Page 1




your industry magazine

water is life saving every precious drop


D e c em b er

2 0 1 5

Be Impressed. Be Compliant. Save time and money with Zetco’s Press-fit Gas Ball Valve. AS/NZS 5601.1:2013 states that valves with mechanical joints installed in a concealed space must be ventilated. Zetco’s Press-fit valves are permanent joints and therefore do not require ventilation. AGA 5301 AS 4617

Phone 1300 659 639


Viega Propress.

Reliability. Reliability. Reliability.

Available exclusively from

Reliability you can stake your reputation on! Viega press technology delivers proven long-term joint reliability you can proudly stake your reputation on ‌and it also means more work completed in the same time and less total cost. All Propress fittings have the added advantage of the unique Smart Connect-Feature which makes un-pressed connections easily detected during a pressure test. Propress fittings are suitable for heated and chilled water systems, fuel gases and many other materials. If your lines go into critical locations, don’t take risks, make the smart decision. Viega. A better idea!

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

This issue is all about water, water, water!

Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre

Welcome to our December issue, our final magazine for the year. It’s hard to believe another year is almost over! It’s been a busy one for the plumbing industry and the Master Plumbers. This issue is all about water, water, water!

Have a great Christmas and a healthy 2016!

Charlotte Roseby learns about the early struggle for clean water and decent plumbing to save the town of, what was then called, Sandhurst (now Bendigo), in the precious drop. We learn about a clever tank in a box from the inventor’s of the Pak Flat Tank – GreenCo Water. We take a look at the winners of the second Water is Life International Student Poster Design Competition, highlighting the importance of water and some of the devastating effects when it is lacking.

In making waves in water and energy conservation we look at two clever products using more sustainable ways to use, move, treat, test and think about water. We have an update from the International Copper Association Australia on noise free water pipes, and an update from our OHS expert on asbestoscement water pipe safety management

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

Editor Elaine Mathews T (03) 9321 0703 E

Also in this issue, Charlotte Roseby continues our ‘Plumber at War’ series talking with Lyndon McDonald, who served as a plumber in the Army, which included deployments to Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.


We also have our regular Mastering Workplace Relations Series, a Member Profile, member, industry and product news and much, much more.

Salt Creative

Wishing all our readers and their families a safe and happy Christmas and New Year – see you in 2016!

Direct Mail Corporation

Happy reading!


Elaine Mathews Editor Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine Front cover image: International Student Poster Competition 2015 (detail) © All rights reserved ZVSHK 2015 Jialiang Quin

4 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

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

Elaine Mathews T (03) 9321 0703 E



All-New HiLux The tough just got going The Most Unbreakable HiLux Ever 10 years in the making and it’s been worth the wait. Extensively tested against some of the most extreme environments in Australia, this HiLux will go further and harder than ever before for your business. Expect added capability, increased power, better performance and greater comfort. Be one of the first to put All-New HiLux through its paces and take advantage of your Gold Fleet Discount. To find your local Fleet Specialist Dealer, call 1800 444 847

TFM1857 MPA 10/15


SR5 4x4 Double-Cab model shown




o Col est t a s L our col

Evening Haze®






Welcome / 8

The quest for water in Bendigo / 36

A message from our CEO and the Association’s President.

Member news / 10

Charlotte Roseby learns about the early struggle for clean water and decent plumbing to save the town of, what was then called, Sandhurst

All the latest news from the Master Plumbers.

Thinking inside the box / 40

Industry news / 18

Necessity was the mother of invention for the makers of the Pak Flat Tank – GreenCo Water

The future of plumbing: NUDJ / 24 Amanda Ogilvie meets with our President Scott Dowsett

The Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards 2015 / 26 State’s top plumbers and sprinkler fitters honoured at the inaugural Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards

Plumbing for peace / 33 Charlotte Roseby continues our ‘Plumber at War’ series talking with Lyndon McDonald, who served as a plumber in the army, which included deployments to Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan

Water is Life / 42 We take a look at the winners of the second Water is Life International Student Poster Design Competition

Making waves in water and energy conservation / 44 The Silent Treatment / 46 Noise free water pipes is just a matter of good design says John Fennell CEO of the International Copper Association Australia

Pics from The Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards 2015 page 26

26 Asbestos-cement water pipe safety management / 48 Unfair Dismissal – Behaviour of Employee / 50 The essential tool of the trade – insurance / 52 How technology can set business owners free / 54 As new plumbing technology continues to transform the work that plumbers do onsite,technology is also revolutionising the way their own businesses are run

Is the Price Right? / 56 As a trade based business owner, having a pricing strategy is crucial to your success

Product news / 59

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.

It is the responsibility of all of us to reinforce the importance of plumbing as a means of ensuring public health and safety


from the President and CEO

Season’s greetings to all our members

Recognising success

As we approach the end of another year, I would like to thank all our members for their continued support; 2015 has been a year of change, challenge and success, and I am pleased that the Association is able to continue to support our industry and its members.

Over many years the Master Plumbers associations around Australia have recognised the importance of skills and training to our industry.

Some of the highlights from 2015 included: In February, in conjunction with our industry partner the PTEU, we began to deliver plumbing apprenticeship training at PICAC – a huge win for us and the industry as a whole.

It is the skills held by plumbers from the training that occurs on and off the job that underpins the qualifications that a plumber holds. It is the qualifications and demonstration of that skill that underpins the registration and licensing system, and it is all of these factors together that gives the consumer confidence in the work of plumbers and the role of plumbing.

In March we moved our administrative offices from King Street to Albert Street, allowing our training and head office facilities to be more closely linked – creating a centralised ‘plumbing hub’ in Brunswick. In April we acknowledged our long-standing members with a presentation of Milestone Certificates for businesses who have been members of the Association for over 30 years, the highest certificate on the night went to Crewther Plumbing, who has been members for 85 years! In June we recognised the efforts of our Group Training Scheme Apprentices with the first Annual Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria Graduation and Awards Ceremony – the future of our industry is bright thanks to these talented apprentices. In June we kicked off our ‘always chose a Master Plumber’ consumer awareness campaign which includes a mix of radio, print, digital and social media advertising. The aim is to educate consumers to choose a trusted, trained, licenced, insured, highly skilled plumber – a Master Plumber. In July we launched a new website and Member Portal; the new website has an improved ‘Find a Plumber’ search feature, where members can view how many times consumers have viewed their business. In October we held the inaugural Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards; this year we joined forces with our industry partners to deliver an industry Awards ceremony. I had the honour of presenting the 108th Master Plumbers Gold Medal Award to Aaron Bridger. Development of the PICAC Geelong site commenced; jointly owned by Master Plumbers and the PTEU, the Training Centre of Excellence is almost complete and training delivery is expected to begin in early 2016. Throughout the year the Association held a number of meetings, networking events and industry briefings to keep members up-to-date on the latest happenings in our industry. I am proud that our Association continues to be a leader in what is an exciting and dynamic industry and I look forward to 2016 as another year where we strive to make a positive impact on the environment and the community. On behalf of the Board, I would like to wish all our members, associates, affiliates, families and friends a very safe and merry Christmas and happy New Year.

It is always great to see these key elements being recognized by the industry and beyond. In Victoria, the Master Plumber’s Gold Medal Awards have been an important part of our history for 107 years. This year we were proud to join forces with our industry partners to deliver a prestigious industry event, the inaugural Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards. Events like these reinforce the importance of investing in skills and working together as an industry safe guarding the future of our trade. This is especially so at a time when the VET system is under review, both nationally and at a state level, when funding for training is being reduced and the apprenticeship system being under resourced. It is an important time to be a member of an Association. It is the responsibility of all of us to work together for the benefit of our industry, engage with our local members to reinforce the importance of plumbing as a trade and as a means of ensuring public health and safety. The association has worked during the year to represent the industry on the full range of training and licencing issues, as well as changes to Standards, Regulations, Occupational Health and Safety issues, Award reviews and other industry related matters as they arise. I would like to thank all those members who have contributed to any of these processes. I also thank our industry sponsors and industry partners for their help this year. I wish all our members, readers, families and friends a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.

Scott Dowsett President, Master Plumbers

Ken Gardner CEO, Master Plumbers 8 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

MASSIVE CASH PRIZE IF YOU SUPPLY, INSTALL OR BUILD^ WITH GENUINE COLORBOND® STEEL, YOU COULD WIN $100K CASH* Three simple steps: 1. Register for the promotion 2. Make sure your homeowner customers register 3. Make sure they nominate you as their supplier. If they win, you could win too!







ENTRY REQUIREMENTS • Supply, installation or build must be for a customer’s home • Homeowner purchase must be $200 or more • Promo ends Feb 29th 2016 • Purchases from May 1st 2015 are eligible • You can register your customers on their behalf (if they prefer)







And remember, if you want to GEN-U-WIN, make sure you supply, install or build with genuine COLORBOND® steel.



CALL 1800 263 191

BLUESCOPE WARRANTY1 for peace of mind

TRIED AND TESTED for Australia’s harsh climate

ADVANCED paint technology looks better for longer

DURABILITY from Activate™ technology

THERMAL EFFICIENCY with Thermatech® technology2



*Starts 12.00am AEST 1/9/15. Ends 11.59pm AEDST 29/2/16. Reg. only open to businesses that supply and/or install COLORBOND® steel products in Aust. & have a valid ABN, excl. those owned by the Promoter other than franchisees of the Promoter. Trade prize may be awarded to employee, owner or business, depending on business’s internal policy, see T&Cs. Draws at 2pm, B6, 41-43 Bourke Rd, Alexandria, NSW 2015. Major Draw: 1/3/16. Major Draw Prizes - $100K for homeowner winner, $100K trade prize (winner dependent on regist. business nominated by homeowner winner). 1 draw for each State/Territory (8 total) each promo. mth (“State Mthly Draws”). State Mthly Draws: 1st Tues. each month Oct ‘15 – Mar ‘16. State Mthly Draw Prize (1 per draw): $2K for homeowner winner, & $2K trade prize (trade winner dependent on regist. business nominated by homeowner winner). Winners in The Australian 11/3/16 (Major Draw Winners); & 3rd Friday after each State Mthly Draw (State Mthly Draw Winners). Full terms at COLORBOND.COM/GENUWIN/TERMS. NSW LTPS/15/05606, ACT TP15/06610, SA T15/1212. 1. Warranty subject to application and eligibility criteria. For full warranty terms and conditions and to determine the eligibility of your building for the warranty visit or call BlueScope on 1800 800 789. 2. Thermatech® technology is not available in the colour Night Sky® and is not available in COLORBOND® Stainless steel. COLORBOND®, Thermatech® and Night Sky® are registered trade marks of BlueScope Steel Limited. Activate™ is a trade mark of BlueScope Steel Limited. © 2015 BlueScope Steel Limited. L11/120 Collins St, Melb., VIC 3000. ABN 16 000 011 058. All rights reserved. AP33085c

member news Milestone success A great day out for the 25th Annual Bendigo Plumbers Charity Golf Day A report from Master Plumbers member Geoff Moroney

With the smell of onions cooking on the BBQ by 9am, by the ever reliable RMC Valve boys, players came from all over Victoria (including the infamous bus load from Rochester), and even two from Sydney, to join in the fun for the 25th Bendigo Plumbers Charity Golf Day, which was held at the picturesque Neangar Park Golf Club on October 9, 2015. With a magnificent brunch in the belly, on a beautiful country day, the field of 120 players were set to tear up the course to help raise money for Camp Quality Cancer Fund. Many of the players purchased and wore the specially designed 25th Anniversary golf shirt, which were jointly sponsored by Rheem Hot Water and RMC Valves. It was a site to behold watching those in the commemorative grey t-shirts dotted around the course in uniform! Prior to hit off the players were entertained by a surprise visit from the Camp Quality mascot, Mr. Giggle, who mingled with the players, genuinely causing havoc and lots of laughter. Then Lee Emberton, State Manager for Victoria and Tasmania for Camp Quality, addressed the players about the serious side of the day – you could hear a pin drop! Lee spoke about the work that Camp Quality does for children with cancer and their families, as well as how this would not be possible without the donations from days like our Golf Day. He thanked all of the players and sponsors for their support, and said he was “in awe”

of the fantastic effort the committee of this day performs, considering it is made up of three husband and wife couples! Lee said “On behalf of Camp Quality, I was humbled to be part of such a long standing day. All of the support that is offered throughout the build up to this , and on the day, by the Master Plumbers Community and suppliers, really does make a difference to the lives of Victorian and Tasmanian kids with cancer, and their families. Camp quality is very fortunate to have such a passionate bunch contributing to our cause, whilst participating in such a fun day.” Tee off was at 10am, and what followed was a day of good fun, cheers, tears and some great, good and down right terrible golf, but more importantly, a group of people getting together for a great cause, combining together to raise a total of $20,000.00 for Camp Quality. With the golf finished for the day, all of the players entered the 19th Hole, the Club house, to put up their feet with a few cold beverages after a tiring day, and to celebrate the victors of the day. The prizes and winners were: Alf McMeakin Award for best Nett Score D. Bish, D. Tresize, G. Davis and P. Eberhard Ronnie Martin Award for best Gross Score S. Conway, B. Farrow, S. Berry and J. Williams NAG Award for the worst score B. Perry, A. Fithal and M. Loader

A special award for “The Longest Drive” must go to Rob Kirk and his mate, who “drove” from Sydney for the day. Rob is a travel agent from ITalk Travel from Hornsby who donated approximately $2,500 in travel vouchers. Congratulations to all the winners and players on the day! Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors we were once again able to supply some fantastic prizes for the Monster Raffle and Silent Auction. This is where most of the money is collected on the day, with everyone in attendance digging deep into their wallets for the Camp Quality cause. I’m proud to announce that this year we presented Camp Quality with a cheque for $20,000! Thank you to: Elite Sponsors: Seeley International, Reece, RMC Valves, Onga / Pentair Pumps, Rheem Australia, A.V.G. Major Sponsors: Grundfos Pumps, ITalk Travel, Tradelink, Rinnai, Cooke & Dowsett Plumbing Intermediate Sponsors: Paltech, Hausler / John Deere, Samios Plumbing Supplies, Zip Industries, Xavier Hoopell, Camp Quality, L.W. Gemmell, Steeline Roofing, Roofrite Guttering Thanks you also to our Minor Sponsors on the day. A very big thank you to all of these sponsors, please support these when purchasing products for your next project.

As well as all of the above, it would be remiss of me not to thank those who put in the time and effort to organise and run the Golf Day. Firstly, I would like to thank the committee: Geoff and Helen Moroney, Phil and Marg Kelly, Brett and Jenny Crapper, and their families. These people put in countless hours preparing for and attending the day. Also a big thank you to the Camp Quality team, including Lee and Jo. Thank you to the many other helpers who made this day what it is.

The 25th Bendigo Plumbers Charity Golf day raised $20,000 for Camp Quality

Now for 2016, let’s make it an even bigger and better event.

Master Plumbers would like to give a big thank you to the Golf Day’s hard working event organisers: Geoff Moroney, Phil Kelly and Brett Crapper as well as their wives Helen, Marg and Jenny. It takes a lot of hard work to organise the day but all agree that the money raised to help kids in need is well worth the time and effort. | 11

member news Master Plumbers and Tradelink Business Breakfast Over 110 Master Plumber’s members and Tradelink customers gathered at ACMI, Federation Square to attend our third Business Leaders Forum bright and early on Monday, 14 September. Members were delighted to hear battle stories from Cricket legend and our MC for the morning Merv Hughes! Attendees heard from leading experts on new technologies and innovations. Speakers from simPRO Software, GreenCo Water, Commonwealth Bank, Viega and InSinkErator filled us in on the latest and greatest technologies from their organisations. At the event Ken Gardner, CEO of Master Plumbers said, “Our large membership represents a powerful and reputable group and we lobby on behalf of our members to protect and effect change to the industry and in support of various plumbing,

Congratulations to our Door Prize winners! Nick Maggio, City Edge Plumbing, won a GreenCo Water PAK FLAT Tank, proudly sponsored by our Corporate Partners GreenCo Water. Phillip Merambeliotis, Liquid Vision, won an InSinkErator, proudly sponsored by our Corporate Partners InSinkErator.

business and environmental recommendations. We want to ensure the success of our members’ businesses and the future of the plumbing industry by providing members with what they need to stay ahead: advice knowledge and support. It is vital our members keep up to date with new and emerging technologies in our industry.” A special thank you to Tradelink who make these events possible. We are very proud to have Tradelink as our Platinum Partner for 2015/2016.

Our last Business Leaders Forum Breakfast for 2015 was held on Monday, 16 November. Check out the next issue of API for highlights form the event.

Rafael Diaz, Hot Flush Plumbing, won two Big Blue Buckets and a Stanley Tool bag, proudly sponsored by our Platinum Partner Tradelink. | 13

member news

Welcome New Members

2016 PICAC Training Schedule out now! Victorian readers will have received their copy of the January–June 2016 PICAC Training Schedule with this issue of Australian Plumbing Industry magazine. The schedule includes information and dates for the full range of courses throughout the first half of 2016.

Victorian readers will have received their copy of the PICAC Training Schedule with this issue.

Keeping your Christmas party safe End of year workplace parties and celebrations are regarded as an extension of Have a safe the workplace. and happy As an employer, you are festive required to take reasonable season! steps to ensure duty of care to Workplace Health and Safety. Consider the following when planning your Christmas event:

Remind staff about standards of acceptable behaviour prior to the event (e.g. gifts, jokes, language) and their responsibilities to other employees and family members. Hold the event away from the workplace and limit the length.

Master Plumbers welcomes the following new members, affiliates and corporate partners who have joined the Association since September 2015. MCR Plumbing Pty Ltd The Trustee for the Doueal Family Trust Fixed Gas & Electrical Services Specialised Cladding and Roofing PLUMB FX Pty Ltd Melbourne Plumbing Group Fringe Mechanical Services Pty Ltd

Ensure there is a responsible person who can monitor the hazards and responsible alcohol levels.

Above and Below Plumbing and Drainage Contractors Pty Ltd

Where alcohol is provided, always supply food and low or non-alcoholic beverages.

Clear Water Plumbing and Constructions

Consider how employees will get home safely.

Vasey Investments Pty Ltd

Samios Plumbing Supplies

Plumberman Pat Pty Ltd

All State Plumbing and Maintenance Pty Ltd Griepink & Ward Airconditioning Dunny Boy Plumbing

2016 Wall Planner out now Members will have received a copy of the 2016 Master Plumbers wall planner with this issue.

If you require additional copies of the wall planner, please email

It highlights the key dates for 2016 including Victorian RDOs and public holidays.

You can also view RDO and public holiday dates in the workplace relations area of our website,

Get the right apprentice for your business‌

MKS Plumbing VIC Pty Ltd Shaun Foster Plumbing

You only pay for the days they are working

Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria (the Master Plumbers group training scheme) has 1st to 4th year apprentices available, offering a cost effective and convenient solution to help grow your business. You only pay for the apprentice for the days they are working for you so there is no direct cost for holidays, trade school or sick leave. Master Plumbers Members

14 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

get a discount of 2.5% on hire and an extra 2.5% discount if they pay within seven days.

For more information call: Pancho Grech 0418 562 604 Andrew Delidakis 0425 770 013 Jeff Rowden 0438 287 491

Upgrade your skills, not just your tools. Do you know your thermistors from your thermostats? Your solenoids from your sensors? Here’s your chance to get ahead of the pack by brushing up on your skills through the Rinnai Training Program. Get the competitive edge and learn new skills, including hands on experience with Rinnai hot water systems. Visit to register.

member news News from Master Plumbers Tasmania Welcome Tassie members to our last issue of 2015! We have had an extremely busy year and work is increasing, particularly in the commercial area. MPAT has worked closely with all levels of Government to ensure that our voice is heard. Currently on the agenda are discussions with Skills Tas regarding our plumbing apprenticeship, the Tasmanian Building and Construction Industry Training Board (TBCITB) for training funding and Consumer Building and Occupational Services (CBOS) regarding the Tasmanian Building Regulatory Framework. As part of the later, we have successfully gained seed funding to assist us in the design and implementation of a system for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for plumbers in Tasmania and we will be seeking your input throughout the process to ensure that you get quality and meaningful CPD. We have also changed our governance structure to become an Incorporated Association under the Associations Incorporations Act 1964. This change has enabled us to operate more efficiently and effectively with regard to day to day business operations, while at the same time affording greater protection of our Association. Additionally, we have introduced a sub brand for the Association, Master Roofers Tasmania. Too often we find that consumers do not know about the role of a roof plumber and the technical qualifications involved, so it’s our job to promote and market our roofing and cladding members so that the public can have confidence when they choose a Master Roofer.

I would like to thank all MPAT members for their ongoing support of our Association and the Tasmanian plumbing industry as a whole, and it is this support that brings credibility and integrity to the Association and positions us well to take full advantage of business and industry opportunities. In particular I would like to thank the Board of Management who have dedicated immeasurable time and resources into governing the Association and representing our plumbing industry at the highest possible level. Our Board as of 15 March 2015 comprises:

Vice President: John Roberts, Independent Roofing Services Treasurer: Kaylee Coppleman, Skyline Roofing and Sheetmetal Pty Ltd Board Members: Andrew Cure – Palmers Plumbing & Hardware Pty Ltd, Anthony Balik – Twentieth Century Plumbing Pty Ltd, Robert Pearshouse – Rosetta Plumbing Pty Ltd, Ken Greig – Newmans Plumbing and Josh Drew – Tas Gas Link.

Our greatest appreciation goes to our Associate Members and Industry Supporters: Argus Agencies


Crane Enfield Metals Pty Ltd

Milwaukee Power Tools

Crisp Ikin Agencies

Palram Pty Ltd

CSA Alloy Wheels

Reece Pty Ltd Plumbing Centres

CSR Bradford Insulation

RM Daniels and Co Pty Ltd

Derwent Park Plumbing Supplies





Stramit Industries


Tas Gas Retail Pty Ltd

Fletcher Insulation


Fuji Xerox Business Centre Tasmania


Get Real Work Wear


Grundfos Pumps

Tradelink Plumbing Supplies

GWA Bathrooms and Kitchens

Vacuum Toilets Australia

Hudson Civil Pty Ltd

Water Industry Solutions

JobNet Tasmania Inc. To all that make up Team MPAT have a safe and wonderful Christmas and New Year and we look forward to working with you in 2016.

Angela Ayling Executive Officer

16 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

President: Michael Overeem, Overeem Gas & Plumbing

Winter Retreat 2015!

Good times were had by all at our Port Arthur Winter Retreat which started off with a fabulous dinner (sponsored by Crisp Ikin Agencies, Enware, and Samios) where long standing Board Member Steven Thomson was presented with an award acknowledging his dedication and service to MPAT. President Michael Overeem presents Steven Thomson with his award for service to MPAT. Phil Dewis, Crisp Ikin Agencies, gave an insightful presentation on the Enware range which was well received and apparently warranted further drinking. Dinner was followed by a ghost tour that, let’s just say, spooked a couple of our daredevils. Saturday concluded with a little strategic planning and discussion around industry issues.

Update on building framework review

Dale Webster, General Manager, Consumer Building and Occupational Services Over the last 18 months we’ve been conducting a review of the Tasmanian Building Regulatory Framework to ensure that legislation governing this sector remains relevant, efficient, cost effective to administer and responsive to change. Following significant consultation with people in the industry, and those affected by it, we’re proposing the following changes: • A new Building Act linking the building and plumbing approval process to the level of risk; • An amended Occupational Licensing Act consolidating licensing of building practitioners with other high-risk occupations in the building and construction industry such as electricians, plumbers and gas-fitters; In the proposals we are going forward with Councils will continue to issue building and plumbing permits, but there will be some changes to the types of work those permits cover. That means an ongoing role for Permit Authorities, with increased emphasis on their oversight of higher risk work. We propose that some lower risk work will no longer require permits. Instead the building surveyor or permit authorityplumbing will authorise work to start, and provide the appropriate documentation and filing fee to the Council.

Closer look

MPAT Affiliate Members

Crisp Ikin Agencies – A Tasmanian Tradition Crisp Ikin Agencies (CIA) has been a long term Associate Member of MPAT and was established in 1982 by Tony and Julie Ikin. The business has grown to become Tasmania’s leading manufacturer’s agent specialising in the supply of products to the plumbing and building industry. CIA represents market leading brands such as Ram Tapware, Harbic Brassware, Rinnai, Abey, Gessi, Barazza, Armando Vicario, Insinkerator, Reln Plastics, Aymroo, Kembla Copper, Ridgid, Bostik, Tumbleweed, Artusi, De Dietrich, Ilve and Enware. CIA also has its own CIA Bathrooms brand, incorporating toilet suites, vanity basins, vanity units, bathroom furniture, shower enclosures, free standing baths, designer mirrors, and laundry trough and cabinets. CIA welcomes visits to its stunning new showroom (by appointment only), to view, touch and feel the wonderful product selection we have on display. CIA aims to please the most discerning Architect, Building Designer, Builder or Home Renovator looking for cutting edge designer products with a distinctive point of difference. For further information and to download CIA’s latest catalogue visit

The Permit Authority role may become licensed, with greater support and training from Government to ensure a consistent approach to building and plumbing approvals across the State. Existing staff will be transitioned into the new system over a period of time. Exposure drafts of these two Bills will be available for comment from November 2015 at | 17

industry news Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre news

World Plumbing Day 2016 The 2016 World Plumbing Day (WPD) event to be held at the PICAC on Friday 11 March 2016, is just around the corner. Following a very successful event this year, PICAC is looking to make next year’s event even bigger and better. In support of WPD, PICAC conducts a number of significant activities and events to; • Promote the vital role plumbing plays in societal health and wellbeing. • Increase awareness of PICAC and our commitment to skills and education excellence. • Further position PICAC as an industry leader. The event will consist of: Plumbing Apprentice Skills Competition and Sprinkler Fitting Apprentice Skills Competition – The day kicks off with leading apprentices from across Victoria competing and

displaying their skills and knowledge of plumbing, mechanical services and fire protection in a practical demonstration. The finalists are eligible for selection to represent PICAC and Australia at the United Association International Apprentice Skills Contest in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Plumbing Trades Expo – Organisations set up informative displays of industry innovations, cutting edge products and sustainable solutions for guests. This is an excellent place for sponsors and guests to network, learn about new technologies and gain important information about the industry.

Industry Forum – Industry Stakeholders attended a forum with speakers focusing on issues affecting the plumbing industry today. Previous speakers include – The Honourable Richard Wynne, Minister for Planning, The Honourable Steven Herbert, Minister for Training and Peter Tighe, Chief Executive Officer, Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency.

Sponsors are being sought for the event with a range of sponsorship levels available. This Industry Day is an excellent opportunity for suppliers and manufacturers to make real connections with the tradespeople who use and rely on their products every day. If you or your organisation is interested in being a part of WPD 2016, please contact or for more information on last year’s event, visit

Victorian Training Awards success PICAC was awarded the 2015 Victorian Training Award for Small Training Provider of the Year on Friday, 28 August, at the Victorian Training Awards Presentation Ceremony held at Crown Palladium. The Victorian Department of Training and Education hosted nominees ranging from Apprentices, Trainees, VET Teachers, Small and Large Training Providers and Employers at the gala, dedicated to highlighting outstanding achievers from the Training sector. PICAC was a finalist for both Small Training Provider of the Year and Industry

18 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

Collaboration of the Year. The award received is recognition for the high standard of training delivered at the Centre, which has been made possible with the support of partner organisations the Plumbing Trades Employees Union, Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia, National Fire Industry Association and Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors’ Association of Victoria.

Since its inception, the objective for PICAC has been to provide world class training to the critical, highly skilled trade of plumbing. Training at PICAC is available to plumbing industry participants throughout their career lifecycle. From its beginnings in water and energy efficiency training, PICAC has rapidly grown and evolved to become the preferred training provider amongst both plumbers and employers. As winner of the Victorian Small Training Provider of the Year award, PICAC was automatically nominated for the National Small Training Provider of the Year title at the Australian Training Awards, held in Hobart on Thursday, 19 November 2015.

Not all water heaters are created equal.

Only Rheem features the REAL difference. Rheem ‘491/492’ series 250L, 315L & 400L electric water heaters feature REAL enhancements like commercial grade enamel, thicker anodes and a redesigned cylinder top for a stronger, more durable product. All backed by a 10 year cylinder warranty and Rheem’s 75 years of local engineering and manufacturing experience. For more information, visit or call 132 552.



industry news World Plumbing Council (WPC) honours WorldSkills Competitors and Experts The 2015 WorldSkills competition was held from the 11-16 August in São Paulo, Brazil and attracted competitors and industry representatives from around the world. It was the 43rd WorldSkills competition to be held and the first to be hosted in Latin America. With 62 countries and regions participating, this year’s event was a wonderful success. Over four days, 1,189 competitors put their skills to the test in what is widely recognised as the greatest vocational education and skills excellence competition in the world. With competitions ranging from bricklaying and carpentry to floristry and bakery, participants – who were selected as the best of their peers, showcased high levels of skills and determination throughout the competition. In addition to hosting 50 skills competitions, the event also included the WorldSkills Conference which brought together the leaders of today and tomorrow, providing excellent opportunities to network and address current global skills issues. The WPC had a number of representatives at both the competition and conference, as well as hosting a dinner for WorldSkills Plumbing and Heating Experts.

20 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

The biannual WPC/Worldskills Plumbing and Heating medallion presentation took place soon after the completion of competition at Worldskills São Paulo 2015. Simon Bartley, Worldskills Chairman and David Hoey, Worldskills CEO, were joined by Shayne La Combre, WPC Deputy Chairman in commending all of the WorldSkills Competitors and Experts on their outstanding efforts, which helped make the 2015 Event such a great success. Shayne, on behalf of the WPC, also had the honour of presenting medals to all 27 competitors and experts that participated in the Plumbing and Heating competitions.

While all competitors ensured a very high standard in the Plumbing and Heating competition, it was Gary Doyle (United Kingdom) and Nathanael Liebergeld (Germany) who were joint winners of the Gold medal. There was a three-way tie for Bronze between Raphaël Paugois (France), Dylan Di Martino (Australia) and Ryuji Shimizu (Japan). Medallions for Excellence were awarded to competitors from a further 12 countries. The 2015 WorldSkills event in Brazil was a resounding success and we look forward to the next WorldSkills to be held in Abu Dhabi in 2017.

45 per cent of Australians will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime

Aussie success in USA

Tradies handover $77k for Mental Health

Congratulations and welcome home our two Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria apprentices, Calan Haydon and Liam Minogue, who represented PICAC and Australia at the United Association International Apprentice Skills Competition in Ann Arbor, Michigan in August.

Congratulations to Laser Plumbing and Electrical who presented beyondblue with a cheque for $77,479.63 in early September, as a result of ongoing work by the group to raise both funds and awareness for beyondblue and the importance of having good mental health in the workplace.

The competition is regarded as one of the toughest in the trade – bringing together the top apprentices from across the US, Australia, Canada and Ireland. Feedback from the event was that our representatives were standouts in the competition. The boys did Australia proud with not only their technical skills and ability, but also the way they carried themselves throughout the week, ensuring they were respectful to our hosts and to competitors. While Liam and Calan didn’t take out top awards, they placed highly in the competition. The apprentices for next year’s competition will be selected following the PICAC World Plumbing Day Apprentice Skills competition, with all finalists in the running to represent the Centre and Australia in the US for 2016.

Encompassing over 1,500 plumbers and electricians with Members located throughout Australia, Laser Group is aware that many of the people who make up the business fit into the categories most affected by depression and anxiety.

Heads Up is all about giving individuals and businesses free tools and resources to take action. It’s fast, free and keeps you up-to-date with the latest developments in workplace mental health visit to find out more.

Training for over six months, Members from the Laser Group walked the Kokoda Track from June 19 to 28 and included staff from the Group’s National Support Office including Managing Director, Steve Keil. With the Laser Group raising over $125,000 for beyondblue in 2014, Keil is passionate about the work that beyondblue does and ensuring the Laser Group Members have the information they need to assist with Mental Health in the workplace. “We know that around 45 per cent of Australians will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime. Construction workers are also more than twice as likely to suicide as other people in Australia. That’s our workplace and we’re not happy about the numbers, so we’re doing what we can to raise funds and awareness by supporting beyondblue.” | 21

industry news An inspiring beginning Reece announces recipients of the Reece Grant, helping three plumbers on their mission to improve water supply and sanitation for communities in need. Reece has granted three inspiring Australian tradies a total of $25,000 to kick-start three international projects that are set to improve sanitation and hygiene facilities in underprivileged communities. With more than 750 million people around the world not having access to clean water, there has never been a better time for plumbers to put their skills to good use in helping bring sanitation into the developing world.

According to Reece, the inaugural Reece Grant not only supports the plumbers willing to give up their holidays to help those in need, it highlights the significant impact plumbers have on these communities – from stopping spread of disease, to increasing the retention rate in schools. Reece Grant recipient Justin Morris has been awarded $15,000, while additional grant recipients James Millis and Timothy Brideson have each been granted $5,000 for their projects in India, East Timor and the Philippines respectively, with the first assignment beginning this month. To follow Justin, James and Timothy’s Reece Grant journeys and receive up-to-date information, images and videos, visit

Register for the ABCB NCC Seminars 2016 Registrations for the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) 2016 National Construction Code (NCC) Seminar Series are now open. The seminars, running in February and March 2016, will be held in each Australian capital city and will provide valuable information to building and plumbing practitioners on the changes included in the National Construction Code 2016. The ABCB is planning to hold their Victorian seminars in Melbourne on 16 and 17 March 2016. It should be noted that the NCC will now only be updated once every three years, so this seminar series is expected to fill up fast. To register for a seminar or find out more visit

Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants providing a helping hand To reward dedicated future plumbers of all kinds, Rheem Australia’s 2015 Apprentice Plumber Grants program has provided a $1,000 helping hand to some 25 apprentice plumbers, including two young women and a number of mature age plumbers – one of whom is aged 64! “We always receive a huge number of amazing entries, which makes choosing the final recipients very difficult indeed,” says Matt Sexton, CEO of Rheem Australia. “This year was no exception. Our grants program encourages not just young people starting out, but also those attempting to restart their careers. The high level of ambition and dedication shown by the entrants impressed judges Jon Palfrey, Training Manager with Rheem; Bryan Ornsby, Manager Plumbing and Water Industries Department Chisholm Institute; and Peter Jensen, Managing Director of Worboys Plumbing in Melbourne. The judges were particularly on the lookout for any apprentices who showed generosity within the community, or strong determination to succeed. 22 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

“We had a number of applicants with fantastic community spirit, plus some mature age apprentices who kept their heads up despite being made redundant a number of times, a number who have young families to provide for, and plenty of youngsters who have made big sacrifices to better themselves for the long term,” says Jon Palfrey. Adds Peter Jensen: “It is a good thing that Rheem provides encouragement and support to these men and women in the plumbing industry.” Since the Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grant program was launched in 2012, 150 apprentice plumbers have now benefitted. The full list of this year’s winners can be found on the


PV + Heatpump = Optimum efficiency The Bosch e.Control optimises the use of solar energy by automating the Bosch Heat Pump heating times to coincide with PV energy generation. The e.Control networks excess power into stored hot water, maximising self-generated energy use while minimising water heating running costs.

Contact Bosch Power Tec (03) 9541 7048

Contact Bosch Hot Water & Heating 1300 30 70 37

The future of plumbing: NUDJ Amanda Ogilvie talks with Scott Dowsett who has over 24 years’ experience in the commercial plumbing industry. As his business has grown, so has the desire to give back to the community, through NUDJ Plumbing.

Scott Dowsett is a man with a mission. The tagline for the plumbing contracting company he is founder and co-owner of, Cooke & Dowsett Pty Ltd, says it all: “the future and strength of plumbing”. Nowhere is this passion for the future of plumbing more evident than when Scott talks about his company’s involvement with NUDJ plumbing. NUDJ plumbing is a cooperative venture formed by a partnership between four organisations: Nirrumbuk Aboriginal Corporation, the Plumbing Trades Employees Union (PTEU), Cooke & Dowsett Pty Ltd, and the Jarlmadangah Burru Aboriginal Corporation. A plumbing contracting company located in Broome, WA, it evolved out of a Plumbing Union Indigenous Apprenticeship program established in 2004 to sponsor Indigenous youth to train and gain qualifications in the plumbing trades. In total, 35 Indigenous apprentices have graduated from the combined programs. In 2008, Scott learned about the problem of Indigenous apprentices who’d completed their apprenticeships with Melbourne plumbing businesses, but were unable to find work in their homeland in the remote Kimberley region communities and were forced to remain living and working in Melbourne. In typical fashion, when confronted with a problem, Scott went looking for a solution, and the NUDJ partnership was the result. The company was originally formed to give newly-qualified Indigenous plumbers employment closer to their communities, rather than them having to stay in a capital city to work. Since its establishment, NUDJ has evolved to the extent that apprentices are now recruited, trained and employed locally.

24 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

Scott says, “All apprentices employed directly by NUDJ currently train at the MPA, the Master Plumbers Training School, in Perth, WA, most commonly on two week blocks, with the cost of travel, accommodation and Living Away From Home Allowances all paid by the company. Training is also provided in Melbourne, through the master plumbers at PICAC, whenever there is an opportunity to do so. On occasions and if the work in progress requires it, we have the chance to host Indigenous apprentices from the PTEU in Melbourne.”

Piping the dream NUDJ provides employment opportunities for graduates of the Indigenous apprentice program to live and work in their own communities. The establishment of NUDJ goes beyond combating homesickness and creating jobs; there is a very real benefit to the communities in terms of improved water and sanitation services, reduced dependence on welfare and the associated benefits of generating business for other local contractors and companies. Scott is proud of these achievements. “NUDJ has assisted five Apprentices graduate through the Indigenous Apprenticeship Program. Many of these have transitioned from apprenticeships into qualified plumbers through the

NUDJ program. This includes the first Indigenous female plumber, Tehani Mahony, who now works for NUDJ. Currently there are three apprentices still in training, two of them 1st year, and the other a 3rd year. Jesse Young, who graduated out of the first apprentice group, is now employed by Cooke & Dowsett in Darwin.”

Mentoring success While some trades around the country are struggling to attract and retain apprentices, this is not the case with NUDJ. Scott explains that in the early days of the program they could take any eligible youth who applied or was put forward by a community recommendation. But for some, it proved a struggle. “Some of these kids couldn’t read or write, they’d never been away from their communities. They’d go home for a visit and just never come back.” In response, the decision was made to implement basic selection criteria. Scott adds, “We decided to elevate recruitment to ensure candidates had the basic capability, which improved the graduation and retention rates.” “At least 75 per cent of these graduates have continued working with NUDJ and have progressed further in their development including Ethan Corpus, who has now taken on the role as the Manager of NUDJ, and Michael Pigram, who has progressed into a supervisory role.”

The success of the program is basically a result of direct mentoring and financial support and commitment from the key stakeholders

“One graduate, Jeremiah Green, has returned to his community – Looma, some 300kms from Broome – but has been engaged through NUDJ to work on new housing constructions currently being developed in his home community.” “Tehani, the first female Indigenous plumber to complete her apprenticeship, is currently working in admin whilst pregnant with her second baby and Mick Pigram remains our number one plumber in a leading hand role as plumber and mentor.” Scott attributes the continued success of NUDJ to commitment. He says, “It’s the combined commitment to educating and mentoring Indigenous youth, creating opportunities and maintaining guidance for the betterment of the kids involved in our program.” “The success of the program is basically a result of direct mentoring and financial support and commitment from the key stakeholders. This has enabled direct support to the apprentices to apply their trade in areas that will assist them to complete their apprenticeships.” “The progression and growth of successful candidates, who become role models, helps in attracting other apprentices.

This provides the inspiration for others to take the same pathway toward success and independence that is created through completing a plumbing trade.” Scott is aware of the potential for this type of partnership supported apprenticeship model to be applied by other companies in the plumbing industry and beyond. “The NUDJ model could be applied to a number of other industries including being extended to the wider community. The model is underpinned by the commitment of the key stakeholders, and in particular through understanding that there are a number of barriers and challenges that require working through. It takes a certain level of understanding and commitment to work through these issues and the acceptance that some things may not work out.” Indigenous youth in remote communities are amongst the most marginalised and disadvantaged groups in Australia. A model that successfully offers training and employment opportunities for Indigenous youth has obvious potential for adaption in other groups who may struggle to find employment, such as people with a disability, or mature age people who need to retrain or return to the workforce.

The Future of Plumbing Scott would relish the opportunity to extend the benefits of this program to others, and he’d also like to see NUDJ recognised and supported. “NUDJ is a not-for profit contracting company operating in the commercial plumbing market. We have to compete with other companies who have lower costs, and with subcontractors. There are a lot of additional costs associated with running NUDJ due to the level of support we offer employees with further training and recognition of their successes. For instance recently, one of our staff, Ethan, was nominated for an award; we wanted to enable him to attend, so the costs for him to go to the awards presentation are an additional expense.” Scott is matter of fact that this is simply the reality of doing business within a supportive culture. While he’d welcome additional outside support, he isn’t about to change the way NUDJ operates. “It is very gratifying watching and helping them grow with their achievements. More businesses should try it. There are definitely many aspects within the NUDJ model that could be applied to other industries for the mutual benefit of employers and employees.”

Amanda Ogilvie is the Communications Officer for the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s “Biz Better Together” productivity initiative: When employers and employees work together, business is better. Join the conversation @BizBT | 25

P lu m b i n g a n d F i re I n d u s t ry Awa r d s 2 0 1 5

State’s top plumbers and sprinkler fitters honoured at the

Eleven of Victoria’s top plumbers and fire protection professionals were recognised for their achievements and contribution to the industry at a gala event in Melbourne on Saturday, 10 October. The inaugural Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards – organised by key industry stakeholders; the Master Plumbers, the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC), the Plumbing Trades Employees Union (PTEU) and the National Fire Industry Association (NFIA) – brought together the plumbing and fire industries to recognise excellence in the training and achievements of individuals in the field. The Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards recognised plumbers and fire industry professionals at various stages of their career, across a range of disciplines – highlighting female professionals, apprentices and indigenous workers. More than 350 industry members attended the event. The MC for the evening was Jimeoin, the very funny Irish-turned-Australian comedian, who had the audience laughing from start to end.

26 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

Before the business of the Award ceremony began, guests were addressed by two very special guests – the Leader of the Federal Opposition the Honourable Bill Shorten MP and William P. Hite, the President of the United Association. Mr Shorten spoke of the importance of skills and innovation, and noted the great work of the Plumbing Industry in developing PICAC and playing a key part in fostering the next generation of skilled working Australians. Mr Hite, visiting Australia with a UA delegation, continued the theme, expanding on the links between skills development and prosperity, and between knowledge sharing and finding more efficient ways to manage increasingly scarce water. Ken Gardner, Chief Executive Officer of Master Plumbers, said the program was an important new initiative for plumbing in Victoria – an industry that contributes significantly to the State’s economy.

“We’re proud to have joined forces with our industry partners to deliver these awards, which highlight the importance of safe, healthy and sustainable practice across the industry,” Mr Gardner said. “It’s great to have an awards program that recognises excellence in the industry – not only among seasoned professionals, but also among up and coming Apprentices. “By promoting the benefits of best practice, we hope to inspire innovative business activity that will help grow and shape the industry in coming years.”

Congratulations to all winners and finalists William P. Hite Leadership Excellence Award, sponsored by PICAC

A special thank you to the many sponsors who made the event possible


Platinum: The City of Melbourne, Tradelink, CBUS, ANTEC, PICAC, Incolink, Energy Safe Victoria, Raw Recruitment, AG Coombs, InSinkErator, simPRO Software, Reece, and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers


Gold: Victorian Building Authority Silver: IAPMO Oceana, Windsor Management Insurance Brokers, Fire Mate Software and NSG Plumbing

Carmel Coate

NFIA Apprentice Award, sponsored by ANTEC James Flynn Fire Fighting Systems


Indigenous Professional Award sponsored by RAW Recruitment


Malcolm Dow RAW Recruitment



Ethan Corpus Cooke & Dowsett


Christopher Giblin PTEU




Matthew Gipp Cooke & Dowsett Greg Keyte CDC Plumbing

The Rose Curtis Award, sponsored by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Winner



Karly Tapner-Gillies Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria

The Frank Maskell General Plumbing Award, sponsored by Reece Rory Hambrook Roofrite Guttering and Roofing Systems



Lewis Chapman Chapman Plumbing

Fire Protection Professional Award sponsored by the NFIA Haysam Mohtadi Automatic Fire


Project of the Year Award, sponsored by CBUS Winner

Leighton Noakes Foster Heating


Kimberley Smyth Hey Sista Plumbing

Mark Thistlewhite Auscool Mechanical

Cooke & Dowsett Pty Ltd

James Dickinson D & E Airconditioning

Mark Thistlewhite Auscool Mechanical



Carla Piscitello Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria

Sustainable Professional Award, sponsored by InSinkErator and simPRO

Vaughan White Hamilton Fire Protection

The AG Coombs Mechanical Services Award, sponsored by AG Coombs

Occupational Health and Safety Award sponsored by Incolink Winner

Patrick Buckley Contract Fire


Tim Howsen Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria Cameron Barr Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria

The NA Smith Gas Award, sponsored by Energy Safe Victoria Winner



Aaron Bridger Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria Ben Hiam Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria Narith Ung Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria

Andrew Letten Master Plumbers Gold Medal Award, sponsored by Tradelink Winner


Aaron Bridger Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria James Dickinson D & E Airconditioning

Rory Hambrook Roofrite Guttering and Roofing Systems

Finalist | 27

P lu m b i n g a n d F i re I n d u s t ry Awa r d s 2 0 1 5

Award Winners

Carmel Coate

Bendigo Hospital, Cooke & Dowsett

Malcolm Dow, RAW Recruitment

William P. Hite Leadership Excellence Award

Project of the Year

Indigenous Professional Award

Proudly Sponsored By Cbus

Proudly sponsored by RAW Recruitment

The Bendigo Hospital Project is a multi-million dollar construction that will deliver a world class regional hospital incorporating the latest design and technology solutions. The project is split up into two stages and four precincts, with concurrent works and refurbishments all contained within a live working hospital grounds environment.

“Until I began my plumbing apprenticeship at age 29, I never had a trade or a long-term career goal. I was looking for something different that could set me up for the future to support my family, and a career in plumbing ticked those boxes. Before I started my Apprenticeship, I thought plumbing was just about water. Now I’ve learnt that plumbing is really important for the health of whole communities. I enjoy the discipline of it – I know I can’t be half-hearted in the work that I do as a plumber, and I love that I never stop learning.”

Proudly Sponsored by PICAC

The William P. Hite Leadership Excellence Award is the highest honour awarded by the plumbing and fire protection industries. The Award, presented by Mr Hite himself, recognises a leader within the industry whose efforts make a real difference for the benefit of all, and Carmel’s dedication to the plumbing and fire protection industries for over three decades make her a very worthy winner. Carmel, who is universally well regarded and admired for her dedication to the fire protection industry and her passion for high quality training, is the Executive Director for the National Fire Industry Association, and has been involved in the setting of Fire Protection Standards since 1999. Carmel is also a Director of Rocarm Pty Ltd, the Plumbing Joint Training Fund and the Indigenous Plumbing and Sanitation Foundation. Carmel is Chair of Fire Industry Training Pty Ltd (a Registered Training Organisation) and the current Deputy Chair of the Victorian Building Authority Plumbing Advisory Committee.

Cooke and Dowsett’s (C&D) scope of work for the Bendigo Hospital Project has included all hydraulics service systems, designed and installed to meet Bendigo Hospital’s peak demand requirements. There is a heavy focus on energy efficiency and sustainability for the completed project, with considerations including: • Maximised utilisation of gravity to reduce energy supply to pumps and plant, including a fully gravity fed sewer system to the basement of the building • Reduction in potable water use to achieve water usage targets • Domestic hot water system heated primarily using waste heat from tri-generation plant, with any extra energy requirements supplied via natural gas as opposed to brown coal • Utilisation of variable speed drives to respond to facility demand on all pressurisation and circulation pumps • Utilisation of a siphon roof drainage system, resulting in significantly less pipework to be installed and greater potential for rainwater capture.

28 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

Chris Giblin, PTEU

Karly Tapner-Gillies, Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria

Mark Thistlewhite, Auscool Mechanical

Occupational Health and Safety Award

The Rose Curtis Award

Sustainable Professional Award

Proudly sponsored by Incolink

Proudly sponsored by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

Proudly sponsored by InSinkErator and simPRO

“Having been raised on a farm, I understood from an early age the need for clean, fresh water. When I was young, I worked repairing windmills with my father, and my interest in plumbing grew from that. Working as a Safety Officer of the Plumbing Trades Employees Union, I have the opportunity to positively influence the work practices of our contractors and members. This helps contribute to safer outcomes for the entire industry.”

“I knew I wanted to be a tradesperson, and plumbing stuck out to me because it was a well-respected trade that’s always developing, and one that’s recognised worldwide. I don’t think many young girls know about the opportunities that exist in a plumbing career, or how welcoming the industry is. It keeps the brain ticking and it’s financially stable – it’s a great career for anyone.”

“I was first introduced to plumbing circa 1976 when, as an eight-year-old boy, I watched a plumber fix a frozen lead pipe. I always wanted to be a plumber. In 2011, I pursued my dream. Communities need to be made more aware of the advantages of sustainability, and as tradespeople, we need to take opportunities to use – and advise clients about – more sustainable options.” | 29

P lu m b i n g a n d F i re I n d u s t ry Awa r d s 2 0 1 5

Award Winners continued

Haysam Mohtadi, Automatic Fire

James Flynn, Fire Fighting Systems

James Dickenson, D & E Airconditioning

Fire Protection Professional Award

NFIA Apprentice Award

AG Coombs Mechanical Services Award

Proudly sponsored by NFIA

Proudly Sponsored by ANTEC

Proudly sponsored by AG Coombs

“I pursued a fire protection career because I was looking for something that would bring benefit to both myself and my community. Every person who enters a building has the right and an expectation to leave that building without being harmed. It is imperative that the fire industry owns its training… Skills need to be reviewed, revised and reconfirmed to ensure that world leading [work is] delivered to the Victorian community. I have worked with Fire Industry Training to ensure the Cert III in Fire Protection is relevant to industry users, and with the Victorian Building Authority on examinations and practitioner assessment.”

“While working as a plumber’s labourer, I developed a great interest in the fire industry. I fell in love with the idea that the work that is put into fire protection is put into place to protect people’s lives. Fire protection has become a passion for me, and I’m always keen to learn more about it. After gaining some more knowledge of the industry, I’d like to move into a safety role with the Plumbers Union. I have become very interested in making sure people are safe when at work.”

“After successfully completing an Apprenticeship in Automotive Electrics, I found myself in a mundane job with not many challenges and career prospects. I have always enjoyed working with my hands and building things, so when an opportunity came up to undertake a plumbing apprenticeship, I jumped at the chance. I have always admired the plumbing skills of my Grandfather and he has looked on proudly as I have undertaken my plumbing apprenticeship.”

30 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

For more photos from the night visit our Facebook page ‘Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards’

Congratulations to all winners and finalists, we are already looking forward to next year’s entries and events

Rory Hambrrok, Roofrite Guttering and Roofing Systems

Aaron Bridger, Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria

Frank Maskell General Plumbing Award

NA Smith Gas Award

Proudly sponsored by Reece

Proudly sponsored by Energy Safe Victoria

“Being a plumber is an amazing career choice for anyone – it’s a stable job, you get to work outside and meet great people, and there’s never a lack of variety in the work that you do. Roof plumbing is a rewarding job, as the majority of your work is seen not only by yourself, but also by the client. You really get to appreciate the time and effort you’ve put into your work.”

The event raised over $6,000 for the Indigenous Plumbing and Sanitation Foundation through raffle ticket sales and a silent auction.


Andrew Letten Master Plumbers Gold Medal Award Proudly sponsored by Tradelink

“Working with my father from a young age, I always thought plumbing was the right career choice for me. I’ve always enjoyed the work – the hands on aspects and the technical skill involved. It is a trade I am not only passionate about, but one that also has potential for career growth. Without clean drinking water and correct waste management, there is any number of diseases that people may find themselves susceptible to. Correctly designed and installed plumbing can eliminate these risks.” | 31

Register and turn your Plasson Control Box into the ultimate welding machine with our new Smartphone App. Features of the Free Upgrade Smartphone control of your box, with no mobile network coverage needed


Improved quality control with guided welding process and photo capture of crucial steps (kept with the weld record) Data recording including physical location of each weld Ability to identify installer of each weld


Ability to weld all fittings*

To register visit

Smarter plumbing with Plasson.

*Monomatic Control Boxes will be limited to emergency welds of other fittings

For more information visit Or call 1300 PLASSON (1300 782 776)

Lyndon McDonald:

Plumbing for peace. Charlotte Roseby continues our ‘Plumber at War’ series, talking with Lyndon McDonald, who served as a plumber in the Army and was deployed to Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan. It’s said that an army runs on its stomach, but we know better: armies run on clean water. They need it for drinking water, food preparation; for showering, washing transport and equipment and – it seems so obvious once you think about it – an army needs plumbers to keep it all running. Plumbers serve in the Australian Army in Royal Australian Engineer Corps Construction Squadrons, performing advanced drainage, sanitary, water supply, roof plumbing, intermediate gas and mechanical work, as well as tasks associated with construction, repair and maintenance. They work alongside carpenters, electricians, plant operators and combat engineers. The Army has its own plumbing apprenticeship program, as well as recruiting qualified or partially qualified civilians.

We hazard a guess that Army plumbers are our fittest plumbers; they all start out by completing the “deliberately challenging” basic training common to all soldiers. The timetable lists subjects like weapon handling, marksmanship, swim test, stretcher carry, high wires, drill and field exercises, as well as (like every army movie you’ve ever seen) barracks inspections and haircuts. Lyndon McDonald, a young man from Cootamundra, was working in a plumbing supply shop in Canberra when he decided he was ready for a change. The Defence Force hadn’t been a long-held dream, but the chance to “do something different” was. He leapt at the chance when he was offered a plumbing apprenticeship with the Army.

Plumbing is non-existent; all their water has to be carried from wells or the river.

21 Construction Squadron

Afghanistan, take one

After his basic training in Wagga Wagga (NSW), Lyndon then proceeded to his specialised employment training: a plumbing course at Bonegilla (VIC) run by RMIT, combat engineer training at the School of Military Engineering, and civilian on-the-job training with various plumbing contractors throughout Sydney. He qualified and was posted to 21 Construction Squadron.

What were his first thoughts? “I thought it was a great opportunity,” says Lyndon. “Getting deployed overseas is what everyone wants to do – no-one turns it down. It’s what you’re trained to do – and what you’re working towards.”

Lyndon’s first deployment was in Australia, in the remote Northern Territory, as part of AACAP: the Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Programme, which delivers infrastructure projects to improve health and living standards in Aboriginal communities. It was a great experience, said Lyndon, in an amazing place. His squadron built four houses – and improved the potable water supply along the way. From there, it was a short hop to his next posting in Townsville as part of the 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment… and then came the big news for Lyndon. Next stop: Afghanistan.

Lyndon was deployed to Uruzgan, one of Afghanistan’s poorest, most isolated and least-developed provinces, whose people lived under the repressive rule of the Taliban. In Uruzgan, health and education were low priorities, women and girls were not allowed to go to school and, according to aid agency Save the Children, the province had some of the worst maternal and child health outcomes in the world. Lyndon arrived at the main Australian base in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan, in September 2007 as part of the Reconstruction Task Force: a combined Dutch and Australian force working together with the local populations to help restore essential infrastructure, provide security and in the long term, restore governance to the region. “My first impression was like taking a step back in time,” says Lyndon. “The landscape… the huge mountains of bare rock… the heat and dust. It looked barren to me. We got there and it was nearly 50 degrees.” Lyndon soon got used to the tough conditions. His role was to help build patrol bases (outpost compounds) for the use of Australians and their Afghan colleagues.

34 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

On the main base the construction teams were able to supply water to the troops from bores, wells and storage tanks. On the patrol bases, it was more primitive, says Lyndon. “You dig a hole for the toilet. Drinking water was out of bottles… But the local people don’t even have that. Plumbing is non-existent; all their water has to be carried from wells or the river.” “We would deploy ahead of the main body to get everything ready for the troops,” says Lyndon. They fitted out shipping containers to create toilet, shower and amenity blocks, which were then transported on the back of a truck to (even more) remote locations. “They were very challenging conditions, so preparation was the key… Once you’re out there, there would be no running to the shops to get something.” Some innovative plumbing solutions were required, says Lyndon. ”The plumbing rules and regulations in Afganistan are vastly different to Australia, so it was a real challenge to apply best practice to areas where they actually don’t exist!” Did he feel safe? Lyndon is circumspect. “We had a task to do, and we needed to do it as fast as possible. The less time on the ground, the better… We got shot at by rocket-propelled grenades, but the roadside bombs were the real danger. It felt much safer flying anywhere instead of travelling by road. Safety was something you would keep at the back of your mind.” While he was in Afghanistan Lyndon was promoted to Lance Corporal. He returned home after seven and a half months in Tarin Kowt.

“It was really valuable, being able to pass on what I’ve learned as a plumber to young Afghans.”

Interested in becoming part of an Army construction team?

Afghanistan, take two

Home, sweet home

The following year, in 2009, he was deployed to Afganistan again with the Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force. It was, he says, a nice surprise to be able to return. “I knew what to expect the second time around… I knew what I’d be getting for breakfast!”

Lyndon served another eight months in Afghanistan. He’s back home now, working for Ipswich City Council in Queensland as a civilian Plumbing Inspector. It’s a world away from Uruzgan, but Lyndon is enjoying the variety, getting out and about doing site inspections and planning approvals. He left the Australian Regular Army but recently returned to the Army Reserve as a plumber, serving with the newly formed 104 Construction Squadron at Ipswich.

This time, Lyndon became the main instructor at the Trade Training School, alongside carpentry and building instructors, giving local Afghan teenage boys practical skills to benefit their community. Lyndon instructed the boys in four weeks of practical, basic plumbing: water reticulation and fittings, waste reticulation and storage, and drainage. At the end of the course, each boy received a toolkit supplied by AusAID and the Trade Training School would invite local contractors to see the boys’ work and see what employment they could offer. About two-thirds of their teenage graduates found work in the Tarin Kowt construction industry, while others travelled to other provinces to work. “It was really valuable, being able to pass on what I’ve learned as a plumber to young Afghans – providing them employment opportunities within their community and to the long-term future of their country,” says Lyndon. “It was giving them an opportunity, but also keeping them out of trouble. It was hard for them… some boys had lost their entire families.” What was satisfying, says Lyndon, was that some of the first batch of students returned to become the instructors at the school, proof of the knock-on benefits of the program. “The learning went two ways. We learned about each other’s lives.”

Plumbers serve in the Royal Australian Engineer Corps, in both Construction Squadrons and Combat Engineer Regiments. Visit:

Save the Children are on frontlines around the world, delivering aid and development programs. You can support them by donating at:

The Army really was training for life, Lyndon says: “The skills and training I received have enabled me to excel as a plumbing inspector. I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I would recommend anyone interested in becoming a plumber to consider joining the Army.” “It was good to be home; I really missed my three kids. But it makes you really appreciate what we have here. In Uruzgan they live in fear, daily. We are so lucky to have the freedom to do what we like… and turn on the tap and get clean water.” In 2013 the last Australian troops left Uruzgan Province. A Save the Children program remained to improve the quality and use of basic health and education services. The program built 70 schools, trained 800 teachers and more than 300 health workers and nursed 7,000 malnourished children back to health.

Plumber at war Do you know of a plumber who served in the First World War, the Second World War, Afghanistan or Vietnam or any other conflict or peacekeeping mission? We are collecting stories of plumbers at war, and we would love to hear your story. Contact Elaine Mathews on 03 9321 0703 or | 35

The precious drop the quest for water in Bendigo Bendigo is a city that nearly wasn’t. Charlotte Roseby learns about the early struggle for clean water and decent plumbing to save the town.

36 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

The thriving city of Bendigo, in the very centre of Victoria, is built on gold. The area ended up with more than 5,000 gold mines, and has produced an amazing 22 million ounces of the stuff. This was one of the world’s richest goldfields, with more gold found in the region between 1850 and 1900 than anywhere else in the world. In the Gold Rush of the 1850s, tens of thousands of people flocked to the goldfields in and around Bendigo in the hope of making their fortunes – and, as you can see from the magnificent buildings still standing in this city, many did. But Bendigo’s early days were beleaguered by a serious lack of something just as precious: fresh water. It was an area so lacking in water six months of the year that, if gold had not been discovered, it probably would have stayed as a rural sheep run. “Bendigo wasn’t even meant to be here in this location,” says Bendigo Master Plumber Phil Kelly. If you look at a map of Victoria, you can see what he means. The inland town sits between two rivers – a long horse and cart journey to each. It is hotter and dryer than the other early settlements on Victoria’s coast; rain that looks like heading Bendigo’s way is sopped up by the Great Dividing Range. Extraordinary water engineering feats eventually piped water to Bendigo, but it took a 26-year struggle – with droughts, floods, bureaucracy, funding and technology – before Bendigo got its secure water supply and the plumbing it desperately needed. The story of Bendigo’s early quest for water is so important for us to remember, says Phil Kelly. It tells a powerful story about the value of water in Australia, the world’s driest inhabited continent. It reminds us of the vital role plumbing plays in health, hygiene and sanitation – maintaining our public health and the sustainability of our communities. Not many younger plumbers know about this amazing local history, but they should, says Phil. “It gets overlooked and the legacy is being lost.” “We’ve lost the appreciation of water. Now we just turn on the tap and expect clean water to be there,” says Phil. “Farmers still have a better understanding of how important water is because they have a better connection to it. But the young urbanite has lost the connection. It’s just accepted and it’s expected.” “If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going,” says Phil. And where we’re going, is a future in which rainfall is projected to decline in eastern Australia. We are going to have to deal more with less water.

Gold! Gold! Alluvial gold! Bendigo began in the lands of the Dja Dja Wrung Aboriginal people. The first squatters arrived in 1837 to establish the vast Ravenswood sheep run. It was two women, Mrs Margaret Kennedy and Mrs Julia Farrell, wives of workers on the Ravenswood run, who are said to have been the first to kick-off the Bendigo gold rush, which then kicked-off the town of Bendigo. In September 1851, Mrs Kennedy and Mrs Farrell, perhaps having heard of gold being found in Ballarat the month before, quietly camped alongside the Bendigo Creek, together with Mr Farrell, to do a bit of fossicking of their own. They used a milk dish to wash the earth of the creek bed. They discovered both fine and coarse gold, which Margaret Kennedy then kept in a quart pot. Rumours about two women finding “quart pots full of gold” quickly made their way across the banks of the creek, onto the sheep station and beyond. Margaret’s husband, according to a report in Melbourne newspaper The Argus, armed the women with an old rusty bayonet and a tomahawk to protect themselves from “bad characters”. Trying to keep it quiet was futile. Word got out and, almost overnight, people flowed to Bendigo Creek… thousands of them… tens of thousands of people within just a few years.

Hot, dusty and dry The first batch of hopeful diggers who rushed to the Bendigo goldfields depended completely on the narrow Bendigo Creek for water for drinking and washing as well as water for gold panning. This was a creek that, in spring, dried up leaving only a chain of waterholes. The year that Margaret Kennedy and Julia Farrell found gold was a year of drought. Imagine what it would have been like, camped in a canvas tent alongside the creek. It was hot, dusty and dry. When the heat of summer arrived the water began to disappear altogether. The diggers – with only one thing on their minds – used up whatever water they could find for gold panning, muddying the available supply of drinking water. To make things worse, writes historian Geoffrey Russell in his book

Water For Gold, a temporary slaughterhouse was erected not far from the creek to sell meat to the miners. Bullock carcases lay rotting in the sun. The creek was quickly contaminated. People carted earth for miles to reach other creeks and wash their clay diggings for gold. Carts of water were brought in by horse from neighbouring areas, and sold by the bucket (if you could afford to pay two shillings a pop). Some just piled up clay next to their tents and settled down to wait for rain, writes Geoffrey Russell. Soon after, not surprisingly, some very unwelcome visitors arrived throughout the Central Victorian goldfields: dysentery, cholera and typhoid. Children were particularly vulnerable. In those early years 200 people – many of them young children and babies – were buried in the Pennyweight Flat Cemetery near Castlemaine, a sad legacy of the contaminated drinking water, poor hygiene and sanitation, as well as the meagre diet and frequent accidents. Undeterred, people still made their way to the Bendigo Creek area. By Christmas there were 300 people on the field. By the following year 30,000 had arrived. This was one of Australia’s biggest immigration phases, with hopeful diggers coming from Wales, England, America, Europe and China. In the first decade of the Gold Rush, the Chinese miners made up 20 per cent of the population of Bendigo, creating a rich and lasting legacy in the area.

Hungry for gold and thirsty for water Searching for gold was a water-hungry activity. And as time passed, and gold became harder and harder to find, there were new gold mining techniques for tub and horse puddling, cradling and crushing, which demanded even more water. “ln an incredibly short space of time the whole landscape was changed, “ wrote G. Mackay in a later report in The Argus (1927): “Vast areas of ground were turned over to the bedrock and rifled of their treasures… Whole forests of great ironbark trees, with the dense underwood growing among them, quickly disappeared. After the winter of 1852 almost all the natural beauty that Bendigo had possessed had disappeared.” The miners moved further north up the Bendigo Creek where there was a more permanent waterhole providing potable water – now guarded by police troopers. People kept arriving. Tents turned to new buildings and the town of what was called ‘Sandhurst’ – soon to be named ‘Bendigo’ – sprang up near the waterhole. | 37

It was two women, who are said to have been the first to kickoff the Bendigo gold rush, which then kicked-off the town of Bendigo.

38 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

Sandhurst got its first hospital in 1853. The first town plan was drawn up in 1854. Mr McGuire’s new public baths opened up in 1855, as did the first Sandhurst Fire Brigade. The Bendigo Building Society (today’s Bendigo Bank) began in 1858. The first town hall was commissioned in 1859.

A town in desperate need of plumbing In its early years, the town of Sandhurst was a Master Plumber’s worst nightmare: blocked drains, piles of mud, stagnant pools of water and backyard cesspits.

At every turn we come upon stagnant and stinking pools, and all manners of nuisance offensive to the nose and eye. The grand essential to health, pure water, is hardly to be found, and altogether the sanitary condition of the place is wretchedly and recklessly uncared for.” Sandhurst’s first Honorary Health Officer Dr WA Roche in 1857 (in Water for Gold! The fight to quench Central Victoria’s Goldfields 2009, p 134)

The local Board of Health called for an efficient domestic water supply, better drainage, improved sanitation and decent sewerage in Sandhurst. The board’s call for drainage and sewerage infrastructure was visionary. After all, it wasn’t that long ago – just a few years before – that English physician John Snow famously identified that the source of a London cholera outbreak was a public water pump and convinced the local council to remove the handle – becoming an early contributor to the new “germ theory” of disease transmission and epidemiology. The local newspaper, The Bendigo Advertiser, led a campaign and lobbied local and state governments for a decent water supply. There were debates, grand schemes and big ideas.

Bring on the water works The new privately owned Bendigo Water Works Company (motto: “From the clouds, wealth”) invited a young Irish engineer, Joseph Brady, to draw up new plans for a reservoir to store 86 million gallons of water. “No. 1 Reservoir” was built in 1859 but, proving that the path of water for the town was never going to be easy, it soon leaked and failed. Joseph Brady took the vision further, and designed a system of eight reservoirs: six for gold mining and two for domestic uses. His No. 7 Reservoir included an ingenious Australian first: a water treatment plant that used sand to filter the water and an underground cistern for clean water storage. Water from the reservoir flowed down cast iron pipes and travelled to central Sandhurst. Local water carts collected water from several standpipes in the town. But this still wasn’t enough. What came next was a stunning feat of water engineering – one that is still in use today.

Channels, aqueducts, syphons and tunnels – oh my! After the Victorian Government offered a £500 prize for the best solution, Joseph Brady designed the grand Coliban System of Water Works. A system of 70 kilometres of gravity-fed open water channels and aqueduct, to carry water from a vast reservoir on the Coliban River at Malmsbury, south of the area. It was an ambitious design, including elaborate stonework, inverted syphons, channels raised on timber trestles, sluicing gates, and tunnels blasted through rock. There were delays, political wrangles and cost blowouts – as well as faults and leaks – as the water works inched their way to Sandhurst. In the meantime, to the dismay of the Sandhurst residents, a major drought completely dried up the water in No. 7 Reservoir. Finally, in 1877, 14 years after it was designed, the Coliban System of Waterworks finally gave Sandhurst its reliable source of water.

Something had to be done in Sandhurst.

The miners got their water for steam engines, and the town got its bathrooms. According to Geoffrey Russell, wellknown plumbers TJ Connelly and JW Faull made a fortune selling baths, basins and pipes. Joseph Brady, the water engineer – as well as the plumbers that followed with their critical drainage and sewerage work – had given the gift of better public health to the burgeoning town of Bendigo. The Coliban scheme is remarkable. It has supplied most of Bendigo and Castlemaine since 1877, and it is still in use. The system has been supplemented but, 140 years later, you can still see some of the original channels, sluice gates and stonework. Since then, the $80 million AQUA project, which included three new water treatment plants, has become one of the largest public works projects ever completed in Central Victoria. The Bendigo Recycled Water Factory now produces Class A quality recycled water, and the Goldfields Superpipe has improved water security for the area. “It’s important to remember how precious water really is,” says Phil Kelly. “It’s amazing to turn on the tap and get clean drinkable water – even from the tap that’s out in the front yard. And it’s amazing that you let water out of your sink and it gets taken away.” Phil urges his customers to look after our water, and to avoid the types of soaps and detergents that damage our water and make it hard to filter. “We need to preserve our clean water, so that it can be recycled and reused. It’s all about how we treat our environment.” “I appreciate, and I will always appreciate clean water, fresh from the tap.”

We are grateful to Coliban Water and Geoffrey Russell (Author of Water for Gold! The fight to quench Central Victoria’s Goldfields 2009 published by Australian Scholarly Publishing) for information in this article. You can read more about the fascinating history of the Coliban System of Water Works at

All images sourced from the State Library of Victoria. Page 36 (Top): S. T Gill 1818-1880; (Bottom): Richard Daintree 1832-1878. Opposite Page (Clockwise from toP): Victoria State Rivers and Water Supply Commission photographer [ca. 1940-ca. 1960]; Benjamin Pierce Batchelder 1826-1891 (1861); S. T Gill 1818-1880; Victoria State Rivers and Water Supply Commission photographer [ca. 1900-ca. 1953].

Visit Bendigo – and Deborah

Central Deborah Gold Mine was one of the last working mines in the wealthy Bendigo goldfields, finishing operations in 1954. You can don a hard hat and miner’s lamp, descend 61 metres beneath the surface and discover what conditions as a miner were really like during the harsh gold rush era.

Visit to learn more. Other Bendigo attractions showing you what life was like in the late nineteenth century include the original 1860s Chinese Joss House, The Golden Dragon Museum, the Victorian Goldfields Railway and the historic Buda Historic Home. | 39

Thinking inside the box. Necessity was the mother of invention for the makers of the Pak Flat Tank, a portable water tank that’s opening up a world of potential here in Australia and abroad, reports Joe Johansson. Desperate times call for desperate measures – but sometimes, they can result in surprising innovations, too. That’s what Simon McMahon discovered in 2013, when an earthquake that struck a remote area of southern China showed up the limits of a well-intentioned aid response. The destructive quake cracked concrete tanks across the region, leaving communities without fresh, clean drinking water. GreenCo Water, the fledgling manufacturer and distributor Simon had co-founded, saw an opportunity to step into the breach to help. $8,000 later and having transported only a few tanks, it came clear there had to be a better way of getting them there. “We quickly saw that the cost of shipping these things and moving them a very long way by road was going to be prohibitive.” The issue, he explains, “was that with a conventional tank, you’re essentially paying to move air around.” The old style of tank is big, hollow and expensive to get from A to B. “If you’re moving a 22,000 litre tank for example – that’s 98 per cent air. It’s a real waste.” So, using injection molding to produce component parts that could later be

40 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

clipped securely together, Simon and GreenCo Water set out to solve the portability issue. Several manufactured prototypes followed. Inspired by the rectangular precision of Swedish kit furniture, Simon experimented with cuboid shapes, but ultimately returned to the cylindrical shape as “water likes being in a circle”. The final product is a thing of design simplicity – a 1,000-litre water tank that comes flat-packed in a box and can be comfortably carried by two adults. Each tank contains an industrial-strength sealed bladder that’s BPA-free – and both inside and out come with a 10-year guarantee. Naturally, it’s also overcome that transport obstacle. Where one conventional 1,000-litre tank might fit precariously onto one shipping pallet, twelve Pak Flat Tanks can fit comfortably

into the same space. Suddenly, the possibility of transporting the tank to far-flung rural centres in Asia (or Australia, for that matter) is at hand.

Humanitarian aid and disaster relief In the past year, the Pak Flat Tank has helped GreenCo Water’s humanitarian activity to flourish. In March 2015, the team set up a stormwater and sanitation initiative at Anuban-Utapao School in Chonburi, Thailand. “In many of these territories, collecting rainwater isn’t just a matter of conservation, but a matter of essential hygiene,” Simon explains. “Apart from providing an alternative to the contamination of a lot of groundwater sources, it also supports drainage during monsoon season.” Before the project, Anuban-Utapao’s main playground would turn into a mud trench after each downpour. Now, it’s safe and accessible, while a battery of Pak Flat Tanks ensures each child has access to clean water for hand-washing. The whole install only took about two weeks on-site – remarkable, when many aid projects end up stalled and delayed looking for the right components and

doubling back to find the right tools. GreenCo’s work with the school ended up nabbing it a prize for Excellence In Integrated Design at the 2015 Stormwater Victoria Awards. A quick pan around the globe shows that the need for effective, portable water solutions is going to increase in coming months and years. GreenCo team members have been assiduously building on their knowledge in the field – recently, Andrew Winsbury from the sales team returned from a weekend of Red R training in Central Victoria on Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH), where he learnt firsthand what some of the best civil and environmental engineers see as important in a humanitarian crisis – site selection, water monitoring and disease prevention. For Simon, this means fostering closer relationships with aid agencies and charitable organisations and thinking laterally about what functions the Pak Flat can serve. “We know it’s versatile – and so beyond collecting rainwater, you can easily picture situations where it’s housing greywater for re-use, wastewater batch treatment or sedimentation treatment, and elevated header tanks that can serve appliances.”

The likes of Oxfam are already interested – in October, they ordered four pallets’ worth of the Pak Flat Tanks to set up in Yemen’s increasingly stretched refugee camps, while individual Rotary Clubs have pitched in to help send tanks to Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.

Pak Flat – the future Closer to home, we’re fortunate not to face the same extreme circumstances – but Simon believes the Pak Flat’s virtues are equally applicable to the Australian market. For hobby gardeners battling the parched patches that mark long and dry summers, it represents an affordable and non-disruptive solution in the backyard that can be easily fit out. And the Green Gardens Program, which toured the country in June 2015, saw a dozen tanks donated to schools that have set up edible “kitchen gardens”. Where tanks have often seemed like a major commitment – from transport, to setting in their foundations, to maintenance – Simon believes that the Pak Flat will usher in a phase where owning and using water tanks becomes feasible for a greater sector of the community than ever before.

“It makes neighbourhood and community projects that intend to store water more practical – you’re not talking about the same costs in land and capital. It’s also a game-changer for tenants at a time when more people are renting. Tanks have always been something you set up if you own the property, or if you’re lucky enough to have a landlord that’s installed one. Now it’s easy to buy one down the road, fit it in the back of a station wagon, and set it up yourself.” For smart water-saving technology, there’s a certain glee to be had in the simplicity the tanks themselves clip together – and indeed, in the glee of racing to put one together as quick as you can. Simon is proud of his two minute and twelve second time, though he ruefully notes the record stands at two minutes flat. As word (and need) spreads, a faster time may yet be set. To find out more | 41

Water – the “blood’ in the organism of all living things “My creative work is based on the close relationship between our bodies and our planet. The blood flowing through our veins and the water flowing in our rivers are playing a similar role. Both serve the purpose of filling every organ, every tree, and every organism with life. Life can only happen if we act in a sensitive and gentle manner. Life will cease to exist if we do not treat our planet responsibly.” Jeniffer C. Borja, Colombia

International Student Poster Competition 2015. © All rights reserved ZVSHK 2015 Jialiang Quin

International Student Poster Competition 2015. © All rights reserved ZVSHK 2015 Jeniffer C. Borja

1st Prize

2nd Prize

Shortage of water as the root cause of the destruction of biodiversity “The pieced together fragments of polar bear on a blue surface of water in the centre poster make reference to the threat of climate change. The decline of resources such as drinking water and the resulting shortage must be heard as a wake-up call to be careful and responsible in how we use water. Water means life – for people, animals, for us all.” Jialiang Quin, China

42 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

Water is life. The second Water is Life International Student Poster Design Competition is an initiative by the ZVSHK, the German Sanitation, Heating and Air Conditioning Association, under the direction of Professor Heinz Jürgen Kristahn.

3rd Prize

The conversation of drinking water is a global imperative! “I designed my poster to remind people – and especially young people around the world – of how incredibly important our water resources are for us all. We should strive never to waste water and always be extremely careful and considerate in our use of water because not everyone on the planet has as plentiful a supply of water as we do. ‘Every drop counts’ should be our constant motto, because water is vital, not only for each individual, but for humanity as a whole.” Jhaimarr San Miguel, Philippines

The best 100 poster entries are currently being presented in a travelling exhibition around the world for 2015. Here we take a closer look at the top five posters.

International Student Poster Competition 2015. © All rights reserved ZVSHK 2015 Jie Zou

International Student Poster Competition 2015. © All rights reserved ZVSHK 2015 Jhaimarr San Miguel

professionals, have been so overwhelming that the decision was been made to award two further special prizes in addition to the top three prize-winners.

International Student Poster Competition 2015. © All rights reserved ZVSHK 2015 Alexis Arra

With a total of over 4800 submissions from 81 countries, the second international student poster design competition has exceeded all expectations. The results, judged by an international jury of experts and

Sp e c i a l P r i z e

Save the water! Save the world! “The background of the poster is a night blue starry sky. The focus is a drop of water enclosing the globe. Earth has a wound, a fissure, that is covered with a band aid in an effort to heal it. At the topmost point of the drop we see the logo of the contest and the courageous motto that ‘water is life’. I want to express that water is the most important element on earth, as well as the source of life and the necessary prerequisite for human survival. Water resources are becoming increasingly scarce, so mankind should use water sparingly in order to protect our planet.” Jie Zou, China

Sp e c i a l P r i z e

Water is life – and the key to survival “In many societies around the world women are the most important caregivers. In our modern society, we often the supply of vital resources, like water, for granted. On average, women in Africa and Asia carry water on their heads for four miles, day after day, in order to take care of their families.” Alexis Arra, USA

See the top 100 posters at | 43

Making waves in water and energy conservation. Water conservation and other planet greening technologies can work together in harmony, providing cleaner and more efficient products to meet today’s environmental challenges, reports Sarah Ewenson, Media Consultant for ARBS 2016.

44 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

H2O, water – without colour, taste or smell, it’s the liquid that fills our oceans, lakes, rivers and fuels all of Earth’s living organisms, and it is without question an essential element to human survival. It is almost unthinkable then to consider that by 2025 over 1.8 billion people will be faced with an absolute water scarcity according to the United Nations. Its dire statements like this fuelling the pressure for sustainable water innovation and why it’s become a worldwide concern, especially when we are faced with the challenges of climate change, population growth and urbanisation. Investment and innovation in not just water saving and supply technologies but those that are also ticking boxes in energy efficiency are on the rise. As our water supply continues to diminish and the looming future of global warming approaches, potentially bringing with it a multitude of other problems, we will no

doubt see an increase in the value of H2O and other natural resources. Smart companies are future proofing themselves by being innovative and investing in their research and development so they can provide integrated solutions and products which meet the criteria of conserving both energy and water. To this end Australia is fast becoming a world leader in providing sustainable solutions for water and energy innovation. Let’s look at two companies, who will be exhibiting at ARBS 2016 (Australia’s only international air conditioning, refrigeration and building services trade exhibition), to discuss how they see water and energy innovation and find out what new developments we can get excited about which have the potential to provide significant changes and improvements in the way we view water and other precious resources.

You can see these innovators and more at the ARBS 2016 exhibition where companies and individuals working in a wide range of water-related and other HVAC&R and building services disciplines will gather to showcase their products and services, network and share experiences. Alongside the exhibition, a seminar program will once again provide a leading-edge information program.

Xylem ‘Let’s Solve Water’ is their motto and an urgent call to action, with Xylem telling us for too long, too many people have taken water for granted, and now all of us are waking up to the fact – or directly feeling the damaging economic and health effects – of global shortages of clean, safe water. Xylem is a vibrant and innovative global water technology company with a singular focus on helping solve the world’s most pressing water challenges by developing better and more sustainable ways to use, move, treat, test and think about water. As partners in the life cycle of water, Xylem offers a complete range of energy efficient pumps, boosters, drives, valves, controllers and water systems to suit numerous applications across agriculture, irrigation, building services, industry and municipal markets. Xylem are no slouches where innovation is concerned, with a rich and impressive history which includes releasing the first all-metal pump and the first electronically commutated spherical motor pump. One of their most efficient products available today is the Hydrovar variable speed pump controller; the world’s first pump mounted microprocessor system controller. Designed for centrifugal pumps from 1.1kW upwards, Hydrovar suits a wide range of applications including irrigation, building services, heating and cooling and water supply booster systems. Hydrovar is flexible as it can be retrofit to work with your current system to make it more efficient. This intelligent variable speed drive varies pump speed according to increases or decreases in demand, which effectively eliminates the inefficiencies of fixed speed systems, and lets you take charge of your water needs. We love it because it saves energy and water compared to an unregulated system. Hydrovar saves up to 70 per cent in energy consumption, and moves only the water you need, as cost effectively as possible. This offers enormous savings when factored into the cost equation, in fact with lower energy, water consumption and maintenance costs, this system has the potential pay for itself in less than two years.

HydroHeat Supplies

ARBS will be held at Melbourne Exhibition Centre 17-19 May 2016, and entry to the exhibition is free for trade visitors and there are still a few spaces left for keen exhibitors – but be quick! For more info visit

Water is used within so many different applications and therefore getting the balance between efficient energy output vs the needs of water conservation is a fine line which is currently being walked by HydroHeat Supplies, the agent in Australia for BAXI, for their hydronic heating systems. Hydronic heating is beautiful in its simplicity and widely used across Europe and the United States with the technology growing among green builders and environmentally focused homeowners in Australia. It works by moving water around a building to create consistent and silent heat throughout the space. Water is pumped from an on-site boiler typically heated by gas or LPG. It is then distributed through small pipes into the hydronic floor slab or radiators panels for heating. It ticks the water conservation criteria too as it heats water at the source via super energy efficient gas boilers and once the water is used, it gets returned to be reheated via a reticulating system. Hydronic heating no doubt has the potential to storm into the Aussie market, especially with the wide range of applications for both the domestic and commercial markets – it can be used to heat towel rails, floor slabs, even swimming pools. The condensing technology which is used in the gas boilers is a positive direction towards environmental greening too with the reduced CO2 and NOx emissions to help combat global warming and the improved efficiency can see a reduction in fuel bills up to 40 per cent. And really, what’s not to like about this technology, a big tick for both energy conservation and water innovation.

The key to ongoing successes in the water industry in Australia is to make practices more efficient and effective. With manufacturers and organisations continuing to develop innovative water and energy solutions on a local, national and international level, these successes are becoming more prevalent. We need to be aware of future social and economic conditions and continue to place innovation as a priority. The industry needs to remove unnecessary layers of complexity to embrace creative thought in order to continue to be dynamic and forward thinking. To give ongoing consideration to new approaches and to provide solutions to existing issues to turn these ideas into business and environmental successes.

Visit to learn more.

Visit to learn more. | 45

The silent treatment. Noise free water pipes is just a matter of good design says John Fennell CEO of the International Copper Association Australia. Water hammer may be the most obvious noise issue with plumbing, but it’s not the only one. High water velocities, damaged tap washers and poorly designed or installed plumbing can all create noise too, especially as modern systems become more complex to meet higher standards. Water hammer is the pressure surge or shock wave caused when a fluid in motion is forced to stop or change direction suddenly, and commonly occurs with fast closing solenoid valves on washing machines and dishwashers. Water hammer is a design issue occurring in all pipe systems, and is a warning system that allows action to be taken before damage is done or the pipe bursts. There are complicated equations for calculating the effect of water hammer but the key parameters are pressure and water velocity through the pipes. If smaller pipes are used the water has to travel faster to obtain the same flow at the outlet. Common mistakes when installing plumbing are not using the material or size specified in the design, and trying to keep costs down. Most Hydraulic Consultants use design principles based around copper plumbing when calculating water usage, flow, velocities and pipe sizing. If a design specifies DN20 copper pipe then this has an internal diameter of about 17mm. If the installer decides to use DN20 PEX pipe, it could have an internal diameter of about 14mm depending on the brand and type. 46 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

What is more concerning is that the design of the fittings for many plastic pipes are significantly smaller and for DN20 PEX fittings it can be down to 11.2mm. The effect on the water velocity, compared to copper for the same flow, is that for the DN20 plastic pipe it would require a velocity 47 per cent higher but the fittings requires an additional 130 per cent (2.3 times) the velocity. (Note: AS/ NZS 3500.1 and AS/NZS 3500.4 have equivalent pipe size tables and specify that DN20 copper is equivalent to DN25 PEX.) It is important for plumbers and installers that if you use a different pipe from that specified in the design you need to check with the pipe supplier that the internal diameters of the pipes and fittings are equivalent or larger than the original design. The other contributing factor for noise and water hammer is pipe supports. All pipes have a specified maximum spacing for brackets and clips as listed in AS/NZS 3500.1 and AS/NZS 3500.4. Copper and steel pipes require less clipping due to their rigid nature. Plastics require more clipping but many plumbers fail to correctly install plastics and these can float and bang on the walls when there is a pressure surge or water hammer.

Steps to minimise noise and water hammer Design pipe work so that the velocity is no greater than 1.5 m/sec Ensure that when changing materials or designs that the internal diameter of alternate material is the same, or larger, than the design criteria Keep the pressure in the system well below 500 kPa with pressure limiting valves Make sure that all pipe work is secured by clips at the correct spacing for the pipe material Install one or more water hammer arrestors upstream of fast closing valves Install soft closing lever taps If taps or control valves are not at the end of the line, ensure that the outlet pipe is one size larger to eliminate reverse water hammer

Most Hydraulic Consultants use design principles based around copper plumbing when calculating water usage, flow, velocities and pipe sizing

3 ways Cbus builds super futures for plumbers

1300 361 784


Invests into new local construction projects boosting the pipeline of work for the plumbing industry


Customer service and support over the phone 8am-8pm AEST/ AEDT, Monday to Friday 1300 361 784


Easy administration for employers, with an online SuperStream approved system to pay employees’ super

This information is about Cbus. It doesn’t take into account your specific needs, so you should look at your own financial position, objectives and requirements before making any financial decisions. 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.

Master Plumbers Vic Ad 123x185mm _v1.indd 1 | 47 29/10/2015 5:05 pm

Asbestos cement

water pipe safety management Due to aging of Victoria’s water infrastructure, there are currently programs across all water authorities in Victoria that involve removal, replacement or rehabilitation of Asbestos-cement pipe, Rod Tresidder, Master Plumbers Occupational Health and Safety Officer, reports. Background Asbestos-cement (AC) pipes installed for the reticulation of water and sewerage are plant for the purposes of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. Accordingly, removal, replacement or rehabilitation of AC pipe is regarded as asbestos removal work for the purposes of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007. In particular, Part 4.3 Asbestos of the Regulations provides specific requirements in relation to asbestos removal work. In addition, environment protection law requires that asbestos waste be packaged and transported in accordance with Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria requirements and taken to a waste disposal site licensed by the EPA.

Pipe removal or replacement techniques The below is guidance to assist contractors, and other duty holders, engaged or responsible for removing or replacing asbestos-cement pipe, provided by Worksafe Victoria in March 2015 The following pipe removal or replacement techniques are used and can result in the creation of asbestos waste. Any asbestos waste must be safely removed and disposed of in accordance with the requirements of the OHS Regulations. Extensive studies have been carried out on the effects of asbestos in drinking water and results have shown no elevated risk of asbestos-related disease. Asbestos fibres are only deemed hazardous if they become airborne and inhaled.

48 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

Pipe Bursting: This technique uses plant to expand and burst existing AC pipe whilst pulling through a replacement pipe, leaving the AC fragments in the earth surrounding the new pipe thus creating asbestos waste. Pipe Reaming: This technique is similar to pipe bursting. However, during pipe reaming, drilling fluid is pumped into the asbestos cement pipe to be replaced and as the reaming tool attached to the replacement pipe comes forward, the pipe fragments are captured in the drilling fluid along with some of the soil which is then flushed down stream to the receiving pit. The mixture of mud, soil, and pipe fragments can be collected for disposal. By-passing: This technique involves decommissioning a section of AC pipe, leaving it in-situ undisturbed and then installing a new pipe parallel to form the new pipe connection. The connection process involves connecting the new pipe to the existing AC pipe infrastructure and may create asbestos waste (broken or fragmented AC pipe) as a result. Sliplining and curing-in-place pipe lining (CIPP): Sliplining involves using plant to pull through a smaller diameter pipe inside the existing AC pipe. CIPP involves lining an existing AC pipe by inserting a resin saturated fabric tube inside the AC pipe and then inflating the fabric tube with air or water until the resin saturated fabric hardens. Both Sliplining and CIPP require tapping in to the existing AC pipe infrastructure and may create asbestos waste (broken or fragmented AC pipe) as a result. Pipe removal and replacement: This technique involves excavating a trench to expose the existing AC pipe for the length of the section to be replaced. The AC pipe is sectioned into small sections to be removed. Once the entire length of the existing AC pipe section is removed a new pipe is then installed in its place and the trench is then backfilled. All sections of AC pipe removed along with any fragments created during this technique are to be considered asbestos waste.

Removal of non-friable asbestos Asbestos removal must be performed by an asbestos licence holder (Class A or B) if: • the area of asbestos containing material to be removed exceeds 10 square meters in total, or • the total time of all asbestos removal work (including collection) performed in any period of seven days exceeds one hour.

Sites of previous asbestos-cement pipe removal, replacement or rehabilitation Where a duty holder has previously replaced, removed or rehabilitated asbestos-cement (AC) water pipe by using any technique that resulted in asbestos waste remaining enclosed by earth in-situ with the replacement water pipe, that the duty holder must: • ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the known sites are safe in respect to risks to health and safety resulting from the enclosed asbestos waste • keep and update the asbestos register in accordance with regulation 4.3.22, which may include identifying the location, depth and length of the asbestos waste such that the information is available for inspection • provide a copy of the asbestos register in accordance with regulation 4.3.23 of the OHS Regulations.

Further information Contact the WorkSafe Victoria Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 or go to For more information on EPA laws, go to: From a national perspective different guidance has been developed in each state (jurisdiction) to provide practical guidance for persons conducting a business or undertaking or who have duties under a WHS Act and WHS Regulations to safely remove asbestos from all workplaces including structures, plant and equipment. To have legal effect in a jurisdiction, a Code of Practice must be approved as a code of practice in that jurisdiction. To determine if a model Code of Practice has been approved as a code of practice in your jurisdiction, check with your relevant regulator.

Leaving any asbestos waste (sectioned, broken or fragmented AC pipe) underground as a result of AC pipe replacement, removal or rehabilitation may also be a contravention of environment protection law. Any asbestos waste must be safely removed and disposed of in accordance with the requirements of the OHS Regulations.

Related WorkSafe publications WorkSafe Victoria’s Compliance Code – removing asbestos in the workplace WorkSafe Victoria’s Compliance Code – managing asbestos in workplaces Other publications Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 – Master Plumbers can assist with all your workplace health and safety needs. Our Safety Plan and Work Health and Safety Workshop can help you create a safe workplace. To find out more contact Rod Tresidder on 03 9321 0745 or email

Are you PICAC trained? At PICAC we are committed to providing the highest quality training by the plumbing industry for the plumbing industry. Classes are delivered in world class facilities with experienced and knowledgeable trainers, specifically tailored to current industry requirements. A wide range of industry specific courses are available. Download the training schedule from today.

Courses can be designed to suit your organisation’s specific needs. Call 9356 8905 for more information.

PICAC. Meeting the training needs of the plumbing industry. | 49

Unfair dismissal – behaviour of employee A Fair Work Commission decision has re-confirmed the need for an employer to ensure that they provide all employees with procedural fairness in respect to any investigation and subsequent consideration as to whether the employee should, or should not, be subject to disciplinary action; including the possible termination of the employees employment. Background Stephen Keenan applied for an unfair dismissal remedy in relation to his dismissal from his employment as a Team Leader with Leighton Boral Amey NSW Pty Ltd (known as the Leighton Boral Amey Joint Venture) (LBAJV). Keenan was dismissed as a result of his conduct at the LBAJV Christmas function on 12 December 2014. The time set for the Christmas function was from 6.00pm to 10.00pm. These times were identified on a notice concerning the Christmas function which was issued and publicly displayed. The arrangement was that the Hotel would serve beer, wine, some mixed drinks, soft drinks, finger food and canapés during these hours as part of the hire of the room (that is, without charge to the attendees).

Commission Findings / Decision

Keenan at a meeting on 20 January 2015, after he had returned from his holiday. He was handed the letter of termination… at this meeting.”

The Commission found that

“At no stage while… (Keenan was at the Christmas function)… was he refused service of alcohol, although… he was beyond a certain point simply serving himself with beer. Nor did anyone remonstrate with… (Keenan)… about his behaviour or suggest that he stop drinking or leave the function while he was” at the Christmas function.

“(LBAJV) identified eight alleged incidents of misconduct on the part of… Keenan as follows:

1 inappropriate behaviour and language towards Mr Boggan and Mr Boyd. 2 sexual harassment of Ms Kennedy. 3 bullying of Ms Cosser (re her conversation with Kevin Badger). 4 bullying of Mr Cosser by calling her names. 5 bullying of Ms Stokes (the first incident). 6 further harassment of Ms Stokes (the second incident). 7 sexual harassment of Ms O’Reilly. 8 sexual harassment of Ms Kearns.”

50 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

“On the afternoon of either 17 or 18 December 2014,… the decision was made to terminate… Keenan’s employment with LBAJV.” “It was decided not to inform… Keenan of his dismissal immediately so as not to spoil his Christmas holiday. It was eventually communicated to…

“It is necessary to deal at the outset with a significant submission made on behalf of… Keenan, namely that the conduct which occurred after the end of LBAJV’s Christmas function at about 10.00pm at the upstairs public bar and out in the street… was outside the scope of… Keenan’s employment, was properly characterised as private activity, and therefore could not constitute a valid reason for dismissal. In a factual sense this submission is well-founded. The time boundaries of the Christmas function were, in the notice to employees, identified as 6.00pm to 10.00pm. It can be inferred from the evidence that the physical boundary of the function was the venue booked for it, being the Endeavour Room. Employees were informed in advance that, in substance, LBAJV’s standards of conduct would apply at the function, but there was no suggestion of any expectation that those standards would apply to behaviour outside the temporal and physical boundaries of the function. The period spent by employees in the upstairs bar and out in the street after 10.00pm was outside of the workplace and outside of working time, however broadly construed the concepts may be.”

mastering workplace relations

“I conclude that… Keenan’s conduct towards Ms Kennedy, unpleasant although it undoubtedly was, did not constitute a valid reason for his dismissal… But in all the circumstances it was not conduct of a sufficiently serious nature to constitute a valid reason for dismissal.” “There is no evidence that, when at work, Mr Keenan ever engaged in the type of behaviour which he engaged in at the Christmas function and afterwards which caused his dismissal. The conduct which I have found constituted a valid reason for his dismissal can fairly be characterised as isolated and aberrant in nature. That also weighs in favour of a finding that Mr Keenan’s dismissal was harsh. It is clear, I consider, that Mr Keenan’s conduct was the result of him becoming intoxicated by alcohol at the Christmas function… Mr Keenan should have exercised greater control over his consumption of alcohol in order to ensure that he was able to control his behaviour and comply with LBAJV’s policies at what was an official work function.” “It is contradictory and self-defeating for an employer to require compliance with its usual standards of behaviour at a function but at the same time to allow the unlimited service of free alcohol at the function. If alcohol is supplied in such a manner, it becomes entirely predictable that some individuals will consume an excessive amount and behave inappropriately. It is true that LBAJV’s contract for the hire of the Endeavour Room obliged the Hotel to discharge the responsible service of alcohol requirement, but there was no evidence to suggest that LBAJV took any step to satisfy itself as to how the Hotel would go about this. It should have been obvious at the function itself that alcohol was not being served responsibly, given that from a certain point persons were

able freely to help themselves to beer and that Mr Keenan at an early stage presented himself to a number of persons as intoxicated. During the Christmas function proper, Mr Keenan was never refused a drink or prevented from accessing alcohol, and no one suggested to him that he should stop or control his drinking. Indeed other employees during and after the function (including Ms O’Reilly) continued to supply him with alcohol notwithstanding his visible intoxication. This was ultimately a result of the fact that LBAJV did not place anyone with managerial authority in charge of the conduct of the function, but essentially let it run itself. I consider that the role of alcohol at the function weighs, at least in a limited way, in favour of a conclusion that the dismissal was harsh.”

“I consider that Mr Keenan’s dismissal was harsh and unjust notwithstanding that there was a valid reason for his dismissal, namely that he addressed remarks to Ms Stokes at the Christmas function that were of an aggressive, intimidatory and bullying nature. His dismissal was harsh in the sense that it was disproportionate to the gravity of that conduct, having regard to:

• the availability of alternatives to dismissal which were proportionate to the conduct involved; and • the severity of the penalty compared to LBAJV’s response to… (another employee’s)… conduct.

“I also consider that the dismissal was unjust because Mr Keenan was not accorded procedural fairness in respect of the relevant allegation concerning his conduct towards Ms Stokes prior to his dismissal (when he may have been in a better position than at the determinative conference to recall what occurred and advance some explanation for his conduct), and because of the differential treatment afforded to… (the other employee)… as compared to Mr Keenan.”

Summary / Lessons to be learned This decision (once again) confirms the obligation on the employer to ensure that the employer puts into place a fair and reasonable process prior to the termination of the employees’ employment, irrespective of the event/s that the employee has been accused and the reason for the employees’ termination.

• the lack of any significant ongoing workplace consequence of his behaviour; • his good employment record; • the isolated and aberrant nature of the conduct; • the fact that Mr Keenan was intoxicated as a result of alcohol consumption at a Christmas function when he engaged in the relevant behaviour; • the manner of the service of alcohol at the Christmas function, including LBAJV’s failure to exercise any real control over this;

As is the case with any workplace/industrial relations situation, it is always best to get advice or assistance prior to taking any action. Master Plumbers 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 at | 51

The essential tool of the trade –


As we hear of increased instances of theft occurring both at home and in the workplace, crime experts suggest that burglary will remain an issue for small business owners in the coming year after Victoria Police recorded an increase in crime rates over the past two years. As stated in the Crime Statistics Report 2012/2013, the 24 months to June 2103 documented over 40,000 burglaries to motor vehicles. Furthermore, the Australian Small Business Market for Financial Services reported that an alarming 33 per cent of small and medium businesses across the country had no insurance of any kind in place to cover burglary or theft. These figures indicate an enormous and financially significant risk being borne by those operating mobile businesses. This is particularly relevant for plumbers and other trades, who are being urged to adopt proactive risk management strategies to protect their businesses and safeguard their tools and motor vehicles. Managing the risk of burglary is an essential part of protecting one’s overall business. In addition to the high costs involved in replacing tools or repairing vehicles, being unable to operate a mobile business due to equipment loss

or vehicle damage can cause significant financial stress. The Crime Statistics Report recorded tools (including power tools) as the fourth most sought after item in burglary cases. As thieves are becoming increasingly better informed on the high value of certain tools on the market, tools will continue to be a sought after item. Thankfully, plumbers can employ appropriate risk management strategies, including obtaining appropriate insurance, to minimise their exposure and avoid contributing to this statistic. Marsh Advantage Insurance recommends reducing the exposure of theft to tools and damage to vehicles by ensuring tools are out of sight and locked away in a tool box if stored in motor vehicles. Furthermore, adequate insurance should be taken out to provide protection for an adverse event. Plumbers should ensure all vehicles are fitted with tested alarms systems,

as most insurance policies which cover tools of trade will not accept claims made for lost or stolen items where there has been no forcible entry. It is important to check work place sites for any equipment which may unintentionally be left behind as tools left outside of a locked box on site will normally not be covered in the event of a claim. Keeping an active log of the usage of tools can be useful for tracking locations or jobs sites where tools were used. Plumbers are recommended to arrange insurance policies for tools and motor vehicles, to ensure optimum protection when faced with a loss. Such policies can protect against accidental damage, fire, burglary and more. For more information, contact Master Plumber Insurance Brokers on 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.

52 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 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.

How technology can set business owners free. As new plumbing technology continues to transform the work that plumbers do onsite, technology is also revolutionising the way their own businesses are run, reports Brad Halcrow, PR and Communications Manager at simPRO Software. Aussie technology company simPRO is at the forefront of change, helping plumbing businesses solve their scheduling dilemmas and achieve millions of dollars in efficiencies every day. simPRO Software Chief Executive Officer Brad Couper said effective scheduling has been one of the main challenges for plumbers historically and remains so for businesses that have yet to adopt a technological solution. “It’s not unusual to walk into the office of a plumber and find a combination of inventive whiteboard layouts, spreadsheets, job cards, accounting systems, and printed and electronic documents,” he said. “It is no easy task to keep track of technicians’ current jobs and locations, nor is it easy to get the final job information back from the field so you can invoice your customers and maintain your cash flow.” This causes great stress for business owners and staff alike, but thankfully technology-based solutions can now ease the burden. “Job management systems such as simPRO Enterprise or Service give you clear visibility of all aspects of your business so you can make better decisions,” Mr Couper said. “The scheduling features enable you to manage timesheets, keep track of your team’s job allocation, check the status of any job, and accurately manage labour costs.” When paired with simPRO Connect, a mobile extension of simPRO Enterprise that runs on smartphones and tablets,

54 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

the status of each job is updated live from the field. Adding on simTRAC Vehicle Tracking enables a business owner to see the location of their entire work fleet on a map, as well as the location of every job. When emergency jobs come in, they can decide at a glance which technician should be dispatched to minimise the impact on scheduled work. simPRO Enterprise and Service also generate useful reports built on metrics, such as turnover, profitability, and labour productivity. The benefits of simPRO can be seen not just in dry business metrics like turnover and margins, but in the positive effect it has on business owners’ lives.

Star Plumbing Solutions – more growth, less labour

Brisbane-based plumber Matt Harriden is an experienced company owner who recently sold his project plumbing business to concentrate on his new do-and-charge business, Star Plumbing Solutions. Matt decided to install simPRO from the very start, rather than waiting until he was overwhelmed. He implemented simPRO Enterprise job management software and the simPRO Connect app. As a new business, Star Plumbing Solutions could have struggled with different programs and processes that costed less in the short term, but which would have severely limited future expansion. “We wanted to get it right first so that if we had two vans or two hundred vans we could make it work, and that’s how we set up the system,” Matt said.

Using the simPRO systems, Matt was so confident of his scheduling ability he was able to offer an ‘on time or free’ guarantee, which has generated a lot of business. One glance at the company’s current schedule in Enterprise shows their workload is now off the charts. A large portion of business is coming in through referrals and repeat business, so the emphasis on customer service that simPRO Enterprise facilitates is obviously paying off. In the office, the system allows them to keep a very close eye on the schedule, so clients are always updated if technicians are running late. Companies without an enterprise system are often quick to point out the effort required to systemise the business, and it’s true that change management doesn’t come easy. But, as the Star Plumbing Solutions experience shows, once the management and staff are on board then it’s not long before the rewards are realised. The time gained from the new system has allowed Matt to step back and re-evaluate his approach to the business, finally being able to work ON the business.

Bell Plumbing

– massive savings, shorter hours Adam Bell took over Bell Plumbing and Maintenance from his father in 2005. Over the next nine years, he found he hardly had an opportunity to get away from the office. A year ago Bell Plumbing moved to simPRO Enterprise. Adam wanted to take a step back from the business to begin making strategic decisions and interacting with customers again, rather than being tied to the desk.

The comprehensive reporting in Enterprise enabled Adam to immediately identify anomalies in his spending. “We noticed massive savings with our materials bills within one month,” Adam says. Adam now has more time for his customers and more time for his family. He’s discovered the freedom that comes with serious job management software.

“I used to be here 5.30am every morning to dish out the job cards and make sure the guys had all the information they need to get their day underway. Then I had to be here all day in case they needed more work or had questions,” Adam said. Nowadays, Adam rides to work on his pushbike, usually getting in around 7.00am or so, and has recently become seriously fit – enough so to start doing triathlons.

These plumbing businesses are just two among thousands that are making more profit for their owners with less stress and effort thanks to simPRO Job Management software. For more information about how simPRO Job Management software can transform your business and your life, please call 1300 139 467 or visit










VALUE | 55

Is the price right? As a trade based business owner, having a pricing strategy is crucial to your success, Sebastian Caruso, SP Solutions, reports.

Developing a pricing strategy is probably the hardest decision you’ll ever make because it impacts everything you do. Pricing impacts the profit, cash flow, the growth of your business. It also impacts the capital you need to invest and the type of people you attract to your business. So what is the right price for your service? Most plumbers that I talk to have similar answers when it comes to pricing. What they say includes things like ‘that’s the industry average’ or ‘that’s what the industry charges’ and ‘that’s what I have to charge, because if I don’t charge that price, I won’t get any business’.

But the response is always “How did you work that out?” Basically, what normally happens is they quote the price from their competitor based on the last job they lost. Therefore, if they lost the job at X dollars, they then make sure the next quote is lower. Now sometimes that’s right and sometimes that’s wrong. The reality is if the competitor doesn’t know how to price and you’ve just copied him, it’s like the blind leading the blind. Do you really want to do that? When it comes to pricing, we need to spend a fair amount of effort to make the right decision. You need to protect these

56 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

decisions, because sooner or later if you don’t, you could be out of business and the worst part of all, it may be the punch you don’t even see coming. Plumbers by nature tend to have a different price for everything. However, I have identified three standards. There’s one they come up with when they have no work, there’s another they charge their regular customers, and then there’s the price that they come up with when they’ve got too much work. It’s clear that we become bolder and more confident to charge more based on the amount of work we’ve got.

So the key is put yourself in that position! The first thing we need to know before we can make a pricing decision is we’ve got to know our numbers. We’ve got to know what our costs really are, what’s our cost of labour, what’s our cost of materials and so on. Not to mention the overhead costs of running the business. They are the costs that stay fixed, whether we have a thousand jobs or

whether we sell nothing, we still have to cover those overhead costs. Have you allowed for that? Does that overhead cost include your wage? Remember, if you are in business, it is to make a profit on top of a wage you could be earning elsewhere without the headaches and stress. Finally, you’ve got your desired Gross Profit Margin. In its most simple form, Gross Profit Margin is the profit on a job after paying wages and materials. Plumbers typically calculate their Gross Profit Margin by adding up all the costs for the job and then applying a Mark-up on top of those costs. However, one thing I need you to take away from this article is that Mark-up is very different to Gross Profit Margin.

Let’s explain A client of ours has been running a plumbing business for over 20 years. For over a year, we were discussing with them that their Gross Profit Margin per job was too low. We set a target Gross Profit Margin of 35-40 per cent per job

and we encouraged them to ensure every quote had that type of margin built in. They insisted that this was happening. But the reality when we analysed their quarterly financials was they showed Gross Profit Margins of as low as 12 per cent! Sure enough, when we had a closer look at their pricing model, they were applying a Mark-up of 35 to 40 per cent, but not calculating Gross Profit Margin. Mark-up is not Gross Profit Margin! The table below shows how this plumber was calculating their price for a particular job by applying a 37.5 per cent Mark-up to their costs. The amount they invoiced for this job was $10,813 resulting in a Gross Profit Margin of just 27 per cent. Cost of Sales



$ 3,000


$ 4,500

Total Cost of Sales

$ 7,500

Mark-up applied


Invoiced Amount


Gross Profit

$ 2,813

Gross Profit Margin %


Following our analysis and advice, the client changed how they were pricing jobs. The same job was then priced by targeting a Gross Profit Margin of 37.5 per cent. Cost of Sales

Gross Profit Margin


$ 3,000


$ 4,500

Total Cost of Sales

$ 7,500

Desired Gross Profit Margin


Invoiced Amount


Gross Profit

$ 4,500

Gross Profit Margin


The end result is the invoiced amount was now $12,000. That’s an additional $1,687 straight into our client’s pocket for this one job. Now imagine that discrepancy over multiple jobs and/or bigger jobs… I hope this makes sense. If not, it would be well worth reviewing your own pricing structure.

You need to understand pricing and all the mechanisms in it. You simply cannot afford to get it wrong too many times! If you can relate to anything I’ve said and you’d like to get in touch please contact me on

Sebastian is the resident Tradie Business Consultant and Accountant at SP Solutions. He has recently presented at the inaugural Master Plumbers Business Breakfast, as well as presenting at various Master Plumbers Trade BBQ’s held at Tradelink stores across Melbourne. He thrives on advising and educating business owners on the growth of their plumbing business and ultimately their personal wealth. Having grown up around Trade Based Businesses, Sebastian has a special interest in helping Plumbers achieve their profit and growth potential. He understands your everyday problems and challenges as a plumber, and unlike many accountants, tries to keep it as simple as possible!

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 | 57

Get setup with a pro! Viper PRO1H For 50 - 150mm Pipes


• • • • • • • •

Delivers a massive 24Lpm @ 4300psi Genuine Honda 23hp V-Twin engine Stainless steel fuel & water tanks Genuine Bertolini pump & gearbox Galvanised steel frame 3 year pump and motor warranty Australian Made Delivery Australia wide

includes premium accessories pack




* Finance options available Call now to speak to an expert 1800 58 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

816 830

product news Bostik – smart adhesives Bostik is a leading global adhesive specialist in industrial manufacturing, construction and consumer markets. For more than a century we have been developing innovative adhesive solutions that are smarter and more adaptive to the forces that shape our daily lives. Our Bostik Gecko who is renowned for its remarkable bonding abilities that allow it to cling to almost any surface, run up polished glass and support its entire body weight with a single toe. The gecko logo symbolizes Bostik’s smart adhesive solutions that are flexible, efficient and adaptive.

Bostik’s products comply with all Australian standards from technical to OH&S. Our knowledgeable sales representatives are available to work with our customers to develop engineered product solutions in conjunction with our Melbourne and Sydney laboratories. Our product range is wide and encompasses all technologies in sealant and adhesive applications for the Construction and Industrial Markets. Roof and Gutter Premium Silicone is a high performance, industrial grade neutral curing sealant that is designed for sealing lap joints in metal guttering, aluminium flashing and down pipes.

Recommended uses: Suitable for interior and exterior applications, plumbing applications, metal roofing systems, metal water tanks, spouting/flashing and downpipes

Features and benefits: • 100 per cent undiluted Silicone, won’t shrink or degrade over time • Neutral curing sealant that is an excellent non-corrosive general purpose sealant • UV weather resistant to meet Australian conditions • Permanently flexible seal • Waterproof and exhibits excellent adhesion properties • Translucent and grey are suitable for potable water applications • Translucent and grey meet Watermark™ ATS 5200.014:2004 standards • Available in range of Colorbond® colours • New Colorbond colours® – Monument, Basalt and Evening Haze now available. Our new look Bostik Roof and Gutter Range is now available, at your local plumbing stores.

Barangaroo International Towers, Sydney choose Viega On the edge of the famous Sydney Harbour and at the heart of Barangaroo’s brand new commercial district, there are three high rise towers currently under construction that will become a new corporate centre for the Asia-Pacific region. Created by internationally acclaimed architects, the Barangaroo International Towers are ready to set a new benchmark for sustainable workplace design. The towers sit at an impressive 49 floors, 43 floors and 39 floors respectively, and have a huge number of contractors working on them. All three mechanical contractors, Axis, Brown & Moodie and Sydmec, plus the hydraulic contractor, are using Viega’s Propress technology. After initially considering another approach, Viega’s innovative and superefficient pressfit technology won out.

oxyacetylene bottles vertically between floors – it is more efficient to use pressfit,” explains Rob Elliot, NSW State Manager for Axis Plumbing. “Other reasons included site work and safety requirements and the need to reduce/eliminate hot works on site due to safety reasons.” Brown & Moodie, another contractor working on the Barangaroo International Towers, also supported the use of Viega’s pressfit technology. “Viega’s Propress was already approved and preferred by the consultants and engineers as a superior product, which made it easier for Brown& Moodie to get it through,” says Quentin Brown, Brown & Moodie Project Manager. “We were happy that the engineers were also convinced that pressfit was suitable for this project.”

“Productivity was the main reason for the change from brazing to Viega pressfit as there is a lot of time lost moving | 59

product news Aussie Fire Safe Aussie Pump training course is now available for plumbers installing bushfire protection systems Firefighting authorities around the country are warning of a potential catastrophic fire season! Early warnings are based on the deepening El Nino effect and unseasonably high rainfall over summer that have put key east coast areas and southern states in danger of potentially the worst fires in decades! Australian Pump Industries, one of Australia’s leading pump manufacturers is working with plumbers who install reticulation systems as part of their ‘Aussie Fire Safe’ program. The package includes a wide range of initiatives to educate the community to defend property, crops, livestock and human lives.

“We at Aussie Pumps are working with plumbers across the country to provide free training and material that with help people to prepare for what could be holocaust fire season this year,” said Aussie Pumps product manager Brad Farrugia. “We’ve developed pumps for Australian conditions and we know that lives are potentially on the line,” he said. Aussie Pumps run a free training course to teach plumbers how to match pumps to customer applications. Selling a fire pump with sufficient flow at the end of a fire hose or that provides enough pressure for a reticulation system is not rocket science. The Aussie ‘Pumpology’ course and Aussie Survival Plan cover the key pump basics that will give a tradesman the knowledge to select a suitable pump for customers with confidence. “When you understand the physics of a pump and the quality of the Aussie Pump product range, you can see why our pumps deliver the best in terms of both performance and features,” said Farrugia. “Our Aussie Survival Plan gives great information on setting up reticulation systems and preparing a property against bushfires,” he said. The Aussie Fire Chief has been lauded internationally and is regarded as being the world’s best lightweight portable fire pump. It is the only product of its kind in the world that comes with a five year warranty, a sure sign to the user that the Company not only believes in the product but stands behind it 100 per cent! The Fire Chief was developed for Australian bushfire fighting conditions and is built to international ISO quality standards. Further information on the Aussie Fire Safe program is available from Australian Pump Industries on 02 8865 3500 or online at

60 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

Find Dux in the App Store The Dux Plumbers Handbook is considered the plumbers ‘hot water bible’. This comprehensive and practical product and technical guide is a valuable tool which will assist plumbers on-site with product specifications and installations, making it easier than ever to access vital hot water information. It includes comprehensive information on all Dux products, including specification details, instructions, technical information, and rough-in diagrams. It also has the ability to register customer warranty details on the spot through the app, eliminating the need to fill out warranty cards and send them in. Registration is instant and even emails a copy of the details back to the plumber’s office. Commenting on the Dux Plumbers Handbook, Marketing Manager at Dux, Peter Faase said, “The Dux Plumber Handbook App aims to assist plumbers by providing them with immediate and easy access to information in a digital format via their smartphone or tablet. “It gives them a convenient and easy outlet to access any information they need on Dux products, all in the palm of their hands. We see this apps as being of huge benefit and support to our plumbers who are out on the road and need access to information on the spot, and believe it will be extremely useful,” he added. The Dux Plumbers Handbook can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play.



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


product news SuperStream is here – is your business ready? SuperStream is the Government’s new superannuation legislation about employers having to make super contributions for their employees electronically in a standard format. SuperStream applies to all employers, but deadlines to transition onto a “SuperStream Approved” system differs depending on business size. Important ‘SuperStream’ dates for 20+ employees Officially, you needed to be SuperStream compliant by 30 June 2015. However, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has provided an extension to 31 October 2015 and they will work closely with employers to provide education and support. Additionally the ATO has indicated you will not be penalised if you are not fully compliant so as long as you can demonstrate you have a plan in place to meet your SuperStream responsibilities by 31 October 2015. It is the ATO who will impose penalties, not Cbus.

Important ‘SuperStream’ dates for 19 or less employees SuperStream legislation started on 1 July 2015, but small businesses are given until 30 June 2016 to fully meet these requirements and select an electronic payment system that is compliant.

The easy way to be SuperStream compliant – and save time on super admin As the Super Fund for this industry, Cbus understands the need to keep super simple so that employers can spend less time on super admin and more time on their business!

A dedicated customer service team provide support from setting-up to lodging super contributions electronically. Register online at or call the Cbus Service Centre on 1300 361 784 for more information. To decide if Cbus is right for your business, read the PDS. Call 1300 361 784 for a copy. *The Cbus Clearing House service is provided by Westpac Banking Corporation for Cbus employers. Cbus’ Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262

The Cbus Clearing House* is an online system for businesses to process their employees’ super contributions into multiple super funds in just one data file and one payment.

Rinnai to establish major new Melbourne manufacturing facility Rinnai Australia’s has announced it will develop a major next generation manufacturing facility in Braeside in Melbourne’s south–east, creating 160 new jobs. The new manufacturing facility consolidates Rinnai Australia’s position in the Rinnai global network, helping to secure 185 existing jobs at Rinnai’s recently constructed Keysborough national head office, as well as 270 jobs at its wholly-owned subsidiary Brivis, which is located adjacent to the new Braeside manufacturing site. The 160 new jobs created at the new Braeside facility will include 89 new operational staff and 20 technical engineering staff in R&D in addition to management and administrative positions.

62 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

The new facility will manufacture next generation hot water systems, and climate segment heating and cooling products for the Australian and international markets, targeting more than $50 million in incremental annual exports through existing Rinnai global distribution channels. Rinnai Australia anticipates that the new facility will be a driver of increased sales in Australia and reduced dependence on current levels of imports. The new manufacturing facility will be supported by an Australian R&D Centre linked to Rinnai Japan’s nearly 600 strong engineering R&D division in Nagoya, that will be able to access manufacturing and product development competencies from Rinnai Japan and enable Rinnai Australia to develop new innovative products for the Australian and export markets.

Established in Melbourne in 1971, Rinnai Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rinnai Japan, which is headquartered in Nagoya, the major industrial city of Victoria’s sister state, Aichi Prefecture. Rinnai Japan currently operates 17 international subsidiaries and manufactures in 13 countries, employing 8,100 people and earning consolidated annual revenues of US$3.4 billion. Visit for further information.


Australia’s leading supplier of quality pumps and pressure systems: Fire Service Pumpsets Pressure Systems Packaged Pump Stations Submersible Pumps Trade Waste Products Pump Controls Oil/Water Separators

m o c . ps m u www.alinep

Sydney Water Tap in™ You can now request connection and building plan approvals, service plans and diagrams using our new online service Sydney Water Tap in™. Sydney Water Tap in™ replaces Quick Check agents and can be accessed from anywhere, anytime on your mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop. You’ll need to register online with your email address. If you get stuck, we have videos and information to help you.

Enhanced user experience E:

1800 018 999 Head Office: 17 Burns Road Heathcote NSW Brisbane: Unit 2, 43 Proprietary Street Tingalpa Qld

We road tested Sydney Water Tap in™ with our customers to help us design this new service to better suit your needs. For more information visit, email us at, or call 13000 TAPIN (82746) between 8.30am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday. SW69 08/15 | 63

product news New Plasson SmartPhone Controller for Electrofusion Welding Plasson – the leading producer of high quality electrofusion fittings (EF) and installation tools for PE pipe in the Australian plumbing market has announced the launch of a Smartphone Control App for their range of electrofusion control boxes. The Smartphone application allows the installer to control the control box via their phone and also provides the following benefits: • Automatic scanning of the fitting weld and traceability information barcodes via the phones camera – this allows the installer to quickly enter the required welding parameters into the control box and also records key information about the fitting such as the fitting size and type and manufacturing batch information which is often required for quality assurance reporting • A guided step by step instruction process to ensure critical parts of the installation process are followed. The application also allow for each step to be documented via the phones camera and recorded in the weld documentation for quality control • Records about the location of each weld and time via the phone’s GPS function • Upgraded capability for Plasson’s entry level control boxes to include data recording, barcode scanning and the limited ability to weld non Plasson fittings The new controller will come standard with all new Plasson boxes and existing control boxes can have their hardware upgraded at no charge during their regular calibration service by Plasson. The new smartphone compatible boxes will be available from December and the free upgrade will be offered with each control box service from November for more information visit

64 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015, Australia’s #1 online destination for your plumbing supplies is an online and instore supplier that provides the plumbing and building industry a genuine low cost alternative when purchasing your plumbing materials. Browse 1000’s of products, compare prices and place orders 24/7 from home, the office or on the job from your desktop, tablet or mobile. The PlumbingSales business philosophy is simple; consistently provide quality products at low prices with no hassle or fuss. PlumbingSales stocks many leading Australian industry brands with all products complying with Australian Standard Certifications. Backed by an Australian family owned business servicing the plumbing industry for over 60 years, the PlumbingSales team is lead by Phil McBride who adds over 30 years plumbing supplies experience to the business. PlumbingSales holds substantial stock across its product ranges which are

available for pick up or delivery throughout Australia from its large distribution warehouse. The online ordering and fast check-out process has been specifically developed with the tradie in mind. PlumbingSales has created the most user friendly plumbing website that customers find simple and easy to use. If you’ve purchased anything online before, done banking online or if you just browse the internet, then why not purchase your plumbing materials online? It’s simple, easy and secure. PlumbingSales is a TRADE only business and does not display prices, provide over counter retail sales or services to the general public. For this reason TRADE customers register and create an account online to view pricing and place orders. To register visit For further information contact Phil on 1800 341 972, 0488 599 060 or

Cut and Clean Concrete Cutting Cut and Clean Concrete Cutting is a specialist provider of concrete and asphalt cutting services. We have been working in the civil industry for over 25 years and provide a 24/7 service. Cut and Clean predominantly works in the civil industry covering all aspects of underground pipe laying including but not limited to communications, water, gas and power. Cut and Clean Concrete Cutting introduced a world first integrated vacuum recycling system. This patented system proved to be so successful that today our fleet of seven trucks are all fitted with integrated vacuum recycling units. Our vehicles arrive on site ready to commence work; water, integrated vacuum system and saws are carried on all units.

Services include: • Concrete/ Asphalt Sawing to depths up to 525mm. • Slurry Vacuuming and Recycling • Hand sawing to depths up to 150mm. • Core holes up to any size • Silence blades (up to 375mm deep) • Hydraulic Sawing For further information contact 03 94581434,, or visit


Cut and Clean Concrete Cutting is a specialist provider of concrete and asphalt cutting services. We have been working in the civil industry for over 25 years and provide a 24/7 service. - Concrete/ Asphalt Flat sawing to depths up to 525 mm. - Slurry Vacuuming and Recycling - Hand sawing to depths up to 150 mm. - Core holes up to any size - Silence blades (up to 375 mm deep) - Hydraulic Sawing

PHONE: (03) 9458 1434 MOBILE: 0412 311 963 WEBSITE: EMAIL: | 65

product news Co-gen and tri-gen plants ideal for new Rheem heat exchangers When it comes to co-generation and tri-generation plants, Rheem’s new Brazed Plate Heat Exchangers (BPHX) have been designed to be used wherever waste heat from water sourced processes can be recovered and used to heat potable hot water. Rheem’s BPHXs have already been used in a range of projects including: • East Village, Victoria Park NSW: a mixed use residential and retail precinct, where four plant rooms serve a total of 223 apartments using the heat exchangers in conjunction with a tri-generation plant. • Audi Centre Sydney, East Village: One of the largest Audi service and parts facilities in the world, with 10,000 square metres of floor space and 48 service bays. Heat exchangers have been used in the plant room of this facility. • Central Park, Abercrombie Street Chippendale, NSW: Two plant rooms serve the 275-bed student accommodation facility. The WaterMark certified Rheem BPHXs have been designed to offer a high level of thermal efficiency and durability in a compact unit. They’re suitable for water to water only applications, and are well suited for installations such as cogeneration and tri-generation plants, process heating or as a separator in circuits using PP-R piping. The heat exchangers offer a high level of leak protection, safety, thermal efficiency and durability in a compact unit. Key features include: • 316L stainless steel construction • Single wall brazed plate heat exchanger • Low pressure loss

Accessories: Pump C Controller P/No 6060262-4 Rheem 610340 and 610430 vitreous enamel storage tanks or a range of large capacity stainless steel tanks available from Rheem. For further information contact Rheem technical advisory service on 132 552. 66 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2015

It’s all in an InTec – Hunt Heating has announced the launch of a ground breaking new wall-mounted boiler. The InTec range with a compact design focused on ease of operation and installation is the latest addition to Hunt Heating’s domestic range, delivering on all levels – quality, reliability, efficiency and value. Designed and manufactured by Italy`s number one boiler manufacturer Immergas, the InTec was developed with homeowners and installers in mind. The InTec models are smaller and lighter than ever before with internal and external models complete with factory fitted case designed to tolerate Australian climate conditions both coastal and inland. With advanced combustion management, the InTec boilers continually control and adjust gas flow to deliver improved energy efficiency. A brand new stainless steel heat exchanger with larger waterways and lower overall water content delivers faster warm-up and better circulation utilising the industry leading Grundfos 7m pump and hydraulic manifold. The Printed Circuit Board (PCB) contains a memory chip that holds key data including user and calibration settings. This can be transferred easily to a new PCB if necessary without the need to re-set the boiler. With a built in three way valve, less pipework is required when integrating domestic hot water storage and solar tanks such as Immergas UB and INOX saving time during installation. Optional accessories such as a configurable relay PCB kit enables the boiler control board to manage three separate relays such as remote alarm, fan coil unit or an additional system pump. Easy access to components and dry-change NTCs also allows simpler and quicker routine servicing.

PremierPack and PremierPack plus don’t leave without one! The new innovative PremierPack and PremierPack Plus includes a magnetic inline filter using rapid connectors taking less than two minutes to install, giving even more protection to your Immergas boiler, while adding a further two years to the standard three year warranty. PremierPack and PremierPack Plus provides long term peace of mind, automatically adding an extra two years warranty to the entire heating only Immergas domestic boiler range including condensing and standard efficiency boilers. A five year hydronic boiler warranty, parts and labour inclusive remains unchallenged in Australia. PremierPack and PremierPack Plus incorporate the new British manufactured MagnaClean Professional 2 device which uses both magnetic and centrifugal force to remove debris from the heating system. This technology is proven to reduce instances of boiler failure through damage to the pump. PremierPack arrives with Immergas CAR V2 Controller creating a smart, streamlined interface between the user and the boiler, backlit LCD screen and seven day programmable heating and hot water settings. PremierPack Plus comes with a new SALUS IT500 Internet thermostat enabling users to control their heating and hot water from anywhere using their smartphone or laptop. Last but not least within the PremierPack kits is high performance chemical inhibitor designed to treat systems with a water volume of 125 litres, circa 15 radiators. High concentrate formula offers increased system protection whilst helping reduce heating and maintenance bills certified to the British Standard BS7593:2006 For further information contact Hunt Heating on 1300 00 1800 or visit


On February 5, 1964, Immergas was born from the desire to create reliable, innovative products, designed to last and improve people’s lives. 50 years on and Immergas, the leading Italian and Australian hydronic system solution provider, continues to insist on developing new designs, increasing industy training and education, quality assurance and attention to the environment and consumption through new technologies. SHOWROOM

11 Fiveways Boulevard Keysborough VIC 3173 PHONE 1300 00 1800 FAX (+613) 9798 5133

Australian Plumbing  
Australian Plumbing  

December 2015For over 25 years, Australian Plumbing has been the industry’s leading publication, delivering independent coverage of news and...