can also become colonized with organisms that may be dangerous to some people. One such pathogen that colonizes biofilms is Legionella pneumophila and most isolated cases result from exposure in homes, often from showering in water that passes across Legionella-colonized biofilms. In this case, the best control is to keep hot water temperatures high (contrary to energy saving recommendations).

To avoid the risk of scalding, mixing of hot and cold water should be done directly at the tap. While most people do not need to be concerned about Legionnaires’ disease, people with immune system impairment (and this includes heavy smokers) should be aware of this risk. This is why hospitals and nursing homes are of special concern. Using municipal water supply containing a disinfectant helps minimise the formation of biofilms and copper is a natural disinfectant. Fortunately Legionella cannot survive when in direct contact with copper, however biofilms will continue to increase in all other pipework systems unless treated or removed.

Legionella cannot survive when in direct contact with copper

cbus When it comes to super, you can rely on

At Cbus, we make meeting your super obligations easy:

• We have a range of online contribution payment options. • Access to financial advice for Cbus members. • Regular communication with members and employers. At Cbus we invest back into the building and construction industry as part of our investment strategy, thereby creating jobs.

Call Cbus on 1300 361 784 or visit Read the relevant Cbus Product Disclosure Statement to decide whether Cbus is right for you. Contact 1300 361 784 or visit for a copy. Cbus’ Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262. | 53

Why should I enter for an award? It brings industry recognition, and will help with your marketing efforts and help establish your unique selling proposition. It’s a bit like riding a bike, once you mastered the necessary skills there will be no stopping you. Once you’ve entered for one award you will be surprised at how many other awards and incentives are being offered for local businesses. No-one knows your business story until you take the time to tell them. This means that in your answers you will need to include why you do what you do, why you think your business should win the award, and you must tell the judges about your achievements – sing the praises of your business, including milestones and notable achievements. Answers need to brief and to the point, and well thought out. You need to highlight your company’s key innovation and focus on how it offers something new to the market. Explain the ‘market need’ this innovation has met and use forecasting to predict why it has longevity. Make reference to current trends or new legislative changes and how your products and services evolve or expand to acclimatise to market conditions. Don’t be humble. If your business has a philanthropic side or contributes to the social or economic stability of Australia, use the submission as an opportunity to highlight this.

The why and how of

Business Awards

It doesn’t matter what size your business is, business owners should be entering business awards says Stefan Kazakis, founder of Business Benchmark Group. From the local to national to industry based, entering and winning awards will bring exposure to your business; raise the profile of your product and unite your team. People attach a great deal of credibility to the winners of awards. Remember when your sports team won the Grand Final? I bet you do. But do you remember all of the losses too? People remember winners!

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TIP: Make a start on your application as soon as possible – write everything in draft and then file it away. Review the wording 24 hours later.

Some do’s and don’ts

Do enter for an award – you’ve got to be ‘in it to win it’. Don’t feel that your business is not worthy of an award. This is the time to celebrate your achievements and share them with the rest of your local business community. Do remain proud and share your achievements and in return you’ll receive recognition and credibility for your business. Answer the questions with PASSION. Judges often spend hours and sometimes days reading several awards entries. By the time they get to your award entry, you need your entry to stand out from the pack. One sure way to accomplish this is to answer questions with a compelling story from your heart. Don’t skimp on the passion, emotion or hardship you endured to reach a milestone. Real-life stories are memorable; calculated answers are not. Don’t just cut and paste a previous entry. By all means start with the same words as a draft but make sure you tailor

the application. Include information about milestones your business has achieved, such as when you hit a turnover goal or you reached a significant anniversary.

Do give the judges exactly what they want.

Don’t stretch the truth – be honest and factual when answering questions, backing up your answers, some judging panels will be looking for verification. This means in all of your answers you need to explain why your business deserves to win the award, talk about your achievements and show the judges how great your business is. Do create a Word document with all the questions, draft and edit your responses, then when you are happy with the end result, just cut and paste your answers online. Make sure your answers are succinct, well phrased and give the most important information to help you win the award. Using Word also makes it super easy to check and double check your entry. Once you have completed the entry, read through the entire piece again checking for grammatical and spelling errors. Consider having another person read through your entry too, just to make sure it reads the way you want it to – do they understand why you deserve to win the award?

Don’t forget to remember the rules. If you are allowed 1,000 words for your entry make sure it is 1,000 or better still 999, not 1,100. It’s a tough job being a judge, the winners have to be completely transparent, so don’t make it easy to be de-selected.

Do pull together all your supporting documents, photos, and letters of reference or any other materials required for the award entry throughout the year and store them in one project file. By being prepared in advance you will save time and stress when the deadline to complete your award entry draws near. Don’t forget to think about packaging. Many businesses fail to win awards because they do not think about how the award entry looks, including layout and design, fonts, colours and packaging. If you do not have talent in-house to prepare a nice-looking award entry, then hire a professional to help package your award entry. The presentation of your entry can make a huge impact on the judges – and your final score. Of course, often award entry forms are now online, making it easier for everyone. Do read all of the questions and make sure you understand the information the judges are looking for.

Don’t forget to explain any new systems or processes that you have introduced that will help to prove your answers. Do make sure you use the time invested in applying for awards as part of your business review. It’s also a great time to start planning for the next stage of your business. If you and your business are selected as a finalist, ensure you take as many of your team as you can to the awards events and share the excitement of the awards process. And, most importantly prepare the winner’s speech! Applications are now open to for the Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards – a new joint initiative driven by key industry stakeholders; Master Plumbers, the Plumbing Trades Employees Union and the National Fire Industry Association. For further information and to apply for an Award visit

Stefan Kazakis is a renowned business strategist, sought-after speaker and founder of Business Benchmark Group, which helps clients from a variety of crossroads and industries seize opportunities to achieve ongoing business success and substantial profit growth. For more information please visit or email

calling all plumbers, sprinkler fitters, fire protection professionals, apprentices and Businesses. Do you or someone you know deserve to be awarded for your contribution to our Industry? Apply NOW at Tickets now available for the inaugural Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards Gala Dinner Join JIMEOIN and a host of other entertainers and support your friends and colleagues as they are recognised by the industry for their outstanding achievements and contribution. Buy tickets NOW at B r i n g i n g t h e p lu m B i n g a n d f i re p rote c t i o n i n d u s t r i e s to g e t h e r | 55

product news Titanium pump solves sewage spill challenge Sydney Water’s new sewage collection station at Douglas Park, south west of Sydney, is emptied by tanker on a daily basis. The large spill containment pad ensures any corrosive sewage leaked during the transfer is collected in the sump pit. Specifying a pump capable of handling this liquid was a challenge. MWH Global, the waste water consultants who designed the sewage collection station, selected a Tsurumi TM series titanium submersible pump for the drainage sump. “Ferric chloride is added to sewage in the holding tank for odour control,” said Mark Rush from MWH Global. “As a result, the collection pit needed a pump that would handle corrosive liquids,” he said. The TM series are particularly suitable for applications where corrosion is an issue. The stator housing is titanium whilst the pump casing, stand and motor cap components are all manufactured from FRP resin moulded material. Although the range was originally designed for seawater it has proved to be ideal for highly corrosive chemical applications in food and chemical plants.

The pumps are compact in design and are available in single or three phase motor drive. They range from pumps capable of 240 lpm flow right up to 350 lpm. Heads vary from 9 m to 15m. The TM series feature a vortex impeller made from glass-fibre reinforced resin. An anti-wicking cable gland prevents water incursion due to capillary wicking should the power cable be damaged or the end submerged. A dual silicon carbide mechanical seal is protected in an oil chamber so neither seal face contacts the pumped liquid. This eliminates abrasion and facilitates cooling and lubrication of the seal faces. The oil chamber incorporates a patented oil lifter that ensures lubrication even if the oil level in the chamber drops. This increases the time between routine pump maintenance. Combined, these features result in lifecycle costs that are significantly lower than the industry standard. Tsurumi Pump supports their confidence in the product with a three year warranty. Further information, including a free comprehensive guide on the complete range of Tsurumi pumps is available from Australian Pump Industries, call 02 8865 3500 or visit

Dux Prodigy® 5-Star gas storage water heater still going strong Dux Hot Water’s Prodigy® 5 star gas storage water heater range, boasts an outstanding 5 star energy efficiency rating coupled with a unique design and convenient footprint size. Prodigy 5 has the same footprint (422w x 502d) as existing rectangular 3 star external gas units, facilitating easy replacement of older systems that do not carry as high an energy efficiency rating. Utilising an Australian first patented design, the Dux Prodigy 5 has been specifically created with high efficiency in mind, making it the ideal hot water heater to replace existing tanks that guzzle gas and result in high energy bills. Designed and manufactured in Australia, the Prodigy 5 dramatically reduces heat loss after the heating cycle, to maximise energy efficiency and offers outstanding performance by delivering well over 2,000 litres of hot water in a 24 hour period (at a 45°C temperature rise). The Prodigy 5 comes in two different tank sizes – 135 or 170 litres, and is produced in natural gas or LPG options. These sizes, coupled with outstanding hot water delivery, mean plenty of hot water, supplied quickly and at mains pressure. Commenting on the 5 star gas storage water heater, Peter Faase, Marketing Manager at Dux Hot Water, said, “The Prodigy 5 from Dux is a patented innovation, designed and manufactured right here in Australia and produced with the plumber in mind. The Prodigy 5 also has an adjustable thermostat for safety, efficiency and control over operating costs and performance, and is backed by a ten year tank warranty for additional peace of mind.” he added. For more information about the Prodigy 5 range please visit

56 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015



The Dux Plumbers Handbook is a comprehensive product and technical guide. It is a valuable tool which will make it easier than ever to access vital hot water information on-site, right when you need it. The Dux Plumbers Handbook offers: specification details

rough-in diagrams

technical & spare parts information

installation guides and animations


Apprenticeships for our industry. Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria is the industry’s group training scheme dedicated to providing plumbing businesses with high quality, highly skilled apprentices to meet their needs. Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria is a flexible and cost effective way of accessing extra labour when you need it most.

To find out more, call (03) 9329 9622 or visit

Looking for a simple, more efficient HVAC system? Introducing Westinghouse EarthDirEX™ Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems • Incredibly quiet & efficient. They make about as much noise as your refrigerator. • Reduce your heating & cooling running costs by as much as 70%. • A complete system that is distributed, installed & serviced by only authorised Westinghouse Dealers. • Take up far less room outside than a conventional air sourced system and can be installed almost anywhere meaning no more un-sightly large boxes. • Running costs will remain constant year to year. • Don’t be affected by extreme hot & cold weather conditions.

58 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

Contact us on 03 9720 7016 or or visit to find out more

product news Rheem launches new electric products with 10-year cylinder warranty

The Viega Propress Smart Connect – Feature your reputation, your peace of mind

Over a year in the making and involving significant research and development: the new-look electric hot water systems from Rheem have been unveiled. These products have a range of new features which extend their life, and they’re now backed by a 10-year cylinder warranty – the longest electric water heater warranty on the Australian market.

It can happen, despite every precaution being taken – the chilled and heated water system starts to leak a few days or weeks after commissioning, due to a fitting that was mistakenly left unpressed. This is despite the use of fittings that according to the manufacturer’s details should demonstrate the quality “will leak when unpressed. Such mishaps are prevented by the patented Smart Connect – Feature with Viega fittings.

They come in 250L, 315L and 400L capacities, and have undergone substantial re-engineering and redesign to withstand more than 10 years of operation. In extending the warranted life of the products, Rheem has incorporated a range of new and enhanced features including: Redesigned cylinder dome top: This has been re-profiled, resulting in an even stronger, more robust design. Large anode: Rheem has introduced larger sacrificial anodes to support the new electric range of products. The diameter of the standard black anode has been increased from 21mm to 27mm, providing physically more material to help protect and prolong the life of the cylinder. Enamel specification: The new range will feature a commercial grade, proprietary blend Class Y enamel. This special blend enamel is both stronger and more durable than domestic grade Class X enamels. Less soluble and more resistant to high temperatures, this enamel coating will last for longer, ultimately prolonging the life of the water heater.

Australian Made Another key differentiator is the fact that Rheem’s 250L, 315L and 400L electric water heaters are made in Australia, at Rheem’s Rydalmere NSW manufacturing facility. For more information on the new 491/492 series range, contact 132 552 or visit

Normally when systems are tested, the pressure applied is static, so there are no pressure surges which occur during normal system operation when taps are turned on and off etc. To add to this, there is usually a pressure differential between floors such that a five-storey apartment may have a 130kPa pressure difference between the top and bottom floor. Leakage in an unpressed state is achieved when using the Viega Smart Connect – Feature via a channel in the fitting. In the unpressed state, water can flow into the channel past the sealing element and leak out. In contrast, once the fitting is pressed in accordance with the specifications, the channel in the Smart Connect – Feature is permanently closed. In non Viega Propress fittings the omission of pressing may go unnoticed during the leak test. Leakage with resulting damage may occur if there are pressure surges whilst the system is in operation. Un-pressed Viega Propress fittings are guaranteed to leak over the widest possible pressure range; from 100 kPa – 650 kPa in a wet test and between 2.2 kPa – 300 kPa in a dry test. This allows for a central leakage test of the entire system rather than testing of individual sections.

Energy efficient heating and cooling from a trusted brand – Westinghouse EarthDirEX™ Geothermal Systems A complete system that’s installed and serviced by only approved, trained and authorised Westinghouse personnel. Requiring much less drilling than other geothermal systems (typically one to two holes at the most) reducing drilling can significantly reduce your initial investment. Being a 100 per cent refrigerant system, there is no refrigerant-to-water heat exchanger component so the heat transfers more efficiently using only one unit of electricity to move up to 5 units of heating or cooling from the Earth to any given building. EarthDirEXTM Geothermal ‘heat pumps’ take up far less room outside than a conventional air sourced condenser therefore no more un-sightly large boxes. These systems are incredibly efficient and quiet, making about as much noise as your refrigerator. Conventional air sourced systems work by exchanging heat/cool with the air. As ambient air temperatures can vary greatly, how hard the system has to work varies as well. The hotter the air in Summer, the harder they work to cool. The colder the air in Winter the harder they works to heat. A geothermal system, on the other hand, exchanges heat with the ground as the temperature stays a fairly consistent 16°C year-round. That means a geothermal system doesn’t have to work nearly as hard to disperse heat/cool as a traditional split-system air conditioner, which is how it operates so efficiently meaning you could reduce your monthly utility bills by up to 70 per cent. Visit to find out more. | 59

product news New Brivis Buffalo – Exact fit changeover BIG savings The new Brivis Buffalo 5 Star Classic Heater has been designed with efficiency and reliability in mind. The perfect solution for replacing your customers’ existing Buffalo, the Buffalo 5 star has the same gas pipe connection, flue position, base dimensions, electrical connection and base box – almost identical to its predecessor, but with an all new 5 Star Energy Rating. Allowing for quick and easy installation – you can provide 5 star savings and efficiency with minimal fuss. Plus, with savings of $331* on annual running costs compared to a standard Buffalo, the Buffalo 5 is a simple upgrade choice.

An investment in a Buffalo 5 is sure to provide many years of trouble-free, high-efficiency comfort, as well as reduced gas consumption. Brivis Climate System was recently required by Rinnai and has now proudly become a Rinnai Australia Pty Ltd subsidiary company. * Energy savings are compared to a standard Brivis Buffalo. Running Cost Data is based on Australian Standard AS4556-2011. House Heat Load 0.2MJ/ HR/m3 and 600 Hours of operation (100 days at 6 hours per day). Annual Energy Consumption – as per AGA Star Ratings for Ducted Gas Heating Systems. Gas Price = 1.6 cents per MJ/HR). Savings based on Average House Floor Area for New Homes built in 1995, with 2.4m ceiling. Actual savings may vary due to variations in factors such as fuel costs, house size, thermal insulation and heater usage patterns. * Source: ABS 1301.0 Year Book Australia 2005

Flush your problems down the Drain with the REMS Multi-Push Range Portable, affordable, electronic flushing, pressure and leak testing, oil-free compressor, disinfection cleaning, pipe preservation.

The REMS Multi-Push Electronic flushing and pressure testing unit has a multitude of uses. The Multi-Push has more than 10 programs for flushing and pressure testing with compressed air or water. It not only disinfects drinking water installations, cleans and preserves heating systems, but it pressure tests for leaks within pipe systems and vessels. Most importantly, it monitors the entire process using controlled devices for automatically running the flushing and test programs and documents the results. Added features include safety devices for avoiding contamination of the pipe network by flow-back and overpressure valves for pressure limiting.

60 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

The REMS Multi-Push uses a pneumatic pump for controlled filling of all types of vessels with compressed air and for the operation of pneumatic tools. The Multi-Push offers heavy duty options with the ease of potability. At only a maximum of 39kg, you can take it anywhere to achieve the desired result. Options available for the Multi-Push SL or Multi-Push SLW kits. With so many features AND low pricing, the REMS Multi-Push is a must for all plumbers. Call ANCRA today for more information or look/buy online at

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product news KEEFLEX S-Core Series – Gas hoses and connector systems Keefer Brothers is leading the way with its new line of Gas hoses. The S-core series contain class leading technology with fully flexible metallic inner core that will not kink and restrict gas flow. Our clients can be sure that they are fitting a quality product that will take anything the gas industry can throw at them. S-Core hoses are already making head way into the Caravan / RV world. With this new metallic stainless steel core Keeflex hoses are AGA certified to “best in class” (AS/1869-2012) “Class F” & “Class G”. This new feature also eliminates possible contamination downstream as there is no Phalates or extractables residue in S-core to cause clogging and blockages! With this new flexible triple layer design, consisting of the pressure tight stainless steel core, coupled with stainless steel braid responsible for absorbing mechanical loads you have a very strong combination offering great safety in any tough environment. The PCV “protective” outer layer offers the highest hygiene standard in the market, making the KEEFLEX S-core Series the “Hose of choice” in the food service industry. This all makes better sense to our OEM’s also, with S-Core non- kink hoses supplied with matched unions for a perfect seal together with easy installation for plumbers all translates to a totally satisfied customer. S-Core hose is definitely at the top of the food chain when it comes to safety, Hygiene, durability and ease of use. For more information contact: Keefer Bros. (aust) pty ltd 03 9580 4777 sales@keeferbros

62 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

Sydney Water Tap in™ is coming Soon plumbers will be able to request Sydney Water connections, building plan approvals, service plans and diagrams online, anywhere, anytime. Sydney Water Tap in™ will be available in mid-November 2015, and will replace the services offered by Quick Check Agents. You’ll be able to log on and get what you need – saving time and money. Quick Check Agents will still offer these services until 22 November 2015. You will find Sydney Water Tap in™ at

Enhanced user experience Sydney Water has customers at the heart of everything it does. To improve the user experience, it road tested Sydney Water Tap in™ with a number of customers including developers, plumbers and pool companies. The feedback helped enhance the design of this new service. Sydney Water will continue to engage with customers on the site’s design in the lead up to Sydney Water Tap in™ going live.

Like to know more? Follow Sydney Water on Twitter – @sydneywaternews Facebook – SydneyWater for updates.

Rinnai – Gas or Electric? Rinnai have extensive, high quality and reliable gas and electric storage tanks, designed as quick and easy replacement for existing systems. Going for gas? The Rinnai Hotflo range of 4 Star Gas Storage Hot Water Systems offers you a choice of 135 or 170 litre storage capacities and delivers mains pressure hot water to multiple taps at once. The tanks are for external installation only and are thermostatically controlled with safety temperature shut-off for peace of mind. The vitreous enamel lined steel tank offers a 4 star energy rating, inbuilt anode protection and a pressure temperature relief valve. A hard water anode variant is also available. Rinnai provide an 8 year cylinder warranty on both gas models. Eager for Electric? Rinnai Electric Storage Hot Water Systems come in a wide range of element sizes and capacities, from a compact 25L, through to a large family size 400L storage cylinder. These internal or external units are designed to suit the changing water usage needs of Australian families. The tanks are dual handed providing flexible installation and the standard sizing is perfect for an emergency changeover. Rinnai can provide single or twin element configurations and have a complete range of elements and anodes available. Rinnai also provide a 7 year cylinder warranty on all electric models. For more information on these systems,



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Tubing: Annealed, 304 Stainless steel (ASTM A240) 45° Flare Nuts: Brass or Plated Steel Adaptors: Brass or Plated Steel Rated Operating Temperature: -40°F to 150°F Approved for use with Natural, Manufactured, LP (Propane) & LP air mixtures gases up to a Maximum pressure of 500 kPa. Certified for indoor and outdoor use. 100% factory leak tested. Neck free design for maximum bending flexibility. Available in 3/8”, ½”, ¾” and 1” O.D Diameters and Length ranges from 6” to 72”

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134 Malcolm Rd, Braeside VIC 3195 Phone: 03 9580 4777 Fax: 03 9580 8011 look for us on facebook | 63

product news Don’t live with food waste As demands on our time increase appliances that make life easier have become valuable commodities. An InSinkErator Food Waste Disposer eliminates household food scraps conveniently making it an essential modern appliance for today’s kitchen. With the ability to grind just about any kind of food scraps including bones, food handling is significantly reduced as is the time spent preparing and cleaning up after meals. With food scraps eliminated at the point of preparation the need for a kitchen food waste bin is reduced and so to the odour and insects associated with it. Removing food scraps instantly with a food waste disposer also helps protect a homeowner or developers investment. InSinkErator Food Waste Disposers are a true evolution in how we dispose of food waste. They are now extremely quiet, grind food without the use of blades and use only one per cent of the total household water consumption. Additionally they are an environmentally responsible alternative to sending food waste to landfill, and, in many instances ground food scraps sent to appropriate wastewater treatment plants can be converted into usable energy to power homes and businesses. Deliver more to your clients by offering them a new solution for conveniently and hygienically disposing of food waste. For further information visit

Effectively schedule your plumbers with simPRO Service Efficient scheduling gives you complete visibility over who & what is available, and when. With an instant snapshot of all available technicians and equipment you can make promises to customers and keep them.

A Calendar view for every scenario simPRO Service has a calendar view for every purpose. With schedules on a daily, weekly or monthly basis down to increments as small as 15 minutes, you can view and track all available resources at a glance. The Day View is a group calendar showing the days activities for all resources. Typically filtered to a single resource, the Week View shows the entire weekly schedule for that resource. This is popular for planning time in advance and to gain an understanding of the flow-on impact on the particular resource’s calendar. The Month View offers a macro level for each month. This option also makes it easy to move jobs on to different days and weeks.

Accurate timesheets Effective scheduling software gives authorised staff the ability to record times on jobs in real time and without paper. Identify the optimal time to efficiently allocate resources to jobs for clear visibility then generate timesheets based on the times scheduled.

Increased billables With detailed knowledge of the cost of your time and materials you can begin billing appropriately and know exactly what you’re making on each job. More importantly, learn where your non-billable time is going. By knowing who was where and when, Service identifies billable versus non-billable time so you can make strategic decisions on resource allocation.

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64 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

Every Master Plumbers QLD, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania member is entitled to one free simPRO Service Office licence and one free Field licence for the lifetime of their Master Plumbers membership*. Sign up at masterplumbers

Roof & Gutter Premium Silicone Sealant Bostik Roof & Gutter Silicone Sealant is a high performance, industrial grade neutral curing sealant designed for sealing lap joints in metal guttering, aluminium roofing flashings and down pipes. It can also be used for roof and guttering systems, skylights, plumbing applications and vents.

Features: 100 per cent undiluted Silicone, won’t shrink, crack or degrade over time. Low VOC. Neutral curing sealant that is an excellent non-corrosive general purpose sealant. UV and weather resistant, to meet Australian conditions. Permanently flexible will accommodate up to +/25 per cent joint movement capability. Waterproof and exhibits excellent adhesion properties. Excellent resistance to vibration. Withstands temperatures from -50ºC to +170°C. Suitable for interior and exterior applications. Translucent and Grey are suitable for potable water applications. Translucent and Grey meet Watermark™ ATS 5200.014:2004 standards. Available in a range of Colorbond® colours.

Colours: NEW – Basalt® NEW – Monument® NEW – Evening Haze® Translucent Grey Black White Classic Cream™ Cottage Green® Manor Red® Woodland Grey® Surfmist® For further information visit | 65

wpc news World Plumbing Day 2015 For the sixth consecutive year, the world marked World Plumbing Day on 11 March. World Plumbing Council Chairman, Sudhakaran Nair, said the importance of water as the key to our survival cannot be overstressed. “There is an alarming scarcity of clean, potable water. Demand for water across the globe for sanitation, domestic consumption, industry and agriculture already outstrips available supply and the gap is widening.”

WPD International Poster Competition Winners Hundreds of students in grades 2 through 5 from British Columbia, Canada, India, Jamaica, California, Oregon and Minnesota in the USA embraced the important messages behind World Plumbing Day through colourful works of art. Congratulations to the winners: Beckett Evans from Canada, Shaena McCallum from Jamaica and Lena Schapiro from the USA. The judging panel was comprised of industry professionals including installers, contractors, engineers, designers, estimators, distributors along with the management and staff of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials Backflow Prevention Institute and publishers of the Backflow Prevention and Plumbing Standards Magazine. The judges were overwhelmingly impressed by the creativity of the young students and the high calibre of entries. Congratulations to the winners along with all of the entrants to the competition. 66 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2015

To learn more about the World Plumbing Council and to become a member, visit

Snapshot of activities from the rest of the world Canada The Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating saw a flurry of activity leading up to World Plumbing Day with Matt Wiesenfield challenging the nation’s college and university students to develop an action plan to decrease their school’s water footprint. The winning submission featured a plan to reduce water consumption in the student residence by replacing toilets, faucets and shower fixtures with water-saving models. The judges praised the team for an exceptional job of determining the capital investment required to make the residence more water efficient, the anticipated water savings, the social impacts and the anticipated return-on-investment for the university.

India In India, the Indian Plumbing Association (IPA) celebrated World Plumbing Day with a number of events along with official recognition by the nation’s politicians. The Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Hon. Vijay Sampla released a statement applauding the important work of the plumbing profession. “On this annual event, I appreciate the critical role that the plumbing industry plays in relation to public health and safety,” the Minister said. IAPMO India also celebrated with industry partner the IPA to promoting the importance of plumbing to health, visiting a local school to spread the message and inviting students to participate in the WPC’s poster contest.

Indonesia IAPMO, in concert with the National Standard Agency of Indonesia (BSN,) released the Uniform National Plumbing Standard for Indonesia at the World Plumbing Day event held in Jakarta. As part of IAPMO’s Water For Indonesia Now project, and with support from the US Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, and USAID Standards Alliance Programs, this project will impact generations of

Indonesians by creating improved access to clean water and safe sanitation through the standardisation of plumbing systems throughout the nation.

Philippines The United Skilled Plumbers Association (USPA) used World Plumbing Day to call on consumers to conserve water as the dry season commences and water sources are expected to reach a critical level. Clean water, health and proper sanitation are the key advocacy items on the USPA agenda. As a member of End Water Poverty, a global civil society coalition campaigning to end the water and sanitation crisis facing the world, USPA hopes to do its share of realising a better global community by harnessing the capability of skilled plumbers to provide local consumers with access to quality plumbing and water services.

United Kingdom The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) was in full swing in celebration of World Plumbing Day, with social media, press releases, journal blogs and a conference. A London conference was organised by the Royal Society for Public Health and the Worshipful Company of Plumbers, in partnership with CIPHE, the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation, and the Society of Public Health Engineers.

USA Plumbing Manufacturers International, whose members produce about 90 per cent of America’s plumbing products, developed and published 10 reasons ‘Why Plumbing Matters’ to celebrate World Plumbing Day. Visit safeplumbing. org to read these. Also in the USA, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials spread the message about World Plumbing Day to elementary schools in California, Oregon and Colorado. This year, hundreds of students discussed the WPC’s presentation slides that tell of the important role plumbing systems play in protecting our health.



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Australian Plumbing Magazine  
Australian Plumbing Magazine  

September 2015