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the Winter issue plumbing whatever the weather


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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

The winter issue: plumbing whatever the weather

15/306 Albert Street Brunswick VIC 3056 T (03) 9329 9622 F (03) 9329 5060

Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre

There’s a chill in the air now the colder season is upon us. ‘Winter is coming’ as they say, which is why the latest edition of Australian Plumbing Industry magazine is brought to you with the chillier times in mind. As soon as the mercury falls, we all turn to our heaters or a hot bath for comfort. That’s why we’ve got a trends in heating and cooling special piece by industry professional Phil Coombs on page 34, as well as an impressive story from a man whose obsession with collecting water heaters knows no bounds on page 38. We have two all new Member profiles from some hot young plumbing businesses. Meet Dan and Jon Simpkin of 2 Brothers plumbing on page 40, whose unique branding, sibling camaraderie and impressive customer service have afforded them a great reputation and plenty of repeat business. If you’re looking for something to warm your heart this winter, you will no doubt feel inspired by the story of Kimberley Smyth on page 30, who completed a mature age apprenticeship against all odds, despite a critical illness and now co-runs all-female Hey Sista plumbing, where business is booming. Tax time is here and we’ve got expert advice from H&R Block accountant Mark Chapman to get the maximum benefits back on page 47. And while you’re at it, why not take Australian Plumbing Industry magazine regular Matt Reynolds’ hot tips for how to build your nest egg for the future on page 50.

4 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

Always forging forwards, we’re also excited to show you the new look gas room at PICAC Brunswick on page 28 and introduce you to the latest in valve innovation for both the plumbing and fire industries with National Fire Industry Association Victoria president Haysam Mohtadi on page 48. What’s more we have also got a new website ready to launch at – make sure you check it out and feel free to share our new features. Got any feature ideas, feedback or suggestions for Australian Plumbing Industry magazine? Don’t hesitate to send me an email and I will be more than happy to respond and endeavour to accommodate your ideas. Until next time – all the very best!


Kate Stephenson Editor Australian Plumbing Industry magazine

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

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

Editor Kate Stephenson T (03) 9321 0703 E

Advertising T (03) 9329 9622 E

Suppliers Salt Creative Printgraphics Direct Mail Corporation


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26 Welcome / 8 A message from the Association’s President and our CEO Member news / 10 Industry news / 21 Future history of Master Plumbers / 26 The rebirth of the gas room / 28 There’s a new look gas room in Brunswick that’s set to raise the bar in Type A gas training Against all odds / 30 Member Profile: Hey Sista plumbing Hall of Shame / 32 Trends in heating and cooling / 34 With industry expert Phil Coombs Sunsetting of the Regulations update / 36 With Master Plumbers Technical Liaison Gary Bath

39 How many heaters…?! / 38 Rheem introduces you to a water heater fanatic Notes from Community Plumbing Challenge South Africa / 39 An interview with FMSA Architect Kirstin Griese Keeping it in the family / 40 Member Profile: 2 Brothers plumbing

Remembering the events of World Plumbing Day page 24

24 Time to focus on tax / 47 With H&R Block’s Mark Chapman Meet the bright spark in dual industry valve innovation / 48 Haysam Mohtadi presents a valve for every industry Building your nest egg / 50 Matt Reynolds gives takeaway tips to nurture your future self

10 tips for reducing winter safety risks / 42 Amanda Ogilvie shares WorkSafe approved tips on how to stay safe this winter

Mastering workplace relations / 52 Phil Eberhard gives his expert advice

Why your company should consider hosting an International Intern / 44 Master Plumbers Members Cooke & Dowsett introduce the Danish connection

Australian copper / 56

Protecting your livelihood / 54 With Marsh Insurance

Expert tendering workshop / 57 Chris Dennis shares her expertise Product news / 59

How seasonal promotions can boost your business / 46 With tradie marketing specialist Eve John

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.

Looking back on the Annual General Meeting, it was great to come together with the families and friends of these prosperous companies and personally congratulate them


from the President and CEO

Remembering our milestones and looking to the future

Plumbing Regulations review – Key issues identified

As ever, a lot has happened in the world of Master Plumbers since the last edition of the magazine. The year has started prosperously and we are delighted to have welcomed a wealth of new Members to the fold.

As previously discussed, the Plumbing Regulations in Victoria sunset in 2018 and need to be completely reviewed in 2017 to allow time for the Regulation making process.

In March we took the time to congratulate 10 long established Members on Milestone achievements of between 30 and 65 years as a part of the Association. It was a privilege to present the certificates and hear the proud history, achievements and anecdotes that made up the legacy of each company. A further 12 Members celebrating their Milestones were unable to attend the evening, but on behalf of the Association, I would like to congratulate each company on their great achievements. It’s a testament to both Master Plumbers and our Members that we can achieve these levels of success together. Looking back on the Annual General Meeting, it was great to come together with the families and friends of these successful companies and personally congratulate them. Looking to the future, as part of the sunsetting of the 2008 Regulations, Master Plumbers are currently in discussion with industry stakeholders regarding the issue of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and how to activate this in Victoria. Tasmania is currently the only state required to carry out CPD as part of plumbing licensing and we are lobbying to extend it to our community. The Victorian Building Authority encourages building and plumbing practitioners to undertake CPD to maintain the currency of their skills and knowledge. I am a firm advocate of this as a means to ensure that plumbing remains a progressive industry. We will ensure to keep you updated on any new developments regarding this issue. I’m looking forward to seeing you at the Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards on 5 August, where we will commend the best in our industry at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne.

As well as having to justify the Regulations that are in place, the Master Plumbers and other industry bodies have identified the following key issues that are either additional areas for regulation, or where existing regulations need to be clarified. The major issues covered include: • The need to explicitly include off-site plumbing works, including bathroom PODs and skid-mounted water heating systems in the Regulations as plumbing work. These should not be covered by the Watermark Scheme. • To expand the Regulations to define and require qualifications for complex plumbing design work • To require additional qualifications and business systems for major commercial plumbing works • To add thermostatic mixing valves as a class of specialised plumbing work • To require CPD for licensed and registered plumbers in relation to new products, materials and regulatory requirements • To mandate a four year apprenticeship • To clarify the requirements around provisional registration • The need to amend the regulations to establish requirements for Fire System Certification as well as the testing and auditing of Fire Protection Systems. Full details of our submission is available on the Member section of the website and up for discussion on We always welcome your views on these issues. Members please feel free to contact myself or Gary Bath at 03 9329 9622 to discuss the issue. Turn to page 36 to read a full update on where Master Plumbers stand on the Regulations debate and the role we are playing in pushing our agenda forward to benefit the industry as a whole. I look forward to seeing you at our next Business Breakfast on 18 August.

Scott Dowsett President, Master Plumbers Ken Gardner CEO, Master Plumbers 8 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

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member news The Apprentice Awards

New talent shares the limelight at the Apprentice Awards night It was a night to be remembered at this year’s Master Plumbers Apprentice Awards, held Friday 5 May at South Wharf. With over 100 attendees gathered, Master Plumbers CEO Ken Gardner, welcomed the crowd of eager apprentices, guests, host employers, sponsors and staff, all keen to find out who were going to take out this year’s awards. For several years, the Master Plumbers has held an annual awards evening for the participants in the group training scheme, Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria (PAV). This year, the awards format was enhanced to include recognition based on the training component of the apprenticeship as well as the on-the-job requirements. The Master Plumbers Group Training Scheme, now PAV, was established in 1981 to meet the growing needs of the plumbing industry. The scheme is dedicated to training multi-skilled apprentices and connecting them with plumbing businesses, providing a great start in a highly skilled and challenging career. Through PAV, 3,000 apprentices have been trained, mentored and placed as they establish their plumbing careers.

10 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

Apprentices participating in the scheme gain diverse work experience allowing them to expand their skills, whilst working for a variety of host employers across different areas of the plumbing industry. The variety of on-the-job training and mentoring also means they must learn to adapt to diverse work conditions and environments. As a result, they graduate as skilled tradespeople and flexible employees, which prepares them for their career within the plumbing industry. Success in these awards was based on the apprentices’ work placement performance, recognising the most outstanding apprentice in each year level and separately the best in training efforts and outcomes.

Alexandra Mannell, Master Plumbers General Manager of Training and Industry Development, spoke to the apprentices about the importance of training and how the plumbing industry plays an important role in future proofing the industry through its training activities. Master Plumbers would like to thank all who attended a fantastic night at the Munich Brauhaus, South Wharf.

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Mark Pasini

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member news The Apprentice Awards

Congratulations to all of the below apprentices who were nominated for this year’s awards and thank you to all Host Employers, Trainers and Field Officers who submitted nominations George Betts Jack Dainer Chris Evandrou Chris Gabriel Damian George Allan Granger Senja Hadzic Haritos Haitidis

Kelsey Houghton Tahley Houghton William Kavanagh Tao Lim Tyler Maaliki Xavier Macken Kal Malla Stuart Masson

12 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

Huy (Marc) Nguyen Mark Pasini Luke Pettenon Carla Piscitello Troy Powell Shaun Rehill Sukhpreet Singh Karly Tapner

Victoria Tomkins Daryl Williamson Duane Wright Salem Zoghaib

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member news Member Milestone presentations It’s always a pleasure to celebrate another year of growth and success at the Master Plumbers Annual General Meeting. Held at PICAC Brunswick, it was also a chance to award our most established Members with their Milestone Certificates. The 10 Member companies who were in attendance are profiled over the next few pages, with a comprehensive list of every Member who achieved Milestone status this year to conclude. Thanks to all who joined us for an evening of great achievements on 30 March. 65 Years

60 Years

55 Years

Premier Plumbing Service

M&A Dillon

Dunkley Plumbing

Premier Plumbing Service is a third generation family owned and operated business established in 1951 in Ballarat by the late Neville Donald and Vawyn Donald. They had six children all of whom have worked within the business, either within the office or as plumbers on site.

Michael Dillon started his apprenticeship in 1947 with Galliers and Klearr of Inkerman Street, St Kilda. One of his first jobs was to get a metal plate fixed to the handlebars of his push bike to support a leather tool bag. Because of this, they became known around town as the “Push Bike Plumbers”.

In the early days Premier Plumbing Service was renowned as the house connection specialists, and would travel from town to town connecting houses to the new sewer systems for local sewerage authorities. Today the business specialises in commercial and industrial plumbing projects throughout Victoria and contracts to all major construction companies.

Upon completion of his apprenticeship, Michael worked for Hayes and Geschke Plumbing, before starting his own general plumbing business from his parents’ house in Carnegie.

Dunkley Plumbing is a third generation family business. The founder, Ray Dunkley started the business in the late 1950s as an energetic young man who built the business up over time. Ray really enjoyed his working life in the plumbing industry and the many enduring relationships he maintained during his working life.

Premier Plumbing Service currently employ 25 staff, including four apprentices, ranging from 20 to 66 years of age, which makes for a great mix of experience and performance. Over the last 65 years, Premier Plumbing Service has put through an estimated 120 apprentices and takes pride in the fact that they have trained so many plumbing industry professionals. Succession of the family business is assured with second generation brothers Jim and Grant Donald, and third generation Michael and Tim Donald all company directors.

14 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

In 1962 Michael moved to East Bentleigh and ran the business from home whilst his wife Marie looked after the administration. The business maintained a workforce of Michael, two plumbers and one apprentice. In 1997 Michael handed over the business to his son Anthony, who now runs it with his wife Donna. The current workforce includes one other plumber and two apprentices, one being Anthony’s son Jarrod. Anthony’s daughter Brydie also provides administration support, and Anthony’s brother Patrick recently joined the business to assist in the office as well as onsite as a labourer. M&A Dillon now operate from a factory unit in Rowville providing general maintenance plumbing services across Melbourne and its districts.

The company remains a family business and has diversified into development and construction as a registered builder with Housing Industry Association membership for more than 30 years. The core business will remain a plumbing company for the foreseeable future in a vibrant, challenging and rapidly changing industry, just as Ray would have wanted.

45 Years

45 Years

40 Years

A Favaloro Plumbing

Philippou Plumbing Services


Since the age of eight, Angelo Favaloro always wanted to be a plumber. Growing up in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne, he was intrigued by the contents of TD Plumbing, a shop owned by Tommy Clements. During the holidays and his days off, he would be found in Tommy’s shop or working out on site with Tommy’s plumbers.

A visionary young man arrived in Australia in June 1950. Aged 23, Thrasivoulos Philippou, had immense drive and determination and quickly found work in the plumbing industry.

Rick began his plumbing apprenticeship in South Australia in 1964. On completion, he achieved his plumbing licence, which for South Australia in those days was ironically called ‘Master Plumber’.

Thrasivoulos (affectionately known as Tommy), returned to part-time study to ensure that his qualifications were recognised in his new home country.

He moved to Bordertown in 1973, and then on to Ballarat in 1975 to marry Heather, and worked outside the industry for a while. He returned to being a self-employed plumber in 1977, the same year he joined the Association, with his main focus on the fledgling ducted heating area. General plumbing, gas and cooling work filled the gaps.

After finishing high school he completed his plumbing and gasfitting apprenticeship in October 1970. 10 years later in 1980, Angelo started his own business, A Favaloro Plumbing Pty Ltd in Thornbury. The company has extensive experience in commercial, industrial and domestic plumbing and has worked on new installations and maintenance work in several hospitals, hotels, motels and factories. Angelo has trained several apprentices and employed numerous plumbers during this time, with many taking the valuable experience they gained in his employ to start their own businesses. Angelo continues to enjoy his profession and attends to the plumbing needs of many long term clients, some of whom he has maintained a business relationship with for over 35 years. Angelo has enjoyed his 45 years of membership with the Master Plumbers and hopes to continue plumbing for many years to come.

Following graduation Tommy became a licenced plumber, and established T Philippou Plumbing Services in 1957. He initially ran the business from his garage in Sunshine, and set about proving that he was a leader in his industry, quickly gaining the respect and trust of industry peers and clients. The business has continued to grow over the years and offers a wide range of both domestic and commercial plumbing services throughout Melbourne. Tommy’s son Harry joined the business in 1978. Infused with the same values and passion for the industry, Harry was excited by new possibilities and the opportunities that lay ahead. The focus of the company shifted to plumbing, mechanical and essential services for aged care facilities and hospitals. Knowing that the business was thriving under the leadership of his son Harry, Tommy retired in 1996. Philippou Plumbing Services are incredibly honoured to now have three generations working in the family business – Tommy, Harry and now Joshua, a third year apprentice. The company has a strong sense of legacy. Tommy’s passion for excellence combined with his work ethics, traditional values and exceptional customer service are the driving force behind the family business’s success.

Rick has always given generously of his time to the Association and has held a number of key roles including Chairman of the Ballarat Zone, Chairman of the Ballarat and Western Region, Vice Chairman of the Environmental Division, and Chairman of the Gas and Plumbing Division. Rick also chaired a Committee that dealt with the sunsetting of the LP gas regulations whose work had a major spinoff in influencing what became the Plumbing Certificate of Compliance. Rick was a Board member of the Association from 1998 until 2011, and also represents the Association on several Australian Standards committees and working groups relating to gas appliance servicing, gas installations and gas components. Rick gratefully acknowledges his wife Heather’s role in supporting his many and varied industry activities.

Congratulations to all the Milestone Certificate recipients | 15

member news Member milestone presentations 35 Years

35 Years

30 Years

Geelong Roofing

Kennedy Plumbing

AC Goulding

The original founders of Geelong Roofing, Peter Geels and Dale Anderson, were first colleagues at Geelong Installations. After seven years of working together, the pair decided to seek new opportunities and in 1981 Geelong Roofing was established. It was a testing time working from the kitchen table and juggling young families, whilst trying to secure new clients and contracts.

Allan Kennedy, the founding Director of Kennedy Plumbing, commenced as a sole trader in 1975 in the backyard of his parents’ home in Williamstown. The Company was founded a year later in 1976 with his younger brother Michael, becoming the first apprentice.

From humble beginnings, Cliff and Fiona Goulding began their family business, AC Goulding, in 1986. Cliff would service and repair gas heating and refrigerated air conditioning systems onsite, and Fiona, with four children in five years to take care of, would attend to the books.

By the mid-seventies Allan was employing a couple of tradesmen and a second apprentice was signed up, Rick Slevison. Rick is the company’s longest serving employee of more than 35 years and he now holds the position of General Manager.

In 1987 they hired their first employees and assistance was sought from the Master Plumbers to ensure that the company could be a responsible employer.

Initially the business began with both tiling and metal roofing for residential projects, but success saw them quickly grow into specialists in larger scale metal roofing and cladding, particularly in commercial and industrial projects such as Bay City Plaza, Victorian Producers Co-Operation and Blue Circle Cement. More recently the business has completed many substantial projects around Geelong and South West Melbourne including Little Creatures Brewery, Epworth Hospital and Point Cook P9 College. Matthew Foss and Dale Tennant have been with the company for many years working together and were promoted to Directors in 2014. Since then they have managed the day to day operations of the company. Geelong Roofing has always had extremely high values when it comes to OHS. It was the first company to carry out a roofing project in Geelong with roof safety mesh and has been striving to set the highest of standards ever since. The company has always prided itself on paying employees and suppliers on time and this has enabled the company to provide the very best of service whilst maintaining high quality product for its clients. From inception, Geelong Roofing has been a member of the Association and it highly values the support and services it receives.

16 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

During the tough times of the mideighties recession, Allan looked for new business avenues, and Kennedy Plumbing became registered asbestos removalists. This decision has proven to be a key element to the sustainability of the company. When Allan outgrew his parents’ backyard in the late 70s, he built the first workshop in Williamstown, later relocating within Williamstown in 1990 to larger premises. Workshop facilities in Geelong were purchased in 1997 and within a short period of time, the company expanded again to facilitate more growth. Family has always been important to the business. Allan’s cousin, Andrew Jackson, has been with the company for 30 years, his sister Maree for almost as long, and Allan’s sons Shannon, Christopher and John are also part of the team. Allan maintains an active full time role within the company, heading up the Geelong operations. The company’s strength is in its ability to diversify, deliver a high standard of workmanship in a professional, efficient and safe manner and maintain a group of loyal, long term employees. As a family business, Kennedy Plumbing are looking forward to the future and the third generation eventually joining the business.

In 1990 AC Goulding began tendering for minor building projects, with major industrial projects soon to follow in 1995 in Queensland, Sydney and country New South Wales. The company also got involved with the late 90s apartment boom in Melbourne. Their first major project was Panarama on Rathdowne Street and more recent projects include the 50 floor Zen apartment building complex in Therry Street. In 2002, AC Goulding became involved in the design and construction of HVAC control systems. Today the AC Goulding subsidiary “TMS Controls” provides control packages and switchboards Australia wide. Innovation in the company continued in 2006 when Cliff, along with his father-in-law Ron Woollard, invented the GRAS system – an automated solution that harvested grey water and rain water, distributing it to irrigation zones which were controlled by the home PC.

30 Years

Blaze Control Vic Today AC Goulding employs not only plumbers, but also refrigeration mechanics and electricians, mechanical and electrical engineers and software programmers. The company is NEBB and TRIDIUM Certified and has a new Leadership Team consisting of Vince Lacaria, Sam Green, Russ Goulding and Matthew Turner to take it into the next decade. Cliff and Fiona are very proud of the AC Goulding company, having indentured over 100 apprentices as well as supporting the families of the many employees over the years. The company is also proud to support several charities including the Royal Children’s Hospital and Surf Life Saving Australia.

Bill Hayes, the owner of Blaze Control, has been a qualified plumber since 1960. Following his apprenticeship with a Richmond football player of the day, he moved from his home town Werribee to Lilydale where his wife to be, Yvonne lived. For several years he worked for large air conditioning firms before starting his own general plumbing firm. Bill decided to join the Master Plumbers after a pep talk by one Bevan Karberry and the company has greatly benefitted from that decision. Bill successfully operated the plumbing business until 1995, when an opportunity arose to install bushfire sprinkler systems. Moving away from mainstream plumbing was an attractive option to Bill, as it provided the unique opportunity to combine his knowledge of plumbing with his lifelong interest in firefighting. Unfortunately, the venture was unsuccessful and so with an engineer as a partner, he set about designing a more effective and practical system in bushfire protection. Bill and his business partner Rod, worked hard for the next few years developing, testing and promoting their “Blaze Control Bushfire Sprinkler System”. If you say “Bill Hayes” rapidly it gives you an idea where the name of the company came from! Bill hired Rod as a mature age apprentice and he became a qualified plumber in his own right, eventually deciding to have a go on his own. For the past 10 years Bill has operated Blaze Control successfully and continues to develop new ideas and improvements to become a leading practitioner in the fire protection field.

Master Plumbers congratulates all members who achieved Milestone status this year. Member company

Years as member

Premier Plumbing


M& A Dillon


Dixon & Lee


Dunkley Plumbing


Dumesny & Diwell


A Favaloro Plumbing


Philippou Plumbing Services


Bunnik Pty Ltd


Roe & Cook Plumbing




CBS Plumbing


Geelong Roofing


Kennedy Plumbing


Malcolm J McDonald Plumbing


Signal & Hobbs


Tuck Plumbing


Wyndham Vale Plumbing


AC Goulding


Accord Plumbing & Drainage Service


Ades Dingley Plumbing


Blaze Control Vic


Manly Plumbing Service

30 | 17

2017 Board and National Councillors

Scott Dowsett

Norm Anderson

Kevin Shinners

Adrian Murphy

Grant Donald

Greg Tink

Rob Hansen

Daniel Smolenaars

Peter Jensen

Michael Tomlinson

Peter Hall

Peter Lord

Phil Kelly

Chris Unwin

The Association’s Board is elected from the National Council which is made up of members from across the membership categories. Our National Councillors are here to represent you when government or regulatory bodies decide to make changes that will affect our industry and your business. You can contact your National Councillors or Board members by calling 03 9329 9622 or via email at

Scott Dowsett – President Norm Anderson – Vice President Kevin Shinners – Vice President Adrian Murphy – Treasurer Grant Donald – Board Member Rob Hansen – Board Member Daniel Smolenaars – Board Member Greg Tink – Board Member

National Council Representatives Norm Anderson Peter Lord Grant Donald Adrian Murphy Scott Dowsett Kevin Shinners Peter Hall Daniel Smolenaars Rob Hansen Greg Tink Peter Jensen Michael Tomlinson Phil Kelly Chris Unwin

Master Plumbers welcomes the following new members, affiliates and corporate partners who have joined the Association since March 2017.

Welcome New Members

All Melbourne Plumbing

Double A Plumbing Services

Simpson & Sons Plumbing Pty Ltd

Azza’s Plumbing & Gasfitting

GDB Plumbing

South East Water

Cathic Pty Ltd

Gen Care Services Pty Ltd

Sweeney Plumbing

CBH Roofing

Graefe Plumbing

Temperature Plus Heating and Cooling

Chenery Plumbing

Innovative Plumbing & Drainage Pty Ltd


Cocoon Coatings

Kat’s Plumbing Co

Verbeek Plumbing

CPR Plumbing Solutions Pty Ltd

Lawson Plumbing (Vic) Pty Ltd

Wenning Technical Services Pty Ltd

D & D Plumbing & Drainage Pty Ltd

LJ Flynn Eco Plumbing Solutions

David Homewood

Plumbitall Plumbing and Gas

18 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

member news Master Plumbers and Tradelink Business Breakfast The first of Master Plumbers’ new look Business Breakfasts kicked off on Thursday 23 February at the recently opened Australian Events Centre at Essendon Fields. The Industrial Relations theme sparked off some lively debates from the floor, with audience members sharing their thoughts on the complex issues of redundancy payments and letters of offer. The whole event was brought together by our exuberant host, Warwick Merry and featured some informative presentations from industry representatives. To kick things off, Sean Melbourne offered his expert industry legal advice regarding what should constitute a letter of offer. It was a chance for Members to grill an expert about an issue that is important to all employers and it was great to see plenty of questions answered from the audience with his professional advice. Next up was Master Plumbers’ very own Senior Workplace Relations Advisor Phil Eberhard, who broached the topic of redundancy payments and shared with guests some important details about the legal implications of hiring and firing, which certainly provoked a reaction from the audience. Ever wanted to know the ins and outs of hiring an apprentice? Adisa Husanovic of Apprenticeship Support Australia shared the business benefits of hiring apprentices with attendees and offered context to the range of recruitment options available. To conclude, David Press of Tradelink presented the exciting new range of Raymor bathroom products whose reputation is based on innovation, quality and excellence, as well as a sleek, contemporary aesthetic.

Want to find out more about Industrial Relations? The Members section of the Master Plumbers website contains a wealth of information on Industrial and Workplace Relations, including video presentations from our Business Breakfasts. You can find:

Business Breakfast dates for your diary Mantra Bell City, Preston OHS theme, 18 August Caulfield Racecourse Business Operations theme, 17 November

• Templates for employment contracts and letters of termination • Current Rates Schedules and RDO Calendars • Updates and alerts relating to Awards, Enterprise Agreements, wage increases, RDOs, public holidays, and announcements from Fair Work • Summaries of legal decisions to help you understand your workplace/ industrial relations obligations. • Essential info about training agreements and contracts of employment for apprentices. Thanks to our Gold Partner Cbus for donating a door prize, a fabulous gift hamper won by Peter Bourke of Trio Plumbing. Thank you also to our Platinum Partner Tradelink for sponsoring this event and donation of the Tool Bag Kit door prize, won by Andrew Moore from Banjo Nominees!

Business Breakfasts are free events for Members and Tradelink customers. Business partners or administration team members are also welcome to attend. Call 03 9329 9622 to register. | 19

member news News from Master Plumbers Tasmania Welcome Members to your winter update. We celebrated World Plumbing Day with our first ever Community Giving Project where Members and sponsors jumped on board to give the Hobart Cat Centre a plumbing makeover! It was a fabulous few days and culminated in a visit from our Minster for Construction, the Honourable Guy Barnett MP. Maintenance works and new installations were undertaken including animal bathing areas, heating and cooling, and new amenities throughout the Centre. Very special thanks to Anthony Balik, 20th Century Plumbing for project managing the works and the following donors and volunteers: • Bosch • Central Roofing Supplies • Crisp Ikin Agencies • Derwent Park Plumbing Supplies • Eveready Plumbing • Express Plumbing • Frank Hill Roofing Contractors • Howrah Plumbing • Overeem Gas & Plumbing • Parrs Heat Pump & Refrigeration

Continuous Professional Development rollout We are pleased to say that the State Government has effectively managed the introduction of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for plumbers, gasfitters and electricians and is implementing additional resources to help industry practitioners to meet CPD requirements including: • Increased Regulator briefings across the State • Establishment of a CPD Reference Group • The appointment of a departmental CPD Coordinator • The introduction of a new user friendly Consumer Building and Occupational Services (CBOS) website • The introduction of webinar training to support ease of access. In addition to the above, MPAT is providing ongoing quality training activities covering topics such as technical, OHS, contracts, IR/HR, and regulatory compliance via our CPD Toolbox portal.

Tasmania; is easy to use and enables you to keep all your CPD records and information in one handy location. Records of your CPD are required by CBOS on renewal of your licence. CPD Toolbox makes this extra easy for you by giving you the ability to: • See what CPD activities are available near you or online • Register online for activities that you would like to attend • Upload your own CPD activities • Keep records of CPD activities that you have undertaken and the points you have earned • Obtain information and news and FAQ information • Print and email a CPD Report of completed activities to accompany your licence renewal • Apply to the Tasmanian Building and Construction Industry Training Board (TBCITB) for training subsidy.

CPD Toolbox is available free to all licensed plumbers and gasfitters in

For further details on what CPD is available please go to or accreditation/continuing_professional_ development

Workforce Development and Education

Plumbing Technical Reference Group

Our Education Sub-Committee has been hard at work identifying key issues around the currency of training facilities, infrastructure and resources delivered via the TasTAFE Plumbing School. Accompanying this has been the creation of a workforce development plan covering the key areas of workforce planning, recruitment, development and retention. This plan will enable us to focus on all aspects of plumbing as a career and ensure that our industry is strong, vibrant and equipped for the future.

Members Anthony Balik, Robert Pearshouse, Michael Overeem and Scott Coppleman are representing the Association on the newly convened Plumbing Technical Reference Group. This group advises the Regulator on all matters related to the plumbing industry in Tasmania.

• Professional Plumbing • Reece • Rosetta Plumbing • Tradelink Next year we will be celebrating our World Plumbing Day Community Giving Project in the north/north west of the state where we will be helping another worthy community charity with some plumbing TLC!

Lastly, our very special thanks to all our members, associate supporters and sponsors that give so freely to the success of Team MPAT. It’s fabulous to have such a committed and expert group of people lead the industry.

Angela Ayling Executive Officer

20 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

industry news Rheem Australia presents award grants to the plumbers of the future The Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants was started in 2012 to mark the 75th anniversary since it began manufacturing in Australia. This year, Rheem celebrates its 80th anniversary and its aim remains the same: to invest in the plumbing industry’s skills future and provide training support. For 2017 there were ten worthy grant winners from around Australia. Each recipient received $2,000 to go towards their school fees and/or text books, a $1,000 tool voucher, plus a tool bag. “The plumbing industry has provided immense support to Rheem over the past 80 years and these grants are designed as a thank you and to help foster the future generation of plumbers,” says Rheem Chief Operating Officer Chris Taylor. “With data showing apprenticeships have declined in Australia, we are happy to play a small role in helping encourage those who might be struggling financially or need a morale boost to continue with their studies.”

Also of note among the recipients was 20 year old Patrick Andrews, who is employed by Master Plumbers Member Shinners Plumbing. He’s one of six children and is the man of the house and does his best to look after his single mother who is very ill. “The whole plumbing industry is of great interest to me; the experiences I’ve had have all involved small rural jobs. I enjoy working with people who are willing to assist and teach me in any way, shape or form to further my knowledge.” Special Congratulations to Mohammed Osman

The applications were reviewed by three judges: Master Plumbers Board Member Kevin Shinners, Paul Carey, Deputy Chair of the National Plumbing and Services Training Advisory Group and Jon Palfrey, Rheem’s Training Manager and a former plumber. We would like to offer special congratulations to Mohammed Osman, who is a first year apprentice who was a refugee for 12 years. Osman finished his schooling at 27 before becoming an apprentice plumber at 36. As the father of two young boys, he is the bread winner of his family. “It’s been a financial struggle to support my family and pay my school fees, so the Rheem grant will help a lot. As a plumber I would like to mentor young people, especially those of African descent and I would love to encourage them to start this rewarding trade.” One day Osman would like to return to his birth country in East Africa and help in the quest for safe drinking water. | 21

industry news VBA News updates Award nominations are now open! Join us for the plumbing event of the season when the Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards 2017 comes to the Grand Hyatt Melbourne on 5 August. The aim of the Awards is to recognise excellence in the training and development achievements of individuals and companies, and commend apprentices and professionals at every stage of their career and across the various disciplines. Think you know someone who deserves a nomination? Find out more about how to apply at

VBA sanitary drainage inspections and local water authorities inspection requirements If you’re a licensed plumbing practitioner carrying out belowground sanitary drainage work, it is your responsibility to book an inspection with the VBA for all below ground sanitary drainage pipes before the work is backfilled or covered over.

New Board Members bring wealth of experience to Worldskills Australia

The VBA conducts below-ground sanitary drainage inspections in accordance with the mandatory requirements set out in Section 221ZP of the Building Act 1993. Local water authorities may have additional inspection requirements for below ground sanitary drainage work. Plumbing practitioners are required to meet VBA mandatory inspection requirements in addition to water authority inspection requirements.

WorldSkills Australia has appointed three new board members – the Head of Workforce Development at the Australian Industry Group, a former federal politician and a TAFE CEO.

New plumbing standards for refrigeration safety

Award nominations close 30 June!

Chair of the WorldSkills Australia Board, Brian Wexham, welcomed the three new directors, Megan Lilly, Stuart Henry and Trevor Schwenke, saying their appointments would further enhance the impressive skills of the current board. “WorldSkills Australia will benefit enormously from the additional expertise and experience of these three new board members,” said Mr Wexham. “We welcome Megan, Stuart and Trevor to the WorldSkills Australia board and look forward to continuing to grow thanks to their knowledge, experience and networks.”

22 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

Australia has adopted international Standards for refrigeration safety with Standards Australia publishing a new series of technical requirements for refrigerating systems. The new Standards supersede the AS/NZS 1677:1998 – Refrigerating Systems series and introduce significant changes to refrigeration standards that reflect changing technology and Australia’s commitment to reduce Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions by 85 per cent by 2036.

Plumbing Industry Seminar Series 2017 The VBA and Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) invite plumbing practitioners, plumbing apprentices and plumbing industry stakeholders to attend the Plumbing Industry Seminar Series 2017. Seminar attendees will hear from technical and regulatory experts from the VBA and ESV on upcoming changes to plumbing regulations and technical matters affecting the plumbing industry. Attendees will also have the opportunity to speak with VBA and ESV staff about issues affecting their industry. Topics presented by VBA: • New Compliance Certificate system • Plumbing standards • Plumbing Regulations Sunset Project Topics presented by ESV: • Gas Safety (installation) Regulations Sunset Project • Changes to AS/NZS 5601 – Gas Installations • GasTrac online application for acceptance of complex and Type B installations • Introduction of mandatory flame failure devices on all domestic cooker burners • Common plumbing technical issues

Find out more from the VBA on their website | 23

industry news World Plumbing Day 2017 What happened on World Plumbing Day 2017 at PICAC On 10 March this year, PICAC Brunswick was all abuzz with more than 300 attendees celebrating the importance of our industry at World Plumbing Day 2017. The Industry Forum included presentations from Shayne La Combre, CEO of PICAC and Chair of the World Plumbing Council, Gayle Tierney, Minister for Training and Skills, Kirstin Griese, Community Plumbing Challenge Team

Member, Earl Setches, Chair of PICAC and the IPSF and PPTEU Secretary, Anne Barker, Commissioner of the VBA and Josh Wilkins, Founder and CEO of One Voice. The forum demonstrated the broad reach of the plumbing industry. The Plumbing and Sprinkler Fitting Apprentice Skills Competition had 18 competitors (third and fourth year apprentices) including four from

Queensland working from 6.30am until 2pm. The standard of work was very high and all competitors showcased high level skill. The winners on the day were Rowan Morton from the Service Trades College in Queensland for Plumbing and Steven Sawyer from Fire Industry Training for Sprinkler Fitting.





1st place

Rowan Morton

Beavis & Bartels

Service Trades College

2nd place

Nicholas Watson

Janda Plumbing

Chisholm Institute

3rd place

Liam Lyons

Cri-tech Plumbing

South West Institute of TAFE

Sprinkler fitting




1st place

Steven Sawyer

Jetfire Fire Protection

Fire Industry Training

2nd place

Tyler McAvoy

Geelong Fire Services

Fire Industry Training

3rd place

Andrew Fabb

Grant Fire

Fire Industry Training

The six finalists received prize money and the two winners received Journeyman Toolkits donated by Reece. The finalists are now eligible to proceed into the 2nd stage of the process to become the PICAC/Australia representative at the United Association’s Apprentice Skills Competition in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Trade Expo and luncheon was held in PICAC’s Training facility and this year there were many interactive displays for attendees to see. There was a great atmosphere, particularly with the live stream of the Apprentice Skills Competition so all at the Trade Expo could keep an eye on what was going on. It was great as always to come together and enjoy the successes of what we have achieved in the industry.

24 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

sini tts and Mark Pa briel, George Be Ga n ris io tit Ch , pe er Karly Tapn e Skills Com in the Apprentic were entrants

World Plumbing Day is held every year IN March to celebrate the important role plumbing plays in our community | 25

Future history of Master Plumbers. In the last of our history pieces, Amanda Bain looks back on almost 126 years of Master Plumbers setting the industry standard in plumbing innovation. As we approach our 126th year in operation, it’s not surprising that future proofing the plumbing industry has been a recurring theme throughout the Association’s history. From as early as 1893, the Master Plumbers have been offering educational services to its members as a way of sharing and retaining knowledge and experience. Master Plumbers has been delivering its own training to plumbers as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) since 1992. The initial focus was on short course, upskill training programs for plumbers, and later on, the range of courses rapidly expanded to include gas appliance servicing, licence courses such as backflow and our Green Plumber program. Now in its 25th year of operation in training, the Master Plumbers together with our industry partners remain proudly committed to the principle of delivering training for industry by industry. It strives to continue to deliver high quality training that meets the skill development needs of its members, industry stakeholders and plumbing practitioners now and into the future.

26 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

A collaborative effort Partnering and working together with other industry stakeholders has been essential to achieving our goals for the future. One initiative that has brought together key employee and employer groups including Master Plumbers, the Plumbing and Pipe Employees Union (PPTEU), the Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors Association of Australia and the National Fire Industry Association (NFIA), was the establishment of the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC) in Brunswick in April 2009. The objectives for building the Centre were threefold: to transform and upskill the industry, to address a growing skills gap, to keep the industry up to date with the rest of the world, and provide an environment for innovation with a particular focus on sustainability. This certainly broadened the plumbing industry’s future horizons in the area of training and education delivery. Today, PICAC showcases leading edge technology from around the world, and is a working example of innovative design and sustainable plumbing practices that offers state of the art training facilities for pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship and post trade plumbing courses.

The success of the Centre over the last nine years has also seen its expansion into other regions of Victoria. A second campus in Geelong was opened in November 2016, marking a crucial step in making quality industry training more available to the West and North of Melbourne. Through this new facility, PICAC will also be able to re-train hundreds of retrenched or displaced workers who have been affected by the declining manufacturing industry. For existing qualified tradespeople including welders, metal fabricators, machinists, and fitters and turners, leveraging the customised training on offer with their existing experience, will provide them with a real opportunity to re-enter the workforce and join an industry with promising job prospects. Funding for construction of a third site in the south eastern suburb of Narre Warren has been committed by the State Government, with commencement works starting soon. Our relationship with our partners was further strengthened in 2015 when the Master Plumbers offices relocated from King Street in the CBD to Brunswick, where we are now co-located on the same site as PICAC.

Commending the best in the industry Master Plumbers also introduced a suite of Apprentice Awards to recognise and encourage the achievements of new talent in the industry. Turn to page 10 to find out who this year’s winners were at the Awards celebration evening held on 5 May. Collaboration with our industry partners saw the introduction in 2015 of the Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards. Working with the NFIA, PICAC, the PPTEU, and joining us in 2017, the Association of Hydraulic Service Consultants Australia, the aim of the Awards is to recognise excellence in the training and development achievements of individuals and companies. This is a unique event that recognises professionals at every stage of their career and across the various disciplines. To find out more about this year’s event on 5 August, book tickets or nominate for an award, please turn to page 22. An event of this calibre attracts over 500 key industry business owners, decision makers and employers who attend the event and who also provide support in the form of sponsorship. Any funds raised through the Awards are donated to the Indigenous Plumbing Sanitation Fund, established to provide relief for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Indigenous

communities who are living with dangerously poor sanitation. The Fund is used to support the Indigenous Apprenticeship Program, giving young people the opportunity to gain plumbing trade qualifications. This Program is backed up by the Fund’s Mentoring Program. In an Indigenous context, mentoring is a particularly promising initiative because it fits well with Indigenous teaching and learning styles and can help to build strong collective ties within a community.

Community outreach In recent years, Master Plumbers has extended its support in the community with CEO Ken Gardner forming part of “The Crackers” White Lion Bail Out team. The Bail Out is Whitelion’s national fundraising and awareness campaign that supports its objective to reduce youth homelessness through assertive outreach. Master Plumbers Bendigo based members have also been contributing to charitable fund raising activities through the annual Golf Day. This increasingly popular event has raised an impressive $250,000 for Camp Quality since the Golf Day was first introduced 27 years ago. Alongside the social events and awards celebrations, the Association continues to represent its Members through regulatory reform recommendations. As many in the industry will be aware, the

Plumbing Regulations 2008 Sunset Review is currently underway in Victoria. Master Plumbers have made a submission which is now being evaluated. Following this, a Regulatory Impact Statement and draft Regulations will be released in early February 2018, followed by a public consultation period. For a more detailed update on the Review, please turn to the article on page 36.

What’s next? Looking ahead, National licencing, offsite construction, passive fire protection systems and the review of the Plumbing Training Package, are all issues that need to be addressed through continual lobbying and consultation with members. The strength of our Association comes from our large and reputable membership and you can play a key role in helping us to protect and effect change to the industry and in support of various plumbing, business and environmental recommendations. The opinions of our members are important and we regularly seek comments and feedback on issues affecting their business and the plumbing industry via our e-news and the Members Online Forum. Get involved now by visiting We will continue working with our industry partners for the benefit of all.

From Left to right: Apprentices in training at PICAC; Graduating Pre-apprentices, 2016; IPSF Launch, 2014; Industry stakeholder representatives at the 2016 PFIAs; White Lion Bail Out team “The Crackers” | 27

The rebirth of the

gas room Enhanced facilities at PICAC means more plumbers are going for gas

28 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

The plumbing industry is proud to unveil the new look gas appliance servicing training room at the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC). Since its official launch in 2011, over 400 plumbers have been trained at PICAC in the gas room, completing either their Type A or Type B gas appliance servicing qualifications. Feedback from our learners throughout that time has provided us with some great ideas to improve the facility. In light of this, the space was upgraded over Christmas 2016. With the gas room now offering true state-of-the art training facilities, complemented by the skills and knowledge of our expert trainers, we are delighted to announce enhanced training opportunities for plumbers who are going for gas.

Thanks to the generosity of some of our closest industry partners, the gas room now also boasts some fantastic new appliances. Donated appliances and equipment include:

The new look gas room now features upsized stainless steel pipework and individually metered training bays to better represent the experience of servicing appliances in domestic or commercial environments. One training bay is now piped with LPG to allow the delivery of gas conversion training, demand for which is continually growing.

• a Bosch 32 Instantaneous HWU (installed on the mobile commercial trolley)

The upgrade project also included the design and development of two mobile training trolleys, one domestic and one commercial. The trolleys will not only improve the flexibility of training in the gas room but will enable the off site delivery of Type A gas appliance servicing courses in the future. As a further enhancement, the room is now monitored by a building management system, with a visual display monitor, giving trainers real time information on the gas supplies and ventilation status in the space.

• a Rinnai gas BBQ (for gas conversion work)

• a Rheem 24 Instantaneous HWU (installed on the mobile domestic trolley) • an enerMAX condensing gas instantaneous unit from Energy Smart Water Pty Ltd • Blucher stainless steel gas piping

Official sign off for the project was received in March so now it’s back to business in the gas room. There are two Type A gas appliance servicing courses scheduled for the remainder of 2017 with places available in each. Courses in Type B gas appliance servicing are also available. On behalf of all our learners, PICAC and Master Plumbers would like to extend our sincere thanks to our stakeholders and partners for their ongoing support of industry training. And congratulations to all plumbers who are going for gas! ‘The gas training room refurbishment is an exciting new development at PICAC that allows us to continue to deliver the best possible training on the most comprehensive range of equipment in Australia. The building of a wider range of capability among the plumbing workforce is paramount to the safe and correct installation, commissioning and maintenance of gas appliances.’ Shayne Le Combre – CEO PICAC

• crimping tool from Bentons. We also salvaged some great second hand commercial cooking appliances which provide excellent service and fault finding training opportunities. The gas room project and mobile trolley development was undertaken by NSG Plumbing Pty Ltd, while OP Industries provided the state of the art ventilation and switching services and the monitoring of these services.

‘Training in gas appliance servicing is a vital area of plumbing skill and needs to be made more widely available both for new plumbers and for those looking to upskill on new appliances. Master Plumbers at PICAC is committed to delivering this training and values all the assistance given to upgrade this facility.’ Ken Gardner – CEO Master Plumbers

To find out more about the Type A gas appliance servicing course, go to or call 03 9356 8902

There has never been a better time to enrol in your next gas course to enhance your business opportunities | 29

Kimberley Smyth

Against all odds








Hey Sista plumbing was established in 2012 as one of the first female led plumbing companies in Australia. Co-owner Kimberley Smyth has experienced more than her fair share of life’s ups and downs. But that hasn’t stopped her from taking her plumbing business to the next level. Here she shares her inspirational story of success in adversity. The trick? Hard work, family values and daring to stand up and challenge the stereotype.

30 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

“I’ve always been interested in non-traditional roles and when I was made redundant as a machine operator at The Age, I decided it was time for something new. I took advantage of my husband Mark’s many years in the industry and became the first female apprentice for Hey Sista plumbing which I now co-own. In the past I had helped on jobs so I knew I was more than capable and I’ve always been curious. A trade qualification was my opportunity to set myself up for life, on my terms.”

Identifying a gap in the market “I also knew from my experience as a stay at home mum that there is a market for customers who for many reasons feel more comfortable with a female tradesperson in their home. I have one customer that needed plumbing works but has not left her home in the last 11 years due to her personal experiences. She can only have women in her home. Until she discovered Hey Sista, she had no plumbing repairs in her house – we gave her the means to get everything fixed. It’s instances like this that are my why.”

The future’s bright “In five years, I hope to be a leader within the industry, not only as a female plumber but as an employer who promotes advancement and support of other women entering the industry. As a mother of four children, I know the difficulties women with young families face in the construction industry. It’s my dream in the making to champion a company that provides other women the opportunity to begin their career in a male dominated industry. I want to be able to offer support to women in the early stages of their career who always wanted to enter the industry but felt held back. One day I would even consider taking on a teaching role within vocational training to give the support, knowledge and encouragement I received from my staff and teachers during my training at Melbourne Polytechnic Heidelberg.”

It’s time for a change

Always room for expansion

“I’m a strong believer in the motto ‘our daughters cannot be what they cannot see’. I have been in a room full of parents at school meetings and listened to a career teacher talking about the importance of their daughters completing their education and following on to university, because ‘they can’t fall back on a trade.’ It’s moments like these that make me realise how much I can make a difference with Hey Sista. Our industry would benefit from a mentoring program, working with schools and educating career advisors to shift the stereotype that a plumbing trade is only an option for our sons. I would happily drive an initiative like this.”

“2017 and beyond is looking great for Hey Sista; we are continuing to take on a variety of smaller commercial jobs, with bigger things in the pipeline. We’ve just signed up with Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria to take on some apprentices from their Group Training Scheme and added two new vehicles to our fleet. We’re looking to recruit all-female apprentices who fit in with our work ethic. While we still have guys working for us, training up more females is the main priority.”

A true inspiration “During the third year of my apprenticeship, I found out that I was at increased risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. One month after I completed my Journeymans exam, after multiple biopsies, ultrasounds, MRIs, scans and drug studies, I underwent a nine hour surgery for a double mastectomy, reducing my risk of breast cancer to below two per cent, increasing my chances of living a long healthy life with my four beautiful children. After a few setbacks, I’m now healthy and back on the tools again. Following my experience, I have become an ambassador for not-forprofit charity Pink Hope Australia in my spare time. It was tough to keep going with my apprenticeship, but also good that I had something to take my mind off things. In 2014 I won the Rose Curtis award at the Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards and in 2016 was a finalist for the Frank Maskell General Plumbing Award. The hard work certainly paid dividends.”

Keeping it in the family “Our eldest daughter Tayla did work as a commercial plumber and says she wants to come and work for us – if this does happen it will be great to keep Hey Sista in the family! I’d be more than happy to give my daughters the opportunity if they want to join us, if just to let them know there is the opportunity there, even if they don’t choose that path. I went to a private school. It’s kind of talked about that you go to university once you graduate. They don’t talk about trades for females. They need to promote other avenues. The careers advisors at my daughters’ school said that girls should stay in school because they can’t fall back on a trade. I was devastated. If the girls are being told that, what hope have they got? For me, it’s all about changing perspectives. I do that through outreach – I’ve already done guest speaking for the Victorian government, the Australian Education Union and quite a few schools as well.”

Why I’m a member of the Master Plumbers Hey Sista joined Master Plumbers 18 months ago. It was important to me to have my business as a part of a reputable organisation and be a part of an established organisation. The support we get from the Master Plumbers is invaluable.

(centre) Kimberley on site with her husband Mark, and (Far right) with her four children, Tayla, 18 Hayley, 14, Lara, 12 and Xavier, 7

all H he T of Shame

Always choose a licensed/registered plumber

The Hall of Shame has come on in leaps and bounds – and a fair few leaks and calamites – since the last edition of Australian Plumbing Industry magazine. Did you know we’ve got our own standalone webpage on under the news and events tab? In this den of iniquity, you can finally find the festiest of crimes against plumbing all under one roof.

Have you got anymore meter connections in your truck?

This coloured mastic is great!

Finally found a use for all those 15° bends!

What’s cheaper, water or gas?

Finally, they’ve invented an overflow for a WC

32 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

Got any plumbing disaster snaps you would like to share? Send your pictures to for their rightful place in The Hall of Shame! | 33

Trends in

heating and cooling. With Phil Coombs

Business expert and former heating and cooling specialist plumber Phil Coombs discusses world industry trends in heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) and the opportunities and implications on the horizon for the plumbing industry of the future. The Coombs family has played a significant role in the direction of the plumbing and air conditioning industry for seven decades. In this article I will focus on industry implications and opportunities, specifically in the plumbing industry, concentrating on single dwelling, multi dwelling and light commercial applications.

As we know, the first heating and cooling systems in this country started with hydronic heating, which then progressed to add coils and fans as ducted heating emerged. In the sixties came cooling and a whole new industry of air conditioning commenced. Traditionally, these market sectors were dominated by hydronic heating, ducted heating, and add-on cooling. The major shift in the world market over the last decade has been to heat pump single split, multi split and VRF/VRV systems. The work has predominantly been undertaken by mechanical contractors with refrigeration mechanics doing the pipework. Today the market has been commoditised and you can buy equipment from anywhere. Due to the increasing influence of retailers selling systems, it is often installed for at or below cost. My research has highlighted that this trend will continue and potentially get worse.

34 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

So what are the implications and opportunities for plumbing companies that operate in this space? In today’s business world, most SME companies cannot operate profitably in a commoditised market and certainly cannot exist as low price operators. Successful companies today are making good profits from specialising in market niches, so the question you need to ask yourself is what market niche do you specialise in? Specialist companies are often characterised by being at the forefront of industry trends. I would identify the following as the market trends in the industry that may provide niche opportunities in the future.

the question you need to ask yourself is what market niche do you specialise in?

Industry market trends that may provide future niche opportunities 1 Forced ventilation via HRV/ERV will be an increased requirement as split systems and VRV, in most applications, have not addressed fresh air requirements. In many parts of the world this is already being legislated. 2 The SMART home will be the next big thing so we must understand it and provide designs compliant with building codes, customer solutions and expectations. This is in conjunction with the industry trend to what is called IOT (the internet of things). 3 There is also a world shift towards the passive house which results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating and cooling. In this instance, forced ventilation becomes critical. 4 The continual drive for energy savings will continue, however this will be in parallel with the growing trend towards indoor air quality and a healthy environment. 5 The continual striving towards energy efficiency, sustainability and the use of renewable energies will see the development of the zero house, meaning that energy consumption will match the PV solar system, most likely with battery back-up.

6 Growth trends to hydronic heating with air to water heat pumps will see significant energy savings. This will include the growing trend for hot water delivered by heat pumps over gas and electric element units. 7 With the advent of heat pump technology, hydronic solution providers can now add domestic hot water provided by the same unit through storage coil tanks, again at significant energy savings. 8 The same heat pump unit can provide chilled water as well as hot water, meaning hydronic plumbers can now provide cooling via a range of fan coil terminal devices and even underfloor cooling though underfloor heating systems.

I can see significant growth opportunities for plumbers to get back into HVAC through hydronic heating and cooling using air to water heat pumps for those plumbers prepared to move out of their comfort zone. From my experience, I have learnt that what made you successful in the past won’t be what makes you successful in the future, and companies must continually strive to look for the next big thing.

If you would like to know more about any aspect of this article, please do not hesitate to contact me. Philip Coombs ‘The Profit Coach’ Director of Simply Business Australia 03 9797 0590

9 Research today highlights that the human body needs seventy per cent of its thermal comfort from radiant, not convection. The next development will be radiant heating and cooling using hydronic. In recent times they have been using this technique in larger buildings using chilled beams. My prediction is there will be a trend to use radiant heating and cooling in residential and light commercial applications. | 35


Plumbing regulations review. The Victorian Plumbing Regulations 2008 are due to expire in November 2018 and the review process is well under way. The Plumbing Regulations Sunset Review is being managed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, who began a public consultation period on 16 February 2017. Master Plumbers Member Technical Liaison Gary Bath discusses what this means to Victorian plumbers. Master Plumbers has been active in obtaining feedback from its members in relation to changes that we feel would strengthen or improve the current regulations and provide a better regulatory framework for our industry. This list of issues has been developed into a formal submission which was lodged with the Department. A new Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) is now being developed, which will be released for public comment later this year.

As this process of consultation is open to all, we can expect submissions from a broad section of the public and not just from those directly involved in our industry. Master Plumbers supports a regulated plumbing industry, where plumbing work is carried out by appropriately qualified and experienced individuals. We do not support a “de-regulation� of our trade and we suggest that any changes to the current regulations do not lessen the regulatory framework used to provide a safe and healthy environment for the public. In this article, I thought it would be worthwhile to give an overview of the issues that Master Plumbers have provided in our submission as well as provide some of the background to these issues.

36 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

Commercial design Under the existing plumbing regulations, a licensed plumber lodges a Certificate of Compliance (COC) that indicates responsibility for all aspects of the installation, rests with the plumber. Where these installations become more complex, such as where the services of a hydraulic consultant might be utilised to size a large multi-story water service, the licensed plumber signing the COC remains responsible for that aspect of the installation should it be non-compliant or defective in any way. Under the current regulatory regime, there is no way to hold the individual responsible for that design, or any mechanism to ensure that the individual holds the appropriate qualifications or experience to complete the work. We have suggested that a scope of work be defined under the proposed regulations to licence individuals who carry out this design work and therefore take regulatory responsibility.

Master Plumbers supports a regulated plumbing industry, where plumbing work is carried out by appropriately qualified and experienced individuals

Offsite construction of plumbing work Within the construction industry there has been an increasing trend to include elements of the building works that have been constructed off-site and delivered as “pre-assembled” units. Within the plumbing industry, bathroom PODs, manifolded hot water systems and pump installations are constructed off site using multiple watermarked materials and appliances, delivered to site and connected by a plumber to the plumbing systems. Our view is that these plumbing modules should be subject to the provisions of a COC as the assembly involves plumbing works. It does not support the proposition that these assembled units can be Watermarked as an alternative to a COC. The “off-site” work is still plumbing work and must be undertaken by a registered/licensed plumber and subject to the COC regime.

Large commercial work

Thermostatic mixing valves

The current plumbing Regulations do not distinguish the scale or complexity that a type of work entails. A licensed plumber can undertake large scale commercial construction work despite potentially having little or no experience in these areas.

The performance of thermostatic mixing valves is a critical issue to public safety. The servicing and maintenance of these valves in high risk environments such as schools, hospitals and old age care facilities should be undertaken by suitably qualified and experienced people. Similar to the specialised class of work in Backflow testing, the Association supports the need for a specialised class of work for thermostatic mixing valves.

The Association believes that a Commercial Plumbing Endorsement should be introduced to the licensing regime to support the experience required particularly around Quality Assurance and OHS systems.

Experience requirements for registration The Association supports the need for a four year pathway through an approved Apprenticeship and the completion of an appropriate Certificate III qualification as a requirement for gaining registration.

Continuous Professional Development The Association is supportive of the introduction of a readily accessible program of plumbing and business skills development as part of maintaining a licence or registration.

Refrigerated air-conditioning work The Association supports a review of the scope and qualifications currently used to define this specialised class of work. The move away from ozone depleting refrigerants and the increase in the use of natural refrigerants, some of which are highly flammable, as well as the volume of refrigerated air-conditioning systems for the heating and cooling of buildings since the last Plumbing Regulations were developed in 2008, mean that a review is coming at just the right time.

Master Plumbers will continue to update Members on the development of these Regulations on and via our bi-monthly e-news. further information is available for members from | 37

How many heaters? Meet the NSW plumber who simply can’t get enough water heaters

Some people collect cars. Others collect bikes, stamps, or coins. But have you ever heard of a person who collects water heaters? To keep you toasty for our winter edition, we have a heartwarming story about a man whose hot water hobby is bordering on obsession. The Terrey Hills, NSW plumber has been collecting them for almost 30 years. Shane, who owns Sydney company Affordable Hot Water, which has branches on the Northern Beaches, North Shore and in the North West, started collecting water heaters in 1988. He now has around 20 complete heaters that date back from 1956 as well as up to 150 badges dating back to WWII. He even has a badge from a heater made from wartime materials. “It’s a bit like collecting old cars,” he says when quizzed about the reason behind his unusual collection. This year Rheem Australia celebrates the 80th anniversary of manufacturing water heaters in Australia. The heritage is being kept alive and well by plumber Shane Foster, who has an interesting fascination. He recently added Rheem’s six millionth water heater to his collection. It joins a number of old water heaters, including some Rheem models from the late 50s.

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“Over the years, we’ve been called out to replace hundreds of very old water heaters, Rheem mainly, but also old brands such as Braemar, Swiftsure and Langco that aren’t even made anymore. Once they started to get rare we began to keep some of them.” The oldest badge Shane has is from a Rheem water heater from the early 1940s – it even had ‘constructed of permitted wartime material’ on the tank, which shows its age.

“The old metal badges were pretty cool, but since the 1980s, they’ve been replaced by stickers, so it’s harder to find interesting bits and pieces for our collection. The guys from work enjoy it because little has changed from 1982 to 2017,” says Shane. Shane bought the three millionth Rheem water heater in December 2005, and also tried to get the fourth and fifth millionth, but narrowly missed out. So how did he come to be the proud owner of the six millionth Rheem heater? “I just watched the serial numbers and, as it got close, asked if I could have it,” he says. “There are certainly worse things to have an obsession with collecting…”

Got an interesting plumbing collection of your own at home? Kitchen sinks, toilets or tapware – we want to hear from you! Email your pride and joy to

Notes from Community Plumbing Challenge

South Africa. An interview with Kirstin Griese

What we did was plant a seed. On a global level, that seed may have been small but it grew and flourished into other better things

Last year, FMSA Architectural Technician Kirstin Griese was among a team of six Australians who travelled to Diepsloot in South Africa to make a difference in the Community Plumbing Challenge. Here she shares what it’s like to work with limited tools in a place where the struggle for sanitation is a part of every day life. Working as part of the FMSA Architecture team who designed and built the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre, I met innovators and leaders within the industry, who are forging forward to set the criteria of what the next generation of plumbers will become a part of. With an interest in plumbing projects piqued, when FMSA Architecture Principal Peter Sandow was asked if he had any young designers who would be interested in participating in the Community Plumbing Challenge in Diepsloot, South Africa, I saw it as an open door to possibilities and jumped at the chance. From a design perspective, the prospect of building and improving on an area in need was a really beautiful opportunity. I was honoured to be accepted as a part of the team. In Diepsloot, our role was to assess what they already had and redesign the failing components. There are 800,000 people in Diepsloot alone, with just 750 public toilets to serve the whole community, only half of which were functioning. It was hard to understand the siting of the cubicles and location from the brief alone. When we arrived, the reality of the task became apparent – many factors affected how the toilets were operating, including the number of people relying on the public amenities, the lack of

maintenance, and the proximity of the toilets to vehicular traffic. The lack of community education required to maintain the infrastructure coupled with the local high unemployment rate contributed to the unfortunate economic and social situation. Within the grounds they had eight toilet cubicles that weren’t working. Our job was to come in with new toilet fixtures and new piping to fix up the cubicles, working with the rudimentary materials we had to install the project. Prior to the start of the challenge, the four teams from Australia, India, the USA and South Africa had worked in teams in their home country. In my group, there were team leaders, a plumber, an apprentice plumber, a metal fabricator and an architect. The objective of the scheme was to come together to improve what was there with what we were given. It was a challenge to have the foresight to come up with a solution without having the luxury of being able to communicate with the client directly. It was an early lesson in learning to work with what you’ve got. During the challenge, a highlight was when the Australian High Commissioner’s representatives came

out and inspected our sites. They were very impressed by what we were doing and invited us up to Johannesburg to meet with the man himself. A huge achievement not just for ourselves, but for the project overall, was finding out that since then funding was put forward to continue the project we had started, including maintenance and upscale of what we started. What we did was plant a seed. On a global level, that seed may have been small but it grew and flourished into other better things. Everyone from Team Australia was privileged to have that chance to make a difference, however small that may have been. We hoped that by spreading the word and public awareness of what is happening within Australia, South Africa and the plumbing community on a global level that people would get involved and even donate to funding. Plumbing professionals can make the difference. Most people don’t even know this is happening. When you are dealing with 800,000 people in one spot, it becomes apparent that you have definitely only just scratched the surface.

Read more of Kirstin’s experience in Diepsloot on | 39



2 Brothers plumbing:


It’s a rarity that you find a two man outfit that works so seamlessly, but their winning formula keeps them going from strength to strength



Keeping it in the family. R


With over 15 years’ experience, Jon and Dan Simpkin make up 2 Brothers plumbing, residential and commercial plumbing superheroes, servicing Melbourne’s city and inner suburbs. Jacks of all trades, they repair apartments, offices, retail spaces, homes and residential properties, with no job too big or small. Great service aside, it’s their distinctive branding that makes them stand out. Not to mention that name. Kate Stephenson talks to Jon and Dan about marketing, snowboarding and drumming up repeat business.

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‘People are always curious about the name,’ says Dan. ‘They are drawn to the family business side of things. But in a Google search of faceless, corporate sounding companies on the internet, 2 Brothers stands out and commands more attention. People prefer a personal approach to things. They empathise with it.’ ‘Everyone is always fascinated about how we can work together as brothers – they can’t believe we aren’t constantly at each other’s throats’ says Jon. ’But truth be told, we get on so well because we don’t have an issue pulling each other up for something. If something is wrong, we aren’t shy to say. Clearing the air is important. Crucially, we don’t hold grudges. I guess we’ve been battling on and off since we were kids so we know how to handle it. We get along great, even after eight years of working together.’

Brothers who plumb together… ‘We worked for the same companies when we were doing our apprenticeships,’ says Dan. Jon subcontracted to the company that I was working for after my apprenticeship. It feels like we’ve always worked together. It works because we have different strengths.’ Dan is the organised one, who is really good with the computer stuff and administration,’ says Jon. ‘I am more of a hands on person. We compliment each other.’

From St Kilda to the slopes – why a career in plumbing means a job anywhere by Jon Simpkin, Snowboarding plumber ‘I was already qualified as a registered plumber when I decided it was time to pack my bags for Canada. I got the job as a plumber in Lake Louise, every snowboarder’s dream come true. Looking after large scale hydronic heating systems and treated water for the town, a typical day would involve going up to the catchment points on the mountain and hiking through the backcountry to little

It’s a rarity that you find a two man outfit that works so seamlessly, but their winning formula keeps them going from strength to strength. Having been trading for just over a year, 2 Brothers are relatively new kids on the block, and are looking to expand and hire apprentices to assist in the ever increasing workload over the coming months. ‘We specialise in commercial maintenance and installations and have been looking after a number of commercial clients for extended periods,’ says Dan. ‘These include schools, factories, office blocks, shops, hostels, medical clinics, pharmacies and veterinary clinics just to name a few. As there’s only two of us, it can be a challenge to divide our time. If we are busy we split up. It’s all about time management. It all flows on. Sometimes we can go to rough in and might not be needed for a few weeks, it’s all about spreading yourself thinly enough on the ground. A lot of our work happens in the city. We do suburban work, renovations, new builds… really a bit of everything.’

wooden huts in the middle of nowhere. I would have to break up the ice to get the water flowing and then follow it down through the different water treatment plants, testing the water at all the different points, getting from point to point on my snowboard with my plumbers’ pack on my back. My experience brought home to me that plumbing is a profession you can take anywhere. No matter what country you come from everyone needs plumbing, heating, water, sanitation and drainage – you can pack your bag and take your skills anywhere – pretty much work anywhere in the world!’

It’s the little things ‘We get most of our custom through word of mouth or repeat business. Due to this it’s important to maintain a great reputation. The main thing is to be honest with people and make sure you do everything by the book. Never cut corners. Always do people the courtesy of being punctual. Clean up thoroughly after your jobs. Take your shoes off without being asked when you go into a client’s house. Little things like that make all the difference and enable you to stand out from the crowd.

Go digital We are firm believers in the power of digital marketing and have recently launched our new website We have built its content to include plenty of client referrals and links to plumbing related advice and brought it to life with some on location imagery, which really tells the story of who we are. So far it’s working well as a brand reinforcer and reputation builder. We think that in this day and age a good website is key to success.’

What being a Master Plumbers Member means to us: ‘2 Brothers have been Master Plumbers Members for just over a year. We signed up just after launching the business. It’s been invaluable; we’ve got a lot of work referrals through the website. It’s all about affiliation. People know the Master Plumbers brand, so when you have the sticker on your car or logo on your website, there is the immediate association with a standard of quality. When people see you are a Master Plumber, they are immediately more confident that you are a professional tradesperson who knows what they are doing. We have loved it and will always be Members. It was a great stepping stone for us as we established the business. We haven’t called on the Members only Technical Advisor, but the next time an issue comes up will certainly contact him for industry expertise – it’s good to always have that support network waiting in the wings.’ | 41

10 tips

Safety has to come first

for reducing winter safety risk Working in winter is just a part of the job for plumbers, but the cold temperatures, wet weather and shorter daylight hours bring a range of OHS risks. We spoke with Cameron Ellis and Steve Thornely, both former plumbers who now work as OHS advisors with WorkSafe Victoria, to identify the most common winter hazards and get some tips on how to minimise these seasonal risks.

2 Excavation dangers

4 Slippery roofs

One of the biggest risks is working in trenching. You need to be aware of air and gas movement in and around trenches or pits that may be classified as confined spaces. This is especially so if you have machinery operating nearby to an excavation, like lighting plants or generators producing gases which are heavier than air, like carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. You’ll need to check the atmosphere periodically to ensure it is safe for people to enter and continue working there.

Steve advises, “Avoid working on a wet metal roof; even with guardrails the possibility of a slip remains high. It’s also important to wear appropriate footwear that has proper grip.”

Steve says, “In Victoria, if you enter a trench which is 1.5m or greater in depth, you have to have some sort of ground support to stop it collapsing. This might include trench shoring, benching or battering the trench. In wet weather, clay will absorb more water, increasing the risk of collapse.”

“When carrying and lifting wet slippery materials, particularly sharp ones, use gloves to improve grip or consider using a mechanical aid to assist. It’s important to remove excess mud and keep working areas in good order with walkways or crushed rock.”

1 Mud

Cameron adds, “You need to avoid unstable areas or reinforce the ground conditions by adding dirt and other materials and/or repacking it. Saturated soil can increase the risk of ground slippage.”

6 Electric shocks and electrocution

Mud is a major hazard in winter. Steve says, “You can scrape down the site to remove loose mud and put down some crushed rock.” Cameron agrees. “Tracking mud around the site, onto ladders, into plant or work areas can also put others at risk of trips and slips.” Cameron recommends that a suitably qualified person should assess the condition of the ground and the site. “There are times when you have to call it, that the ground is just too wet, soft or slippery,” he says. “Safety has to come first. It’s also going to be expensive to have mobile plant stuck in mud and it exposes other people and plant to increased risk during retrieval efforts.”

3 Vehicle accidents “In bad weather and poor visibility there is an increased risk of onsite accidents involving mobile plant and vehicles,” Cameron says. Steve adds, “When travelling to and from sites in winter; you may be driving in the dark, often in rain and poor visibility. Black ice can also be a danger.”

Want some takeaway tips on what to do when the flu hits your workplace in the chilly months? Visit the Health and Safety news section of to find out more! 42 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

Cameron suggests you start with an assessment. “You may be able to dry the roof off. But if that isn’t practical, wait until that risk has passed. When there is moss or lichen on a roof, take care to scrape it off first.”

5 Handling wet materials

“Your leads shouldn’t come into contact with anything wet,” says Steve. “Leads on the ground are not only a trip hazard, but can cause an electric shock, or worse, electrocution. In Victoria for all construction work, you have to use an RCD.” Cameron suggests using lead hooks and stands. “Tools should never be left out. Store them in a dry area. Inspect everything before you plug it in.”

7 Reduced visibility

9 Gas appliance safety

“There is a heightened risk in winter when the light isn’t as good, or when raining or foggy, as it’s harder for plant operators to see other workers,” Cameron says. “You may need to bring in some artificial lighting. Use exclusion zones, high-vis clothing, and ensure plant operators are aware of who’s working around them and where they are at all times.”

“In winter you tend to do more gas appliance servicing, maintenance and installations, and of course, more work with heating systems,” Steve says.

8 Short hours and shortcuts “In winter with shorter daytime hours to get work done, there are risks associated with rushing to get work completed, and taking shortcuts,” Cameron says. “A lot of this comes down to planning. Look at the weather forecast. Don’t take a roof off or start a trench when there is rain forecast.”

Cameron and Steve agree that most of these risks can be managed with a few simple strategies. Planning, having the right tools and equipment and taking the time to assess before diving into work are all key to managing safety in winter.

“You need to make sure customers are aware of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning that can be associated with gas appliances. Gas appliances need to be serviced regularly, and we encourage plumbers to remind customers of this too.”

10 Fit for work “If you are unwell, there may be higher risks of injury or accident. If you are not fit for work it’s better to stay home,” Cameron says. “Being wet and cold can make you clumsy if you aren’t properly warmed up for manual tasks and can also impact your concentration.”

Master Plumbers can assist Members with all their workplace health and safety needs. To find out more contact Rod Tresidder on 03 9321 0745 or email

Amanda Ogilvie is the Senior Content Coordinator 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

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. | 43

Interested in hosting an International Intern at your company next year? Email to register your interest.

Why your company should consider hosting an

international intern. Master Plumbers Members Cooke & Dowsett have been sending apprentices to Denmark as part of the International Internship scheme for the last seven years. They have also reciprocated the generosity of their Danish associates by welcoming interns from Copenhagen to work with them over here in Australia. Next year, as part of the International Internship opportunity, Master Plumbers will be extending the invitation to host a Danish intern to all Member companies. Perhaps you have never considered the benefits of hosing an overseas intern before. Hopefully this piece will pique your interest! After playing a key role in its inception, Cooke & Dowsett’s National Construction Manager Mark Sullivan is understandably passionate about the International Internship and a strong advocate of how hosting an intern can really do great things for your plumbing company. This is the seventh year that Cooke & Dowsett have received interns and they will continue to do so into the future. Here’s why: “The benefits of receiving an intern are to us just as great as sending someone over. It’s enlightening for all our staff to meet and work with someone new from overseas. It’s also a buzz to welcome them into Australian culture, facilitate their needs and organise their itineraries.

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When you realise how enriching it is for the young apprentice who comes over, it doesn’t really feel like work at all. It’s also great to have this reciprocal connection to a like-minded plumbing company on the other side of the world. It teaches your team a lot about managing people. I’m always asked whether the language difference is a hindrance, but to be honest the Danes’ English is usually so good, it really doesn’t act as too much of a barrier.

What the interns have brought to Cooke & Dowsett is a new challenge. It encourages us to think and work outside of the box, leave our comfort zones. For me, we need to be challenged to improve what we do, not only in our everyday, but in our working environments and the people that we work and socialise with. I’d like to thank Scott Dowsett and Chadd Cooke for giving me the opportunity and support to facilitate this and other programs with the confidence to deliver worthwhile programs that benefit all.”

Meet Cooke & Dowsett’s Danish connection For Danish intern Jeppe Storm Smedegaard, his experience living and working in Australia was life changing. Here he shares his experiences about what it was like coming to Australia as an apprentice plumber. What made you want to take your plumbing career to Australia?

Have you experienced lots of differences in Australia?

Did you enjoy your time living in Australia?

My company Finn L Davidsen have had a working relationship with Cooke & Dowsett for many years. We send Danish interns like myself to Australia and they send Australians to Denmark. My boss suggested I should try my luck at the internship in Australia. There were four people who applied. It was very competitive, but I am so happy I got through.

In Australia there is a lot more focus on OHS. In Denmark there is no such thing as a red card. We have courses where you can learn more about the area, but it’s not mandatory.

I got the authentic experience staying at a backpackers hostel in the city and also took a trip to Sydney to see the sights!

Our technology and tools are basically the same, but there are a few differences. For instance, we use push fit PVC instead of gluing it.

Cooke & Dowsett put me to work on a range of projects and made me feel very welcome. I really got a feel for the Australian plumbing industry.

Were there any issues with a language barrier?

‘Europe are seen as leaders in technology and innovation within the plumbing industry and Australia has implemented and uses a large number of these technologies. It’s an information exchange and a chance to make future contacts. Knowledge is the key to success. If an intern can teach us just one new idea or skill set, it’s been worth it. If you have nothing to compare how we do things here in Australia you will never challenge the status quo.’

Well nobody at Cooke & Dowsett speaks Danish, but my English is pretty good – and if ever I got stuck, Google Translate worked wonders!

Scott Dowsett President – Master Plumbers

Congratulations to the first ever Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria International Internship winner who is going to Copenhagen in August! We are delighted to declare the winner of the Master Plumbers International Internship as Jack Dainer. Jack is a fourth year apprentice plumber with experience on both domestic and mechanical projects and a can-do attitude that really impressed our judging panel. He will be heading to the stunning city of Copenhagen to work for Henrik W Hansen plumbing for five weeks in August.

Due to the high calibre of all of our applications, the panel had a tough decision on their hands – we’d like to thank everyone who took the time to apply for this incredible opportunity and encourage anyone who is interested in applying next year to do all they can to build a strong portfolio to strengthen their application next year. | 45

How seasonal promotions can boost your business. make winter work for you!

When you buy a “Happy Meal” for your child, you are buying a package deal. Instead of purchasing a soft drink, chips, and burger separately, it all comes together in one package. Eve John investigates what seasonal packaging can do for your business. Packaging is so common in the fast food industry that 98 per cent of all sales are package sales. And have you noticed that every time a new children’s movie comes out, they change their offer around that, simply with a change of graphics on the box and a styled toy? Using creatively packaged deals can boost sales and impress your customer, especially if you tie them in and around what is currently happening in your potential customer’s life. Here’s how you can use this tried and tested marketing strategy.

Developing packages To develop different package offers, think of the problems that your customers often experience and the potential solutions that you offer to help solve the problem. Then think of something else you may be able to add with the package that costs you little but adds great value. For example you can package up air-conditioning installation or service, with a downpipe inspection or clean out. Both in preparation for the hot weather. Or a gas heating installation or service, with a check of the hot water system. No one likes a cold shower in winter. The key to a successful package: make it valuable to your customer and easy for you to action.

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Turning them into seasonal promotions Seasonal promotions can be set up once and run every year, a simple change of graphics and you are ready to go. It also allows you to tap into the conversation that is already going on in your potential customer’s mind, a really great marketing strategy. Summer

Air-conditioning maintenance, water saving products and services. Winter

Ducted heating service, carbon monoxide testing. Spring and Autumn

Seasonal promotions can be used to market to your existing customer database. Remember it takes six times as much money to get a new customer that it does to entice your existing ones. A great (and free) online program that you can use to create the visuals for the promotions, that comes complete with pre designed templates is called The templates are easy to use and well thought out. You just add your personalisation, save and print or promote, it’s that easy. Consider this, even if you did one promotion per season, that is still four more marketing opportunities this year than last.

Preparing for the heat or cold. But you don’t need to make them specific to just the seasons. They can be around other important events that are going on at the time. These can include Christmas, AFL season, Melbourne Cup Day, first day of school, Mothers Day, the list is endless.

Where to spruik your seasonal promotions Opportunities are everywhere; from your website, social media, printed postcards or letters to previous clients.

Eve John is a multi-awarded business owner, #1 bestselling author and marketing strategist specialising in trade and construction. She is the creator of the Australian Innovation awarded Fully Booked Tradies System which is helping trade business owner build their business and get their time back, by creating highly effective and profitable marketing and sales systems that run on autopilot to turn more of your quotes into paying customers. To see highly effective seasonal promotions simply text your name and email to 0412 255 810.

Time to focus on tax. It’s nearly the end of the financial year which means that now is the time to focus on ensuring you’ve claimed all the deductions you’re entitled to. H&R Block’s Mark Chapman tells you what you need to know. The general rule for claiming tax deductions is that if you’ve incurred an expense as part of your job or business, haven’t been reimbursed and are able to substantiate that expense, you’re able to claim it as a deduction against your taxable income. This could include a lot more than you thought. Superannuation deductions If you run a business and have staff, the cost of superannuation contributions paid for your workers is tax deductible. If you’re in employment, you can make concessionally taxed super contributions of up to $30,000 per year (or $35,000 if you’re aged 49 or over). That includes the super paid by your employer, plus any salary sacrificed contributions. From 1 July 2017, that limit is reducing to $25,000 so it makes sense to maximise your contributions this financial year.

Public liability and workers compensation insurance Insurance premiums you pay through your business are tax deductible, provided they are connected to your ability to earn income, such as insurance covering public liability, workers compensation and professional indemnity.

Tools and equipment If you’re in business, and your business has an aggregate annual turnover of less than $10 million, you can claim an immediate deduction for all capital purchases which cost less than $20,000. For plumbers who run their own business, this is a crucial tax break

because it means you can get immediate tax relief for all purchases of tools and equipment costing less than $20,000, rather than having to depreciate them over their useful life. For plumbers who are in employment, the tax breaks aren’t so generous. You can immediately write-off the cost of tools and equipment costing less than $300 (provided the item isn’t part of a set costing more than $300). More expensive items need to be depreciated over the useful life.

Mobile telephone expenses If you use your personal mobile for work purposes, you can claim a deduction for the cost of work-related calls you make, and also for any data you use whilst using the internet on your phone or at home.

Tolls/parking If you incur parking fees and tolls whilst you’re working, they are tax deductible. You cannot claim fines.

Motor vehicle expenses

If you use a vehicle which weighs over one tonne, you must claim the actual expenses you incur. Remember, you can’t generally claim the cost of driving from home to work.

Sun protection including sunglasses and sunscreen Items of clothing which protect you from injury or illness at work are tax deductible. If you work outside, that includes sunglasses and sunscreen. More generally, it also covers items like work boots, gloves, hi-vis vests and heavy duty shirts and trousers.

Expenses for tendering or quoting Most expenses you incur whilst tendering or quoting are deductible, including the cost of preparing the quotes, travel incurred on visiting the potential client to scope the job or negotiate terms, and the cost of providing samples. The one exception is any entertaining that you do as part of the process.

If you use your own vehicle as part of your job or business, you can claim a tax deduction for the work-related use costs. There are two methods of calculating your deduction: • The cents per kilometre method. Multiply all your business or work-related kilometres by a flat rate allowance of 66 cents per kilometre. You’ll need to keep a record of all your business journeys and you can only claim up to 5,000km per vehicle. • The logbook method. This method must be used if you travelled more than 5,000 business kilometres in your vehicle. You need to keep records of all expenses (invoices, receipts, etc) as well as a logbook, which is used to work out the work-related portion of your vehicle use.

Mark Chapman is Director of Tax Communications for H&R Block Australia. He writes and speaks regularly on tax matters for a variety of media outlets. He appears regularly on radio and TV to discuss tax matters. Mark has been a tax adviser specialising in advice for individuals and small businesses for over 20 years, in both the UK and Australia. | 47

Meet the bright spark in dual industry valve innovation National Fire Industry Association Victoria President Haysam Mohtadi explains the thinking behind his innovations in valves compliant with both the plumbing and the fire industries, sharing his own inspiring story.

How it all began “Straight after my apprenticeship, I started my own company called Rhino Fire, specialising in testing and maintenance of fire sprinkler systems. I was in that business for 13 years. During that time, I became very involved in the industry, forging relations with trade schools, the National Fire Industry Association (NFIA) and the Victorian Building Authority (VBA). In 2006, I accepted a business acquisition with ARA. A two year contract spanned nine years in the end; it was very hard for them to let me go, because I was the face of the company. So we maintained a mutually beneficial relationship, which allowed me to retain a hands-on involvement with the lightbulb moment business.

My came when I realised I had the knowledge to design a valve fit for both the plumbing and the fire industries

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The brains behind the idea

How I did it

After years specialising in service, maintenance and installation of fire sprinkler systems, the push to bring my own ideas to life began in 2013. I had worked with many valves and could identify a gap in the market for one that went that one step further. I knew both the limitations and benefits of existing products. I understood what worked, what didn’t and why. Gathering this information, I was able to develop my own valve, with flawless performance in mind. Unlike others on the market that were restricted to one industry, this valve was designed to go one step further.

Creating a valve that suited both the plumbing and fire industry was not an easy task. As manufacturing is thin on the ground in Australia these days, I had no choice but to outsource. I needed to find a factory and spent a lot of time in China auditing my options. I’m very particular about where the product comes from and under what conditions. It has to be ethically sourced. It’s not necessarily about the best price, factors like quality and environment are much more important for me.

I knew that the plumbing industry and fire industry had two different valves due to different accreditations. The fire industry valve required UL and FM specs, which are American accreditations. The plumbing industry requires the WaterMark accreditation. In both industries I realised there was no one valve that had both. My lightbulb moment came when I realised I had the knowledge to design a valve fit for both the plumbing and the fire industries. When it was developed, I had created the only FM UL WaterMark OSY valve in the country.

I spent a lot of time and money professionally testing the products in Sydney and Queensland to ensure Australian industry standards were met. It’s just under two years since we finally cracked the market and got it passed. Since then, things have been going from strength to strength.

Features and benefits We supply both gate valves and butterfly valves for the plumbing and fire industries. My gate valves cover all aspects of testing for the whole world. Plumbers like butterfly valves for backflow prevention. The gate valve comes in flange and grooved, whereas the butterfly valve is grooved only. I supply my products Australia wide. The WaterMark label is in my name. Factories can’t sell to anyone else. I’m proud to say I’m the only person in Australia who has this WaterMark.” Want to know more about what Haysam Mohtadi’s gate and butterfly valves can do for your plumbing or fire industry business. Contact the man himself on 041 110 3846.

Haysam Mohtadi has spent 13 years as the Victorian President of the NFIA and also as a National Councillor. He has been an active participant in the fire industry since 1989 and a key player in raising the bar for the industry, especially on the topic of industry regulation and quality skills acquisition and application. Working closely with councillors from every state, he has played an integral part in pushing a progressive agenda on Australian standards. He is also Director of Fire Industry Training and a member of the VBA QRC Board. Haysam holds a full Fire Licence with the VBA as well as holding a Commercial Builder Fit Out Licence.

ApprovalMark International is a premier WaterMark certification body accredited by JASANZ to provide product certification on plumbing products. ApprovalMark International conducted a factory certification audit on Haysam’s gate valve product as per AS 2638. ApprovalMark independently selected various sizes of gate and forwarded to an independent laboratory accredited to ISO 17025 for product testing as per AS 2638 and AS/NZS 4020. The product was successfully tested for three months to verify compliance to product standard prior to issuing of WaterMark certification. ApprovalMark International continues to monitor product quality by conducting annual surveillance factory audits and randomly selecting the product for batch release testing to verify ongoing compliance to AS 2638. I can attest that it is a sound valve that meets all the requirements of AS 2638. John Prasad Director, ApprovalMark | 49

Building your

nest egg. With the end of the financial year looming, you might find your attention turning to your savings situation. Australian Plumbing Industry magazine regular Matt Reynolds talks goals and savings targets and why it’s better to get a headstart to feather your nest for the future.

50 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

Most of us realise that we need a stash of money we can draw on if we expect to live out our golden years of retirement ordering Pina Coladas from a beachside bar. Furthermore, we know that our ability to build and grow our nest eggs will not only determine the quality of our beach years, but how soon we have the choice to hang up our boots. Money, in my opinion, is not the most important thing in life, but it does give you choices. Having the basics covered is a prerequisite for a healthy and happy existence. Not many of us plan on working 40+ hours a week for the rest of our lives, so sooner or later we all ask ourselves the same big question: how much do we need? Everyone’s situation is unique, so you do need to seek your own advice, but it’s generally accepted in personal finance circles that with roughly 25 times your annual expenses invested and without any drastic changes in spending habits, you can put down the shovel for good and never run out of money. That’s 25 times your expenses, not income. If you can keep your spending under $25K a year, you’ll need $625K before you plan to sell your tool box. Spend $50K a year keeping the fridge stocked and the Hilux full of gas? Then you’ll need $1.25M. $100K? Then you’ll need $2.5M. You get the idea. These number shouldn’t scare any of us because, as plumbers, we have two significant advantages when it comes to money. Firstly, we get paid to learn so we have money early in life. From day one, we receive a wage and are not required to begin our working lives in debt with huge student loans hanging over our heads. Secondly, we have time on our side and – thanks to the magic of compound interest – a rock solid financial future is almost guaranteed if we start saving early and remain consistent.

Let’s assume one chilly winter’s morning you grab your fixie and pedal your way to your first day on the building site as an 18-year-old. You work hard, collect your wage and on Friday afternoon commit to putting $70 aside each week for your future. You find a basic share fund returning 10 per cent and automate your weekly payments. Eight years later you stop your contributions and leave the approximate $45K you have accumulated so far in the account. You forget all about the investment. That’s a pretty healthy stash at 26, remembering that you also have your compulsory Superannuation accumulating in the background as well. Then, at 26, one of your mates cottons on to your little savings system. So impressed with your progress, he starts putting away $70 a week for himself and gets a little waddle in his stride with the thought of all those cocktails you’ll enjoy together on the beach. There is, however, a little problem. Even if he continues to invest $70 each and every week for the next 39 years until you both reach the implied retirement age of 65, his account balance of $1,589,733 falls well short of your own at $1,863,287, a whopping differential of $273,554 (or almost 14,000 Pina Coladas). Contributing 75 per cent less money in 75 per cent less time, you’ll still own a bigger account. That’s the power of compound interest. For the highest probability of the biggest nest egg, you need to start early, save as much as you can and invest the money for the long haul. Ironically, the seeds of lavish retirements are most effectively planted as near broke apprentices.

Even with time and money on our side, it can still go wrong if we don’t guard our investments closely. A nest egg is built in the gap between your income and expenses, the higher your income and the lower your expenses the faster you’ll accumulate money (which is probably much more than $70 a week if you spend money wisely and keep your costs low). Keeping your expenses low means paying very low fees and being tax efficient. You’ll need to get your own advice on both but be aware, the financial industry generates a huge amount of their revenue through fees. It’s unfortunate but you don’t always get what you pay for. Often, it’s quite the opposite, lower cost funds actually produce higher returns simply because they have lower fees. You don’t have to be unbelievably smart or have a bunch of letters following your name to win the game of money and build yourself a healthy nest egg. Start as early as you can, save as much as you can, automate your plan and keep your expenses low. Just think of investing like a standard work day, if you show up early, keep chipping away, avoid distractions and skip lunch every now and then, good things tend to happen.

For the highest probability of the biggest nest egg, you need to start early, save as much as you can and invest the money for the long haul. Ironically, the seeds of lavish retirements are most effectively planted as near broke apprentices

From the trenches [Matt Reynolds] Matt Reynolds is an award winning plumber who writes about the game as an industry insider. You can connect with him on Twitter @MrMattReynolds or find him as the Director of XRM Plumbing Services on LinkedIn. | 51

Abandonment of employment. What you need to know

Phil Eberhard, Master Plumbers’ Senior Workplace Relations Advisor shares expert advice on the right steps to take when an employee abandons employment. A recent decision of a full bench of the Fair Work Commission (Commission) has confirmed that even if an employee has abandoned their employment, the employer is still required to take that final step and terminate the employees’ employment. If the employer doesn’t terminate the employment of the employee, then there is an argument to say that the employee’s employment in effect continues.

Background Boguslaw Bienias (employee) had been employed by Ipex Pipelines Australia Pty Limited trading as Ipex Pipelines Australia (employer) between December 1983 and June 2016. The employee had held a number of positions with the employer. At the time of his termination the employee had been employed as a Team Leader. The employee was subject to a number of disciplinary/performance related issues. These started in December 2015, after the employee had returned a positive alcohol reading test and concluded with a final warning being issued on 11 May 2016. The employee was covered by the Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2010. The employee was then absent from work from 13 May 2016. The employer then alleged that the employee abandoned their employment.

52 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

Decision The Commission found that: [36] …clause 21 of the Award does not have the effect of automatically terminating employment and did not have that effect in this case. Both textual and contextual considerations tell against such a conclusion. [37] …There is only prima facie evidence of abandonment. [41] In truth, once an employee is deemed pursuant to clause 21 of the Award to have abandoned his or her employment, the employment of the employee does not come to an end nor is the employer required to end the employment by terminating it. In order to do so, we consider the employer must take the additional step of terminating the employment and if it does not do so employment continues. [43] Thus termination of employment by abandonment as set out in the third paragraph of clause 21, though said to operate as from the date, relevantly, of the last attendance at work, cannot operate at all until the employer reaches the conclusion that it is not satisfied that the employee was absent for reasonable cause, and decides to act. Therefore, it is not the unauthorised absence of the employee which causes employment to terminate, nor is it the deeming of the unauthorised absence to be an abandonment. Rather, it is the act of the employer that brings about the termination of the employee’s employment.

[55] We do not accept that clause 21 of the Award operating in the manner suggested by… (the employer)…, that is as an automatic termination of employment, is either ancillary or incidental to the operation of Division 11 or that it supplements any provision of the National Employment Standards. Division 11 deals with notice of termination, payment in lieu of notice and redundancy pay.

mastering workplace relations

an employer is required to try and make contact with an employee

Summary: Lessons to be learned Once again, this decision shows that there are a whole range of issues that need to be considered prior to actually terminating the employment of an employee. Generally speaking, an employee abandons their employment when an employee absents themselves from the workplace without reasonable excuse, and/or has failed to communicate with their employer the reason for the absence. The employer needs to have established that the employee has demonstrated, or is demonstrating, an intention to no longer be bound by the terms and conditions of the contract of employment.

In order to establish this, an employer is required to try and make contact with an employee – whether that be through phone calls, correspondence (which could include emails), home visits, etc. However, the effect of the Commission’s decision is that an employer cannot just assume or ‘take it’ that the employee has abandoned their employment – the employer needs to terminate the employment relationship. The reason for the employee’s termination would be because the employee had abandoned their employment. The justification and/or grounds for terminating the employee’s employment would be established through the ways that the employee has tried to contact the employee whilst they have been absent from work without approval.

Should there be any questions about the contents of this article, Members may contact Phil Eberhard, Senior Workplace Relations Adviser, Master Plumbers, on 03 9321 0720, 0425 790 722 or

3 ways Cbus builds super futures for plumbers in Victoria 1.

Investing in property and development projects through our wholly owned subsidiary Cbus Property1, creating jobs and delivering returns


Easy administration for employers, with online options to join Cbus and pay employees’ super


Industry–specific super products for members, including insurance cover, financial advice and free access to the Cbus smartphone app

Contact Scott for your business super needs Scott LaFerlita

Business Development Manager, VIC

0409 934 674

Cbus Property commercial project, 700 Bourke Street, Melbourne 1 Cbus Property Pty Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cbus and has responsibility for the strategic performance and management of all Cbus direct property developments and investments. This information is about Cbus. It doesn’t take into account your specific needs, so you should look at your own business needs and objectives before making any financial decisions. Read the Cbus Employer Handbook and other relevant documents to decide whether Cbus is right for you. Call 1300 361 784 or visit for a copy. Cbus’ Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262. | 53

Protecting your livelihood.

Public and Product Liability insurance provides critical protection for your business and livelihood. This form of business protection is particularly important for those in the plumbing industry, given the associated risks.

The mandatory insurance required for plumbers practicing in Victoria is to include cover for the rectification of defective work for six years from the date of the Compliance Certificate. Any resultant damage (as opposed to the rectification itself) will only be covered by the insurer if the insured holds an active Public Liability policy at the time of the loss. This creates potential uninsured exposure to those who have retired or ceased trading but who have completed works within the past six years.

A claims scenario Joe the plumber repairs some damaged pipes in the basement carpark of a customer’s residence. The following year Joe retires and allows his Public and Product Liability insurance to lapse. Six months later, whilst the property owners are on an extended holiday, the pipe repairs fail and the basement carpark fills with water. The property owners return from their holiday to find that their luxury vehicle is severely water damaged. Joe’s insurer at the time that he signed the Compliance Certificate with is liable to pay for the rectification of defective work, in this case a relatively simple pipe replacement that costs around $600. However, as Joe allowed his policy to lapse and did not take out run-off cover, he has no active Liability policy, meaning that he does not have insurance to cover the resultant damage. The vehicle is beyond repair and needs to be replaced, at a cost of $160,000.

In order to ensure that he was adequately protected, Joe should have elected to continue his policy coverage as ’run-off cover’ only. This would mean that he would not be covered for any future plumbing works, but would be covered for resultant damage due to any defective work previously undertaken whilst he was still trading, such as in this instance.

If you are considering ceasing trading we may be able to organise ‘run-off cover’ from your existing policy arranged by Marsh Advantage Insurance. For more information please contact one of our team of 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. This article contains general information only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. For full details of the terms, conditions exclusions and limitations of insurance cover and before decided whether a policy suits your needs please refer to the specific Product Disclosure Statement which is available from Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd. Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303 AFSL 238369) arrange the insurance and is not the insurer. The Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia receives a financial benefit when a policy is arranged by Marsh Advantage Insurance, enabling it to continue to provide further services to the plumbing industry.

54 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

AFFORDABLE PLUMBERS LIABILITY INSURANCE IS NO PIPE DREAM Contact Marsh Advantage Insurance for a competitive quote and join the 4,000 plumbers across Victoria already with us. We can arrange public liability insurance starting from $629*, and we will email your certificate of currency directly to the Victorian Building Authority. To get a quote, call 1300 300 511 or visit * Premium includes statutory charges and broker fee and is based on one licensed plumber insured, domestic plumbing work only, with an estimated annual turnover less than $200,000 and no previous claims or uninsured losses in the last five years. Acceptance of cover is subject to underwriter guidelines, which includes restrictions on types of plumbing works. 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. Premium is based on public liability and Victorian plumbers warranty insurance underwritten by Vero Insurance Limited (ABN 48 005 297 807, AFSL 230859), is indicative only and, while accurate at the time of publication, is subject to change. This advertisement contains general information and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. For full details of the terms, conditions and limitations of the covers, refer to the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) which is available from Marsh Advantage Insurance. LCPA 17/0008. S17-3607.


Copper heats up. Copper pipes and hot water are natural partners, but there are some rules says the International Copper Association’s John Fennell. Copper’s lower thermal expansion means it handles movement better than other materials. For complex installations – like high-rise buildings, there are a number of methods available for dealing with expansion and contraction of heated water pipe work.

Provision for expansion The easiest and most common method of accommodating expansion is to provide an offset or change in direction

to allow the tube to move. This requires that the tube not be fixed within a certain distance of the end.

Length of pipe


If the pipe work is locked into position and does not allow for thermal movement, related stresses in the material will occur, which may cause premature failure, including:

Offset L

• Defects from over straining, in particular at junctions or branches • Leakage at location where the material has reached its yield point • Distortion in the piping or connected equipment. The design and installation of pipe work must take into consideration each material type, the method of installation and the change in temperature. Heated water supplies must have free length of piping around the bend or along the branch, a clear space to allow movement or expansion loops, or offsets located at or near the midpoint in straight lengths. Thermal length changes are calculated based on the difference between the coldest temperature in the pipe work (i.e. during installation of the system, or when the system is not in operation) and the highest temperature during operation.


Offset to accommodate expansion

Expansion loops or U-bends Long pipe sections may need to be split up in sub-sections by installing more than one anchor point. Between any two anchor points a provision for thermal movement must be created, i.e. by installing an expansion loop or U-bend.

Expansion loops and U-bends should be located near the centre of the length of pipe and placed horizontally to avoid forming air locks at the top of the loops and to ensure circulation of the water.

1/2 x Offset L

Suitable pipe guide Offset L Anchor



there are a number of methods available for dealing with expansion and contraction of heated water pipe work

Length of pipe The length of pipe L is the length between the anchor point and the offset bend

For details on the expansion of different material and sizing of Offset and Expansion Loops please consult the HSDG, relevant Standards or product literature. Want to know more? Read the full feature in Plumbing Industry News on

56 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017


Wisdom comes with winters. The tendering series continues with something for the cold snap from Chris Dennis.

Four steps to take to “improve your wisdom” and tenders

I use the start of winter as a time for reflection on my business. • How did it go for the last financial year? • Did you achieve those goals that you set last year?

1 Get yourself in a better mood Here are some suggestions:

• What do you want to do for your business and personal life in the next year?

• Play some music

After all, the new financial year has started.

• Think about your family

• Play with the kids

• Think about the best holiday you have ever been on. Ok – So you’re in a happy place… this will help you see your business in a different light. By being in your happy place, your wisdom will increase!

“Wisdom comes with winters” Oscar Wilde

1 What to keep doing 2 What to stop doing 3 What to start doing These three questions are very powerful. So in the tendering world… • Did you achieve the wins that you thought you would? • Have you taken notice of how much time you spend tendering for projects? • Was this a worthwhile investment of your time?

Master Plumbers’ have our tendering workshop coming up on 6 June, where Chris will go through Tendering and Capability Documents, which will help your win ratios and overall profitability of the company.

Download Chris’s exclusive member Ultimate Tendering Toolkit at 30 per cent off. This toolkit explains how YOU can win more profitable tenders with tools to use to save you time and money.

2 This reflection and planning can highlight:

If you have any tendering questions email Chris Dennis

Calculate what it really cost you to respond to all those tenders last year

Then work out from the winners – did you make any profit? To make this easier for you, I recommend my custom built tool to work out your Return on Investment on this website

3 Reflect on your winning projects Congratulate yourself on a project well done. Update case studies and testimonials to show these projects.

sure you’re still in the 4 Make happy place Read through your tender submissions and see what you can improve. Look at them from the client perspective; are you demonstrating what true value you bring for your client? While running through these steps have in mind what to “Keep – Stop – Start” doing. | 57

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58 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

From Only




From Only




product news Premium bathroom luxury without the premium price tag! Exclusive to Tradelink, Hansgrohe’s new range of premium mixers and showers are the ultimate in affordable luxury and comfort. At Tradelink, we’re proud to offer a huge range of trusted bathroom, kitchen and laundry brands. We’re now taking the next step in growing our range and have teamed up with Hansgrohe to offer an exclusive new range of premium mixers and showers that won’t break the bank! For over 110 years, Hansgrohe have been a world leader in bathroom innovation and technology and with superior quality German manufacturing and design, the new mixer and shower range is sure to impress even your fussiest customer. The Hansgrohe MySport mixer range brings harmony and modernity into the bathroom and comes standard with EcoSmart technology. The Crometta hand showers feature attractive designs in white and chrome to compliment any bathroom. The shower offers great user comfort and functionality through the adjustable spray disc and QuickClean technology. The Raindance Select EcoSmart shower saves on water and energy consumption costs. It offers a soft and generous spray for ultimate comfort. With a special 15 year domestic warranty for every Hansgrohe product sold in Australia* and a 10 year commercial warranty for Hansgrohe products used for commercial purposes*, you and your customers can be sure you’re getting a product you can rely on! Find out more about the new range at *Terms and conditions apply. Visit for extended warranty information

SEWERQUIP Pty Ltd – Introducing the NEW and compact Ute mount water jetter Sewerquip Pty Ltd have recognised the need for a compact durable high pressure water jetting machine that can be easily mounted to plumbers’ utes, while taking up the least amount of room possible. We have designed the new Sewerjett Raider that can be easily mounted to a standard tray without taking up valuable space. The new Sewerjett Raider boasts a huge 24lpm/5000psi performance which has an effective cleaning range for 50-225mm pipes and comes complete with all the accessories required to effectively start cleaning drains. With twin reels mounted directly to the unit, fixing to your vehicle is a breeze minus the expensive fit-out required with remote reels. The garden reel houses the 25m of 19mm water feed hose, and the high pressure reel houses the 60m of high quality jetting hose. The package includes a nozzle box with the renowned Rootax controlled rotation root cutter and a selection of jetting heads. A 15m 1/8 whip hose and hand lance are supplied to enable you to clean 40-50mm pipes. Simply bolt this impressive unit down to your ute, truck, trailer or van and you are ready to start professionally jetting those blocked drains! For more info on the Sewerjett Raider please contact Troy Wiggins or call 1800 816 830.

Business growth made easy with simPRO Hard-working tradies in Australia and across the world are loving the difference simPRO software solutions are making to their business and lives. Users are saying hello to smoother workflow, the space and time to grow, and weekends free of endless invoicing. Job management software is today’s must-have business tool for the trades industry. simPRO’s scalable solutions are built by an Australian trade contractor to help business owners take control of and grow their businesses. Smaller businesses that schedule, attend sites, and complete works can go paperless with ease with the simPRO Service level offering. This is through features to automate quoting, scheduling, invoicing, and so on. As many businesses expand and delve into other areas in their industries, they often find themselves managing more complex workflows. This is where simPRO really shines as a job management system that grows with your business. When clients need more than the base simPRO Service level offers, it’s easy to progress to simPRO Enterprise and gain access to many more features as and when you require.

Master Plumbers Members use simPRO job management software for free As a Master Plumbers Member, you can get one simPRO Service office licence and one simPRO Connect field licence free for the lifetime of your membership. That’s a total value of $1,176 per year! Find out more at members-master-plumbers | 59

product news As part of RIDGID’s commitment to developing technological precision products, Ridge Tool Australia is proud to announce the RIDGID® micro IR-200 infrared Thermometer The micro IR-200 Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer provides simple, quick and accurate surface temperature readings at the push of a button. The IR-200 features the same great technology of earlier models. Just squeeze the trigger and point the ultra-sharp dual class II lasers at the surface being measured to obtain a reading, while also incorporating three key enhancements; • The ability to take measurements from further away (30:1 distanceto-spot ratio compared to 20:1). • Higher temperature measurement (-50° to 1200°C compared to -50° to 800°C). • An adjustable emissivity setting to accurately measure the temperature of virtually any surface.

Key features • Audible and visual high and low alarms quickly alert you to temperatures outside of the ranges that you set.

For further information contact RIDGID Australia 1800 743 443 or or

• Adjustable emissivity to accurately measure the temperature of virtually any surface. • Bright backlit display which can be toggled on in poorly lit areas. • Tripod mount capable for repeatable, precise temperature measurements.

Key specifications • Temperature range: -50° to 1200°C • Distance to spot ratio: 30 to 1 • Power source: 1 x 9V battery (included)

Wakaflex share why you should review lead flashing in your company ‘Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it’. W. Churchill

What does history tell us about lead?

The way forward for construction

Globally, lead poisoning accounts for:

Over the past 10 years there has been a consistent transition away from using lead towards lead free alternatives in the construction industry.

• 853,000 deaths globally per year • 9.3 per cent of idiopathic intellectual disabilities • 4 per cent of heart disease • 6.6 per cent of strokes

Have we learnt from this? To truly say that we have learnt from the past, we need to make changes to ensure that the same causes don’t create the same outcomes. So what changes have we seen? • Lead has been banned from paints • Lead has been banned from fuels • Lead has been banned from household piping for plumbing But lead has still not been banned as a roof flashing material. 60 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

The construction companies that make the switch are conscious of: • The toxicity of lead: employees suffering from lead poisoning, and home owners in dwellings that have toxic water run-off. • Save on the installation costs: for every nine million install, lead free flashing can save you up to $50 in wastage material, and $50 on labour costs. In the past 100 years, we’ve seen the introduction of the internet, the mobile phone, DNA fingerprinting, and now we’re looking at sending mankind to Mars… yet some construction companies

are still using a toxic material that was used by the Romans. Maybe it’s time to review the lead free alternative, and make a switch to the quicker, easier, lighter, and safer option; Wakaflex. Find out more

YOUR DIRECT LINE TO DUX High quality product is only one reason to partner with Dux Hot Water. Our superior service and support for plumbers is second-to-none.

Technical helpline 1300 365 115 then press option 3 Links directly to a Dux hot water expert

Plumbers Handbook App A comprehensive product and technical guide Easy to access Thousands of plumbers are already using the Dux Plumbers Handbook App

DUX TECHNICAL HELPLINE CALL 1300 365 115 and select OPTION 3


product news Ashlor Van Solutions and Master Plumbers Fleet Program

Ashlor is the one stop shop for purchasing your vehicle. Master Plumbers Members can reap a world of benefits including:

Amaroks, Crafters, Multivans and Caravelles, there’s no wonder Ashlor Van solutions is the trusted name in the industry.

Ashlor Van Solutions aims to provide customers from Master Plumbers with the ultimate convenience when purchasing their vehicles, securing the best deal on price, finance and vehicle fit out.

• National fleet discount from Volkswagen

Contact Ashlor on 1300 599 553 or visit for more information – don’t forget to tell them you heard about them in Australian Plumbing Industry magazine.

One call to Ashlor Van Solutions ensures your brand new vehicle can be fitted out and delivered straight to your door. The shelving systems we provide are 100 per cent Australian made and owned, keeping hundreds of jobs here in Australia.

• 20 per cent off Rolacase products with a lifetime warranty* • The best finance rates available • Less hassle purchasing a new vehicle

*Terms and conditions apply

• Vehicle delivered to your door with floor mats and full tank of fuel • Quick and easy finance provided, minimal paperwork.


With a full range of reasonably priced vans for hire, including Transporters, Caddys and national fleet pricing for

Aussie Pumps new solutions for sewage bypass A new eight inch submersible pump has been released by Tsurumi that is ideal for temporary bypass of sewage during sewer reconstruction work. The pump offers a maximum head of 26.5m, coupled with a maximum flow of 5,700 lpm. What’s more, its slim design enables it to fit into a standard manhole. Called the KRSU series, the new pump will be introduced to the Australian market by exclusive Tsurumi distributors, Aussie Pumps. Sewer pipes deteriorate with age and can be damaged by construction or earthworks. During repairs and replacement of these pipes the sewage must be safely diverted to prevent the health issues for workers and the neighbouring community. Conventional sewage bypass pumps are engine drive and struggle to lift fluids beyond depths of 7m. Tsurumi’s KRSU submersible pump not only fits in the deep, limited confines of a manhole but provides a maximum head in excess of 25m.

62 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

The new KRSU pump features Tsurumi’s unique anti-wicking block for the cable entry. This watertight cable entry, with strain-relief device, prevents water incursion due to capillary action, in the event of the power cable being damaged or the end submerged. Aussie Pumps expect that the submersible will replace engine driven sewer bypass pumps, because it has a remarkable ability to lift sewage from a depth of 25m!

Ashlor Van Solutions & Master  Plumbers Fleet Program  30/03/2017 

Further information on the Aussie Pump Tsurumi KRSU pump is readily available from Australian Pump Industries Ashlor Van Solutions Pty Ltd  or Aussie Pump Industrial Dealers 40 Overseas Drive, Noble Park North   throughout Australia or Melbourne 3174  

Apprentices. 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 | 63

product news Australia embraces aquatechnik safety® system “This system is designed to provide a highly effective, safe fluid distribution system that can be easily and quickly assembled on site,” says Rod Luker, General Manager of aquatechnik Australia. “Since launching in Australia, the system has been used on a range of projects ranging from luxury homes in Sydney to industrial facilities.”

They’ve been used in projects around the world – from hospitals in Italy, a multi-use stadium in Verona, luxury apartment buildings in Algeria, to a thermal water park in Slovenia – and now the polymer piping system from Italian manufacturer aquatechnik is being used in Australia. The aquatechnik hot and cold water safety® system includes full flow fittings. It’s designed for potable hot and cold water, compressed air, HVAC, industrial, marine and agricultural use, with sizes from DN16 to DN63. The system has been created for easy assembly using affordable patented tooling. It’s the only system in the world that completely avoids brass and metal ions coming into direct contact with water. All multi-calor pipes are a cross-linked polyethylene internal and external layer, with an aluminium layer in between. The layers are bonded using an adhesive compound designed to withstand the pipe enlargement during joint assembly.

64 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

Unlike most multi-layer pipes, multicalor’s aluminium layer is TIG butt welded (using a control camera) rather than lap jointed. The jointing process is simple and involves a one-step enlargement of the pipe head, ensuring fittings match the internal diameter of the pipe, which decreases pressure drops and friction losses. The safety® fittings are completely reusable and corrosion resistant.

Armacell Australia launches Armaflex® Solar UT – UV-resistant pipe insulation for high temperatures Armacell Australia has launched a new product for the insulation of pipelines on solar water heaters – Armaflex® Solar UT. Armaflex® Solar UT combines technical performance with UV resistance for high temperature applications such as flow and return lines of solar hot water systems. Armaflex® Solar UT is a flexible closed-cell pipe insulation, specifically designed and tested for high temperature applications (up to 150°C) and long-term outdoor exposure.

The aquatechnik system is available direct from aquatechnik Australia, enabling plumbers to purchase a high-end quality product at an affordable price.

Armacell is committed to providing Australian plumbers with the highest quality based on the latest German engineered technology, ensuring they meet or exceed the regulatory requirements across Australia and New Zealand.

In addition, aquatechnik products can be purchased online at or by calling 1800 278 283. The website has a range of resources including product information and catalogues, and videos of the safety® system being assembled.

Armaflex® Solar UT is available in a thickness of 15mm to achieve an R-value suitable for all external flow and return piping in Climate regions A and B, as required by AS/NZS 3500.4 Plumbing and Drainage – Heated Water Services (Section 8). Made from EPDM material, Armaflex® Solar UT withstands the excessive temperatures throughout the year to protect against high temperatures, help save energy and effectively reduce the hazard of very hot pipes. For a complete and professional installation, Armaflex® Solar UT tape and adhesive is available for high temperature applications. For more information visit

S L A E D R E T T E J T A E R G  mobile jetters

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(02) 9986 1186 | 65

product news Viega’s press-fit plumbing systems speed construction at Barangaroo

Aussie Python jetter has fangs!

On the edge of the famous Sydney Harbour and at the heart of Barangaroo’s brand new commercial district, there are three high rise office towers currently under construction that will become a new corporate centre for the AsiaPacific region.

“Productivity was the main reason for the change from brazing to Viega press-fit as there is a lot of time lost moving oxyacetylene bottles vertically between floors – it is more efficient to use press-fit,” explains Rob Elliot, NSW State Manager for Axis Plumbing.

In a major breakthrough, Aussie Pumps have announced their big 31 lpm, 4,300 psi Python drain cleaning jetter is now available in trolley form. Up until now the big machine has been trailer mounted for operator convenience.

Developed by Lendlease and designed by internationally acclaimed architects, the three commercial towers at Barangaroo are ready to set new benchmarks for sustainable workplace design.

Viega the preferred solution

Called International Towers Sydney, the towers sit at an impressive 49 floors, 43 floors and 39 floors respectively. All three mechanical contractors, Axis, Brown & Moodie and Sydmec, plus the hydraulic contractor, used Viega’s Propress technology during the construction process. After initially considering another approach, Viega’s innovative and highly efficient press-fit technology won out.

Brown & Moodie, another contractor working on the project, also supported the use of Viega’s press-fit technology. “Viega’s Propress was already approved and preferred by the consultants and engineers as a superior product,” says Quentin Brown, Brown & Moodie Project Manager. “The best thing about the Viega Propress system is that it offers fast, flexible and safe copper pipework installation to overcome the challenges of working on such a large scale project,” says Rob. “The technology also works with the elimination of fire/flame/hot work permits.” Viega. Connected in Quality.

The Python was developed by Aussie Pumps, originator of the high pressure jetter in Australia, based on a need to clean blocked drains up to nine inches in diameter. The new trolley mounted version of this super powerful heavy duty machine facilitates ease of movement on site. The unit features four heavy duty pneumatic tyred wheels. For static configurations, the wheels come off and the frame is locked down onto the ute tray or trailer bed with a unique “Aussie Cobra Loc”. The Cobra Loc is a jetter securing kit that ensures the machine doesn’t move during transit. It can be padlocked and protects the frame from stress during operation. Like all Aussie portable drain cleaning jetters, the big Python comes in a specially designed Cobra frame of galvanised steel. It is fitted with a big 30 litre stainless steel “break tank” with float valve and low water cut out for pump protection. Low oil consumption is also a feature. The engine now revs slower, which means less frequent oil changes and maintenance schedules. It also results in a lower noise level, a bonus for operators. For further information on the Python drain cleaner don’t hesitate to contact Aussie Pumps on 02 8865 3500 or visit

66 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2017

why choose a career in plumbing? plumbing apprenticeship

A highly skilled and challenging career! Types of plumbing

What to expect

Plumbing is a highly skilled trade. It offers a variety of work in different areas:

As an apprentice plumber you will:

• • • • • •

Water supply Sanitary Gasfitting Roofing Drainage Mechanical services

Benefits of a plumbing apprenticeship

Plumbing career pathway 1

High school

Install plumbing fixtures and pipework


Pre Apprenticeship Certificate II

Install and test appliances


Apprenticeship Certificate III

Repair and maintain plumbing systems


Registered plumber

Work outdoors, inside buildings and at heights


Licensed Plumber Certificate IV

Communicate with colleagues and clients


The next step is up to you...

Work in domestic and commercial environments

Earn and learn – get paid while you study Hands on – practical work on the job Variety – gain a wide range of skills and experience Portable – a career that can take you anywhere

a career ke n ta that ca here w you any

To find out more about a career in plumbing visit, email or call 03 9329 9622 | 67

Viega Propress – smart press-fit technology

Reusable test plugs – a whole lot faster, easier and more cost effective. 1800 4 VIEGA

Quality and reliability you can build your reputation on! Reusable pressure test plugs from Viega make the testing of sections of pipe-work effortless – and being reusable, they are truly cost effective. The alternative is generally permanent end caps which would be cut out and thrown away after testing. That’s both time consuming and expensive. Viega bronze test plugs can be reused over-and-over again. They come in a range of dimensions from DN15 to DN50 and have a pressure rating of 1600 kPa max. They also have an integrated valve for bleeding lines. The test plugs can be used with all Viega Propress fittings. They are designed to attached to an un-pressed Propress fitting end for pressure testing, and can then be removed after testing, leaving the Propress end usable for a final press connection. Viega. Connected in quality.

Available from

Australian Plumbing June 2017  

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

Australian Plumbing June 2017  

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