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Serious about success Legends spill their secrets Will robots take over plumbing? Your industry magazine

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8 Robots take hold

14 Snapshot around the nation

What do plumbers need to do to secure jobs?

18 Industry news

10 Plumbing for the future Urgent regulation changes required to protect plumbers

30 Lessons from the legends 34 Retain high performing staff Losing great staff is costly; so how do you keep them?

20 Product news 22 Apprentice series 28 OHS update 32 Workplace relations 40 Superannuation tips 42 Marsh insurance update 44 Australian copper

36 Tax win for business

46 A history of plumbing

ATO is relaxing rules around private use of work utes

48 Member news

38 Grow your business How to structure your business for success

30 Australian Plumbing Industry magazine 15/306 Albert Street Brunswick VIC 3056

Subscription changes To change your details or to unsubscribe, call 1800 133 871 or email Print post number: PP100019076

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

Advertising Christine Watson T (03) 9321 0798 E


Cover image by Bernie Phelan, of Award-winning plumbing apprentice Breanna Szitarity. Breanna is putting her mark on the plumbing industry and has the full support of her host employer, Lawson Plumbing. Full story, page 24

Disclaimer API is published for the Plumbing industry and Master Plumbers Members by the Master Plumbers’ and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) ABN: 56 296 473 997. Responsibility for comment in respect of elections in Master Plumbers is taken by Peter Daly of 15/306 Albert Street, Brunswick, VIC, 3056. Advertising: No responsibility is accepted by the publisher for accuracy of information contained in advertisements in API. Publication of any advertisements does not constitute endorsement by the publisher of any product, nor warrant its suitability. Advertisements are published as submitted by advertisers. Copyright: No part of this magazine may be produced without the publisher’s written permission Contributors: The views of external contributors and advertisers are not necessarily the views of Master Plumbers. Master Plumbers supports green printing initiatives. This magazine has been printed on FSC certified paper using vegetable based inks by Southern Colour under ISO 14001 environmental certification.

4 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018





Rheem Metro Plus with Flue Diverter gives you added flexibility in installation, while enabling compliance with relevant national and local regulations. The flue diverter can be simply fitted to the water heater, even when installed within a recess box. Note: you should confirm with your local authorities that the installation complies with all regulations applicable in your area.


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• D igital display for easy fault diagnosis and service • 10 Year Heat Exchanger Warranty¹ • F lamesafe® overheat protection – shuts down the heater before overheating can occur • R heem Q Factor – hot water every time, without fluctuation when multiple taps demand hot water • T echnical support via Rheem’s National Service Network • W all Mount Security Bracket available – for added water heater security • Natural Gas • Frost protected down to -20°C

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We will build further value into your membership


from the President and CEO

Future-proofing plumbing

Member value a focus

Running a business is not for the faint-hearted, especially if you’re working in the plumbing industry.

Member organisations are purposeful, powerful and passionate. I have been fortunate to meet many members and stakeholders over the past few months to understand what is important to them and will continue to listen and learn. While our discussions have covered much ground, two aspects stand out so far.

Our sector has annual revenue of approximately $14 billion and the 25,000 plumbing enterprises across Australia directly employ 50,000 people from a total workforce (including sub-contractors) estimated to be nearly 78,000. Most plumbing enterprises are relatively small, with the vast majority – nearly 99 per cent – employing fewer than 20 people. Half of these comprise sole traders and partners with revenue less than $200,000 per annum. What we all have in common, regardless of our size, is that we need to turn a profit to stay in business, let alone grow. This takes much more than being an outstanding plumber. It’s a different, but complementary, set of skills which we ignore at our peril. As our industry continues to grow, we must also adapt to significant changes driven by consumer and client demand. Members tell us that it’s becoming harder to develop a workforce with both the traditional ‘hard’ technical skills and ‘soft’ skills of critical thinking, communication and teamwork. These are vital requirements in a problem-solving industry like ours and businesses that can’t demonstrate them will struggle to compete. While some larger enterprises have access to in-house business advice and support, it can be much harder for small to medium enterprises. That’s where Master Plumbers Membership can help. This business-focussed edition of Australian Plumbing provides advice and support to help members work on, as well as in, their business and complements the many other services Master Plumbers provides. More broadly, Master Plumbers has been actively lobbying on industry issues that members have told us are their priorities. Over coming months, we will release our list of reforms we want the next Victorian Government to adopt and we will seek commitments from all major parties in the lead-up to the November State Election. We will keep members informed through regular updates in our e-newsletter and a special edition of Australian Plumbing. Scott Dowsett President, Master Plumbers

Reference: IBISWorld Plumbing Services in Australia December 2017 and ABS.

Firstly, the role of the Master Plumbers in representing the interests of members and the plumbing industry is more important than ever. We must ensure that our members are recognised as the professionals, the experts and the innovators in their fields; that governments understand and act on the issues facing our industry; and that the community appreciates the assurance that registered and licensed plumbers provide to public safety. The second theme highlighted is that Master Plumbers should do more to make membership relevant and meaningful to members. We will build further value into your membership, rewarding current members for their loyalty and introducing new members to the Master Plumbers family. I’d like to welcome you to your winter edition of Australian Plumbing Industry magazine. In this edition we hear from award-winning apprentices in Australia and some local to Victoria. We also take a look at many of the issues that face our businesses as we come to the end of the financial year. These issues range from industrial relations and retaining staff to new tax rulings that just might help our businesses and families. We also hear a couple of tips from some of Australia’s legends and those on the rich list. We enjoy hearing feedback about the issues that are facing your business and your profession. Email us at and we will publish a selection of your stories here and online. Peter Daly CEO, Master Plumbers | 7

Industry news Neil Wypior

Your say

Makeshift flue?

Totally agree (Master Plumbers call for manadory servicing of gas appliances), coming from the UK it is compulsory to have a landlord’s gas safety certificate completed every 12 months.

Plumbers safe as robots take hold As automation improves and our reliance on it grows, the plumbing and construction industry in Australia is considered safe, according to the Jobs Agenda 2018 White Paper. But it is not safe from change. “The jobs market of the future will consist of those jobs that robots cannot perform,” the paper said. “Where jobs require thinking, where there is a difference in every job, where a job requires design or unique problem solving, people will still be involved.” While there are some particular tasks that might be suited to automation, overall the paper deemed every plumbing problem as different. The White Paper is the result of forums held in every major city across Australia, with attendees from governments, higher/ vocational education, industry associations and major employers. To say that automation and robots will not replace plumbers is correct today but the nature of work is in a state of rapid change. “Those uncomfortable with change will risk being labelled as dinosaurs and, therefore, unemployable,” the paper warned. Read the full story at

Peter Stone What’s wrong with that? Least it’s got a flue, we’d be pretty impressed with that here. And umm are instant gas water heaters supposed to have one, they didn’t in the old days? Danniel George Its a feature JD Potsey Scott Cureton you put in a lot of effort with this one Luke Pettenon @lukepettenon

Ben Poulton This is a simple “the customer is always right deal”

Thanks @MasterPlumberAU for all the opportunities! Winner of the Master Plumbers 3rd Year Apprentice 2017 Award!

Peter McGovern How is that even still working properly with those sharp 90 bends?? Pffft. Could have at least used 45’s

Australian Plumbing Magazine wants to hear more from you, email with your letters.

OHS: numbers don’t lie


Increase in VIC WorkSafe visits



average amount of penalties imposed across Australia Figures from 2017

8 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018


TFM2049 MPA VIC 05/18 T2018-009627


Being a member of the Master Plumbers Association has its advantages. You’ll get a Gold Fleet discount across the complete range of Toyota vehicles1. Ideal for families, the Kluger features Toyota Safety Sense+ technology and a 5-Star ANCAP Safety Rating2 to protect those who matter most. Plus there’s masses of storage and gutsy performance. For the right vehicles at the right price, Toyota Fleet means happy families all around.

To find out more, visit your Fleet Specialist Dealer or call 1800 444 847 1. Excluding Special Edition models. 2. Toyota Kluger 5-Star 2014 ANCAP Safety Rating.

Master Plumbers Association membership details required to redeem Gold Fleet Discounts.

Plumbing for the future

Regulation update As a nation, when we are asked to define a unique aspect of ourselves and our society it is usually accepted that it’s the opportunity of a “fair go” for all.

Public health first As an emerging country in industrial terms, we have been able to put physical infrastructure in place that has ensured our public health. To provide safe drinking water and efficient wastewater disposal we separated our systems. Tragically, many third-world countries are still dealing with these issues, which cause a multitude of public health issues. The reticulation of natural gas from existing town gas or oil systems was another massive achievement. Today there aren’t many town gas or oil systems in the southern States or 10 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

Territories. Most rely on natural gas solely for heating and other industrial applications.

In the past In the early days, the local water boards and sewerage authorities assumed the role of the regulator. They would make the rules, inspect the work to ensure it was carried out to their requirements and ultimately assume responsibility for the work the plumber carried out. Similarly, for gasfitting installations, the authority, (Gas and Fuel Corporation in Victoria) tested and inspected the gasfitters installation before installing a meter and commissioning the appliances. In both cases, non-compliance was dealt with immediately, usually via the authority’s inspector.

Each region or jurisdiction within this model was required to have a team of inspectors that met thepopulation or the physical size of the region. There were often conflicting requirements, compliance wise, and it was a system that didn’t lend itself too easily to plumbers moving into different regions and getting up to speed with local requirements.

When the change came In Victoria, in 1985, the Victorian Plumbers, Drainers and Gasfitters Board was created and a selfcertifying regime was adopted. A big change to plumbing training also occurred. Driven by the regulator, the module system was abandoned in favour of an installation-specific curriculum and the regulator practical exam (journeyman) on completion of the training.

With plumbing innovation hitting a cracking pace and the building industry boom, public health stands in the balance. Master Plumbers Victoria Chief Technical Advisor Gary Bath explains the importance of regulations in safeguarding our community and the plumbers who serve it.

In the early days, the local water boards and sewerage authorities assumed the role of the regulator

In this new regime: • plumbers were responsible for their installation; • they were required to carry professional indemnity insurance; and • they would provide a Compliance Certificate to the consumer upon completion of the plumbing works. A copy of the Compliance Certificate would also be lodged

with the regulator, which would undertake random audits. This equated to about five per cent of work that would be checked. At this time, this was a quantum shift for the industry and the regulator which had: • an independent investigation team, which dealt with consumer complaints, illegal plumbing work and other plumbers’ complaints; • an audit team which carried out the mandated audits; and • a team looking after the Licencing and Registration of individual practitioners. Not too long after there was the development of a national set of standards, designed to have uniformity on the minimum requirements for the installation of Water Supply, Sanitary and

Drainage Standards. This was soon to extend to Stormwater/Roofing systems and Gasfitting. Australia was very soon getting a reputation for maintaining the highest standards in terms of plumbing systems.

So what’s the problem? Talk to members and they describe an industry that has dropped its standards of workmanship, doesn’t care about meeting compliance requirements and hasn’t had an audit on its work since they don’t know when. Many have moved from new housing work because they are being undercut in price by competitors who don’t follow the compliance requirements and aren’t interested in doing so. This isn’t reserved to residential housing. Large commercial jobs are | 11

Short-cuts in design, installation or quality of material pushes the cost downstream where it ends up with the consumer

experiencing failures largely due to inexperienced contractors and their plumbers having little understanding of the ramifications of their actions or the quality of their work.

that there is much more of these types of developments taking place and not just in the CBD but all through the inner suburbs and high-density development zones. It is not necessarily the development that is the problem. Intensive development requires a scale and intensity of building and plumbing systems which have to be done properly. Taking short cuts in design, installation or quality of material just pushes the cost (and problems) downstream where it ultimately ends up with the consumer.

The increasing density of our building envelopes and the emphasis on multi-unit development is not helping.

These challenges are multiplied when considering the complexity and rapid change in the technology used in these systems.

A look at any city skyline in Australia will quickly tell you

In Victoria, the responsibility for design rests with the licenced

12 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

plumber, this creates no issues when dealing with residential housing or using the acceptable solutions within our Australian Standards. On a large or complex plumbing system, the design is mainly undertaken by Hydraulic Consultants and yet there exists no recognition for this work by our regulator, outside of the fire and mechanical services sectors, and the responsibility again rests with the Plumbing Licence holder. Our current compliance system that incorporates an audit by the Victorian Building Authority on completion of the plumbing works remains exactly the same for a residential house as it does for a multi-story building that shares a hot and cold water supply, gas supply, sanitary stack and drainage system.

Master Plumbers Victoria is advocating for real change Master Plumbers has advocated for changes to this approach that would, depending on the size and complexity or risk contained within the plumbing system, determine how the regulator deals with auditing for that building. This may mean that some installations are ‘case managed’ or have ‘staged inspections’ in a similar fashion to how complex gas installations are handled by Energy Safe Victoria. A robust regulatory system will:

Inspectors require adequate resourcing to carry out these roles. Resourcing includes having sufficient access to the necessary expertise from a technical perspective through to the physical numbers required to carry out these role. The majority of contractors would welcome a visit from the Inspector to check licences and have a chat about the job. They see the value in having a regulator, which is a visible part of the industry and the influence that might have on a new generation of our industry coming through.

• maintain the consistency of compliance of its practitioners; and

It might also encourage those in the industry who currently don’t comply, to assume responsibility and recognise the requirements that we are all expected to follow.

• advise and assist those same practitioners.

Who knows, these changes might result in a fair go for all.

• protect consumers;

Regulated Regulatedplumbing plumbing workwork

Certifier Compliance Consumer

Certifier Compliance Consumer

Increase in risk / costs / complexity of work

Master Plumbers has advocated for changes that would determine how the regulator deals with auditing for that building | 13


from around the nation Master Plumbers Tasmania Centre of Excellence for Trades and Water A new Centre of Excellence for Trades and Water will have a tremendous impact on our future professionals. Master Plumbers, through our Education Committee, has been at the forefront of developing a funding request for a new TasTAFE plumbing school, which the State Government has

now provided $7.5 million. The centre will be equipped with the latest in plumbing technology and will also address the emerging plumbing needs of Tasmania’s robust aquaculture and agriculture industries to ensure that environmentally sustainable systems are in place.

World Plumbing Day (WPD) 2018 Master Plumbers WPD Community Giving Project was donated to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, which provides emergency services to native animals in need throughout Tasmania. WPD members and supporters got down and dirty for some native animals in need and provided major refurbishments to make their life a little easier. Special thanks to all that helped: • Samios Plumbing Supplies – Hobart • Twentieth Century Plumbing • Professional Plumbing • Howrah Plumbing • Rosetta Plumbing • Aqua Line Plumbing • Eveready Plumbing • Philip Hniat Plumping • Overeem Gas & Plumbing • Bosch Australia

Artists impression of Centre of Excellence for Trades and Water

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) success More than 300 Tasmanian practitioners and contractors have already undertaken CPD this year with 1000 hours logged. We have had a flat out start to the year with training throughout the State, covering topics including Internal and External Waterproofing,

Passive Fire Protection, Pump Selection and Installation and Trade Waste Management. We also co-hosted some training with NECA focusing on the Building Code 2016, Changes to Workers Compensation and reducing HR/IR/WHS risk in business.

Master Plumbers Tasmania Executive Officer Angela Bennett 14 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

Fast Fact MEGA



Number of megatrends that will affect work health and safety and workers’ compensation over the next 20 years, according to a new report

Master Plumbers & Gasfitters Association of WA (MPGA) Confidential service says RIP to illegal plumbing There is strong anecdotal evidence that illegal plumbing work is happening more often in Western Australia. MPGA is responding with an initiative called Report Illegal Plumbing (RIP), which has been created with the collaboration of the plumbing industry. RIP, which is predominantly aimed at licensed plumbers but is available to members of the public too, provides a downloadable form for submitting detailed evidence of illegal/unlicensed/unsafe plumbing work.

Master Plumbers at work! Special thanks to the guys from Rosetta Plumbing, Professional Plumbing and Howrah Plumbing

The information provided will be collected by the MPGA and sent to plumbing inspectors who will follow it up. If the work is found to be faulty, the intention is to get the work rectified and/or commence legal action that may result in prosecution. One of the main drivers for RIP is that it allows tip-offs to be provided to inspectors without publicly identifying the complainant – something the MPGA knows is particularly important in smaller communities where a lot of people fear that reporting illegal work may have repercussions. The primary reason for the initiative is that unsatisfactory plumbing work can lead to health and safety risks for those in the area where it occurred and the wider population. There is also a significant financial risk which applies to rectification work as well as repairs to property. Add to that, insurance companies are highly unlikely to pay out on claims involving illegal or unlicensed plumbing work.

A fabulous delivery of goods from Samios Plumbing Supplies – Hobart!

MPGA WA CEO Murray Thomas

Fast Fact

Alcohol and the workplace 5%



Number of alcohol related workplace deaths






Alcohol-related absenteeism

Lost productivity per annum | 15


from around the nation Master Plumbers Association Queensland (MPAQ) Occupational versus contractor licensing There is confusion in relation to occupational and contractor licenses for the performance of plumbing and drainage work in Queensland. MPAQ raised this matter at the Ministerial Construction Council – a group of industry leaders that meets directly with the Queensland Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni and his department. MPAQ understand that in 2014, the decision was made that, when plumbing and drainage occupational licensing moved to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), these licensees would only need to hold and pay for one licence. This red tape reduction policy was widely communicated, however the amendments were not translated into legislation. The law requires licensees to once again hold and pay for both an occupational licence and a contractors’ licence. MPAQ understands this impacts about 8,000 licensees.

Point of sale legislation introduced Queensland has introduced historic new legislation for non-conforming building products and safety laws. This legislation means changes apply to everyone in the building product supply chain. The new laws are also intended to improve safety by placing responsibility on anyone on a building site in Queensland to report unsafe situations. The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) now has the power to: • Issue a recall notice for a building product • Issue a warning statement to raise public awareness • Prosecute offences relating to supplying or installing a non-conforming building product MPAQ, along with other Master Plumbers around Australia, has been advocating for many years that the Watermark Certification Scheme (WMSC) should encompass point

product information to assist in their purchasing choice. The Watermark Certification Scheme is administered at a national level by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB). Under the primary duty of the new Queensland laws, it is an offence under the Act to supply plumbing products in Queensland that don’t have a Watermark certification, as these products do not meet the relevant regulatory provisions. This change is designed to reduce the likelihood of non-conforming plumbing products being installed in buildings in Queensland.

of sale legislation to truly protect

What to do:

water and waste infrastructure. Non-approved products cannot be sold or purchased, and they cannot be put into service illegally.

• Report suspected non-conforming building products to the QBCC

Point of sale requirements ensures that the supply chain is educated and understands their responsibility in the sale of products, and that the consumer is also able to access

MPAQ Executive Director Penny Cornah 16 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

Point of sale requirements ensures that the supply chain is educated and understands their responsibility

• Report site safety to QBCC – You are required to tell QBCC about deaths, serious injuries or incidents that present a serious health and safety risk on a building site.

Find your local association

Master Plumbers & Gasfitters Association of Western Australia T (08) 9471 6661

Master Plumbers Victoria T (03) 9329 9622

Master Plumbers Association ACT Inc T (02) 6112 8630

Master Plumbers Association of Queensland T (07) 3273 0800

Plumbing Industry Association of SA & NT Inc T (08) 8292 4000

Master Plumbers Association of Tasmania T (03) 6272 2199

Master Plumbers & Mechanical Contractors Association of New South Wales T (02) 8789 7000

Master Plumbers Association Victoria Portable patio gas heaters are dangerous in enclosed areas Master Plumbers warns all Victorians to be cautious when using portable gas heaters at residential properties, due to the serious safety risks they pose when used inappropriately. These heaters are intended for use outdoors but people using them in enclosed spaces are putting themselves and their families at risk of fire, explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning. With the emergence of covered outdoor areas, including kitchens, more people are using these heaters,

which have no flues or chimneys to vent the poisonous gases. Permanent, in situ gas heaters, have strict controls over where they are placed to ensure adequate ventilation and safe operation. Portable radiant and patio heaters, however, have no controls over where they are placed other than the warnings provided by the manufacturer and common sense. It is also a serious fire hazard to have a manually connecting LPG gas bottle in enclosed spaces.

Urgent call for mandatory servicing to stop future deaths Master Plumbers Victoria has called on the Victorian Government to introduce mandatory servicing for gas appliances, especially heaters. The demand comes after the Regulator, Energy Safe Victoria, suspended certification for Vulcan/ Pyrox 48 series space heaters and the Victorian Government wrote to more than 6500 public housing residents urging them not to use these heaters. Master Plumbers warned that Energy Safe Victoria has

Fast Fact

not gone far enough in its reaction to carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a faulty gas heater.

gas heaters, but one-off testing is not going to prevent more deaths from occurring.

Mandated regular servicing and maintenance of all gas appliances by a licensed gasfitter, endorsed to service Type A gas appliances, is overdue. All gas appliances that are not regularly serviced and maintained have the potential to produce deadly carbon monoxide. We support Energy Safe Victoria’s warning to users of Vulcan/Pyrox

Testing of gas appliances for carbon monoxide requires a complex program of work, including a full service of the appliance and consideration of factors such as the ventilation and ongoing serviceability of the appliance. Master Plumbers Victoria CEO Peter Daly

Legionnaires 300

Number of Legionnaires cases diagnosed in Australia per year

1 in 100,000

Chances of becoming infected

1 in 200,000

Chance of the infection coming from cooling towers | 17

Industry news Australian apprentices’ grants awarded Rheem Australia provided more than $30,000 in grants to outstanding apprentice plumbers. For the sixth year, Rheem Australia, has awarded 10 apprentices grants as part of the Apprentice Plumber Grants. This year’s winners include first-year apprentice and former soldier Steven Bostock from NSW, who was once awarded a Military Combat Coin from the NATO Commanding General in Afghanistan for outstanding leadership on the front line. Other winners include: • Whyatt Ross, a third-year Victorian apprentice who has strong leadership qualities and is extremely passionate about plumbing. His life revolves around the skills and abilities of his trade, and he enjoys helping others in the community. • Eilish Anderson-Grundon, a fourth-year apprentice from Queensland, who is described by her employer as outperforming any other apprentice he has been involved with in 20-plus years working in plumbing across

Fast Fact

several countries. Eilish also plays high level women’s AFL in the Queensland AFL League. • Luke Morphett, a mature age first-year apprentice from Tasmania, who wants to be known as a tradesman who does quality work and has a keen interest in hydronic heating. • Amber Shelton, a first-year apprentice from South Australia whose employer says “Amber is proof that women can not only work in this industry but also excel”. It’s hoped the grants will entice more apprenticeships and help those plumbing apprentices that are doing it tough. Research shows that apprentices are struggling with the cost of living and are increasingly in debt. A major national survey of apprentices conducted by AMWU, revealed more than half (60%) are struggling to pay their bills and have less than one month’s pay in savings.  

“The plumbing industry has provided immense support to Rheem over more than 80 years and these grants are designed as a thank you and to help foster the next generation of plumbers,” says Rheem Chief Operating Officer Chris Taylor. “With data showing apprenticeships have declined in Australia, we are happy to play a small role in helping encourage those who might be struggling financially or need a morale boost to continue with their studies.”

Victorian recognition award winner, Craig Weir

Plumbing invoicing on the rise Invoice2go, an invoicing app announced the most lucrative industries for Australia’s smallest businesses.

While auto repair comes out on top billing 78 per cent more last year than the year before, small businesses in the building and construction industry, including plumbing, saw billing amounts increase by 59 per cent. “We often see rankings of the fastest growing tech companies in emerging industries, but we don’t 18 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

often measure the industries that have been, and always will be, critical to our economy and society,” Invoice2go CEO Greg Waldorf said. “Aspiring small business owners shouldn’t discount the tried and tested industries that are seeing rapid and continual growth.” For more information, visit

Top five industries in Australia with biggest increase in invoicing volume 1 Auto Repair 2 Building & Construction 3 Landscaping 4 Food 5 Glass & Glazing

78% 59% 58% 53% 52%

Ranking based on a year-on-year comparison of the average amount invoiced per business owner between 2016 and 2017.


Executive Board and National Councillors

Scott Dowsett

Norm Anderson

Kevin Shinners

Grant Donald

Greg Tink

Michael Tomlinson

Daniel Smolenaars

Rob Hansen

Adrian Murphy

Phil Kelly

Chris Unwin

Peter Jensen

Peter Hall

Glenn Howard

Peter Lord

Peter Daly

National Council representatives advocate for legislative and policy change to ensure the best operating environment for our industry, our members and our community.

Secretary (non-voting)

Executive Board

National Council

Scott Dowsett (President)

Scott Dowsett

Norm Anderson (Vice President)

Norm Anderson

Kevin Shinners (Vice President)

Kevin Shinners

Grant Donald (Treasurer)

Grant Donald

Greg Tink

Greg Tink

You can contact your National

Michael Tomlinson

Michael Tomlinson

Councillors or Board Members

Daniel Smolenaars

Daniel Smolenaars

Rob Hansen

Rob Hansen

by calling (03) 9329 9622.

Adrian Murphy Phil Kelly

See more about the changes to Master Plumbers and some of the member milestones on page 48.

Chris Unwin Peter Jensen Peter Hall Glenn Howard Peter Lord | 19

Product news ACO solves drainage needs for commercial properties

Aquatechnik fitting combats Legionella

Floors and drains are an integral part of a commercial kitchen or food processing facility and each has a complex range of needs.

Few public health risks are as serious as an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. Aquatechnik, the renowned Italian manufacturer, has developed a fitting that, when installed, can help prevent public health emergencies. “Legionella disease outbreaks create serious health problems all over the world, so this fitting is an extremely important addition to our product line,” said Rod Luker, General Manager Aquatechnik Australia. Constructed of PPSU and featuring a 90-degree tee with a 1/2” alloy female thread, the new fitting works by eliminating the type of environment in which Legionella traditionally flourishes. It can be applied both in series and in closed circuits. The patented safety® system ensures safe joints and rapidity of installation. It’s designed for potable hot and cold water, compressed air, HVAC, industrial, marine and agricultural use, with sizes from DN16 to DN63, and is assembled using affordable patented tooling. The system is also available direct from Aquatechnik Australia, which cuts out the middle man and saves you money.

To meet those needs, ACO offers a range of different grates, gullies, bucket traps, linear channels and grease separators to suit specific application requirements.

to ensure that wastewater discharge meets trade waste specifications with the local authorities. “ACO’s product range for food production drainage systems is designed to give those who are conscious of the importance of high performance, hygiene and durability, peace of mind,” ACO product manager Kate Jennings said.

Plumbers can be confident that fats, oils, grease and solids are captured

For more information, visit

For more information, visit

See pages 56 and 58 for more Product news

20 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

Kingspan provides a rainwater revolution Satisfying the demands and needs of designers, specifiers and homeowners has long been a challenge especially when you’re trying to juggle sourcing, design, ordering and installations. Meeting these demands can make it hard but Aussie innovators Kingspan can be with you every step of the way from design to installation and beyond. Kingspan Made to Measure tanks come in a range of customable styles allowing you to easily create the tank you need to match site

and design requirements. Colour, shape, capacity – all can be easily tailored to suit the project. Most importantly is the ability to make your install easier and more efficient. You can change fitting locations, include a range of accessories to arrive with the tank and even have your tank plug-and-play and ready to go with an Evolution MkIII pump system pre-fitted. For more information, visit and look under All Products

Aussie Pumps’ jetters with benefits Australian Pump is recommending that plumbers check with their tax agent to see if they qualify for the federal government’s 100 per cent depreciation benefit. With the June 30 deadline only weeks away, eligible plumbers are being urged to buy assets now in order to maximise their claim for this financial year. “Many plumbers could be missing out on this generous depreciation allowance and it’s better to check than assume it doesn’t apply”, said Aussie Pumps’ Mal Patel. “It could mean that buying an asset like a jetter becomes even more affordable”, he said. The company is particularly sensitive about supply of drain cleaning jetters as they fall into the ‘under $20,000 acquisition category’. Companies with a turnover of less than $10 million may be eligible to depreciate these immediately. “Our production is running at top speed to try and keep up with demand for drain cleaning jetters. It makes sense that plumbers who are thinking about to buy a jetter move before the 30th June deadline”, Patel said. For more information, visit | 21

Quality Apprenticeship Series

Part 2

Skilling up for the future In the Air-Conditioning and Mechanical Services sector it’s critical to provide on-the-job training in more than flexi duct and lagging pipe. Natalie Reynolds, Master Plumbers Group Training Manager, details requirements to be considered when employing apprentices. Depending on the Registered Training Organisation (RTO), an apprentice will do up to six streams to achieve registration, providing they pass the examination, which occurs at the direction of the relevant State Building or Licensing authority.

Mechanical Services is extremely broad. The current training package includes Medical Gas, the domestic installation of split systems and the installation of high-rise heating and cooling systems. When apprentices are employed in this field, employers need to be aware that their future need for skilled labour depends entirely on the variety and level of training they provide. Apprentices are a good option for installing flexi duct and lagging pipes on large commercial construction projects, but it is critically important they work in plant and boiler rooms, and are exposed to the whole trade. Without this experience it can be hard for them to pass the registration exams and obtain registration in this field. In domestic, the situation is different but the variety of on the job work is still a necessity. Providing this breadth can be difficult as plumbing businesses continue to specialise. 22 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

Master Plumbers – Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria (PAV) has had apprentices apply for jobs with us without completing the Mechanical Stream at their RTO, despite extensive work experience in the mechanical field. It is alarming that these apprentices believe the mechanical stream is simply hanging duct and lagging pipes. Qualified mechanical services plumbers are responsible for more than that, they are responsible for the design and installation of significant system components. If apprentices find themselves in this situation in 4th year, which is usually when they realise they haven’t learned enough about plumbing, it can be difficult to manage. To skill up apprentices for a future in Mechanical Services, employers must: • Contact the RTO to ensure the apprentice is enrolled in the Mechanical Services stream; • Ensure that apprentices are taught best practice across the whole stream; • Where applicable, give the apprentice a variety of work –

domestic and commercial ­– so they can learn different systems, aspects of design and become highly skilled; • Ensure they have the experience on the job in other compulsory fields that are a pre-requisite for registration in your state, which can include water, gas and roofing. Following these guidelines can be difficult with the ongoing specialisation of the plumbing industry. This is why many employers are starting to look afresh at the Group Training Model where an apprentice is employed by a Group Training Organisation and plumbers in different areas of specialty host the apprentice for periods of time. These rotations ensure apprentices obtain experience in a variety of fields. There is a GTO run by each Master Plumbers Association in most states, including PAV in Victoria, Master Plumbers’ GTS in South Australia, MPAL Apprentices in NSW.

Celebrating the pinnacle of the excellence and achievement in the Plumbing and Fire Protection industries




Dedicated to plumbing 24 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

Award-winning plumbing apprentice Breanna Szitarity is putting her mark on the plumbing industry and has the full support of her host employer, Lawson Plumbing. Story: Alison Dean Breanna Szitarity is a qualified beauty therapist. She knows everything there is to know about facials, nails and hair. Two years into her new profession she just “wasn’t feeling it”. So she returned to Box Hill Institute. With very few female plumbers as role models and very few people providing young women with options in trades, Szitarity didn’t buck the trend… at least at the start.

Group Training Scheme – Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria – Szitarity said her journey was not without complications. She described numerous occasions where she copped criticism based on gender and other times when employees have treated her and other apprentices poorly. “It’s sticks and stones really,” she said breezily.

“I suppose I always wanted to do a trade but I didn’t have the balls to do it when I was younger,” she said.

Szitarity is currently working with Lawson Plumbing, a host employer that hires apprentices through Master Plumbers.

At 21, Szitarity got the gumption, enrolled in plumbing and plunged herself into every facet of learning.

Tom Lawson agreed it was harder for woman in the plumbing industry.

Recognised for her skill and dedication in her first year, she was awarded Apprentice of the Year and by her third year she was six months ahead of schedule.

“Some of the more traditional blokes on site are just looking for Bree to do the wrong thing, looking to criticise her, rather than looking at all the things she does well.”

“So many of the guys were just mucking around and on their phones but I just got right in. I made sure I learnt everything there was to learn to ensure my options were open.”

But, he said, things were changing.

Box Hill Institute’s Manager of Plumbing and Timber Trades Rob Gardiner said Szitarity was a dedicated student who shared her learnings with classmates. “Szitarity is one of those remarkable people who was focused and driven,” Gardiner said. “While at Box Hill Institute, Szitarity successfully completed all six streams of the journeyman’s exam run by the VBA on her first attempt. This exam is a nervous time for most of our students but Szitarity remained calm and completed all of the required tasks with ease.” Currently completing a Certificate III in Plumbing and employed by the Master Plumbers’ Association’s

Lawson put his first apprentice, hired through Master Plumbers host scheme, on full time once he qualified. He then contacted Master Plumbers to organise his second apprentice.

Szitarity said she conquered her fear of roofing by learning more about that part of the trade but she said she still needed to fine tune her organisational skills. Tom vehemently disagreed: “She is the first apprentice I have ever met on site who has written a list and ticks every box as she goes through the day. “Reading her timesheet is like reading Tolstoy’s War and Peace.” Lawson and Szitarity both talk about her continuing her employment in the high-end, domestic sector with Lawson when she finishes her Apprenticeship. Szitarity said she also wanted to mentor women thinking about plumbing as a profession. “I can’t help it. I bang on about plumbing every chance I get. I just love the trade.”

Recognised for her skill and dedication in her first year, Breanna was awarded Apprentice of the Year

“I had spoken to another plumber who had a female apprentice,” Lawson explained. “They were a father and son company, and they were the crankiest looking fellas you’d ever meet but they said having a woman on the team was a breath of fresh air for them and for the industry, so I thought I’d give it a crack.” Master Plumbers came back with Szitarity. “It has gone really well,” he said. “She was green at the start but to her credit she just knuckled down and took on board everything we could throw at her; even roofing and she is scared of heights!” | 25

These apprentices are the future and they are the future employers

Fuss-free apprentices Becoming a host employer with Master Plumbers means you don’t have to cater and clean up too. Tom Lawson had always hired his own apprentices and taken on the responsibility for their education, maintaining their training records, ensuring their rotations and paying for them when they were not on the tools. But all that changed four years ago when he discovered Master Plumbers, Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria “I had a stay-all staff for six years and then I had two guys leave in a six month period to travel overseas,” Lawson explained. “I was in strife so I talked to Peter Hall (Master Plumbers Member since 1999 and National Council Member). He said ‘give Master

26 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2018

Plumbers a call’. So I did.” Lawson has now hired two apprentices through the scheme. “It is convenient,” he said. “You just get a bill every week.” And the quality? Lawson said like every apprentice coming into a business they required on-the-job training but he said their commitment and reliability was undeniable. “At the start the cost impact is hard to wear but once you break it down it makes sense.” “You don’t pay for them when they are at school or on annual leave or sick leave, so if you stagger it properly and they take leave then you balance it out easily.”

The paperwork and administration is taken care of

“The paperwork and administration is also taken care of.” Lawson also remarks on the reduction of risk for any business taking on an apprentice through the scheme. “You can give them back and Master Plumbers will find them another host,” he said. “I don’t want to do that, my goal is to keep them all the way through as long as the relationship is good. These apprentices are the future and they are the future employers.” To become a host call (03) 9321 0721. To become an apprentice, visit or call (03) 9329 9622.

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OHS update Tradie health a priority Tradie Health Month, a national initiative to raise awareness of the risks posed to plumbers and their colleagues who work in trade occupations, takes place in August 2018.

compensation paid is $10,800. The arms and upper limbs have the highest rate of injury or disease (26 per cent) followed by the lower limbs (23 per cent) and back (20 per cent).

The campaign highlights the importance of tradies’ health from both a prevention and rehabilitation perspective, and raises awareness of the specific issues that tradies face due to their physically demanding, labour intensive jobs.

This year, the campaign by the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA), highlights the importance of staying fit, healthy and well. Last year the campaign reached 10 million Australians and is supported by Work Safe Australia, NECA and AGGA.

Statistics from Safe Work Australia, 2017 shows overall workplace fatalities have dropped by 49 per cent since their peak in 2007. Vehicle injuries remains the highest mechanism of all fatal workplace injuries at 45 per cent, followed by being hit by moving objects at 29 per cent, falls, trips, slips at 14 per cent and heat and other environmental factors at 11 per cent. The report get involved shows Construction is the #tradieshealth fourth-highest trade for fatalities with 35 in 2016. Overall statistics show median time lost from work-related injury and disease is 5.2 weeks and

APA National President, Phil Calvert, says time off work due to poor health, injury or illness had a significant impact on families, businesses, communities, the health system and the economy. He said this impact would grow if we don’t take steps to change behaviour. “The Australian Physiotherapy Association is calling on all tradies, their employers and families to get behind Tradies National Health Month this August and spread the message from the top of our buildings to the bottoms of our drains and pipes.

“Tradies, make your health the most important part of your toolkit, be proactive about your health and get your muscle/joint pain issues or other health concerns seen to promptly.


“Please prioritise your health so that you can continue to play the important roles you hold in the workforce, your families and the community at large.

Being fit for work doesn’t m

going for a run at the end of “Australians’ reliance on the work you Performing a simple set of and exercises can keep yo do is huge, so seek proper, evidenceand avoid injury. based care before your small niggles It’s the small things that h • Can you bend and reach become large issues that potentially Keep your flexibility by d lead to time off work.” stretching every morning

• Take frequent microbrea than infrequent long bre

Social media is one way to spread • the message. Use hashtags • #tradieshealth to get involved.

For a tailored program and

APA physiotherapist in you For information on this year’s at campaign, visit

For help with Victorian OH&S issues call Rod Tresidder on (03) 9329 9622.


Safe Work Australia statistics 2015-16

Frequency rate of

Median time lost

Median compensation paid

serious claims per million hours worked


per claim

28 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018


Keep your core strong— to Pilates once in a while

• Sleep well and eat well— to help you remain healt



Stay hydrated—2-3 litres




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Lessons from the legends


thony Kout

olds and An

Matt Reyn

Award-winning plumber Matt Reynolds takes lessons from the BRW Rich Listers, athletes and icons to help you set goals, develop people and understand your limits. In the past 10 months I’ve produced a podcast called Trench Talk, which has meant travelling the country and visiting the homes and businesses of movers and shakers. I set out to discover what makes high-achievers tick and how they do it. Here are three of the most important lessons I’ve learned:

Anthony Koutoufides

Phillip Di Bella

Through his football career, Kouta learned to be open to anything that could help him improve and perform better.

“What business are you in?” is a question Phillip often asks business owners.

At one point, he explained, he was advised to see a club psychologist, so he did it. Kouta followed the advice he received and, every day, he wrote in his diary “I can, I will, you just watch me”, then he highlighted it. Although he initially found the process embarrassing, the daily practice helped him to focus and his training immediately improved. Instead of just going through the motions, he began to look at his weaknesses and train specifically to turn them into strengths. It worked, his self-confidence soared, which carried through to more consistent performances on the field.

30 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

Despite their response, he quickly reminds them that they’re in the people business, regardless of their industry. Phillip credits a lot of the success he had growing Di Bella Coffee to the team he built and offered a ton of advice on the subject. The simple things like learning how to build relationships, how to emotionally engage with people, how to work with people and being authentic in how you deal with others are all important aspects of developing company culture. If you have a problem with an employee you should tell them, he told me, and let them tell you if they have a problem too.

He understands that everyone wants to feel important. Good people may be hard to find but you should hire people whose values align with both your own and the company’s. It’s a daily task to reinforce those values, so you also need to live them yourself to be an effective leader. Phillip doesn’t believe in closed doors and secrets, and although there is a direct correlation between your willingness as a leader to share information with employees and employee buy-in to your overall vision, you need to share only what’s relevant. He also encourages employees to share and express their own ideas. Communication is the key to an amazing culture and that includes allowing employees to choose their own rewards.

Write your goals down every day

Know your limits

Anthony Koutoufides

Ryan Trainor

Know what business you’re in Phillip Di Bella

Ryan Trainor With results comes confidence, that’s perfectly natural, but you need to be careful not to fall into the trap of believing you are the centre of all good ideas, according to Ryan. It’s easy to start creating a false narrative around the success you enjoy and begin to overstate your influence on your outcomes. Often, that then means you start overreaching in your own capabilities. To make better decisions, you need more data. You need smart people in the areas you are not strong to help you. You cannot grow and make all the decisions yourself. The mindset needs to shift and the

more you scale, the more you need expert help because you have less influence over things yourself. Intuition still plays a part, but the further you go, the more you need people to challenge your thinking and you need to start putting your ego to the back. It’s worth asking yourself; what could happen in your business if you wrote your own goals down every day, you developed your people skills, invested in relationships, remained self-aware and surrounded yourself with smart people?

Matt will be speaking at Master Plumbers Victoria next breakfast on July 17 at The Meadows, Broadmeadows. He will be discussing the rise of Techno Tradies and how technology is changing the plumbing industry he might even reveal some more tips from the rich list. See more about the breakfast on page 54.

All three interviews can be found in full at

From the trenches Matt Reynolds is an award winning plumber who writes about the game as an industry insider. You can connect with him on Twitter @MrMattReynolds or find him as the Director of XRM Plumbing Services on LinkedIn. | 31

Bullying and the Act In 2013, the Fair Work Act was amended to give the Fair Work Commission the power to deal with allegations of bullying. What is bullying? Under the Act, an employee is bullied where an individual or a group repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards the employee. The behaviour must create a risk to the health and safety of the employee to be considered bullying.

The Commission’s power The Commission has been empowered to make orders to prevent the employee from being bullied at work.

The decision highlights the need for an employer to identify and investigate all complaints raised

32 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

Mastering Workplace Relations

Bullying regulations reinforced

Employers must investigate all bullying claims or risk orders from the Commission Bullying allegations, formal and informal, must be investigated by employers, the Fair Work Commission confirmed in March. In the Jennifer Watts case, Commissioner Williams found that Glengarry Private Hospital owned by Ramsay Health Care had not acted to try and protect Watts from the other employees that she had identified as bullying her. The Commissioner said: “I am satisfied that… Ms Watts’ co-workers behaved unreasonably towards her.” “There is no doubt… (Watts’ supervisors)… consciously decided not to investigate the bullying and victimisation Watts had referred to in her written response she provided in April 2017 at that time or anytime thereafter…” “There is evidence from)… (Watts’ supervisors)… as to why these matters were not investigated as Watts urged them to”. The decision highlights the need for an employer to identify and

investigate all complaints raised. “It should be recognised there are two reasons why an investigation into an allegation of bullying is undertaken by an employer. “The first is to establish whether in fact an employee has been subject to unreasonable behaviour so that if this has happened they can be provided with support and assistance, and remedial action taken. “Secondly that investigation will seek to identify whom was responsible for any unreasonable behaviour and as part of taking action to prevent further unreasonable behaviour the individual/s may be subject to disciplinary sanction if appropriate”. “In some cases it may be established that an employee has been subjected to unreasonable behaviour but for any number of reasons the investigation does not lead to disciplinary sanctions against any other individual perhaps for example because no individual can be identified.”

“This investigation will still be an important and positive development for that employee who had been subjected to unreasonable behaviour”. In the Watts’ case, the Commission stepped into the role of the employer and proposed to issue an order. Further to this, the Commissioner found that the employer did not follow its own formal bullying process. Master Plumbers, Industrial Relations expert Phil Eberhard, said employers must abide by their published policies. “The policies established a formal investigative process. However, the hospital did not investigate the complaints.” “This was contrary to its own policy.” “The question is why promulgate a policy and then not follow the procedures within it. Such a situation leaves the employer vulnerable.”

For more details on this finding, contact Master Plumbers’ Senior Workplace Relations Adviser Phil Eberhard on (03) 9321 0720, mobile 0425 790 722 or email | 33

Retain high performing staff Training new qualified staff can be costly, professional development expert Ray Hodge provides tips on how to attract, create and keep exceptional employees.

Great employees are made up of two foundational elements – enthusiasm and teach-ability.

The following are my key tips to attracting, creating, and keeping exceptional employees:

The former denotes a passionate individual ready to attack each challenge with vigour. The latter is the one who wants to develop and progress; who is hungry to learn and who generally displays the trait of humility.

1 Remember, like attracts like

If you can find someone who has the third foundational element – highly-developed skills – then you they will be an exceptional employee and you are onto a winner. If you have the first two attributes, enthusiasm and teach-ability, and the skill levels are less than required, their rise to skill mastery will be much faster than those who don’t show those traits to begin with. Ray Hodge works with CEOs and business owners on their leadership, team culture and performance and coaching. For more information, visit

34 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

If you have employees who absolutely love their place of work, odds are they will boast about it to their friends. In turn, you will have people calling to work with you who are of a similar nature.

If someone has great technical abilities but lacks enthusiasm and teach-ability, there’s a good chance you’ll be helping them exit sooner rather than later.

Don’t hire them in the first place as they could also damage your brand.

It will also boost your brand in the community.

Good employees want to know what they are doing well and where they can improve.

Feedback (outside of formal six or 12-month performance reviews) is incredibly important to foster high engagement and productivity.

Be sure to give praise where it’s due and informative criticism where it is needed.

Your employees want to know that their contribution is highly valued and exactly how they can improve.

2 Provide clarity on your expectations of the team member

3 Identify the traits of enthusiasm and teachability when recruiting

Be clear in the position description with roles, responsibilities and performance measures while seeking to maintain the stretch factor for your people. Successful people like to feel success so need to understand what they are reaching for and how that helps the overall business not just job by job.

4 Ensure ongoing feedback

People will stay longer if they are treated as human beings

5 Create a relational and fun culture, not just a do-your-job workplace

Provide an enjoyable environment where people can have some fun while achieving highly. This starts from the top down and must be appropriate for each environment. Some stress release is required.

situation will correct itself and/or the toxic employee will leave.

I have never seen that happen. It’s much better to deal with these people upfront than let them linger in, and infect from their current state.

Often these employees are not aware of their behaviour and discussing this openly with them, will help them grow and develop awareness.

6 Incentivisation

Reward commensurately (not necessarily financially) for performance achievement.

7 Help toxic employees to either become healthy or exit the organisation

Toxic employees, those who are negative, bullish or failing to perform, affect many areas within an organisation, including financial results, negative customer experiences, fellow workers, productivity and culture. Some business owners and managers prefer to not deal with these people, hoping that the

8 Your team reflects your interest in people

Richard Branson summarises it best here: “Having a personality of caring about people is important. You can’t be a good leader unless you generally like people. That is how you bring out the best in them.”

Your best people will stay around longer if they are seen and treated as capable human beings rather than just as workers who complete tasks.

Talking to an employee recently they said: “I have learned to just do my job – nothing more, nothing less.” Digging a little deeper it was obvious that this employee had lost connection to his work, his professionalism and his desire to work with his team and the business to create success. I have met and worked with other team members throughout my career who are constantly improving; taking ownership of their roles, attempting new things, suggesting better ways of operating to their managers and so forth. When I see these employees in action (and particularly a team made up of these types), I don’t have to look far to see that the leader is one that nurtures his people for greatness. If you desire to increase both the quality, customer service and end results of your business, don’t forget that the individuals and the team need attention. Take care of them and they will take care of you. | 35

New tax rules a win for ute owners The taxman is not known for good news. In a potential win for tradies and small businesses, the Australian Tax Office is relaxing tax rules around the private use of work utes, H&R Block Director of Tax Communications, Mark Chapman, explains.  Typically the government imposes fringe benefits tax (FBT), a tax paid by employers, where an employer makes a vehicle available for private use by its employees.

both well-equipped and rather luxurious inside the cab, whilst still being capable of doing the hard work traditionally associated with this type of vehicle.

However, some types of vehicles are exempt from FBT provided certain very strict criteria are met. The vehicles which qualify for the exemption include:

The problem

• Single cab utes; • Dual cab utes provided they are not primarily designed to transport passengers; and • Four wheel drive vehicles, provided they can carry a load of more than one tonne or they can carry more than eight passengers or they are not primarily designed to carry passengers. The existence of this exemption has been one of the driving forces behind the boom in sales of so-called “luxury” utes and four wheel drives, which manage to be

36 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

To get the exemption, the employee needs to meet criteria that effectively prevent all private use of the vehicle. Experience has shown that employers find the current rules hard to police, employees get confused as to what – if any – private use is allowed and the ATO has to invest resources policing a system that raises very little tax.

The solution Late last year, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) issued guidelines setting out a relaxation of the rules that will allow some limited, clearly defined private use of qualifying vehicles without losing the FBT exemption.

Under the new rules, the FBT exemption is available provided any private use meets the following criteria: • Any diversion to the normal trip between home and work adds no more than two kilometres to the ordinary length of the employee’s trip; • No more than 750km in total for each FBT year relates to wholly private trips; and • No single, return journey for a wholly private purpose exceeds 200km. The potential effect of this loosening of the rules is that employers will no longer lose access to the FBT exemption where employees use their work ute for common private journeys such as trips to the supermarket on the way home, picking up the kids from school or attending a medical appointment. The ATO guidelines apply to benefits in the 2018 tax year and beyond.

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Grow your business

The shift from a sole trader to a plumbing business will require systems and structures that allow you to grow, Site Shed entrepreneur Matt Jones explains. I’ve had the privilege of speaking with hundreds of tradespeople and industry specialists from all over the world. While there might be some differences, there are significant trends; trends that will suit 95% of tradies and it will help business owners create a business that is not entirely dependent on them. This article is for the business owner that wants to: • Create a valuable asset • Develop a (functional) team • Remove him, or herself from certain areas of their business • Increase efficiency, productivity and turnover

Establishing departments for your business For 95% of trade businesses, the framework below will work beautifully. Some of you may want to add some changes, or separate certain departments, however feel free to use this as a starting point. 1 Admin and finance 2 Sales and marketing 3 Operations and delivery

Creating an organisational (org) chart for your staff

• Improve consistency and delivery of their offering

An org chart populates your departments with the right people.

• Get some time back for themselves

It will likely include your staff, contractors, advisors and suppliers.

38 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

Roles and responsibilities Now we have our departments and we have our org chart created, we now need to assign roles and responsibilities to the members of the org chart.

Task allocation With a clear outline of what the roles and responsibilities are for your organisation, you can find the right people to assign them to. You can hire people in house, or you can outsource tasks and even entire departments.

Where to start Map out the Critical Client Flow for all of your major services and offerings and create systems for the major areas of that chart. See diagram on the next page.

Critical Client Flow (CCF) Product: hot water heater instal Target: residential home owners Traffic


Social Media

Engagement Content/offer

Referral Networking

HWH Webpage



Case Study/ Blog

Website Enquiry



Voucher/Offer/ Discounts

Call/ Call Back Scope/ Discovery Quote Follow Up Call fee paid






TBA Critical Completed Traffic possibilities • Facebook ads • Radio • Newspaper • TV • PR • Sponsorship

Handover Credit:


Creating systems Try following the formula below and if possible, also attach a video/ tutorial recording and annotated screen shots with each one. Who is this process for? What is the outcome? Why is it important? When should it be followed? Here are the steps: 1… 2… 3…

Project management In order for systems to be carried out correctly, there needs to be some form of accountability. People/teams need to be able to see what the next step is in the equation, so that they can check it


off as they go. Project management tells ‘which’ people, to visit ‘what’ system, at ‘what’ point in time.

Technology and tools There are loads of tools available, but to get started, we recommend the following as they’re cloud based and easy to use.

At the end of the day, it’s not really about what tools you use. It’s about getting it done.

• For creating and storing systems – Google Sites (Part of Google’s G Suite). • For project management – ASANA

At Tradie Web Guys, we can also do all of the heavy lifting for you.

At the end of the day, it’s not really about what tools you use. It’s about getting it done.

Visit if you would like help. Also check out – Australia’s number one business podcast for tradies.

Wrap up Structure and organisation comes in many shapes and sizes, however if we’re talking about growing a team and maintaining a standard, this will help you. You’ll also be building yourself a valuable (and potentially acquirable) asset. | 39

Cbus Promotion

Making super easy for your business With around $44 billion in funds under management, Cbus invests back into your industry, creating jobs and stimulating economic growth through our subsidiary company Cbus Property Pty Ltd.

40 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

Our key strength is our relationships with employers and members, and our commitment to working in the best interests of workers in the sector. We offer excellent administration, service and investment expertise and continue to provide strong, long-term investment returns to members. The super environment is ever-changing making it sometimes complex to navigate. We understand your industry and will support you through these changes, leaving you to concentrate on building your business. All businesses need to choose a default super fund in order to make

super contributions to employees who haven’t chosen to go with their own preferred super fund. When a new employee begins working for your business, you’re required to provide them with a ‘choice form’ within 28 days from their start date. If they don’t choose their own preferred super fund, you’ll need to pay their super contributions to your nominated ‘default’ fund. We can help make it easy for you to manage your employee super contributions through our online payment system, as well as help you to understand legislative super changes, keeping you informed with regular updates.

If you’re interested in making Cbus the default super fund for your business, contact Cbus Business Development Manager, Daniel Tentser on 0439 372 365, call 1300 361 784 or visit for more information.

This information is about Cbus. It doesn’t take into account your specific needs, so you should look at your own financial position, objectives and requirements before making any financial decisions. Read the relevant Cbus Product Disclosure Statement to decide whether Cbus is right for you. Contact 1300 361 784 or visit for a copy. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

For more than 33 years Cbus has been passionate about maximising strong retirement outcomes for members of the building, construction and allied industries. Cbus’ Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262.

When a new employee begins working for your business, you’re required to provide them with a ‘choice form’ within 28 days from their start date | 41

Marsh Advantage Insurance Promotion

No one is immune from

cyber crime

The interconnected nature of modern business is exposing organisations of all sizes to potentially costly and damaging cyber risks. Cyber-attacks against businesses are growing and so are the costs associated with cyber-crime. They can cripple an organisation by disrupting IT systems, downloading data and damaging the company’s brand. Attacks against small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have steadily increased in recent years, with more than 70% of cyber-crime attacks targeting SMEs1 For a plumbing business the fall-out from a cyber event stretches beyond poor reviews and reputational harm, to significant costs in the form of data-breach notifications, third-party liabilities and ransomware payments.

How do cyber-attacks happen? In recent years, Australian businesses of all sizes have fallen victim to cyber-criminals who have infiltrated their IT systems and sent ‘fake emails’ masquerading as legitimate correspondence to dupe clients into paying invoices to an alternative account. 1

Criminals have also used phishing emails from legitimate-looking business accounts to convince recipients to provide personal information through fake login sites, or to distribute malware, which can lock users out of their computers and networks. Human error is also a risk for any business using internet connected devices to store client information. There have been a number of data breaches caused by employees or contractors inadvertently storing client information in insecure environments, which has led to leaks.

Evaluating cyber protection Cyber insurance can provide some protection, but it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The type and amount of cover purchased are driven by a number of factors including an organisation’s industry, maturity of cyber-risk management, business continuity planning and overall attitude and willingness to accept risk.

In order to ensure the best outcome in the event of a claim, businesses must understand their own risk exposures and the cover they are purchasing. In many cases, partial cover may exist under current insurance policies, so companies need to have a clear understanding of how the addition of a cyber policy might interact with their existing insurances to avoid any unnecessary overlaps. Australian businesses currently face a significant risk of cyber events. This risk will continue to rise in sync with the increasingly digitised world. It is critical for organisations to proactively identify, analyse and manage cyber risk – this includes regularly reviewing the various risk transfer options available, with a serious consideration for cyber insurance solutions.

For more information, or a quotation on insuring your tools and equipment, please contact Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers on 1300 300 511.

2017 Cost of Cyber Crime Study – Ponemon Institute

Notice: Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (Aust) (MPIB) is a trading name of Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303, AFSL 238369). MPIB arranges the insurance and is not the insurer. This article contains general information, does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs and may not suit your personal circumstances. For full details of the terms, conditions and limitations of the covers and before making any decision about whether to acquire the product, refer to the specific policy wordings and/or Product Disclosure Statements available from Marsh Advantage on request. The Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) receives a financial benefit when a policy is arranged by Marsh Advantage, enabling it to continue to provide further services to the plumbing industry. LCPA18/0011.

42 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018 | 43

Copper’s back on top

Australia’s top developers are returning to copper for premium projects. Leading international property and infrastructure group, Lendlease, is using copper tube extensively on major projects with essential hydraulic and mechanical services. Technical Manager for Fire and Hydraulic Services, Andrew Potts explains why.

Copper on the rise In general, all of the potable hot and cold water, and natural gas supply risers located within their building cores and plant rooms consist of copper. Many of the mechanical services pipe work consists of copper up to 150mm diameter for heating and chilled water systems. The $2.5 billion Melbourne Quarter development under construction in Melbourne’s Docklands precinct 44 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

will consist of three office towers and three residential towers. “Our new Victorian head office will be in one of the new office towers and those buildings will comprise significant amounts of copper tube throughout”, said Mr Potts.

Stringent product evaluations The most important factor in assessing plumbing products for a project is that they meet Australian Standards and carry WaterMark Certification. “There are also other factors like connection methods, origin of the raw materials, material thickness, manufacturing procedures, IS09001 accreditation, warranty periods and a strong level of after-sales support”, said Mr Potts.

“We generally specify copper due to its ability to operate at high pressures and its longevity, which ultimately provides assurance of an optimal system design and long service life for our clients”.

Lessons learnt from substitutes The resurgence of copper tube usage in Australia is also being fuelled by increased adoption of copper press-fittings by plumbers, and it’s not just the improved speed and ease of installation that has helped. The failure of copper substitutes has played a part too. “There’s been an increase in awareness in the industry, particularly due to the infiltration of a large number of substitute products in the Australian market over time, some of

One Melbourne Quarter, Lendlease’s new Victorian HQ due for completion in September

which are inferior and as a result a number of failures have fuelled the transition back to copper”.

Valid and proven warranty In the building industry, product warranties are key to determining suitable products in complex developments like high-rise buildings that are expected to have a long lifespan. In the plumbing industry it is not uncommon to find warranties of

25 years on plumbing products, something which copper tube manufacturers and suppliers have provided for many years. “Copper tube manufacturer and piping system supplier MM Kembla have an integrated piping system warranty that covers multiple components of a system,” said Mr Potts. “Kembla has been specified in a number of Lendlease projects due to their commitment to quality

products, integrated piping system warranties and ongoing on-site training and technical support”. With the increasing supply of imported products into the Australian plumbing market, the role and responsibility of local importers and suppliers in assuring robust quality control mechanisms are in place for all imported product is becoming even more important. A role local manufacturer MM Kembla takes very seriously. | 45

A history of plumbing

Part four:

The quest for comfort

Keeping warm is a luxury for some and a necessity for others. History correspondent, Paul Yunnie, explains the full circle of central heating. Hidden beneath the floors of many Roman villas that remain in Northern Europe are hypocaust heating systems; heated chambers for the floors that also rise up within wall spaces. These are the earliest version of central heating. Once the Romans retreated to Rome, their legacy faded. Open fires became the norm. Often situated in the centre of the main room, smoke was left to find its own way out. In the 11th to 13th centuries there was an attempt to improve the design in large establishments, including palaces and castles. With a living room on the first floor, a fireplace on an outside wall became commonplace but draft was not taken into account and early examples still coughed out smoke.

Benjamin Thompson (Count Rumford), an American based in England after siding with the losing side in the American War of Independence, set about improving the fireplace. In 1796, his experiments on heat lead him to publish Of Chimney Fireplaces, with Proposals for Improving them to Save Fuel, to Render Dwelling Houses more Comfortable and Salubrious and Effectively to Prevent Chimneys from Smoking. In the essay he proposed a narrower front, reduced depth to the fire place with inclined sides, narrowed the exit to the chimney to form an s-bend and introduced a flue damper. The alternative was to enclose the fire and have a chimney out to the atmosphere; a stove. A good stove

can be four times as efficient as an open fire, and of course smokeless. Although many smaller stoves were developed for individual room heating they were never as popular in England as in continental Europe or America. One exception was the Gurney stove developed by Goldsworthy Gurney. These large finned stoves were particularly well suited to large open spaces including cathedrals and abbeys. Patented in 1856, many still remain in service. Having first been fired by solid fuel, many have been converted for oil and/or natural gas. We have now come full circle with underfloor heating in vogue. While it has all been done before, with modern material and techniques, they do tend to work a little better.

Hypocoust at Chedworth Roman Villa, UK National Trust; Esse anthracite stove, 1910 Crown Copyright Public Record Office; Open Hearth Fire at Penshurst Place, Kent, UK; Designs for cast iron fireplaces by Hasley Ricardo, 1899; Benjamin Thompson by Thomas Cainsborough, 1783; Stoves made at Hopewell Furnace, Pennsylvania, c1839 Eastern National Park & Monuments Association; German gas stove; Gurney stove at Tewkesbury Abbey, Glos, UK, David Peters Photography; Ornamental stove by Buderus, Germany. 46 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018


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Member news Member milestone presentations 90 yea rs

CW Lee Air Conditioning Walter Lee’s family migrated from Leeds in the UK in 1886. Walter was born a year later. In 1900, Walter started work for George Fountain in Flemington. He did not go to trade school. Instead, he taught himself lead work on the kitchen table before sitting and passing the exam. At the end of World War 1, Walter started his own business. He married Agnes in 1927 and in 1928 Walter Robert Lee was born. In the same year, Walter Lee senior joined Master Plumbers. He died in 1954 and the business was carried on by his two sons Jack and Walter. In 1966 the partnership dissolved, Jack took the plumbing contacts and Walter concentrated on oil heating, hydronic and Air Conditioning. Walter started attending Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association meetings in 1955 and joined the executive in 1959. He was President in 1963 and retired in 1995. Walter’s son, Craig Lee, who took on the business, took over the membership in 1995. Craig is on the HCAA/HVAC committee and has been on the National Council.

8 0 yea rs

WJ Bugg and Son When William Johnson Bugg first moved into the city he had a two-wheeled cart to carry tools and materials to jobs. One day the cart careered down Bourke Street, never to be seen again. When William started his own company in 1932, he upgraded to a Harley-Davidson with a long box side-car with two cut-outs used to carry 21 foot lengths of galvanised pipe around the Caulfield area. In 1953 son 48 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

William Ashley Bugg was made a partner and sons Geoffrey and Michael took over the business in 1986. In 2001 Michael stood down from the business and moved to Queensland. Geoffrey is the Managing Director and continues the business with the same standards of professionalism as his father and his grandfather. To this day Geoffrey is still servicing customers that the firm has been dealing with over many years.

7 0 y ears

A.G. Coombs Group A.G. Coombs was established by Allan George Coombs in August 1945. A plumber by trade, Allan possessed nothing but a pushbike, a kit of tools and a bucket-load of determination. Assisted by a small loan, Allan purchased an Austin utility truck, appointed his first apprentice and built a garage/ workshop in the backyard of his brother’s home. After outgrowing this space he purchased land in Moorabbin, and, by 1953, had built a factory and office in an area that was then open paddocks. A man of vision, he also established on-site manufacturing facilities to produce ductwork and other sheet metal products. A.G. Coombs’ first big break came when it was contracted to install the plumbing at the Olympic Village in the lead up to the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. Today, A.G. Coombs is a privately owned national business with major operations in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane. Extract from A Singular Vision – The A.G. Coombs Story

65 y ears

Shinners Plumbing Pty Ltd John (Jack) Patrick Shinners started Shinners Plumbing in Dandenong in 1953, after 25 years working for C. L. Godfrey, a long-serving member of Master Plumbers Association and a Bendigo company that would come to Dandenong, which was just beginning to connect to the sewer. In 1960, Jack Shinners expanded and became J. P. Shinners and Sons when Kevin, his eldest son, started his apprenticeship. Subsequently, they were joined by brothers Daryl and Brian. Jacks daughter, Pam, started in the office to complete what was a thriving family business. By 1970, Dandenong had become a manufacturing hub and Kevin had been conscripted into National Service Army Training. When he returned he took over the management of the business with his brothers and together they forged into commercial and industrial plumbing. In 2010, Kevin’s son Matthew, who had carried out his apprenticeship in the business, took over the management of the business, which became Shinners Plumbing. As well as Matthew, brother Benn and cousin Michael also completed their apprenticeship with the business. The fourth generation, Kevin’s grandson Patrick, commenced his apprenticeship last year.

55 y ears

Templestowe Plumbing Service Denis Williams is the founder of Templestowe Plumbing Service, a locally run plumbing company that has serviced the Manningham area and surrounds for almost 60 years.

Denis, raised with a strong work ethic by his plumber father, started his apprenticeship in 1957 at the age of 15 for R.P. Finn & Company in Carlton. Denis has always been a proud plumber and a teacher. Even today he passes on his knowledge on a daily basis. Just sitting in the office with him throughout the day he is receiving phone calls regarding plumbing-related problems from one of the 30-plus apprentices he has trained, some of these apprentices have or are reaching retirement age as well, Denis who is still working in the plumbing industry full time at 76 has outlasted many of his students. Templestowe Plumbing has employed a great amount of tradesmen, women, apprentices and office staff over the years and the flow on effect into the greater community has been enormous.

Joy Plumbing Alan and Lorraine Joy took a chance. They relocated from Mildura, to establish Joy plumbing in Croydon in 1950. After 25 years of establishing a credible business in the local area, Alan Joy suddenly passed away in late 1975, leaving his two sons to continue operating the plumbing and gasfitting business. Ashley Beaton served his apprenticeship under Geoff and Douglas Joy from 1977– 80 and commenced operating the business in February 1981. Three decades on Ashley is training his seventh apprentice, his son, Jai. “My vision would be that Jai takes over the business post apprenticeship and continues to operate the firm for many years to come, perhaps even to 2050, 100 years after the business commenced,” Ashley said.

40 y e ar s

CDC Investment Group In 1970, R.D. Cooke (Bob) founded the now known CDC Investment Group Pty Ltd. Peter Carrick commenced in 1972 as the company’s first apprentice. In 1984, Peter joined the company as an equal partner in which the company became recognised as CDC Plumbing & Drainage. From 1995 to 2005, Bob and Peter doubled the size and turnover of the company’s exposure within the industry. In July 2007 a Public Company, Hastie Group purchased Cooke & Carrick (Vic) which became Cooke & Carrick Pty Ltd trading as CDC Plumbing & Drainage. CDC Plumbing & Drainage was Hastie’s first hydraulic services company to be purchased. In May 2012, Hastie closed its doors and the company became CDC Investment Group trading as CDC Plumbing & Drainage with new Directors Peter Carrick, Stephen Godfrey and Alan Carrick.

Finlay Plumbing Laurie Finlay has a raft of business highlights including the Royal Botanical Gardens Children’s Garden, the Premier’s Suite at Parliament House, Faculty of Pharmacy, Monash University, clearing blocked drains in Boeing 737’s, upgrades to Australian Defence Force houses across Victoria and upgrades of primary and secondary schools (too many to mention). Laurie started his apprenticeship at J.H. Fox Plumbing in Kew in 1966 and worked there until 1976 when he established his own business with his wife, Christine. Their oldest son, Anthony, finished secondary school and started an apprenticeship in late 1989. Their

middle son, Mathew, completed a degree in Business Management, worked as an assistant store manager for Rebel Sport, and then started an apprenticeship in 1999. The youngest son, Nick, completed a degree in Eco-Tourism, worked in the landscaping trade and start his apprenticeship in 2002. Christine retired from the business in 2016 and Laurie is semi- retired, working on demand for his sons.

Woodhouse Ian Woodhouse started his apprenticeship with Ian Thomas, a plumber who lived in the same town of Tecoma in the Dandenongs. During his apprenticeship he predominately worked in general plumbing and maintenance but also worked on the new Tullamarine Airport. After completing his apprenticeship, Ian worked as a subcontractor for a builder for 12 months and then gradually started taking up work of his own. Ian started his own business in late 1972 and has worked on a number of projects including two new abattoirs during their construction and then ongoing maintenance. Today he is involved mainly in domestic and commercial maintenance.

30 y ears

Blogg Bros Plumbing Pty Ltd. Steve Blogg was an apprentice with Coldon Homes Wonthaggi until 1983 when he became a registered plumber. At just 23 years of age, he started his own business working from his parents’ farm at Bena. In 1985, he built a workshop and showroom. A year later, Steve married Judy, who joined the business and two years later they | 49

Member milestone presentations joined Master Plumbers as Steve Blogg Industries. Steve told API: “we have always believed in having apprentices to continue the trade. It has been great to put many apprentices through their training, including my brother Michael and my son Ben. It is even more pleasing to see them become successful in their own right.” Four years ago, Steve and Judy changed the name of their business to Blogg Bros Plumbing as a succession plan as they continue to grow and evolve.

Kelly Plumbing Kelly Plumbing is a family owned business, which started in 1985 in Bendigo. This included Phil and his wife Marg along with their family; James, Adrian, Damien and Nicholas. Adrian and Damien both completed a plumbing apprenticeship with Kelly Plumbing. Phil and Marg are very proud that their family are all in trades. Kelly Plumbing has trained many apprentices and have participated locally with the Central Victorian Group Training company, of which Phil was a director for a number of years. Joining Master Plumbers Association, Kelly Plumbing found a great network of people to help their organisation, from technical data, quality of training, through to new friendships. Being involved with committees within the Association has been very rewarding.

PJ Plumbing Services Phillip and Judy Smith are PJ Plumbing Services. Phillip started his apprenticeship in 1968. He was named Top Apprentice of Collingwood Technical School and received the W.D. Beazley Trade Scholarship Award each year of his apprenticeship. From the knowledge 50 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

he gained in his 12 years as an apprentice and qualified plumber, and Judy’s bookkeeping skills, the two decided to start their plumbing partnership in 1981. Their son, Brett, undertook his apprenticeship with PJ Plumbing from 1992 to 1996. During this time Brett won Third Prize – Apprentice of the Year in 1993 and First Prize – Apprentice of the Year in 1994 at Box Hill TAFE. Debbie, their daughter, capably assisted in the office. After Judy’s health deteriorated and Phillip decided to donate a kidney to her, the two handed the business to Brett late last year. PJ Plumbing has ceased trading and Brett opened Eastmont Plumbing Pty Ltd retaining employees, suppliers and customers.

Potter’s Bathroom & Kitchens Brett Potter started as a sole trader in 1988 with a marketing strategy that had him hand-delivering pamphlets. In 1992 the recession hit him hard when the main builder he worked for closed. Later that year, Brett created the complete bathroom and kitchen renovation division. He also returned to study and gained his builders accreditation in 1995, which enabled his company to provide complete home renovations. He continued to grow his business and by 2017 he had two showrooms/warehouses. In 2005 he also created Ensuites to Go, unique luxury portable ensuite units for customers when they were renovating. In 2012, Potter started to offer installations, including ovens, range hoods, washing machines, air-conditioners, hot water systems, heaters and integrated appliances. “We pride ourselves on being a family business, allowing our customers to feel like they are part of our family,” Brett said.

Reliable Plumbing Services When Noel Malcolmson founded Reliable Plumbing Services in the late 1970s, he couldn’t have known that, forty years on, his one-man business would have become one of Melbourne’s premier commercial plumbing companies. Now, owned and managed by Noel’s son Chris, Reliable has expanded significantly in the tertiary-education sector, where, remarkably, it still serves some of Noel’s original customers. Although Noel’s trademark Holden HX panel van has long since given way to a fleet, Reliable’s values remain unchanged. Chris, himself a qualified plumber, is passionate about customer satisfaction, and under his leadership, the company has expanded the long-term relationships with its customers by maintaining its unique, personalised approach to commercial plumbing maintenance. Chris recognises that clients need to see a return from their investment in their hydraulic assets, while also reducing the environmental impact of the work. For Reliable, it’s essential to add value.

Read more about these plumbers and their businesses, visit news-events/2018-annualgeneral-meeting

Master Plumbers also congratulates all members who achieved milestones this year

LG Winduss (80 years) Stone Bros Plumbing (70 years) JH Fox Pty Ltd (60 years) McQuinns Plumbing & Gas (50 years) Walker Plumbing (45 years) DB & RP White (40 years) John Stevens Plumbing (40 years) Fletcher Property Services (40 years)

Roof Distributors (40 years) N & B Edwards (35 years) Ross Magor Plumbing Service (35 years) The Plumbing Company (35 years) RJ Lochland Plumbing Service (30 years) Millers Plumbing (30 years) Graeme Cuff Building & Plumbing (30 years) TJ Johnson Industrial (30 years)

Injecting performance in education Brendan Gould fell in love with plumbing and education early. He married those passions and now heads up the registered trade organisation for Master Plumbers. Brendan Gould is passionate about plumbing and education. So intense are his feelings that he becomes animated as he discusses the ornamental, copper plumbing design that he discovered during his European adventures. “The children really didn’t share my interest,” admitted Master Plumbers’ new General Manager of Training and Industry Development with a laugh. “I really am a plumbing nerd.” Brendan knew from the time he was

in secondary school that university was not in his game plan. He loved the outdoors too much. “I was fortunate to get some work with a local plumber to do some labouring. He ended up offering me a job. It was windy and muddy and crappy, and I loved every minute of it.” Read more about Brendan Gould and his plan to revolutionise teaching and training, visit

World plumbing advocate steps down Ken Gardner spent almost a decade as Master Plumbers CEO. Taking quality plumbing to the world was not a mission Ken Gardner had in mind when he graduated from Law at Melbourne University in 1978. “I never predicted it,” he confirmed to API when he stepped down from the position of Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia in late March. There were early signs. Ken had taken a shine to IR as a speciality at university before he started work at the Australian Mines and Metals Association and then the Metal Trades industry both employer associations.  In 1997, Ken was given the task of heading up a new regulator, the Office of Gas Safety. From this time he was introduced to plumbing as a

profession, as an area requiring regulation and as one of the interested parties he would work with that had public safety in their hands. Later, Ken moved to the Office of the Chief Electrical Inspector and in 2004, he combined the two to become Energy Safe Victoria. “I became very familiar with plumbers and plumbing during this time,” Gardner said. He also became familiar with Master Plumbers. “Master Plumbers came up with the Green Plumbing Initiative and the Office of Gas Safety helped sponsor that. I was very impressed with Master Plumbers as a forward thinking organisation.” Ken admits he had become an accidental

advocate for plumbing, so when the CEO of Master Plumbers came up in 2009, he put his hand up. Read more about Ken’s achievements and the challenges he warns are facing the industry. Visit

Former Master Plumber CEO Ken Gardner handed over to new CEO Peter Daly at the Master Plumbers AGM last month | 51

Member news World Plumbing Day celebrations More than 300 people attended World Plumbing Day in March to celebrate the vital role plumbing plays in the health, safety, innovation and environmental sustainability of communities. The event was held at the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC). State Government Minister for Education, James Merlino, attended the industry forum to discuss the importance of trades and trade education for the future prosperity of the state. Victorian Building Authority (VBA) CEO Sue Eddy discussed the VBA’s action plan to become a more effective regulator and the sun-setting on the current plumbing regulations in November. PICAC CEO and Chair of the World Plumbing Council Shayne La Combre facilitated a live skype interview with WorldSkills

International Deputy Chief Expert Ryan Marsh, to discuss the water crisis in his hometown of Cape Town. PICAC Chair and Federal Secretary of the PPTEU Earl Setches discussed the new PICAC centre under construction in Narre Warren. He also presented commemorative rings to Andrew Fabb and Rowan Morton who both represented PICAC and Australia at the United Association International Apprentice Skills Contest in Michigan in 2017. To catch up on the PICAC forum, visit PICAC Facebook page. Following the forum, visitors were invited to attend the Trade Expo where about 25 industry organisations showed off the latest products and developments. For the final event, Shayne La Combre introduced the 16 apprentices who had competed in the apprentice skills contests.

Winners Plumbing 1st place Luke Pettenon Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria 2nd place Cody Hedge Denam Plumbing QLD 3rd place Karly Tapner Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria Sprinkler Fitting 1st place Ryan Cox Firesafe Sprinkler Systems 2nd place Lachlan Burke ARA Fire 3rd place Joel Treeby South East Fire

Clockwise from left: In action at the WPD Apprentice Skills Contest; Plumbing Apprentices – Apprentice Skills Contest 2018; Guest speaker The Hon. James Merlino MP; Guest speaker CEO at the Victorian Building Authority, Sue Eddy; Industry Forum; Crowds at the World Plumbing Day Trade Expo; Sprinkler Fitting Apprentices – Apprentice Skills Contest 2018 52 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

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Member news

To register for Master Plumbers events call (03) 9329 9622 All events are Free for Master Plumbers Members

Business growth bonanza Master Plumbers and Tradelink’s first free business breakfast of the year focussed on: • Depreciable assets; • Minimising financial risk; • Market intelligence; and • Plumbing apprentices of the future. Held at the Atura Hotel, Dandenong in February, speakers included Wayne Milner from Northquest, an innovative solutions management company, David Sheldon from Corelogic, Australia’s largest property, building and construction analytics company and Master Plumbers – Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria’s new Group Training Scheme Manager, Natalie Reynolds, who delved into the psyche of today’s apprentices.

Master Plumbers thanks Clark Equipment Rental & Sales and  Duralift for the Bobcat and Scissorlift display. Door prizes supplied by  Duralift, Cbus Super, Tradelink  and SME Finance Group. Master Plumbers and Tradelink’s Business Breakfast will continue to provide future-focussed business and innovation information across Victoria. Next Business Breakfast is 17 July, The Meadows, Broadmeadows and will feature changing technology and industry expert Matt Reynolds of XRM Group, Sean Melbourne from Source Legal who will talk about recovering unpaid invoices and Matt Jones from Tradie Web Guy who will talk about reducing marketing costs while generating more clients and income for your business.

Events to look out for 14 June SP Solutions Toolbox Listen, Learn and Act in Broadmeadows 25 July Gippsland Forum 8 August Plumbing & Gas Fitting Division Meeting in Brunswick 1 September Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards Tickets available until August 1

Master Plumbers Training Master Plumbers offer advanced training for plumbers on Occupational Health and Safety management, Carbon Monoxide testing procedures and Backflow prevention. For details, call (03) 9329 9622. 54 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

Animals abound Bobby and Thelma are getting the best of care. Bobby, the Eastern Grey joey, and Thelma, the wombat, are seven months old.

placements, that their employers are happy with their work and that they are coping well at trade school.

Both animals have visited Master Plumbers’ office recently with their registered wildlife carer Jeff, one of Master Plumbers’ – Plumbing Apprentices Victoria (PAV) – field officers.

With this level of care, you can trust your business and your apprentices with PAV.

Jeff works with apprentices to ensure they have varied work

Victorian employers wishing to hire an apprentice through PAV, call (03) 9321 0721. Apprentices, call (03) 9329 9622 or email

Legionnaires risk Master Plumbers is reminding building managers to choose qualified and experienced plumbers to ensure public health is maintained. CEO Peter Daly said this week, Master Plumbers supports the introduction of strict requirements to have licensed or registered plumbers installing and regularly maintaining cooling towers. “Regular testing and disinfecting of these towers is crucial to ensure

Fast Fact

that the conditions that encourage legionella growth are avoided,” Mr Daly said. “Any hot water system that operates below 60 degrees has the capacity to grow potentially deadly legionella bacteria, which makes the safe design, installation and maintenance of hot water systems critical.” For information on the health risks of legionnaires, visit: conditionsandtreatments/ legionnaires-disease

Hazardous chemicals


Number of new chemicals added to the Hazardous Chemical Information System

Image: | 55

Product news Rheem announces 12-year cylinder warranty Leading water heater manufacturer Rheem Australia has increased its Rheem Electric cylinder warranty to an unrivalled 12 years across 80-400L models – the best cylinder warranty in the business. The new 12-year cylinder warranties cover: • Rheem VE Electric (80L/125L/160L/250L/315L and 400L*) • Rheem Plus (50˚ C temperature limited range: 125-315L) • The full Rheem Stellar Stainless Steel Electric range (50-315L). “These Rheem cylinders are engineered and manufactured here in Australia for the ultimate quality, reliability and durability. We are proud to now offer class-leading warranties that are two years more than any other VE electric water heater,” said John Wilkins, Rheem Australia Product Marketing Manager. For more information, visit

Therm-Oz provide cool-touch technology Therm-Oz Showers supply Thermostatic Shower Valves, manufactured to Australian Standard AS4032.4, Watermark Approved. Choose Reno Kit – RK001 (Patent Protected, Registered Australian Design) converting an existing manual two-tap shower into a Thermostatic shower, requiring no pipework or tiling alterations, or New Build Kit – NB001 incorporating fixing bracket. A thermostatic shower

56 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

mixes water to a set safe constant temperature of 38°C, even if other taps, toilets or washing machines are in use. Should the cold-water supply to the shower fail, the shower would instantly shut off, preventing any risk of scalding. Cool-touch technology creates a low surface temperature of the valve, ensuring it is safe to touch or hold without risk of burning. For more information, visit


Product news Rheem increases gas storage cylinder warranty to 10 years Rheem Australia has increased the cylinder warranties on its entire Rheem gas storage model range to 10 years. With more than 80 years of Australian water heater engineering expertise, all of Rheem’s gas cylinders are proudly manufactured in Australia offering the very best quality, durability and reliability. The Rheem gas models with extended 10-year cylinder warranties include:

• Rheem 4 Star Gas 90L/135L/170L • Rheem Internal Gas Storage 135L/170L All Rheem gas storage models now feature two anodes, for added cylinder protection and extended life.

• Rheem 5 Star Gas 265L/295L

The popular Vulcan Freeloader 4 Star Gas storage range (135L & 170L) now has a seven year cylinder warranty – up from five years – with improved cylinder design and enamel supporting this longer warranty.

• RheemPlus 5 Star Gas 265L/295L

For more information, visit

• Rheem Stellar 5 Star Gas 330L/360L

Viega designer flush plate German brand Viega has extended its diverse range of designer flush plates in Australia with the launch of its award-winning Visign for Style 105 model. The result of a successful collaboration with internationallyrenowned design studio Artefakt, the modern Visign for Style 105 will enhance the style and design of any bathroom. Visign for Style 105 features curved edges, high-grade materials and a distinctive geometric design to create a seamless, integrated look. Visign for Style 105 is available with manual flush activation as well as a touchless model, the Visign for Style 105 Sensitive. Both incorporate the 58 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | June 2018

tried and tested Viega Bowden cable technology. “The new Visign for Style 105 embodies the latest trends in bathroom design and offers a contemporary interpretation of standard flush plate design,” explains Robert Hardgrove, Viega’s Technical Manager, Strategic Projects. The Visign for Style 105 has already been awarded the Design Plus powered by ISH 2017 quality label and the internationally renowned iF Label for design excellence. For more information on Viega range in Australia, visit or visit

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Source Legal has been the trusted outsourced legal team for small business since 2010, providing fast, practical and agreed-price legal services.

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Australian Magazine Winter 2018  

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

Australian Magazine Winter 2018  

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