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A PROJECT AT THE END OF THE WORLD. And a piping system that supplies all of the essentials right from the start. With something as fundamental to the construction of an Arctic research station as the vital supply of warmth and clean drinking water, you don’t experiment, but trust uncompromising quality and absolute reliability. Viega met these high demands using Sanpress Inox for drinking water and Prestabo for heating installation, and also delivered the know how to go with them. Viega. Connected in quality.

Bharati Research Station, Antarctica Š Architects: IMS Ingenieurgesellschaft / bof architekten / m+p consulting; Photographer: Rakesh Rao/NCAOR

welcome. F R O M



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 construction & development issue: the march of progress

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

Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre

It’s hard to believe we are already onto our third edition of Australian Plumbing Industry magazine for the year. It’s a pleasure to introduce our Construction & Development issue, which has all you need to build the foundations for a better future. We’ve got an in depth update of the sunsetting of the Regulations, with a special investigation into the contentious issue of offsite construction and in particular bathroom pods, as well as a case study for Continuous Professional Development on page 29.

And last but not least read our wrap up of the industry’s most glamorous event, the Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards, with a lowdown of all the winners and nominees – not to mention plenty of photos of everyone in their glad rags from page 18.

Master Plumbers President and Cooke & Dowsett Director Scott Dowsett looks into his crystal ball to examine Future Trends in the Construction Industry on page 38. If you’ve always had an interest in the plumbing technology of the future, our discussion on Building Information Modelling technology is certainly an eye opener.

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.

We’re discussing the upcoming review of the Plumbing Training Package with Master Plumbers CEO Ken Gardner and Skills Service Organisation Artibus Innovation on page 48. You can also look forward to an interview with the President of the Association of Hydraulic Services Consultants Australia, Ross Weight on page 47, as well as Member Profile interviews with Keralton Plumbing and Drainage Contractors on page 34 and Titan Plumbing on page 44.

4 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017


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 Christine Watson T (03) 9321 0798 E

Suppliers Salt Creative Printgraphics Direct Mail Corporation

Free Plumber Training

Register your interest at


Connectivity OptiFlow interfaces via Bluetooth with separate User or Trade Apps.

Bosch Water App

Bosch ProWater App

The App for consumers lets the user adjust the temperature, track energy and water usage, and keep an eye on costs.

The Installer and Service App allows plumbers to view diagnostics and receive trouble-shooting solutions.


26 Welcome / 8 A message from the Association’s President and our CEO Member news / 10 Industry news / 14 PFIA Awards / 18 All the red carpet winners from the glamorous gala event revealed Before the plumber came / 26 Introducing guest plumbing history writer Paul G Yunnie Regulations update / 29 What you need to know about CPD and bathroom pods Member Profile: Keralton Plumbing / 34 You might just learn a thing or two from Tony McFarlane Future trends in construction / 38 Scott Dowsett looks into his crystal ball to discuss trends in construction Building a sustainable future / 42 How CBUS are using super contributions for the good of our infrastructure

34 Member Profile: Titan Plumbing / 44 A fresh perspective on plumbing with co-founder Matt Wilson


42 Advertising index

Building the bond between industries / 47 An interview with AHSCA President Ross Weight

Aussie Pumps / 58, 60, 65, 66

Plumbing Training Package Review / 48 The future in training with Artibus

Kingspan Water / 58, 59

The #1 secret to all great marketing success stories / 50 With Marketing Seamus Ennis Why you should consider finding a mentor / 51 From the trenches reporting Matt Reynolds takes us back to basics Mastering workplace relations / 52 Phil Eberhard gives his expert advice Marsh insurance update / 54 Australian copper / 56 Hall of Shame / 57

Bosch / 5 Cbus / 53 Dux / 65 Marsh Advantage / 55 Master Plumbers / 28, 67 Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria / 46, 63 Rheem / 9 RIDGID Tools / 62 SAB Drains / 46, 62 SimPRO / 61, 66 Sewerquip / 61 Viega / 2, 64 Wakaflex / 3, 59 Watts Water Technologies / 6 Zetco Valves / 68


Product news / 59

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



from the President and CEO

Out with the old and in with the new

The latest update on Regulations

The march of progress rolls ever forward in the plumbing industry and as we find our feet in the digital age, our methods and ideologies are changing to evolve.

The level of advocacy work by the Association continues to be significant for the plumbing industry.

In these progressive times, change is often met with trepidation or misconstrued as a bad thing. Change can be an opportunity to re-evaluate, refresh and update. We are welcoming the opportunity to embrace change in many areas of the industry. We’re addressing a long overdue review of the plumbing training package, as well as the advent of new horizons on the sunsetting of the Regulations and across the industry as a whole through digital initiatives. As part of our Construction & Development issue, I am delighted to contribute my take on the construction industry of the future and what new trends we can expect to see emerge in the next decade.

The ongoing input into the review and renewal of the Plumbing Regulations is coming to a head with initial submissions having been made and a series of consultation workshops planned to work collaboratively on a decision. A Regulatory Impact Statement will be published for public comment later in the year. The Association also had the opportunity to present to the Senate Committee conducting an Inquiry into non-conforming building products in July. The Association emphasised the importance of plumbing to the community and the dangers that can arise from plumbing failures.

To futureproof your business, adaptation, awareness and training are key. In this day and age, it would seem that everyone needs to be a project manager. iPads are fast replacing printed plans on site across the board. But when Building Information Management software can forsee challenges and solve issues before they even become on site problems, we can save time, money and manpower. It’s time to ring in the new and reap the benefits.

Master Plumbers explained that failures can occur due to non-conforming products, the incorrect installation and/or use of conforming products and poor workmanship.

We are developing a bold culture of innovation through digital smarts and upskilling to match the changing times. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the industry and I look forward to writing my next chapter in Australian plumbing.

In relation to the level of Regulation, generally the Association advised that while there is always room for improvement, the real problem is the lack of inspection and enforcement.

The Association explained the WaterMark Scheme and the need to improve the scheme through “point of sale” controls and the introduction of random sample testing and improved factory audits.

The belief by many in the industry that they will not be caught, means that businesses that are compliant with the Regulations and safety standards will regularly be undercut by others who ignore the rules. Scott Dowsett President, Master Plumbers

The Commonwealth and State governments need to set the standards and ensure that there are fully funded agencies and systems to achieve compliance. This is clearly not the case. Master Plumbers Members can look forward to updates in our next e-news bulletin.

Ken Gardner CEO, Master Plumbers

8 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017






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member news Master Plumbers and Tradelink Business Breakfast As the sun rose over the rolling greens at Riversdale Golf Club on Thursday 18 May 2017, the packed room of plumbers learnt about the latest trends in marketing. Business Breakfast series MC and host, Warwick Merry, opened the presentations with a revealing look at some of the world’s most recognisable logos, highlighting the hidden messaging in their designs and explaining the importance of maintaining a consistent brand. Warwick then invited Michael Karaliamis, of Motto Creative, and Master Plumbers’ Elaine Mathews to the stage for an in-depth Q&A session about how your logo can give you a competitive edge. The next guest speaker was David Fuller, an online and digital specialist and Director of Essendon Creative, who gave a thought provoking presentation titled “The art of being a tortoise”. David has worked with Master Plumbers member companies Tomlinson Plumbing and Roofrite to help them achieve great results. He went through what the key elements of a solid online presence should look like, including the importance of being clear and consistent with your approach, and knowing your target audience.

The final speaker for the day was already known to many in the audience. Philip Coombs spent an impressive 25 years at the helm of A.G. Coombs before starting Simply Business Australia, the company he now operates to assist small and medium sized business owners and leaders improve profit growth. Rounding out the morning was a buzzing networking area around our trade exhibitor tables. With an excellent range of products on display were Cadia, Rinnai, Kingspan Water and Viega.

Congratulations also go to the door prize winners: Jackie Corentin from Corentin Plumbing who won the Tradelink Kincrome tool tote bag, and Brad Cassidy from The Drain Man who won the Cbus cheese board prize pack.

If you haven’t been to a Business Breakfast event recently, why not come along to our final Breakfast event for 2017 and see for yourself the improvements and changes we have made to deliver more value and better content for our members. On 17 November at Caulfield Racecourse we will be focussing on how to improve your Business Operations.

Thank you to our Platinum Partner and Business Breakfast series sponsor

Did you miss this event? Master Plumbers Members can watch videos of the speakers and download the presentations. Simply log in to your Member Dashboard at 10 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017

Success at Bendigo and Gippsland Forums

Big Bendigo turn out for Master Plumbers Technical Forum A bumper Bendigo crowd of nearly 60 plumbers turned out on Monday 29 May for the Master Plumbers Technical and Networking Forum at The National Hotel. Samuel Johnston, from the City of Greater Bendigo’s Public Health and Environment team kicked things off with a presentation explaining how the city manages non-sewered areas. After running through their role including application and compliance requirements, Samuel went through plans for more practical solutions, better communication channels and educative rather than compliance based enforcement. Next up was Leon Stackpole from local water regulator, Coliban Water, to talk about the maintenance responsibilities for sewer house drains, including reimbursement processes for plumbers when an issue was identified as a house connection branch blockage.

The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) were also in attendance and Paul Makrievski provided an overview on recent updates to mechanical services, sanitary, fire protection and gasfitting standards, as well as what’s currently happening with the WaterMark Scheme changes. Paul also explained how the VBA is upgrading its services with the introduction of new compliance certificate technology.

Thanks to all the presenters and attendees who joined us in Bendigo. These regional Technical and Networking Forum events are growing in popularity and will be added to the Master Plumbers Member Events Calendar again in 2018.

The final speaker was Paul Harris of Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) who demonstrated the new Gastrac system which allows gasfitters to log in and lodge start work notices, check where an application is within the system, book inspections and close off any completed applications.

Important updates delivered to Gippsland plumbers at the July Forum City of Latrobe and Gippsland Water took to the stage in Traralgon on 24 July. Gippsland Water showcased their latest technology innovation in future modelling, which allows them to simulate maximum flows and water supply requirements via a computer generated model of the reticulated water supply of the Gippsland area. This projects future growth within the region and provides contractors with specific pressures and flow rates prior to development, which is particularly useful for fire services. City of Latrobe then presented on planning requirements for issuing a wastewater treatment permit, which included a breakdown of the current EPA minimum requirements, details of the treatment plant approval process, and the

inspection regime for specific installations like sand filters. The Council is proactively contributing to the ongoing effective and safe use of these types of systems by writing to consumers following installation to request service and maintenance records of these systems. The VBA’s Matthew Wilson spoke regarding some recent changes to Australian Standards, in particular the Sanitary/Drainage standard changes around banning the use of sweep junctions other than in a vertical position. Last on the agenda was Paul Harris from ESV who provided details of compliance issues within the complex gas sector.

Of interest was the statistic that with a 70 per cent inspection regime of all complex gas installations, ESV were finding a failure rate of 30 per cent. Amongst the main contributors to these failures were incorrect installation of isolating valves on appliances, incorrect use of flexible gas hose and insufficient distance between exhaust and appliance.

Next up on the regional travel schedule for Master Plumbers, is Geelong on 23 October. To register to attend the Technical and Networking Forum which will be held at the Geelong PICAC facility, please visit | 11

member news News from Master Plumbers Tasmania


Many of you may be aware of the new Residential Building Works Contracts and Dispute Resolution Act. This Act has been designed to address the deficiencies in the out-dated Housing Indemnity Act 1992, and it will introduce contemporary consumer building laws that are cost effective and balance the requirements of consumers and builders. The Act also provides mechanisms for resolving disputes concerning residential building work. For Members, the key features of the Act are the requirements set out for residential works with a threshold of $20,000 or more. Residential Building Work Contracts are legally binding agreements between owners and building contractors to perform residential building work. While some of the contract terms may be negotiated until agreement is reached by both parties, there are some terms that must be included in the contract and cannot be taken out. For works over $20,000 the following applies: All contracts must be in writing, dated and signed by both parties. The contract must also include: • The names of the owner and the building contractor • The building contractor’s licence details (licence number) • All terms that are agreed between the owner and the building contractor • A clear description of the building work to be done, including plans, drawings and specifications • The contract price or an estimate and the method of calculating the price, including prime cost items and provisional sum allowances • The practical completion date or the method for estimating the practical completion date • A list of all applicable statutory warranties.

12 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017

To assist Members with the application of the new Act and to meet their obligations as contractors, Master Plumbers Tasmania has developed a contract template and Terms and Conditions for Members to use free of charge. We have also provided back up training delivered by Anthony Laning, Lawyer, Ogilvie Jennings. As of 1 August 2017 the Director’s Determination – Categories of Plumbing work came in to effect. This Determination is made under the new Building Act 2016 and, as with other building works, is based on a risk model.

The categories for plumbing works are defined as below – Low Risk Plumbing Work by an owner, competent person or licensed plumber CATEGORY 1

– Low Risk Plumbing Work by a licensed plumber


CATEGORY 2B – Low Risk Plumbing Work by a licensed plumber (with post construction reporting to the Permit Authority) CATEGORY 3 :

Plumbing Work Notifiable by a licensed plumber to the Permit Authority before work starts.


Plumbing Work that requires a Plumbing Permit by a licensed plumber

With the new plumbing work categories there are changes to the forms required for plumbing works. While some forms (3 & 80) are specified in the Directors Determination other forms will be needed in certain situations. The new forms can be found at building-and-plumbing/changes_ to_determinations_and_forms We have a lot more going on and Members are always kept informed and up to date on Industry issues. We sincerely thank our Members for the great work they do assisting making our industry viable, sustainable and safe. For more information contact Master Plumbers Tasmania on (03) 6272 2199. Angela Ayling Executive Officer

member news Remembering Master Plumbers Member Anthony Foster


Anthony Foster was a highly successful businessman and a long term and active contributor to the plumbing industry. Anthony’s father, Ken Foster, started Foster Heating in 1974, and the company held membership with the Master Plumbers for over 40 years. Upon Ken’s retirement, Anthony took over the management of Foster Heating, and also operated a second business, Heataire Services, as well as having a third business interest with a hydronic heating equipment supplier. Anthony was a National Council Representative with the Association, and Co-Chaired the Heating and Cooling Alliance of Australia (HCAA) with Vic Murray, from the mid 1980s through to the late 1990s. The HCAA evolved from the Mechanical Services Division of the Association. The work led by Anthony and Vic was instrumental in changing the structure of the Association by allowing associate members to join which provided many benefits and growth opportunities. At its peak, the Alliance had over 80 specialist contractor members. Anthony and Vic also provided guidance and advice to the Plumbing Commission when the new system for plumbing trade

licensing was brought in by the Kennett Government in the 1990s. The new licensing system ensured that those working in the industry were properly qualified and experienced to carry out the essential infrastructure work that plumbing provides to the community. Another key issue Anthony was involved with was the industry’s contribution to the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payments Act, 2002 which helps ensure that any person who carries out construction work or supplies related goods and services under a construction contract gets paid. Anthony also represented and provided input on behalf of the Association on various Australian Standards Committees. Master Plumbers gratefully acknowledges Anthony’s commitment to the Association even when he was dealing with the pressures and challenges he faced in his personal life. He was always willing and ready to share his industry knowledge and generously provided advice whenever he was asked. Respected and admired by his family, friends and industry peers, Anthony was a true gentleman, an extremely successful businessman with impeccable character, inner strength and integrity.


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

AirWaterGas Plumbing Ashlor Van Solutions Bathroom Superstore Cain Plumbing and Excavations Davey Water Products Done Right Plumbing and Gas Fitting Dynamic Plumbing Solutions Pty Ltd Elite Plumbing & Roofing Pty Ltd J R Chapman Roofing Pty Ltd J&C Moloney Plumbers & Gasfitters Kamara Plumbing Koroit & District Plumbing Services Pty Ltd KPC Plumbing & Drainage Pty Ltd Melbourne Plumbing & Gas Pty Ltd Metroflow Plumbing and Maintenance Services MGD Plumbing Services N2N Plumbing Solutions Pitcher Perfect Roofing Plumb-rite Sunraysia Pro Flow Plumbing and Drainage ProRec Plumbing Solutions Pty Ltd

2017 dates for your diary

Quicksure Plumbing Pty Ltd

Can you believe the year’s almost over? And we still have more exciting event dates to come!

RB Plumbing Pty Ltd

Friday 6 October

Monday 20 November

Bendigo Plumbers Charity Golf Day Neangar Park Golf Course, Bendigo

Work Health and Safety Management Workshop PICAC Brunswick

Sagecon Service Pty Ltd

Monday 23 October Technical and Networking Forum PICAC Geelong

Friday 17 November Master Plumbers and Tradelink Business Operations Business Breakfast Caulfield Racecourse

Friday 1 December Master Plumbers Members Christmas Function Further info on all events can be found at and in the bi-monthly Master Plumbers e-news letter.

Rj Plumbing and Gas

Southside Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Super Fast Plumbing TAPS AIR Wardcroft Plumbing Pty Ltd Westgate Plumbing | 13

industry news VBA ROUNDUP Chief Health Officer reports on Perth’s Children’s Hospital A report has been released from the Western Australian Chief Health Officer, indicating that the source of the high lead content found in the water at the newly constructed Perth Children’s Hospital was caused by the dezincification of brass fittings used in the thermostatic mixing valves (TMVs). There has been no date set as yet for the opening of the $1.2 billion facility which has faced a number of issues in its construction and only recently was handed over to the State Government in order for the commissioning of the Hospital services to commence. The report finds that the TMV boxes located next to 1,200 of the 1,500 potable water outlets within the hospital are the likely source of the high proportion of

lead found in the water. The report recommends the brass fittings used to make up the TMV assemblies should be replaced. WA Master Plumbers and Gasfitters Association CEO Mr Murray Thomas said that the product failure was ‘a major concern to the industry generally, with questions to be raised around the certification process and wider failings of plumbing regulation within the State.’

Plumbing Fee changes from 1 July 2017 Increases to plumbing fees and penalty units will come into effect from 1 July 2017, in line with changes to fees and penalty units published in the Government Gazette on 20 May 2017.

From 1 July 2017, the value of a fee unit will be $14.22 and the value of a penalty unit will be $158.57. For a list of the plumbing fees for 2017, please visit the following pages on

Victorian Building Authority portal changes The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has recently introduced VBA360, an online self-service portal for Licensed Plumbing Practitioners to purchase and manage Compliance Certificates. Launched 31 July 2017, VBA360 is a fast and simple way to access many of the VBA’s services online, enabling real-time processing and online tracking. Customers can now raise and track complaints online. Owner-builders can now submit, manage and track applications online. A communications pack that contains a summary of information and how it pertains to Licensed Plumbing 14 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017

Practitioners is available to download at Any Members experiencing issues with the portal please contact Master Plumbers Member Technical Liaison Officer or contact the VBA.

Staying out of hot water – top three audit findings Rangehood installations, tempering of heated water services and eaves gutters were among the top sources of plumbing audit failures detected by VBA auditors in April this year. In April 2017, VBA auditors checked the work associated with 1,032 Compliance Certificates as part of the VBA’s risk based compliance audits and inspection program. Of the 1,032 Compliance Certificates audited, 212 (20.54 per cent) failed the Risk Based Audit. For more information on this or any of these three stories visit

ABCB launches new WaterMark Product Database The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has launched a new online WaterMark Product Database, making it simpler for plumbers to check if their plumbing and drainage materials and products are WaterMark certified. Based on feedback from stakeholders, the online database has an improved design and a smarter, more responsive search functionality. The new database also now includes important information such as WELS ratings and a product’s scope of use.

Victorian apprentice joins Community Plumbing Challenge 2017 in Indonesia Community Plumbing Challenge 2017 (CPC2017) will be hosted in Cicau Village which is located in Cikarang, West Java, Indonesia. This year, the CPC will be held in two stages, beginning with the Design Week in August and culminating with Construction Week in November. CPC2017 aims to deliver a sustainable upgrade solution for water supply and wastewater at Sekolah Dasar Negeri Cicau 02 School. It is anticipated that this task will involve renovation of the existing toilet facilities, construction of new toilets via an extension to the existing building, and installation of a new septic tank nearby in the school grounds. An overall design and workplan for this job, developed in full consultation with the school community and local residents, will be the deliverable from the Design Week team.

Twenty-five year old Aidan Ward, apprentice plumber at Laser Plumbing Sale will be joining team members from India, Indonesia and the USA to develop a design for the new facilities which will then be built during the second stage, Construction Week, in November. CPC2017 is a World Plumbing Council initiative together with the International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH). For more information, to donate or to put in an expression of interest for the second stage, contact


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Linkedin Want to be up to date with plumbing industry news? With regular Hall of Shame Plumbing disaster updates every Monday, Throwback Thursday and latest news, the Master Plumbers Facebook page is the place to be for everything to do with the industry. We are also relaunching regular content and advisory posts on the Master Plumbers Linkedin page to keep you across all things training, recruitment and morale boosting – don’t forget to follow us on there to be first to know about everything including job vacancies and tips from the experts about how to boost your business. | 15

industry news After Grenfell – what Victoria is doing to prevent a similar tragedy occurring In the wake of the tragedy at Grenfell Tower in London, former Victorian Planning Ministers Ted Baillieu and John Thwaites will jointly head a new cladding task force assessing fire safety in buildings across the state to ensure a similar catastrophe does not happen again. This comes following comments from Opposition Leader Bill Shorten calling for reforms to fire safety standards. “The nation is on notice — those 80 tragic souls who passed away are our wake-up call,” said Shorten. “Australia is not immune from what happened in England. We have a patchwork of different systems across Australia. We have too many unlicensed and unqualified people ticking boxes and trying to pretend we have a safe system.”

In light of these comments Master Plumbers CEO Ken Gardner commented: “Following the Lacrosse fire in Melbourne Docklands, it’s disappointing that an enquiry into this issue has taken so long, but great that something is finally under way.” “We need to ensure that cladding is non-combustible and that sprinkler systems are correctly installed and fully operational as a priority.”

Senate Inquiry into non-conforming building products The issue of non-compliant fittings affects all plumbers across the board. During July, Master Plumbers CEO, Ken Gardner, attended the Senate Inquiry into Non-conforming building products in Sydney. Ken spoke at the Senate Inquiry meeting held on 19 July and emphasised the importance of plumbing to the community and the impacts that failures in the regulatory system can have. In relation to plumbing products, Ken highlighted the need to retain and enhance the WaterMark approval scheme by expanding on the number of random audits to ensure that the product supplied is the same as the product tested. The scheme could also be enhanced by the introduction of “point of sale” controls. In relation to installation, design and workmanship issues, Ken explained the need for inspection and enforcement. Whilst Regulations can be improved, if there is no follow up they will be ignored. The problem for plumbers is that they lose work to others who are willing to ignore the legal requirements and undercut legitimate businesses. Better enforcement of the requirements would improve the viability of those who seek to comply with the regulations.


16 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017

What’s your take on the issue? Why not join the debate on the Master Plumbers online Member forum?

Shorten talks apprenticeships and licensing at PICAC Special guests to the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre It was a pleasure to welcome Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten, Member for Wills Peter Khalil and Senator Kim Carr all attended Brunswick’s Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre for a press conference in the Great Hall on 3 August. The Leader of the Opposition toured the facilities and met with Apprentices to talk about the importance of trades, apprenticeships and licensing.

Are you attending the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Summit 2017? National Asbestos Awareness Week is being held in November and as a part of the events around the country, the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency is holding a Summit. The 4th annual Asbestos Safety and Eradication Summit will take place between 26 and 28 November 2017 at old Parliament House in Canberra. During the two-day Summit, delegates will get the opportunity to be a part of Australia’s next National Strategic Plan to manage asbestos. This year’s summit will be different from previous international conferences, with a major focus on debate for Australia’s next National Strategic Plan. The Summit will bring together well renowned local and international experts in asbestos management, health, advocacy and governance to look at what is best practice in managing the dangers of asbestos in our community and abroad. Find out more at asbestossummit2017 | 17


Industry Awards night sensational success. In the deco inspired surrounds of the luxurious Grand Hyatt Melbourne, an enthusiastic crowd of 500 celebrated the achievements of their peers at the Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards on Saturday 5 August. The sold out gala celebration, now in its third year, is a collaborative event presented by the Master Plumbers, the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC), the Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union (PPTEU), the National Fire Industry Association (NFIA), and for the first time this year, the Association of Hydraulic Services Consultants Australia (AHSCA), who joined forces with the other stakeholders as a fifth presenting partner. Several VIPs were in attendance on the night including The Hon. Senator Kim Carr, Senator Kimberley Kitching, Mr Peter Khalil, Member for Wills, Mr Shaun Leane, Parliamentary Secretary to the Special Minister of State and Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure, and Councillor Oscar Yildiz of Moreland City Council and Founder and CEO of Bully Zero Australia Foundation. Setting the scene for a night of top class entertainment was MC and star of stage and screen, Tim Campbell, performing an excellent rendition of The Jackson Five’s Can You Feel It? With the nominees and guests eager to find out who this year’s winners were, the first set of awards were announced recognising indigenous and female industry professionals, excellence in OHS, education and sustainability, and outstanding contributions from the fire protection industry.

18 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017

A short break for entrée service allowed guests to mingle and visit the media wall for photos and to congratulate the first round of winners. Next up was the AHSCA suite of awards, followed by those presented to the plumbing industry’s top apprentices. The feature act for the night was well known to nearly everyone in the room – The Black Sorrows, with front man Joe Camilleri pumping out hit after hit from their back catalogue of songs to a packed dance floor of fans. Energy levels were high and the room buzzed with anticipation as the final three premier awards were announced. Project of the Year was presented to Cooke & Dowsett for their impeccable work on Simonds Stadium, Mark Pasini was presented with the plumbing industry’s most prestigious Award for apprentices, the Andrew Letten Gold Medal, and finally, Fire Industry legend Lou Maglio took out the William P. Hite Leadership Excellence Award. Tim Campbell and his band returned to the stage to keep the party going until midnight on what was a wonderful evening of celebration and success. A massive congratulations to all of the award nominees and winners and a huge thank you to their family, friends, colleagues and peers who attended the event, making it a huge success.

An event of this calibre doesn’t happen without the commitment of sponsors and the PFIA Stakeholders Committee sincerely thanks the many organisations who provided their support. You can see all the photos from the event on the awards Facebook page

A SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS: Event Sponsor: Cbus Platinum Sponsors: AHSCA Victorian Chapter, City of Melbourne, Conex Banninger, D&E Airconditioning, Davey Water Products, Energy Safe Victoria, Fire Industry Training, Incolink, InSinkErator, PICAC, Plumbing Joint Training Fund, RAW Recruitment, Reece, Tradelink, Victaulic. Gold Sponsors: Maurice Blackburn, simPRO, Victorian Building Authority Silver Sponsors: Commerce Press, IAPMO Oceana

2017 PFIA – Winners and finalists D&E Airconditioning Mechanical Services Award Finalist

Karl Agyeman


Mitchell Tampaline


Mark Pasini

Excellence in Fire Protection Award Winner

Leemark Fire Protection

AHSCA Tom Clements Consultant of the Year Award Finalist

Mark Pearson

Frank Maskell General Plumbing Award


Nick Spanu


George Betts


Bruce Clements


Jacqueline Sims


Liam Lyons


Matthew Mullarvey

AHSCA Commercial Plumbing Affiliate Award Finalist

Cooke & Dowsett

NA Smith Gas Award


Geschke Group


Jack Dainer


NSG Plumbing


Hassan Barakat

AHSCA Corporate Sponsors Award

Indigenous Professional Award


Greg Brittain - Zip Industries



Scott Johnson - Rheem Australia


Dean Rowlands - SpecRep Services

Robbie Peden

Rose Curtis Award Winners Tahley and Kelsey Houghton

The Andrew Letten Gold Medal Award Winner

Excellence in Occupational Health and Safety Award Winner

Terry Smart

Excellence in Education and Training Award Winner

Lucas Blyth

Mark Pasini

Project of the Year Award Finalist

David McCarthy Plumbing for Bennett St


Cooke & Dowsett for Simonds Stadium

Excellence in Sustainability Award

William P Hite Leadership Excellence Award



NSG Plumbing

Lou Maglio

Victaulic NFIA Apprentice Award Winner

Ryan Cox | 19


Award winners

D&E Airconditioning Mechanical Services Award

Frank Maskell General Plumbing Award

NA Smith Gas Award




Mark Pasini

Matthew Mullarvey

Hassan Barakat

Mark’s positive approach to his apprenticeship was recognised by his trainers in his first year when he was nominated for the Sir Rohan Delacombe Award for First Year Apprentices.

After leaving his 18 year career as a bricklayer, which included 14 years running his own small business, Cooke & Dowsett apprentice Matthew embarked on a new career in plumbing commencing as an adult apprentice four years ago.

Working with Darebin Gas for the last two years, Hassan has a wealth of experience in gas appliance installations. His ability to problem solve and identify faults with gas appliances makes him a professional in the plumbing and gas industry. Hassan has thrived in a competitive environment where time management skills are essential.

This year he won the Specialist Plumbing Award at the Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria (PAV) Apprentice Awards. In March, Mark was one of 10 apprentices who participated in the World Plumbing Day Skills Competition to further his experience working under pressure. He’s a keen and bright mature aged apprentice who enjoys the technical challenge of plumbing.

20 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017

Cooke & Dowsett Director Scott Dowsett nominated him for his courageous journey. ‘He’s a shining example for all other apprentices to look up to. Despite juggling the responsibility of taking on a new path as an adult apprentice with the never ending pressure of supporting a family, his outstanding workmanship and willingness to learn throughout all projects never wavered.’

Hassan has a great career ahead of him and has mastered his profession in a relatively short space of time. His willingness to embrace OHS as part of everyday business has been particularly noteworthy. Hassan is a real team player and always has time to assist others.

Indigenous Professional Award

Rose Curtis Award



Robbie Peden

Tahley and Kelsey Houghton

Former Boxing World Champion and Olympian Robbie Peden has provided mentoring and guidance to many in the industry over the years. He understands that success can only be achieved through hard work, dedication and commitment and passes this on through his coaching. He creates opportunities by finding apprenticeships for males and females and provides pre-employment training and guidance, as well as ongoing support.

Tahley and Kelsey Houghton are ambassadors for female plumbers, both embarking on successful careers through Master Plumbers. The twin sisters are employed by Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria and work across the spectrum of domestic plumbing – at present Tahley is working for ABPS Plumbing in Geelong and Kelsey for Surfside Plumbing in Geelong. They are looking forward to continuing their education upon completion of their internships to become licensed plumbers.

Robbie has had over 50 apprentices come through his mentoring program and his drive and motivation is always centred around helping young people succeed in their chosen career pathway.

They are advocates for community health, environmental sustainability and OHS as part of their strong work ethic. They have benefitted from a steep learning curve in career development as females in a male dominated environment and are keen to show young women that working in a trade such as plumbing is not as daunting as it may seem, and that pursuing this career should be seen as an opportunity rather than a long track of hurdles.



Award winners continued

Excellence in Occupational Health and Safety Award

Excellence in Education and Training Award




Terry Smart

Lucas Blyth

NSG Plumbing

Terry has worked on a number of large scale projects overseeing Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) on the Melbourne Convention Centre, Myer Melbourne redevelopment, The National Gallery, Hamer Hall and the Westin Hotel. After completing Certificate 4 in Training and Assessment, Terry worked in CEPUTEC’s Training Development team to develop their Verification of Competency Program to assist employers with OHS.

Lucas Blyth has delivered a proactive training regime at Fire Industry Training in Brunswick. The facility uses fire equipment and technologies to ensure students are able to work on all facets of fire protection.

NSG believe that the industry can be improved by adopting sustainable and energy efficient products that can prove a return on investment. They are advocates of highlighting the cost savings of using such products and creating a more sustainable environment.

Terry believes there’s nothing more important than ensuring workers get home at the end of the day. He encourages apprentices to make OHS a priority in their work practices early on in their careers.

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Lucas has also graduated from the UA Ann Arbor training university and will deliver training on fire alarms to the UA Instructor cohort for the second year running.

Excellence in Sustainability Award

Their latest innovation is a new technology for heating hot water with solar PV panels directly connected to a control box with a DC element and AC or gas alternative boost. Acting as a thermal battery, this is a stand alone system with no inverter. This system can be retrofitted to existing tanks to turn an electric or gas hot water unit into a solar hot water unit with a simple change to the element or supplied as a complete system.


Excellence in Fire Protection Award

Victaulic NFIA Apprentice Award



Leemark Fire Protection

Ryan Cox

Leemark Fire Protection is a privately owned fire protection business established in December 2000. It has completed well over 500 significant projects in over 16 years of operation.

Ryan Cox made the decision to change his career from shop fitting to fire industry by taking on a sprinkler fitter apprenticeship. Since he began his apprenticeship in August 2014, he has been quick to pick up the trade, gaining experience in all aspects of fire sprinklers from mains, ranges and fit off valves to assemblies, pumps and water tanks.

Leemark’s Directors Mark Underdown and Leigh Sullivan both take an active part in all projects and strongly encourage open communication from clients. Working with Direct Fire Supplies for testing, modifying and improving the product, Leemark Fire Protection has developed an installation process to apply a unique bracket, which enables sprinkler head fit off to occur at the rough-in stage, before the ceiling grid is installed.

Not only does Ryan have experience with contract work, but he has also demonstrated knowledge in service work, where he is required to operate and isolate fire panels and drain and recommission sprinkler and hydrant systems. His work ethic is of a very high standard and he will no doubt be a great mentor for the industry in the future.



Award winners continued

AHSCA Tom Clements Consultant of the Year Award

AHSCA Commercial Plumbing Affiliate Award

AHSCA Corporate Sponsors Award




Bruce Clements

NSG Plumbing

Bruce has been a longstanding member and valued contributor of the AHSCA for many years. He has previously served on their Board of Directors and demonstrates the integrity and professionalism expected by the Association.

NSG Plumbing are active contributors to the AHSCA and provide relevant advice and commentary at the general meetings. Norm and his team are well liked and respected by the AHSCA members.

Dean Rowlands – SpecRep Services

Although it has been discussed at Board level for many years, 2017 is the first year that the Consultant of the Year Award has been named in honour of the Association’s inaugural President, Tom Clements – Bruce’s father.

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Dean has the ability to perfectly balance a level of professionalism with a healthy sense of humour. He has a detailed knowledge of all aspects of his product range and a wealth of experience across the wider plumbing industry.


Andrew Letten Gold Medal

Project of the Year Award

William P Hite Leadership Excellence Award




Mark Pasini

Cooke & Dowsett – Simonds Stadium

Lou Maglio

The Andrew Letten Gold Medal Award is the highest accolade for apprentices in the plumbing industry and has led those who have won it onto great things. Matthew Mullarvey, winner of the Frank Maskell General Plumbing Award, Hassan Barakat, winner of the NA Smith Gas Award, and Mark Pasini, winner of the D&E Airconditioning Mechanical Services Award, were all finalists for the Gold Medal, but it was Mark Pasini who was awarded the Gold Medal on the night. ‘It is such a great thrill and massive honour to be awarded with not only the D&E Airconditioning Mechanical Services Award but also to receive the Andrew Letten Gold Medal Award. Winning such a prestigious award will provide me with the drive to further enhance my skills and succeed in the industry in the future.’

The unique procurement process of Simonds Stadium set up by Kane Construction, Geelong City Council and the Consultant Team delivered the hydraulics trade package for the fourth stage of the Stadiums revamp. Cooke & Dowsett structured this partnership in order to provide the client with a balanced team and assisted the design process through reviews, providing options and alternative innovative design solutions coupled with a practical approach. They brought build ability experience, knowledge of materials and current market costs to the project, ensuring value for money solutions and value management initiatives were achieved. The Simonds Stadium project also incorporated the first ever evolving Hydraulic Services Design and Coordination process through the RFT Documentation requirements, and the implementation of the construction phase. It also introduced iPad technology onsite, enabling the latest date coordination information to be used to construct the hydraulic services and maintain the construction program during the delivery phase.

Lou Maglio joined Thomas Walker Plumbing in the 1970s as an apprentice. In 1985, Lou, Peter Coleman and Allan Morris started The Entire Group and formed Entire Fire Protection. They carry out sprinkler installation jobs across a wide range of construction projects in Melbourne. In 1992, Entire Engineering was started to provide a reliable supply of pre-fabricated pipe and fittings for both fire and mechanical projects. Today, the Entire Group is a respected provider of fire and mechanical installation projects. Entire’s service and maintenance businesses also provide service to a wide variety of external clients. Lou continues to work in the business every day as the General Manager. Lou is also a Board member of Fire Industry Training (FiT) – which delivers a range of industry specific training at centres of excellence in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. He believes the challenge for our industry is to maintain and strengthen our licensing regime and better qualify the workers of the future. | 25


Part one:

Before the plumber came. by Paul G Yunnie

Definition: Plumbing comes from the Latin word plumbus, which means lead.

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It is strange for us to consider a time when we could not call out a plumber via phone, text or email. It’s almost unthinkable to consider a time when the entire population had to ‘make do’ when it came to matters of hygiene. Before we look at the many advances made by our industry, Australian Plumbing Industry magazine’s new guest history writer Paul G Yunnie examines first ‘from whence we came’. The Romans taught the known Western World a great many things, particularly in engineering. They built vast water courses, treadmill pumps and aqueducts to bring fresh water to their settlements; they built bath houses and villas with splendid hypocausts that heated floors and walls, and even gave hot water for bathing, as well as latrines. The latrines were often communal with an attendant carrying a sponge attached to a stick to clean the clients. But, as the Roman Empire contracted, the population of their conquered lands seem to have turned their backs on all this technology and allowed it to gradually disappear. It was the Romans who first used lead for piping water because it was easy to bend and didn’t rust. It was easier to work than wood or baked clay. No thought was given to the noxious property of lead. The word for lead, plumbing, stuck to those engaged in piping water around their towns, cities and forts. There is evidence that many women were involved in plumbing enterprise at this time. Bathing came in and out of fashion. It was once thought that disease and infections could be caught by bathing and it was therefore felt to be unhealthy. As towns grew and trees were felled for building material, wood for fires to heat water became expensive. Medieval times would be to our noses a time of ‘great stink’. Hygiene for the masses was non-existent, toileting was primitive and drainage was often down the main streets and into streams or rivers. Often rubbish, including chamber pots, were discharged from upper windows into the street. At night a gentleman might employ a guide who would call out ‘hold your hand’ to prevent an unwelcome dousing. In the countryside, it was the custom to relieve oneself in the garden – often referred to as ‘plucking a rose’. So how did one relieve oneself when out and about? Well, you looked for a guy with a large cloak. This was large enough to cover a yoke from which hung two pails that acted as portable loos as well as concealing their customers.

afford some sort of cologne to lessen the smell of the less fortunate. The king or queen’s nose, of course, could not be offended and all efforts were made to prevent them smelling their domains, particularly when they were on a Royal Progress around their kingdom. Picture the scene – King John announces he wishes to visit a certain area, a noble is selected at a suitable travelling distance and his stately home or castle makes ready. The king’s retinue may consist of anything up to 1,000 supporters, or ‘hangers-on’. They had to be watered, fed and ‘relieved’. It must have been a nightmare for the ‘chosen’ household. Our interest is in how they may have ‘relieved’ themselves. Medieval houses and castles did not have toilets. The king might have his ‘thunder box’ that was actually taken to the table in order that he could relieve himself. Others might use a ‘garderobe’ – a protuberance that extended outside the walls and allowed waste to fall, often into a moat. So, next time you see a film of Robin Hood, and he is jumping off the castle rampart into the moat to escape the evil Sherriff of Nottingham, consider what he will smell like when he is reunited with the Lady Marion! Let us hope that when you next finish a call-out, new installation or refurbishment that unlike Robin Hood, you come out smelling of roses.

Want to read more? Go to to read ‘The early years of Roman plumbing’ a historic and scholarly insight into the earliest days of plumbing by Benny Wielandt. Plus, look out for the next instalment of Paul Yunnie’s history series in the December edition of Australian Plumbing Industry magazine.

The exception to all this were royalty, the gentry and the ‘upper classes’ who could | 27

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What we’re doing to drive

positive change. The hot topic on everyone’s lips in Victoria at the moment is the current review of the Plumbing Regulations which sunset in 2018. Master Plumbers Member Technical Liaison Officer Gary Bath has given you the latest updates in the last two editions of the magazine and there have been significant developments since then. We’re putting the issues of off-site construction, bathroom pods and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) under the microscope and investigating what’s on the horizon for the future. | 29



Earlier this year, Master Plumbers lodged a coordinated industry submission on the changes that are being negotiated. Meetings have been held with the Victorian Building Authority (VBA), the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the Hon. Richard Wynne MP, Minister for Planning, in an attempt to push these changes through. The submissions are currently being reviewed and evaluated, and it’s expected that a Regulatory Impact Statement and draft Regulations will be available in early 2018. Some of the items in discussion with the VBA at the moment as part of the review process include a ruling from the VBA that bathroom pods can be either certified by a licensed plumber or via the WaterMark Certification Scheme. Master Plumbers has argued that this Scheme is not designed for plumbing systems like the pods and is continuing to pursue this issue.

30 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017

Pre-fabricated plumbing systems or pods WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Master Plumbers Technical Liaison Gary Bath explains where the responsibility lies. ‘With an increasing number of commercial buildings incorporating modular building design, the volume of pre-fabricated bathrooms is on the rise. Bathroom pods or modules become an attractive financial consideration for limiting the amount of finishing trades required on site. With painting, tiling, architraves all complete, plumbing fixtures installed and electrical fittings completed, the only thing left to do is connect the system to the rest of the building. But what’s behind the finished walls? Who takes responsibility if it fails or does not function at all? Pre-fabricated plumbing systems are not new to commercial construction. Plumbing contractors have been pre-fabricating some of the components off site for service systems for years. This has included everything from the simplest meter connections to sections of sanitary stacks and mechanical components. As the plumbing regulator in Victoria, Victorian Building Authority (VBA) holds the view that this work can be treated in terms of compliance in two ways; • Regulated plumbing work, or • Treating the work as a plumbing product.

If we look at the first method of compliance where the construction of a plumbing system is treated as regulated plumbing work, all requirements under the Building Act 1993 would need to be complied with as follows: • All plumbing work must be carried out by a registered or licensed plumbing practitioner; • All products and materials used in the work must be fit for purpose; • The work must be carried out in accordance with prescribed technical requirements and standards; • A compliance certificate must be issued. In summary, the certifying plumber takes responsibility for work carried out under their supervision. If, however the compliance is achieved through treating the plumbing work as a product then the following evidence of suitability must be obtained; • Authorisation under the WaterMark Certification Scheme (WMCS) where it would be listed as a product on the WaterMark Schedule of Specifications and a WaterMark letter of conformity would accompany it. In some cases where the plumbing work does not form part of the WMCS, then evidence would be required that might include a report from a registered testing authority or certificate from a professional engineer.

So, in a nutshell, something like a bathroom pod must be constructed using products that meet Australian Standards, by a person or persons Registered or Licensed in the appropriate class or classes of work in Victoria, or it must be certified by either WMCS or similar such as a report from a testing authority or engineer.


Important at this stage to note: the first option only relates to those systems manufactured off-site within Victoria. If, for example, a bathroom pod comes from interstate or overseas then the requirements of the Building Act are void and the bathroom pod would be required to have a WMCS or appropriate test authority or Engineer’s documentation.

In which case, in Victoria, it is the responsibility of the certifying plumber to ensure that the materials used in a system are WaterMarked, where appropriate and the installation meets all the minimum requirements of installation specified by the appropriate Australian Standard. All licenced plumbers should understand, you install it, it’s ultimately your responsibility.

Where does the buck stop?

What can we do?

Over the years, a client’s access to general plumbing materials and fixtures has increased with the number of outlets seeming to cater to this market specifically, not to mention the ability to access overseas markets via the world wide web.

The self-certifying plumbing regime as it exists in Victoria is reliant on an audit of plumbers’ work. Based on the lodgement of the individual’s lodgement of Certificates of Compliance and for the majority of plumbing work involved, it is usually adequate for consumer protection.

It is not illegal in Australia to sell non-waterMarked products; only to install them. It’s a source of constant frustration to our industry and indeed our local manufacturers both of whom are pushing for more rigour around accessing these products such as ‘point of sale certification’. Recently there have been examples where some of the plumbing products sold to the public have subsequently failed or not been fit for purpose, with the plumber unfairly left as the ‘quality controller’. With the increased number of multistorey residential buildings under construction or planned in the next four to five years, more building contractors are entering this competitive market where the bottom line is always a consideration. If we expand this out to an increasingly more competitive commercial market, the risk from a plumbing perspective of using these inferior products rises exponentially. More and more ‘prime cost’ items such as sanitary fixtures and tapware are being supplied by the building contractors and the attraction of using things like bathroom modules becomes apparent.

As the complexity of this work increases, such as with large commercial or high risk work, is it enough that this type of work is treated the same way that a domestic house is regulated? In its submission to the Victorian Government Department responsible for potential changes to the current Plumbing Regulations, Master Plumbers has suggested that there should be increased oversight/inspection from the technical regulator (VBA) in this area. There is an increasing reliance on the certifying plumber to assume responsibility on aspects of the installation that they have had no oversight on. When you are dealing with a bathroom pod or any other plumbing system manufactured off-site, if it comes from interstate, overseas or if you as the plumber were not involved in its construction, you need to ensure that it has been part of a WMCS or has other appropriate certification such as a certificate of compliance. In testing times, we have to be vigilant as ever.

We need to ensure that our plumbing compliance regime is not compromised by commercial advantage gained by using cheaper inferior/non-compliant products and systems. | 31


Why Continuing Professional Development is not as daunting as it sounds

CPD schemes have been working well in a number of professions for over a century. Initiatives for the building and construction industries are a more recent development that are currently evolving and on the rise as they are found to be more valuable.

Master Plumbers Membership and Corporate Relations Manager Christine Watson has experienced CPD being implemented successfully across a variety of industries. With a background in training, she is a strong advocate of the merits of upskilling.

A common misperception of CPD is that training is something that has to take place in the classroom. Quite to the contrary, CPD can be delivered in many modes, both informal and formal. Of course there are the usual professional courses, seminars and conferences; but you can also tick off CPD through webinars, self-managed learning, information technology training or even delivering or receiving coaching. The possibilities for development are endless and really, not as daunting as they may first seem.

‘CPD ensures you keep up to date and relevant with the skills and knowledge of our profession. This includes regulations and standards changes, new products and techniques, technology and business skills; all of which can affect our day to day working lives if we are not up to date.’

‘Gone are the days when you used to be able to start an apprenticeship and develop your experience on site. What I see in the industry now is you have to come to a job with the skills ready to adapt to the fast pace. There’s no time for on the job training, if you haven’t got the skills, you’ll be repositioned to work elsewhere. The challenge lies in how to upskill that plumbing trade person – that’s where CPD comes in.’ ‘Cooke & Dowsett are big supporters of CPD. It’s already working well in Tasmania; it has a great framework, which I think the industry should stay on board. Usually, once you become a plumber and you get your qualification, after the four years, there’s nothing else you have to do to keep upskilling. But the industry is changing, materials are changing and we need to move with the times.’ Scott Dowsett Director – Cooke & Dowsett 32 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017

In an ever-changing world, our industries and the work we do within our fields, changes. If we do not keep abreast of change, we can and do fall behind our peers. The flow on effect of undertaking CPD means our customers can be confident knowing we are continuing to improve our knowledge base and skill levels and can advise them appropriately.’


The need for ongoing skills maintenance, often referred to as Continuous Professional Development (CPD), is being discussed both at the Plumbing Advisory Committee and in the context of the renewal of the Regulations. Master Plumbers supports the need for skills maintenance, particularly in relation to the multitude of new products and materials that are now available.

WHY DOES THE PLUMBING INDUSTRY NEED CPD? In 2016, Tasmania became the first State in Australia to introduce compulsory CPD for all licensed trades. While there has been a CPD regime in place for building practitioners since 2005 – plumbers, gasfitters and electricians are not required to undertake CPD. The Tasmanian Government introduced compulsory CPD in response to the level of defective works in plumbing and the associated risks to consumers and more broadly the general public. Here Master Plumbers Tasmania Executive Officer Angela Ayling talks about why CPD is working so well in the southern state. ‘Plumbing as a profession is becoming increasingly technical and diverse. It’s heavily regulated because the risks to public health and the environment from non-compliant plumbing are so significant.’ ‘Safe plumbing is the cornerstone of public and environmental health and safety and, as guardians of such, licensed plumbing professionals must be fully informed on all matters that affect the delivery of compliant plumbing services to the community.

In Ayling’s opinion, the benefits of a meaningful and quality based CPD program are numerous and include, but are not limited to: 1 Increased positive consumer outcomes; 2 Increased public and environmental outcomes; 3 Reduced faults presenting risk to building / structure integrity; 4 Increased health and safety outcomes; 5 Reduced liability and commercial risks to plumbing businesses; 6 Reduced insurance claims through non-compliant plumbing works; 7 Reduced complaints to statutory authorities; 8 Strengthened business viability through reductions in rectification works; and 9 Increased ability for plumbing businesses to safely introduce new and emerging technologies, for example hydronic installations. The Master Plumbers Association of Tasmania (MPAT) has worked closely with the Tasmanian Regulator in the introduction of CPD for the Plumbing Industry and has developed a program of approved CPD activities through an online portal called CPD Toolbox.

As records of CPD are required by the Regulator on renewal of licence, CPD Toolbox enables users to: • see what CPD activities are available including online activities; • register online for activities • upload other CPD activities; • keep records of CPD activities including points gained; • get information and news on CPD; • print and email a CPD Report of completed activities to the regulator to accompany licence renewal; and • apply to the Tasmanian Building and Construction Industry Training Board for training subsidy. Overall the plumbing industry in Tasmania has embraced the introduction of CPD. While the system is being embedded the regulator has introduced a moratorium (until July 2019) on compliance action against practitioners whom have not undertaken sufficient CPD. This will ensure that there is ample time and opportunity for all plumbing practitioners to become familiar with the system and comply. Some have voiced reservations about CPD, in terms of time and delivery, but plans have been structured so minimum contact time is required. Development and upskilling does not necessarily mean time in the classroom and can be accomplished in a variety of achievable and convenient ways.

A robust program of quality CPD is one method for ensuring that plumbing professionals remain current in their skills, knowledge and practices in a technical profession that is constantly evolving.’

Where to next? A strong partnership with the Regulator is essential in the introduction of compulsory CPD. Members and non-members need constant engagement in the process. It must be a system that the plumber gets to own and contribute to as a collaborative endeavour.

Master Plumbers will be the first to know about developments concerning the Regulations via our bi-monthly e-news bulletin and on Members can also contact Technical Liaison Officer at You can also look forward to further updates in upcoming editions of Australian Plumbing Industry magazine. | 33


A family affair.


DRAINAGE CONTRACTORS 34 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017








Based in Pakenham, Master Plumbers Members Keralton Plumbing provide hydraulic design and installation services for medium to large commercial and industrial projects in Melbourne and the surrounding areas. They are a multigenerational family business, headed by Tony McFarlane and his three sons Luke, Shane and Danial, son in-law Clint and daughter Chantelle, all bringing the business together. Kate Stephenson caught up with Tony, Clint and Chantelle in their Pakenham Head Office to talk. | 35


Tony McFarlane’s story Keralton Plumbing and Drainage founder Tony McFarlane has a wealth of industry experience in the business and an interesting story of hard graft and self-reinvention that spans four decades. ‘I finished my apprenticeship at the age of 19. I’d won the Alfred Atherton Award presented by Sir Rohan Delacombe back in the early days and been offered a three year apprenticeship to study airconditioning and refrigeration and mechanical services design, which I completed. In the end I decided I didn’t want to go down that path so I started work.’ ‘I was nearly 20 working for a company out at Knox doing AV Jennings homes, but a disruption occurred which shut the whole thing down.’ Young and full of ambition, Tony struck out on his own at the age of 20. ‘I put an ad in the paper and started doing freelance sewer connections around Knox and Wantirna digging sewers by hand 30-40m long, doing one a week laying earthenware pipes. It was my bread and butter for a while. I hired my first worker during this time, a third year apprentice who was a pretty good footballer at my football club. I think by the time he finished with me in that last year his wages were higher than mine. ‘In 1980, I moved out to the country, but continued with the plumbing. The opportunity came to move back near my wife’s family farm and there wasn’t much work around. I did a few bits and pieces and sometimes used to work for a bag of spuds or a calf.’ ‘When the sewer came to Koo Wee Rup, I was an expert at that, but nobody else

36 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017

knew how to do it. So I got together with a couple of plumbers in the local area, shared my knowledge to train them and we began to work collaboratively. It all began with a big Ministry of Housing sewer connection project in the early 1980s. Jobs gradually started getting bigger. I saw an invitation to quote Berwick High School and thought, “I’ll have a crack at that,” and next thing I knew I had won the job. This was about 1984. I did all the work, just myself and one other guy.’ ‘The late 1980s saw us take on the new laundry service at West Gippsland Hospital. The builder was Salzer Constructions, who during construction of the project was taken over by Abigroup. This started a long relationship with Abigroup. Then we picked up the sports and recreation centre in Warragul, which saw us start working with John Holland.’ ‘In late 1989, we had the recession we apparently needed to have. It hit us pretty hard. At that time most developers went bust and the whole industry virtually went broke. We had to refinance everything. In 1990, we shut down the business. It seemed terrible at the time, but eventually it brought on our second wind. My son Shane left school and wanted to be a plumber. It spurred me on to have another go.’

The beginning of Keralton ‘In 1991, I won a job at the Western General Hospital, a new science wing. Shane and I started that by ourselves. Then the wheels began to turn again. We did a few jobs with John Holland, including St Kilda Town Hall refurbishment. Our revival also coincided with the start of the apartment boom.

Getting straight back into it, this was how Keralton Plumbing and Drainage Contractors was born. When it all began we were all travelling in the same car, a Toyota Landcruiser – it was a case of how many plumbers can you fit in a car! How times have changed!’ Even from the vantage point of his current successes, the ’89 recession made Tony gun shy about business. ‘I’d worked since I was 19 – then at the age of 35 I lost it all and had to start again. I’ve never been a risk taker since. I’ve always worked with my small, tight knit team with builders I trust and want to work with. In 2011, the work started disappearing again. I contemplated giving the business away. We had a big meeting and had to decide what we were going to do from there on. It was do or die. And if we were going for it, everyone had to put their all into making it work.’ Around 2012, Keralton reassessed their values and pushed all their energy into expansion.

All hands on deck As every endeavour was made to get to the top of every builder’s contact list, it was all hands on deck. This was true for all family members, whatever the age. Tony’s daughter Chantelle is now Keralton Plumbing’s Office Manager at the office and storage space they opened in 2014. ‘I’ve been doing the books for the company for years while working full time as a Financial Planner. Since becoming a mother, I chose to become more involved in the family business, which gradually evolved into a role I could work around my other commitments. I brought my second daughter into work with me when she was six weeks old. We’d put her cot down the back. We built the office with

What being a Master Plumbers Member means to Tony I am very much self-made in terms of business and never had a mentor in the industry. My mentors are the other plumbing businesses. Being a Member is an opportunity to interact with the wider plumbing community and learn collaboratively. For a long while, it wasn’t really the done thing to talk to your competition. But as Members we freely talk amongst ourselves and share ideas – it’s healthy competition. I have built a whole host of relationships that I wouldn’t have had if I wasn’t a Master Plumber. We may go hard against each other in business but really are all friends in love and war.

provisions like this in mind. You could say she was the youngest apprentice we’ve ever had.’ Keralton Plumbing have recently hired a full time estimator, part time designer and draftsman to cope with the increasing workload. For Tony, the secret to success isn’t necessarily about competitive pricing, it’s about delivering quality. ‘We’re not the lowest priced plumber on the block, which excludes us from some jobs. But often we win jobs just because we aren’t the cheapest. It’s our well established reputation that takes us over the line. I’m proud to say that you could ring any builder that we have worked for and nobody would have a bad word to say about working with Keralton Plumbing.’ Tony’s son in-law Clint echoes this sentiment. ‘We don’t even have a dedicated maintenance division. Most companies have a van and people whose sole role is fixing issues. We install quality products correctly first time round so we don’t need one.’ Clint joined Keralton Plumbing as an apprentice in the early day and has an obvious vested interest in the family business. ‘There are so many advantages to having us boys being a part of the company, as there are more sets of eyes with a vested interest which results in a higher standard of workmanship from our employees. ‘The discussion is always open in terms of labour divisions and roles. We don’t hide guys in the back corner like a lot of companies do. We aren’t the kind of employers who hire and fire. We pride ourselves on looking after our staff and reallocating work and playing to

strengths. Some companies come in with an iPad and report on productivity. If the numbers don’t add up, there will be five less guys on the payroll next week. We don’t operate like that. We find ways to help our existing team work. I think that’s why everyone wants to work with us!’ Never compromising on quality, or backing down to save an easy buck, it’s little wonder Tony has a strong opinion on the issue of the pre- fabricated bathroom pods that are rife in cheap apartment developments. ‘We’ve tendered for some big projects that are for student accommodation but lost them or bowed out because of the contentious pods. I’ve heard all sorts of theories about how to connect these pods to the drains and I don’t believe they would stand the test of time or meet the standard. I don’t know how they are getting through. I would never compromise on quality.’ Making sure that the pods are connected as per As3500 is not always that easy. The VBA has recently had some concerns regarding how the pods are connected to the buildings’ drainage systems and had to send out a bulletin reminding plumbers of the correct connection methods and certification requirements. In my opinion all of the plumbing that’s within a building should be done by the licensed and registered plumber contracted for the project. Including the sourcing of all waterMarked equipment and materials. But as Clint says, it is the same with the apartment building. It is all developer profit driven, so builders and developers will always be looking for faster and cheaper ways to build.

Tony feels the same about cheap fixtures and tapware. ‘After my quote was deemed to be too expensive, we had a builder who supplied the fixtures and tapware, and in my opinion some of it inferior, in particular the sink mixer. I’ve been a plumber for a long time and specifically said, do not use that sink mixer; it will leak, but the builder proceeded against my advice. Nearly every mixer had to be replaced in the end. It’s all about saving money, but in the end, it costs you more in time and labour to put right the mistakes.’ ‘The profit margins within the industry I operate are very tight. But for us it is not even considered to cut corners or supply inferior products. Some say I should not worry about my concerns, it is the price that matters. Every day I risk my reputation and livelihood, so that is why we have an unwavering commitment to quality and pride in our workmanship. That is what makes Keralton Plumbing a true Master Plumbers business.’


Future trends in construction with Scott Dowsett Master Plumbers President and Cooke & Dowsett Director Scott Dowsett has over 25 years of experience in commercial plumbing, employing 380 full time employees. He’s been a Committee Member of the Master Plumbers Australia Construction Division since 2006 and is also currently the Division’s chairman. Kate Stephenson spoke with Dowsett about how he sees construction industry plumbing evolving over the next decade, discussing broad emerging trends Australia-wide. His insights in the construction job and recruitment situation and predictions for growth are certainly eye-opening. 38 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017


Cooke & Dowsett are by definition of their vision statement ‘the future and strength in plumbing’, forward thinking in their outlook. Holding a license in each state, and also in New Zealand, they have led the charge in progressive plumbing projects including Box Hill Hospital, Simonds Stadium and the three towers project in Perth. In the wake of the mining boom ‘Unless you were operating in the thick of it in Western Australia, in my opinion, while the mining boom has lessened, it’s not been as bleak as the forecast predicted,’ says Dowsett. ‘Cooke & Dowsett were involved in the mining sector at Barrow Island and Wheatstone, two of the largest oil and gas infrastructure projects in Australia. There were ricochets in Queensland, and certainly in Darwin, where construction projects ground to a halt almost completely. Mobs were getting geared up to do work out there and projects just fell through. But on the whole, nationally the fallout wasn’t nearly as bad as what we had initially expected.’

‘Where one boom ends, another begins. The last five years have seen a significant surge in the housing market in metropolitan Perth, a place where it was once a struggle to find a hotel for the night only a matter of years ago. Like any industry, Perth had to reinvent itself. The Government and private enterprise put a lot of money into residential developments and shopping centres to fill in demand created by new build apartments. This cycle is also evolving in Victoria – where residential properties have sprung up, there becomes a need for amenities and leisure facilities to support them. The knock on effect then pushes construction development to the public sphere, with requirements for new hospitals and schools. In the wake of the mining boom, the WA Government and private industry found opportunities to fill those holes.’

New roles for the digital age It’s all change in job roles too. ‘With the advent of new technologies and digitisation of the industry, new roles and responsibilities are being created, and old ones are being left behind. ‘When I did my apprenticeship, the skills I learned and materials I worked with were very different to those of my Father‘ says Dowsett. ‘The next generation will be different again.’ ‘Traditional builders are required to do more than they used to. It’s all about raising the game in terms of project management. And even the expectations behind what constitutes project management has been ramped up considerably.’ | 39

Building Information Modelling and 3D design is the future If you’re building something onsite, you work through challenges as they come. If you’re building something in a factory there’s a lot more ability to identify problems early on. Although it’s not yet realised its full potential, Building Information Modelling (BIM) and 3D design are increasingly being applied to enhance and activate design, especially where offsite construction is concerned. ‘Currently about 60 per cent of our projects are in BIM,’ says Dowsett. ‘As yet, it’s a significant outlay which is expensive. I’m not convinced that we are getting the best of BIM yet, but in 5-10 years when the industry becomes more switched on to it and BIM itself becomes cheaper, it will be the way forward. Crucially, BIM will roll into offsite manufacturing and innovation; you won’t be able to apply any of it without BIM design. No doubt programming will become more sophisticated too.’

40 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017

‘From the BIM model there is so much you can do – things like prefabricated pipe risers and pre casting for fixing into slabs. It’s all driven out of one BIM system. But BIM is as endless as you want it to be. At the moment our restrictions are based on weighing up the cost versus the outcome.’ It’s a sign of the times that Cooke & Dowsett’s Kirsten Sciulli has recently stepped into a newly created role as a BIM Manager. ‘I trained as a hydraulic draftsperson originally,’ says Sciulli. ‘Revit [3D modelling software] was only just getting started in the architectural world. At the time I don’t think it had made its impact in the MEP world yet. It’s got its limitations at the moment, but I believe that in a few years it will be realising its full potential and we will be reliant on it for the majority of larger scale construction projects.’ ‘Ever since I started at Cooke & Dowsett, one of my big roles has been maintaining the standards of our drawings. This means everything to do with presentation; I deal with line types, colours, line weights symbols and abbreviations. We’ve come a long way since when I first started, and BIM has been an integral part of this project.’

‘I’m in agreement with Scott that we aren’t getting the best out of BIM just yet. Give it 5-10 years and we will be in the golden period where everyone starts adapting to it. To go from zero per cent 3D modelling to 60 per cent in five years is a fair estimation of where we are sitting now, and speaks of growth predictions for the future in terms of 3D.’ ‘We’ve found the benefits of BIM and Revit to save our plumbers a lot of time onsite. The software helps us to get into

the coordination phase early, particularly when working with other services and sharing plans with externals. There are limitations when you are coordinating and drawing in CAD. It’s a lot harder to visualise what is sitting where. Upgrade to Revit and you can identify potential problems much earlier in the design phase. You don’t find yourself working out that you don’t have enough room for an installation on site, you can work it out beforehand.’ Cooke & Dowsett’s latest major BIM modelled project is the new Worksafe Building in Geelong at 1 Malop Street, set to be the tallest building in Geelong’s skyline. ‘It’s been a challenge and a steep learning curve from our point of view,’ says Sciulli. ‘The biggest advantage of using Revit is being able to import every last piece of information, from the tiniest object, to the location and being able to manipulate it in line with the job requirements.’


‘In Victoria, we build very quickly. There isn’t much time for on the job training anymore. If you have a person on the team who you are trying out on a different skill set and they aren’t keeping up with the job, you can’t slow the job down to give them time to be trained. The industry needs all-rounders who are tech savvy and adaptable. There’s more project administration and contract administration involved. With the advent of offsite construction, new roles are being created in the business side of commercial plumbing projects. We’re increasingly seeing more demand for offsite managers controlling factories for offsite materials and an increase in roles such as planning or procurement.’

‘No doubt BIM and 3D modelling will be a thing of the future in plumbing training. We’ve had previous jobs where we’ve given plumbers on site iPads so they can access our model and everyone is in agreement that this is much more user friendly than printed plans. There will come a time when all apprentices will have to be across the planning stages and be project managers in their own right.’

Offsite construction is here to stay The contentious topic of offsite construction is at the top of the agenda in the Regulations debate. According to Dowsett, whether we like it or not, off site construction and bathroom pods are here to stay. According to Dowsett, the smart thing to do to is prepare for the future and work a way round the associated issues.


‘Bathroom pods are a reality that we have to work with. We would miss out on large contracts if we refused to deal with them. We’ve recently completed five projects in WA with pods, A 550 room student accommodation and currently a 330 apartment pod project in Melbourne CBD.’ ‘At the end of the day, it’s here to stay – the innovation comes in learning to adapt to the new circumstance. As long as they are being plumbed by a licensed and registered plumber, bathroom pods should not present a problem.’ ‘We’ve dealt with the challenges since the beginning. Over a decade ago, we took nine plumbers to China and were working on an island off Hong Kong. This was in the early days when fraudulent waterMarking was rife. We found WaterMark stickers on the floor and knew we were being set up for a fall. We weren’t contractually obliged to stay there, so we got on a plane and left.’ ‘10 years on and a lot has changed in terms of our involvement with the process. We’ve recently done a lot of work in China certifying some pods that we installed in a Perth hotel chain. As the installing plumber, we are 100 per cent liable for the certification and installation of the pods. It’s crucial to our success in the project that what we are installing makes the grade. In this climate, we are used to stiff competition from Asian economies. Our attitude is to get stuck in and use it to our advantage.’

It’s all about standards and Regulations ‘It’s crucial to ramp up the Regulations to protect ourselves and our industry against non-compliant products. So many materials and products are trying to get through that are unregulated and untested. Often plumbing contractors are

innocently installing what they genuinely believe to be compliant products. The only way to nullify this is to increase the regulatory authority inspection regime and award the installing plumber increased rights to inspections.’ ‘We are a self-certifying industry in Victoria and should be learning from different states and different regulatory authorities. We can do a $10 million job with a $50 certificate of compliance for the whole lot. We don’t want to go back in time, but we do want to make sure our plumbing is regulated, licensed and inspected to the standard our workmanship deserves.’ ‘As sad as it is, sometimes it takes a catastrophe to get things moving. Due to fatalities, we now have stringent adherence to CO testing. Perhaps things like the lead in the pipes at Perth Children’s hospital will be enough to make people wake up and take note.’ ‘Over the last few years, we have seen an influx of Legionella from warm water systems installed by unskilled or untrained plumbers. Plumbing systems are getting more sophisticated as the buildings are getting bigger. For the most part, training doesn’t reflect the new working environments.’ ‘Master Plumbers Australia are currently working on a paper to find a solution to the issue, which sees the first time they have worked as a collective with all the state to collaboratively push something through.’ ‘Warm water systems, the treatment of black and grey water, as well as catching and reusing water all need to be a part of the training. We are running CO awareness courses, so why not Legionella awareness courses too?’


Is the industry in a healthy state? ‘The industry is on the verge of becoming unhealthy. We need to keep a close watch on matters concerning Regulations. Consumer protection is probably the biggest thing. This covers off on importing, products, materials and risks. If you downplay the importance of regulatory authority and don’t use a licenced or registered plumber, there is a flow on effect in the community. In five years’ time, families will be finding out that due to improper installations and non-Regulated fittings, their investment property has depreciated dramatically.’ ‘After having visited the ISH plumbing expo in Germany, witnessing the number and range of new plumbing systems being offered, we can certainly take away the positive of having a comparatively good point of sale and WaterMark regulatory system in Australia compared to Europe. Because of our stringent Regulations, we are still relatively well protected. But there’s always more we can do.’

What’s next? ‘Plumbing systems are so different to what they were 40 years ago and are only set to change and evolve with the times. The Regulations of the future will respond to whatever is going on in the world to improve its efficiency.’ ‘Perhaps the issues of the next decade will consider technology, or even extreme weather conditions. It’s possible that changes in our environment will forcibly change our code. What we can be sure of is that the issues of Regulations, reskilling and upskilling and offsite construction are all interlinked. Every one of these topics flows through to the end game. The only way to work them to our advantage is to be aware, and prepared.’ | 41

Cbus Property


Building a sustainable future.


A decade ago, sustainable building initiatives were considered to be cutting edge. Today they have become an industry standard and requirement. While building performance such as efficient energy and water consumption are key considerations for commercial tenants, they are now starting to consider the impacts that these buildings may have on the environment and the health of their occupants. Buildings that contribute to the health and wellness of the individuals who work and live in them has been an area of focus for leading Australian property developer and manager, Cbus Property. Cbus Property is uniquely positioned as the property development and investment arm of Australia’s largest building, construction and allied industries superannuation fund, Cbus. Cbus Property reflects Cbus’ commitment to invest in the building and construction industry, which employs its members. Since inception in 2006, Cbus Property has created over 75,000 direct jobs* for workers in the industry. With 14 Green Star projects and an average 5.3 Star NABERS rating across its commercial property portfolio, Cbus Property is aspiring to create one of the greenest portfolios in Australia. Beyond green, Cbus Property is also seeking a Wellness rating for some of its developments. Wellness ratings such as The WELL Building Standard (WELL) focus on occupant health and wellbeing as part of building design compared to NABERS and Green Star ratings that have an ‘as built’ focus.

Sustainability and innovation Sustainability and innovation are at the forefront of Cbus Property’s management ideology with a commitment to initiatives such as eliminating waste, using energy wisely and minimising greenhouse gas emissions. In terms of fundamental sustainability achievements, 171 Collins Street became Melbourne’s first Premium Grade 6 Star NABERS rated office building. This milestone capped off several years of dedication by the entire project team as well as 171 Collins Street’s tenants in delivering and maintaining a truly green and sustainable building. The building’s 6 Star NABERS rating, representing ‘world leadership’ in sustainable performance, has been applauded by the Green Building Council of Australia, with Chief Executive Officer Romilly Madew saying that the building’s certification was ‘not just a mark of excellence in sustainability, but of quality.’ Cbus Property has been awarded several notable design and sustainability awards

42 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017

over the years for properties within its portfolio. In 2017, 171 Collins Street was awarded the Victorian Development of the Year Award and the People’s Choice Award by the Property Council of Australia. As the most efficient performer in the portfolio in terms of electricity consumption and waste, 171 Collins Street has become a new sustainable icon on the Melbourne skyline. Through adopting new available technology and continually seeking innovative solutions in relation to operational, aesthetic and occupancy elements, Cbus Property is delivering developments of the future for office and residential occupiers. For example, Cbus Property is integrating web based technology to monitor energy consumption, water and waste across its commercial property investment portfolio. This monitoring system generates live status outputs of each building’s key sustainability ratings. This helps to provide alerts on any abnormal

Since 2006, Cbus Property has grown to be one of Australia’s leading integrated property investors, with a portfolio currently exceeding $3.5 billion and continues to be at the forefront of sustainability and innovation within the building and construction industry.



behaviour in a building’s energy and water consumption, which can be detected immediately to reduce any ongoing resource waste rather than discovering anomalies on invoices several weeks later. In addition to the introduction of significant sustainability initiatives, Cbus Property has also been developing a culture of innovation within the business by continually reviewing new technology including new approaches to hydraulic design.


Hydraulic initiatives

The workplace of the future

To meet the needs of 171 Collins Street occupants, there are 196 toilets, 116 basins and 38 showers.

So, what does the workplace of the future look like? The workplace of the future will seek to combine the design, feel and the use of “business and pleasure” effectively blurring the lines between the work and home experience.

To reduce potable water consumption by building occupants, 171 Collins Street has incorporated water efficient fixtures and fittings, rainwater collection and re-use as well as greywater recycling. The 171 Collins Street development has a total roof area of 2,975 sqm which has been designed to collect and drain rainwater into a 155,000 litre rainwater storage tank. Prior to use, the harvested rainwater undergoes adequate treatment consisting of an initial first-flush diversion system, micron filtration and UV disinfection. Following treatment, the rainwater is then reticulated to the 20,000 litre header (break) tank located on the roof where it is stored with treated greywater, prior to being used in the cooling towers. Greywater is recovered from End of Trip showers within the office building and directed to the greywater treatment plant situated in the basement. Following extensive treatment to Class A water quality requirements, the greywater is fed for toilet flushing and cooling tower requirements. In the event the mixed water source becomes exhausted, automatic mains backup from the 60,000 litre potable cold water tank situated on the roof will activate and continue to supply the non-potable water demands.

Organisations who will occupy these workplaces are already competing for a new generation workforce who aspire to work in offices that resemble the offices of technology companies such as Google, where a social design approach is favoured. The age of fixed desk locations is over as technology drives mobility, allowing people to work anywhere within the office, the building or home. Cbus Property have recognised this design direction and are currently working on over 50 design and services innovations exploring concepts that will accommodate these growing workplace trends. These innovations, combined with sustainability initiatives, including zero net carbon emission targets across the portfolio and new building design that accommodates electric and driverless cars will continue to drive the evolution of the workplace.

*Estimated jobs since 2006 to June 2017 based on inductions for completed and committed developments. ^Returns are as at 30 June 2017. The Growth (Cbus MySuper) option’s returns are based on the crediting rate, which is the return minus investment costs and taxes, the Trustee Operating Cost and reserves. Excludes administration fees. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Cbus Property is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cbus. Cbus is the industry superannuation fund for the construction, building and allied industries, with funds under management of around $40 billion. Cbus is a significant investor in the property industry throughout Australia and has over 750,000 members nationally. Information as at 30 June 2017. Cbus’ Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262. | 43








Titan Plumbing:

How to seize the day.


44 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017

Amanda Ogilvie from the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry talks working with your spouse, business growth and roof plumbing with Titan Plumbing co-founder Matt Wilson. Evolution of ambition ‘I always wanted to work for myself. I started out with a company in South Melbourne for six years, working throughout my apprenticeship. Then I went out as a sole trader as a sub-contractor for 12 months. During that time I started to pick up my own clients.’ ‘The Titan name has only been around for about eight years and as a structured company we’ve been around for about five.’ ‘Titan Plumbing specialise in roofing. We do new roofs, repairs, changing tiles to colour-bond, maintenance and guttering. On the general plumbing side of the business, we mostly do maintenance.’ ‘I think the reason our business has grown strong is attention to customer service.’ ‘I really love talking to my clients and connecting with people. Establishing these bonds and a good reputation early on means I get a lot of repeat business.’

Good help is critical: at home, in the office and on the tools ‘There is a challenge to manage the balance between growth and stability. The biggest difficulty lies in staffing; finding the right people.’ ‘We’ve had some great experiences with mature age apprentices. On the whole, they cost more to employ, so a lot of companies are reluctant to engage them. At Titan, we really appreciate their worth and longevity. We’ve recently recruited two and found they’re bringing a wealth of experience and great attitude to the business, so it’s working out really well.’ ‘We are fortunate that now we’ve grown the business with the right people, we can take some time away for a holiday and the business can run without us. We’re always checking our emails while we’re away, but that’s just the nature

of the business. There are emergency situations that need dealing with, but that’s inescapable.’

To specialise or not to specialise ‘I think people are now specialising because it’s easier to train up guys in a certain aspect of the industry and run your business in that area. If you do one thing and are really good at it, it’s easier to make money than if you are too diverse.’ ‘We’ve chosen not to do that, or not at this stage. We are always monitoring our business and making decisions about where the more profitable markets are and what direction we are going in. For instance, we have decided to steer clear of the new build work because the margins are a bit tighter.’ ‘Our business is constantly changing and I think will continue to do so in the next five years. You have to remain agile. If you get stuck in your ways, the business can’t grow and evolve and so you’re forced to always look at your processes and procedures and where your business is going. If you stop working on your business, it won’t evolve.’ ‘If you want to run your own business, the learning doesn’t stop when you finish trade school. It’s great that you now do an estimating course and some other business training when you go for your license. And there’s even more to learn when you have employees; all my plumbers now are full-time employees.’ ‘That does come with a bit of pressure to make sure there’s enough profitable work and we do have that wage bill to cover every week. The challenge though is not in finding enough work; it’s making sure that work is profitable.’

Lessons learned ‘If you’re thinking about starting your own plumbing company, my best advice is to work on the business aspects. It’s natural to focus on the plumbing, but don’t do that at the cost of neglecting the business side.’ ‘Don’t grow before you’re ready because growth can actually be a company killer. Get processes and procedures in place before you grow too big, so you don’t have to go back and try to fix things afterwards.’ ‘It’s a bit different to run your company with your spouse or partner. The best part of it is that I can always rely on her. We always have each other’s backs and we always back each other. The downside is that we don’t ever switch off; it can be bedtime and Charlotte is still on the computer and we’re still talking about the business – but it’s great to operate as a team.’ ‘I still love what I do. I wouldn’t change my life for anything. As much as it’s hard work, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.’

What being a Master Plumbers Member means to me: ‘Titan have been Master Plumbers Members for nearly three years. We are proud to display the Master Plumbers brand as it shows quality of service, integrity and delivery of outcomes.’ ‘We love and appreciate the opportunities being a Master Plumbers Member brings, including training opportunities. We also appreciate being kept updated with the changes in our industry via the Member e-news letters, events and website.’ Matt Wilson, Titan Plumbing | 45

Get the right

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How can I hire an apprentice? Contact the PAV Group Training Scheme on 03 9329 9622 to find the right apprentice for your business at a very competitive rate.

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its the details that make the difference...... 46 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017

Building the bond between industries.


An interview with Ross Weight The Association of Hydraulic Services Consultants Australia (AHSCA) is a Member association of consultants and designers engaged in the design, specification and inspection of hydraulic and fire protection systems. The AHSCA has recently become a partner of the Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards and has deepened its relationship with Master Plumbers, joining forces to push a common agenda in new proposals for the Regulations sunset. Kate Stephenson caught up with AHSCA President Ross Weight to discuss the latest developments.


The AHSCA is a Member organisation like Master Plumbers. How many Members do you have? Is there cross over between industries?

The Association has been around since the late 1980s. We have approximately 200 Members across a range of Membership categories, the biggest of which is Plumbing Design. Only in recent years have we put special attention into forging direct connections with the plumbing industry. We are currently dealing closely with Master Plumbers as part of Regulations reform. When we propose changes together and speak as one voice, it works more effectively. It’s much better when we are both on the same page and have a consolidated approach to regulation reform.

Do you have a connection with plumbers in the industry? We have several Commercial Plumbing Affiliate members and we encourage plumbers to be involved as a part of our Association because the two are so closely interlinked. What our Members design, plumbers install. It’s a two way communication. Both industries are affected by the same issues. There are things we are communally working to change. The responsibility of the design component of plumbing work is currently that of the plumber. So when the

plumber signs their Certificate of Compliance they are also taking responsibility for the design. We want to work towards separating the definition between standard and complex plumbing, where the design element becomes a separate entity too.

How long have you been President of the AHSCA and what is your background? I was previously on the Board of the AHSCA for five years as Senior Vice President from 2004. I took over as President in May this year. I started as a graduate engineer at Lincoln Scott in the city and worked there for several years. Then I began working at my current company Hydrautech Designs and branched out to specialise in water treatment and aquatic engineering. I took over the business in 2007. We are a comparatively small firm, but we certainly punch above our weight in terms of taking on large projects with a small team.

You have teamed up with the University of Sunshine Coast to change the way the industry approaches roof drainage systems with the ‘Big Rig.’ Can you talk us through the thinking behind this project? We are restricted by the current Australian standards, working to the AS3500 where downpipes in that standard are limited to 16 litres per second. We work on projects that are much larger than that and need flows to match. Part of building a Test Rig is

to test the potential to go beyond those flows. We have learned that we can get flows well in advance of 16 litres per second so we are feeding that back to our members through a training course scheduled for October this year. People ask why the Big Rig is in Queensland. We are following the work of Associate Professor Terry Lucke who is a world expert on drainage systems. He was formerly in South Australia but has moved his research to the University of Sunshine Coast. We’ve got to go where the experts are. His work on the Big Rig has been commissioned through the AHSCA Research Foundation which is chaired by former President Mark Alexander with our Victorian representative Ben Rimmington; also a former association President. The state chapters of the AHSCA work independently to fund the AHSCA Research Foundation and at the moment the Test Rig is our key focus. Once this has been established at the end of the year, we will segway into software programming design. The raw data is being established; the rest is yet to come.

For more information on the AHSCA and how to join visit

To view the AHSCA Award winners at the Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards turn to page 18. | 47

Why it’s time for a review of the To nurture a workforce that is highly productive and responsive to changes in the industry, we all know that the plumbing industry must act progressively to drive skills development and training.

48 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017

Plumbing Training Package. As it stands, the current Plumbing Training Package has not undergone a full review in over ten years – it’s high time for change. Master Plumbers is joining forces with Artibus Innovation to bring the Plumbing Training Package up to date. Master Plumbers CEO Ken Gardner and Artibus Innovation Construction Industry Manager Sheridan Van Asch tell us where we are up to so far. As part of the Commonwealth funded reviews of industry training packages, the Australian Government has created an opportunity for industries to have a direct involvement with the development and maintenance of their training packages. This is achieved by establishing Industry Reference Committees (IRCs). IRCs are made up of people with specialised experience, skills and knowledge of their particular industry sector ensuring that training meets the requirements of employers, employees and new entrants to industry. As the Master Plumbers Australia nominee, Ken Gardner represents the plumbing industry on the Construction IRC. The Construction IRC has been funded to conduct a review of the Plumbing Training Package and Ken is the Chair of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG). Artibus Innovation has been chosen to provide skills services to the Construction Industry Reference Committee, who will advise Government on skills that need to be updated to bring their training packages up to speed to meet the needs of the industry. Artibus Innovation is a private Australian company established specifically to assist IRCs in the reviewing process. They are Commonwealth funded to allocate project managers and offer services such as administration support, writers and reviewers to support and document every stage of the reform. ‘We are currently working with the plumbing industry to review and update the training package to ensure skills and qualifications reflect existing and emerging workforce development needs,’ says Sheridan Van Asch.

‘This is a great opportunity to get involved and make an impact in shaping the skilling and training for the plumbing industry. We are delighted to be moving things forward together.’ ‘The initial part of the review of the package has taken place,’ says Master Plumbers CEO Ken Gardner. ‘The first stage was called “The Need for Change.” Now we have identified these areas, we are examining the training packages at a higher level. Some of the training programs are now redundant and will not remain a part of the package. Everything else has been earmarked for review.’ ‘One of the key areas set for review is the Plumbing Apprenticeship Training Package in Victoria. This currently stands at around 1,050 hours of training for apprentices across six streams, which is a very big package.’ ‘The objective is to adapt the training packages to suit the changing times and working environments we are operating in. This time round, we are hoping to work collaboratively to bring the training packages up to date and incorporate more of the skills the plumbers of the future need.’

‘We also need to move on to look at Certificate 4, the licensing qualifications as well as the pre-apprenticeship, so we review the complete plumbing training package across the spectrum.’

Do you want to have a say in what goes into the next Plumbing Training package? Artibus Innovation would like to hear from you about the skills development and training you think are needed for: • new entrants to the industry • those working in the industry who want to maintain currency • businesses wanting to create a competitive edge through skilling and training • new and emerging technologies – products that require training support • working safely Want to have a say in the Plumbing Training Package of the future? You can submit your ideas and comments to

‘The materials plumbers use and the appliances they install now are very different from when it was last reviewed. This rate of change is likely to increase.’ ‘Environmental adaptation and green skills will be par for the course and we will also be paying special attention to new and defunct materials in plumbing practice. For instance, these days we almost exclusively use non-metallic materials for piping. Any metallic pipes that are used are often crimp fitted, not soldered or welded. Issues like this will be recognised in the new package. There’s a need to change a lot of things that are in the package and the process starts now.’

Master Plumbers Members will be the first to receive regular updates on the issue in our bi-monthly e-news bulletin – go to to find out how to sign up.

‘There are other issues surrounding how the package is structured. One proposal is to have a large core of say 40 or 50 competencies that all plumbers complete and then specialisations on top of that rather than individual streams.’ | 49


The #1 secret to all great marketing success stories. What is a value proposition? Put simply, a value proposition is a “hot button” sentence that makes customers act to buy from you. A famous example comes from Domino’s Pizzas: “Fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less… or it’s free.” This helped Domino’s to target hungry, impatient college students in the US and build a strong business. Having a clearly defined value proposition is not common, which is where the opportunity lies to stand out from the pack.

Why are they so powerful? Value statements are powerful because they focus your ideal prospect’s attention fully on your business by hooking them in with a promise that exactly matches their burning wants and needs. If successful, it motivates them to immediately contact you to buy. Then all you have to do is be polite, stay relevant and the sale is yours.

Close the open loop in their mind Effective value propositions enter into a conversation that a person has been having with themselves in their own head, promising to solve the problem and close the loop. For example: for the last week I have been meaning to get to the doctors to pick up a prescription (nothing serious). Trouble is, I’ve been super busy. This means that the loop is still open in my mind and at regular, usually inconvenient, intervals I think “Damn, got to get around to that”.

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There is huge opportunity for any business in understanding that the lynchpin to all great marketing is contained in a single, powerful idea: The Value Proposition. Here digital marketing guru Seamus Ennis discusses how to formulate yours.

So, what would happen if I came across a marketing message that said: “Tap this button and we’ll get your prescription filled and drop the medicine into your letterbox, today.” Boom – I’d tap that button faster than a 9 year-old blasting zombies on his ipad! Now, if their website had said “We are proudly Australia’s number one courier with additional value-add services including order fulfillment and supplychain hurdling across the B2B and B2C commercial performance matrix” I would not have resonated with the message – and nor would anyone else! Equally ineffective would be: “We pick up and deliver everything to everyone, anywhere”. This is non-specific and unlikely to register in anyone’s mind. Better to focus. You want to be the obviously perfect solution to a super-specific problem.

Only, she doesn’t want to think and work; she wants ten minutes to relax before getting back to her day job and then rushing off to pick up the kids! Exasperated, she hits the back-button a few times, trying some websites until BOOM! She finally comes across a clean, attractive, mobile-friendly page that says simply: We fix freezers in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Same-day service. No fix, no pay. Call 1300 EASTERNFREEZERS She breathes a sigh of relief and calls. That’s the power of a focussed value proposition. To learn how to apply one to your business and drive more inbound sales enquiries, go to au and download your free copy of “How to Create a Value Proposition That Compels Customers To Call”.

Help them to breathe a sigh of relief Think of a woman who lives in Doncaster. She has a to-do list as long as her arm and the mother-in-law is coming to visit tomorrow… and then the stand-alone freezer breaks down. She gets on her phone in her lunch break and starts stabbing at Google for “freezer repairs Doncaster”, only to be confronted with websites containing laundry lists of domestic and commercial appliance repair services and vague platitudes about quality, service and punctuality. In order to understand if they will solve her specific problem she is going to have to think and work.

After a decade helping established small businesses navigate the terrors of Internet marketing, GangBusters Marketing & Websites founder Seamus Ennis has developed a 7-step framework that makes marketing simple. Since 2008, he has used this approach to help his clients get found, get the message across and get more customers – including taking national wholesaler Tesselaar Flowers from zero to 21,000 Google visits per month and 17 new account applications a day.


Why you should consider

finding a mentor.

Businesses employ consultants. Sports teams have coaches. Whatever your industry, it makes perfect sense to entrust your learning to someone with experience. When a savvy professional wishes to improve, they seek the wisdom and guidance of an experienced and trusted advisor. From the Trenches Roving Reporter Matt Reynolds discusses the reason why every professional can benefit from a mentor.


Be selective

Word yourself up

Be inquisitive

Just because the bloke at the end of your street has “Fast Results Business Coach” plastered down the side of his 2004 Commodore doesn’t mean you should be following his advice. A mentor should be both experienced and trusted and an expert in your field, not just theirs. Only you can decide who you trust and who you will respond to in terms of learning and information transfer. When it comes to experience, I generally follow my own self-imposed ‘Rule of Five.’ Where possible, I want the person I’m seeking guidance from to be at least five times more experienced than I am.

A common mistake when thinking about mentorship is that it has to be in person. You can gain the knowledge and expertise of world class mentors simply by picking up a book. If you want to win at the game of life, you need to read. Bill Gates reads one book a week and Warren Buffett still devotes 80 per cent of his day to reading. Someone once told me that you can easily figure out how successful someone is simply by the number of books they have in their home.

Having a store of good questions you can draw on as you go about your day is probably the easiest way to get knowledge you don’t have to pay for. I know one young plumber who’s built his entire business asking other plumbers how they built theirs. He’ll make a very healthy six figure profit this year and credits “about 90 per cent of it” as a direct result of speaking to other self-employed plumbers with more business experience than he has. Not bad for his first year in business!

Offer your services Volunteering is one of the best ways to get up close and personal with someone who has more experience than yourself. What can you do for them in exchange for their expertise? Consider working for free. Prioritise learning over earning and use your imagination. Offer to assist someone you want to learn from or a company you want to work for on an unpaid basis. If you stay focused on what you can give, you might just end up getting what you need back in return.

Reciprocity You’re more likely to get what you want in life if you ask for it, but you do need to learn how, when and who to ask. If someone is going to take the time to mentor or help you, there better be something in it for them. Certainly, there are people who will oblige simply because you ask, but if you want a real longstanding relationship it needs to be based on fair exchange. Identify what makes you a person worth mentoring and what value you can add for your mentor.

Open your ears Audio is probably the easiest place to start a journey of mentorship as it’s cheap and requires no sacrifice of time. Podcasts and audio books are great commuting companions and it works just as well to throw the ear buds in under the ear muffs on the weekend while you mow the grass too. Find the style of mentor that suits you and give it a go. Or, if you’re a plumbing veteran, maybe it’s time to offer up some of your accumulated wisdom to the new kids coming through and become a mentor yourself. The trade depends on it.

From the trenches [MATT REYNOLDS] Matt Reynolds is an award winning plumber who writes about the game as an industry insider. He hosts the Trench Talk podcast which is available on iTunes and most podcast platforms. You can connect with him on Twitter @MrMattReynolds or find him as the Director of XRM Plumbing Services on LinkedIn. | 51

Right of entry for OHS assistance and inspections The issue of right to access during OHS visits is certainly a contentious one. Ever wondered about who is allowed on your property during an OHS inspection? Here, Master Plumbers Senior Workplace Relations Adviser Phil Eberhard explains the ruling on the issue regarding access permissions for union officials. A recent decision of a full Federal Court of Australia (FCA) in Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Powell [2017] FCAFC 89 FCA [Chief Justice Allsop, Justice White and Justice O’Callaghan]) has confirmed that a union official must have a valid right of entry permit to enter a site; even if the OHS Representative has asked them for assistance or has invited them to attend the site.

Introduction Section 58(1)(f) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) allows an OHS Representative “for a designated work group” to “whenever necessary, seek the assistance of any person”. In Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v Powell [2016] FCA 1287, a single judge of the FCA found that Sections 58 and 70 of the OHS Act “did not, for the purposes of… (Section 494 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (… confer a right to enter premises by” the CFMEU Official. The Australian Building and Construction Commission appealed that decision to a full bench of the FCA.

52 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017

Background The FCA full bench found that on 21 May, 22 May, 15 July and 28 October 2014, Mr Curnow (an elected OHS Representative) contacted Mr Powell (an organiser with the CFMEU) and asked him to attend the site to provide assistance in relation to a safety issue. Powell entered the premises later on the same day. On each occasion, he was asked by a representative of the employer what he was doing. Powell replied that he was there “to assist the health and safety representative”. Powell was asked to leave the premises, but did not do so, proceeding to carry out inspections related to the request. The full bench of the FCA found that “this refusal to leave was consistent with… Powell believing that he had an entitlement to be on the land”. In some instances, police were called, but refused to remove Powell. The full bench of the FCA found that “was consistent with the police believing he had an entitlement to be on the land.” Although the police charged Powell, the charges were subsequently dropped.

Decision The FCA full bench found that: “Neither section… (58, nor 70, of the OHS Act)… uses the word “right”, but clearly enough, the… (OHS Representative)… has a power under s 58(1)(f) to seek assistance and to request a union official to come to the work site to assist him or her. The employer owes an obligation to “allow [the] person...access to the workplace”, unless the employer considers the person unsuitable because of insufficient knowledge of occupational health and safety. This obligation is described by the heading to the section as one owed to the person who is assisting. A statutory right of direct enforcement is given by s 70(2) to the… (OHS Representative)”. “The legislation needs to work in a practical way at the work site, and if at all possible not be productive of fine distinctions concerning the characterisation of entry on to a site”. “The plain purpose is to regulate by permit the lawful entry of… (union officials)… on to workplace sites in respect of rights of entry given by Commonwealth, State or Territory legislation. There is no reason of policy or common sense why one would distinguish between differently worded conditions that by their operation provided a right to enter premises for occupational health and safety reasons, to require a permit if the official has a reasonable suspicion of a contravention of a State or Territory or Commonwealth law about occupational health and safety, but not to require a permit if the official is asked to assist an… (OHS Representative)… deal with an issue about occupational health and safety, which may or may not have a connection with such a contravention.”



“To make such a distinction would lead to practical confusion at the workplace… in circumstances where such confusion may lead to allegations of trespass and the involvement of the police. Such practical confusion would tend to reduce the utility of Part 3-4 (of the FW Act).” The plain words of s 494(1) and (2)… (of the FW Act)… and the construction of .. (Sections)… 58(1)(f) and 70 of the… (OHS Act)… mean that Powell as an official of an organisation required a permit under the FW Act to enter the premises

because he was exercising his right to enter the premises or the… (OHS Representative’s)… right to have him enter the premises to assist the… (OHS Representative)… in his task.”

Summary: Lessons to be learned

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

The full bench decision means that should an OHS Representative seek the “assistance of any person (as provided under Section 58 of the OHS Act), and such person is a union official (however titled), the union official must also have a Right of Entry Permit to lawfully enter the premises.

Note: It has been reported that the CFMEU are considering appealing the FCA Decision to the High Court of Australia. However, at the time of writing the article, there had been no such application. However, it should be noted that the decision of the FCA is now the law. Employers should make themselves aware of their obligations.

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

Essential tools of your trade –

insurance. Crime statistics showing increased instances of theft occurring in both the home and in the workplace suggest such crimes will remain an issue for small business owners in the coming year.

The Victorian Crime Statistics Report (CSR) 2016/2017, which covered the 12 months to 31 March 2017, documented more than 189,000 cases of theft across the state, while the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed motor thefts increased by 9 per cent in 2016.

Managing the risk of theft is an essential part of protecting a business. In addition to the high costs involved in replacing tools and/or repairing vehicles, being unable to operate a mobile business due to equipment loss or vehicle damage can cause significant financial stress. Over the years it appears that thieves have become better informed about high value tools, increasing the risk of them being targeted by criminals on a steal-to-order basis. Thankfully, plumbers can employ a number of strategies, including obtaining appropriate insurance to minimise their exposure.

These figures highlight the need for small businesses to be adequately insured against such crimes. This is particularly relevant for plumbers and other trades, who are being urged to adopt proactive risk management strategies to protect their businesses and safeguard their tools and motor vehicles.

Marsh Advantage Insurance recommends reducing the risk of theft to tools and damage to vehicles by ensuring tools are out of sight and locked away in a tool box (when stored in motor vehicles). Furthermore, adequate insurance should be obtained to provide financial protection in the event of a loss. Plumbers should ensure that their vehicles are locked at all times, as most

policies covering tools will not respond without evidence of forcible entry. It is important to check work place sites for any equipment which may be unintentionally left behind, as coverage for tools left onsite is excluded under most policies. It is also suggested that you keep receipts and catalogue and photograph all of your insured tools, which will assist with quick settlement of a claim following theft. It is recommended that plumbers arrange insurance policies for tools and heavy machinery (e.g. excavators) to ensure financial protection in the event of theft.

For more information, or a quotation on insuring your tools and equipment, please contact Master Plumbers’ preferred insurance brokers, Marsh Advantage on 1300 300 511.

This document contains general information, does not take into account your individual situation or needs. For full details of the terms, conditions and limitations of the covers, refer to the specific policy wordings and/or Product Disclosure Statements available from Marsh Advantage Insurance on request. Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303, AFSL 238 369) (‘Marsh Advantage’) arrange the insurance and is not the insurer. Marsh Advantage shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein.

54 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 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.


Greening means homes. New products are saving water and cutting power bills, but they’re adding more copper to do it says John Fennell. It’s hard to go past the benefits of solar hot water. A home’s hot water uses around 21 per cent of its energy and generates about 23 per cent of its greenhouse gas emissions. Introduce solar water heaters to the equation and you can drop these bills by up to 80 per cent. Solar hot water has always been coppercentric, from the panels themselves to the storage, heating units and connecting plumbing in between. But demands for better performance, lower costs and improved energy efficiency by government and consumers is seeing new products with even more copper inside, including high efficiency flat plate, low profile copper collectors, pressurised water tanks with internal heat exchangers, and next generation heat pumps and pump stations. But some companies are trying even simpler ideas. Ireland’s Willis Renewable Energy Systems has invented a ground breaking solar hot water system called the Willis SolaSyphon, an all copper, ‘bolt-on’ heat exchange unit that heats the water in a customer’s existing cylinder and can reduce home water heating bills by up to 50 per cent and installation costs by around 30 per cent.

Feeling the heat


Heat pumps which draw heat from the environment have seen rapid growth due to their versatility, incredible efficiency, and power cost savings of around $550 a year. Heat pumps work by extracting heat from a colder medium and transferring it to a hotter one through a refrigeration-type cycle using a compressor, copper coils and, increasingly, copper fins for much better heat transfer.

Harnessing the heat and water we inadvertently discard every day is also big given the US Department of Energy has quoted between 80 to 90 per cent of the energy used to heat water at home is wasted down drains or what’s also known as “grey water”.

Geothermal heat pumps drawing heat from the ground have been growing in popularity, especially in colder places where they work better. New improvements have focused on Direct Exchange Geothermal heat pumps using buried copper pipes filled with circulating refrigerant. These pumps don’t require any additional pump or intermediate heat exchanger. A ‘desuperheater’ can also be added to capture heat and channel it to a water heater to provide water heating that is almost free.


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Drain water heat recovery systems, also referred to as Gravity Film Heat Exchangers (GFXs) draw energy from waste water and use it to preheat normal home water. A typical system often comprises a copper drainpipe wrapped by a coil of copper water supply pipe, so incoming cold water is heated naturally and can be channeled to a range of outlets like storage or appliances like showers, hot water heaters or dishwashers. A number of companies around the world have now launched a GFX type product, including RenewAbility Energy’s ‘Power-Pipe’, EcoInnovation Technologies’s ECO-GFX, and ReTherm Energy Systems. GFXs keep getting good green report cards. While claims can vary quite a lot, there seems to be industry agreement they can recover 60 per cent of the heat from waste water, reduce water heating costs by around 20 to 35 per cent and overall energy costs by about 10 per cent, while the reliance on copper piping means long life and reduced maintenance costs.



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. You can find all the crimes against plumbing in one place on our webpage and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for our weekly Hall of Shame post every Monday.

Got any plumbing disaster snaps that are Hall of Shame ready? Don’t forget to share your snaps with and anti-stardom could be yours! | 57

Rainwater Tanks & Wastewater


Cut installation time in half with the Evolution MKIII Pump from Kingspan The Evolution MkIII from Kingspan comes with a powerful Grundfos Submersible Pump and PM Rain Controller and has the the advantage of dramatically reducing installation time and cost, while improving the appearance of the water tank system. Add an Evolution MkIII to your Kingspan made to measure steel tank today.

1300 736 562

KingspanWater-API-HalfPgAd-0817.indd 1

58 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017

4 Year Warranty Comes with up to 4 years warranty: 2 years standard + 2 years bonus when registering at Residential | Rural | Commercial

5/5/17 3:32 pm

product news The Evolution MkIII Pump from Kingspan cuts installation time in half The Evolution MkIII Pump comes as an integrated unit with a made to measure Kingspan AQUAPLATE® rainwater tank. It has a powerful Grundfos Submersible Pump and PM Rain Controller that work together to improve performance and efficiency of the water tank system. The unit fits neatly on top of and inside the tank, instead of on the wall, resulting in a more efficient use of space and a better overall appearance. Not only does it improve the appearance of the water tank system for the home or business owner, it also has the added advantage of being quick and easy to install, dramatically reducing installation times leading to reduced costs. The pump and mains by-pass controller are integrated with the tank by simply connecting the copper rough ins to the compression fittings on the lid. The Evolution MkIII sources rainwater for applications such as toilets, laundry and gardens. If the tank is empty, or there is a

power outage, the Evolution MkIII automatically switches to the mains water, ensuring continued water supply.

• Environmentally friendly in saving water, reducing flow to stormwater systems and no repumping of mains water

Other features of the Evolution MkIII include:

• 4 year warranty

• Dual check valve for backflow protection

Call 1300 736 562 to speak to a tank expert today or visit

• Pump only used when water is available in the tank and doesn’t operate when controller is switched to mains • Mains pressure reduction for water conservation • Water source indicator lights • Automatic pump and controller operation • Silent once submerged • Built in thermal overload and dry running protection • Corrosion resistant components

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.

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

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 | 59

product news Take advantage of the 100 per cent tax depreciation with Aussie Pumps “It was a big year and we predict that the extended tax depreciation rules will mean that even more plumbers will take the opportunity to invest in jetting gear,” said Aussie Pumps’ Mal Patel. “You don’t need to wait to the end of the year to get the benefit of using a jetter. The increase in productivity means you can clear more chokes in a day and that directly affects profitability,” he said.

The Government’s 100 per cent Tax Depreciation scheme caused a huge surge of drain cleaning jetter sales in June as plumbers moved to maximise their tax rebates. The good news is that the Government has extended the program and not only is it running for another year but companies with turnovers of up to $10M can all benefit. There’s no wonder product innovators Aussie Pumps, Australia’s biggest manufacturer of jetting equipment experienced record sales of jetters over the last twelve months.

The company has doubled production of its drain cleaning jetters to keep up with continuing growth in demand. The machines, built on the big production line at Australian Pump’s Castle Hill based two and half acre factory, are manufactured to ISO9001 Quality Standards and use “Big Berty” super heavy duty triplex pumps to provide loads of pressure and flow. “Bertolini is a boutique Italian pump manufacturer that shares our passion for quality,” said Patel. “We have paired these triplex pumps with engines from the world’s leading manufacturers to develop the Aussie Cobra range of jetters,” he said. One of the reasons for the huge success of the Aussie Cobras is the ease at which they can be set up to become a ute mounted jetter. The self-contained trolley mounted units that can be secured onto a ute with the use of a simple fixing bracket. This bracket, called the Cobra Loc, not only secures the unit in transit, but enables the jetter to be operated in situ without damage to the frame. To take advantage of the 100 per cent depreciation allowance, and own a fully equipped Aussie 5,000 psi Jetter contact Australian Pump Industries, or check out You can also contact Helen Mahoney, Australian Pump Industries 02 8865 3500

60 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017


Do you need a water jetter for your plumbing business? Huge range of professional jetters Years of experience & industry knowledge Only the best quality products Finance options available

or visit | 61

product news SABdrain Drainage Systems – it’s all in the details! SABDrain’s modern surface water drainage system is packed with sophisticated features, making it one of the most versatile, durable and convenient systems on the market.

• Secured Grate Fixings Installed with an intact locking system, the grate fixings prevent unauthorised access or displacement during vehicular movements.

Engineered to meet contemporary challenges and standards, SABDrain’s systems are devised in accordance with a design blueprint to meet professional requirements. SABDrain offers the perfect combination of performance, durability and convenience.

• Durability Engineered for structural rigidity, SABdrain water drainage systems demonstrate high strength under extreme loads with a class rating complying with AS3996-2006.

Key features • Interlocking joining system Allowing units to easily be assembled without additional fittings, saving you time and money. • Superior Hydraulic Performance Say goodbye to silt deposit build-ups with the drainage system’s smooth round internal face engineered to achieve maximum fluidity and provide high flow rates with minimal turbulence. • Pre-set pipe connections make installation easy Simply cut through present pipe connections grafted on the base and sides of the SABDrain unit and fix in your PVC fittings.

62 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017

Introducing RIDGID’s CS65x Digital Reporting Monitor RIDGID Tools are proud to introduce the CS65x monitor, our first digital reporting monitor to include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® connectivity. You can stream or record inspections to an iOS or Android phone or tablet with the free HQx Live companion app.

Benefits include:

• Chemical, rust and corrosion resistant Designed to provide high chemical resistance against acids, salts, alkaline, fuels, oils and other chemical agents, the drainage system is also protected from rust and corrosion.

• Internal solid state drive provides ample storage of images and videos captured from multiple jobs

• A range of grate materials Materials include pressed metal, plastic, cast iron, galvanised metal or stainless steel.

• Internal GPS, Geotag media with positional information when available

• Ecofriendly Manufactured using environmentally friendly practices, you get a quality solution without disturbing the ecosystem. With these great features it’s easy to see why SABdrain water drainage systems are the trusted choice for plumbers! Call 1300 475 169 for more!

• Dual USB ports makes for easy delivery of multiple copies of an inspection

• Water-resistant keyboard allows easy add on-screen titles and annotate reports • Daylight viewable display providing a crisp, clear, in-pipe image For more information contact Ridge Tool Australia on 1800 743 443 or email

Important Information

for exiting apprentices

If you are nearing the end of your apprenticeship, there are a few things you need to know about what to do next. In Victoria, to undertake plumbing work of any description, you need to be Registered or Licensed with the Victorian Building Authority (VBA).

What to do next If you have received a letter from the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) indicating you have completed your apprenticeship, you must apply for Registration with the VBA. To do this you will need to: > Complete the Registration application form from the VBA website > Read the checklist carefully, you will additionally be required to complete a Police Check request application > You will require certified copies (not originals) of your: > certificate of attainment, e.g. Certificate III in Plumbing Services; and > Statement of results (List of all the individual competencies) > Journeyman exam (registration exam) under certain circumstances For more information, Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria apprentices can contact their Field Officers Andrew Delidakis: 0425 770 013 | Jeff Rowden: 0438 287 491.

Good luck with your future career in plumbing! | 63

product news Viega Antarctic case study: extreme conditions calls for robust piping systems On the rocky Antarctic plateau adjacent to the Larsemann Hills, at temperatures down to minus 40°C, India has been operating a science research station since 2012. Named Bharati after the Hindu Goddess of Wisdom and Knowledge, it serves as a headquarters for climate change and oceanographic research. This high-tech station consists of one main building, fuel farm, fuel station, seawater pump house, a summer camp and a number of smaller containerised modules. The main building offers regulated power supply, automated heating and air conditioning with hot and cold running water, flush toilets, sauna, cold storage, PA system, living areas and laboratory space. To enable Bharati’s researchers to continue their vital work in extreme conditions during the Antarctic winter, it requires especially robust drinking water and heating solutions. That’s where Viega come in.

64 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017

Drinking water hygiene is particularly vital at the remote location. Contamination by Legionella or similar harmful microbes would be disastrous for the researchers – and the very future of their mission. That is why the planners chose Viega’s Sanpress Inox system with pipes made of premium quality EN1.4521 stainless steel, and Viega Easytop circulation regulating valves that ensure the hot water is kept at a constant 60°C. The facility’s thermal disinfection system provides further protection against Legionella, while Easytop extraction valves allow easy regular monitoring of drinking water quality. Kerosene is used to generate heat and power, because it remains liquid down to minus 54°C. So to aerate the tank, Indian engineers installed the Viega Sanpress Inox G piping system because of its permanent resistance to the media being pumped. Sanpress Inox G is usually used

for gas and heating oil pipes. It was launched in Australia in 2013. The Viega Prestabo galvanised steel system was used for Bharati’s heating installation. To prevent the heating water from freezing, a 57 per cent glycol-L additive is mixed into it. For the project, Viega tested the reaction of the EPDM sealing rings to such extremely high glycol content levels. The end result: The sealing rings of the press connectors are fully usable for the heating water/glycol mix. They are also suitable for operating temperatures from minus 40°C up to 80°C plus. Some 25 people will be working under extreme conditions at the Bharati station all year round for at least 20 years – in part thanks to Viega press-fit technology. Find out more about the Bharati station and all Viega innovations at

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product news Aussie Pumps effluent pump chops costs

simPRO share why technology is the key to growing your business

Tsurumi grinder pumps offer cost savings over conventional effluent pumps because they reduce the size of the solids passed using a ‘grinder’ process. Although this is not a radical new technology the new Tsurumi grinders landed by Australian Pumps offer users significant advantages.

Trade businesses of all kinds and sizes, including plumbing, are benefiting from a range of technology solutions from cloud-based job management software to collaborative tools that boost business.

Tsurumi, the world’s leader in submersible pumps, has developed their MG series of grinder pumps for efficient effluent handling. The pumps chop effluent passing through into small pieces. This ensures the wastewater passes through the pump allowing the use of narrow discharge pipes. “Tsurumi’s breakthrough grinder design enables effluent to be transferred through cost effective one and a half inch and two inch pipes at high pressures. This means the pumps deliver higher heads for moving wastewater further distances,” said Aussie Pumps Product Manager Bob Massiah. “Chopping the solids smaller also means the waste breaks down faster and more efficiently,” he said. The three phase, two pole cast iron pumps are available with 32mm and 50mm discharge ports. The 50mm pump has a maximum head of 35 metres (50 psi) and a capacity of up to 320 lpm. Tsurumi developed special high torque, two pole motors for these pumps that can start up even when the pump chamber is filled with solids laden liquid. “Tsurumi also offer a three year warranty on submersible sewage pumps,” said Massiah. Further information on the complete range of Tsurumi submersible pumps is available on the Australian Pump website or you can also contact Tsurumi Product Manager Bob Massiah on (02) 8865 3500 or Aussie Pumps’ Helen Mahoney (02) 8865 3500.


66 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | September 2017

simPRO has developed specialised software for plumbers to assist with all facets of running a business, including job management, project quotation, inventory control, and billing, among others. Taking care of your business with simPRO’s software solutions boosts your chances of getting the job done more efficiently and getting paid faster. This is through automating all levels of business operations, and staying on top of jobs by tracking workers and monitoring the status and progression of jobs – all in real time. Invoicing is made simple with quick and accurate issuing of invoices, and payment processing and reporting help to maintain a healthy cash flow. Quotes and invoices can be issued in seconds, and payment can be collected on site as soon as a job is complete. Adam Bell of Bell Plumbing Maintenance is one simPRO client reaping the rewards.

“My initial investment in simPRO is returning 10 times that in sales,” he said. simPRO’s mobile apps allow field technicians to stay connected with the office at all times, and seamless integration to existing accounting software means that you can keep in control of your trade business finances. Embracing business management technology can help you have more time to spend growing your business, rather than running your business, and to build better client relationships. Master Plumbers Members use simPRO job management software for free! Master Plumbers Members can now reap the benefits of one free simPRO Service licence and one free simPRO Connect mobile licence for the life of their Master Plumbers membership. Visit for more details.

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What to expect

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

As an apprentice plumber you will:

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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

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Australian Magazine September 2017  
Australian Magazine September 2017  

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