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Contents

24

28

Features

Regulars

8 Your say

14 Snapshot around the nation

Posts and letters about your industry and your health

20 Product news

10 Plumbing priorities A stronger industry safeguarding our community

32 Workplace Relations 34 Marketing matters 36 Tax time 38 Superannuation tips

19 Tool theft Top tips to stop your tools being on the hit list

40 Marsh Insurance 42 Member news

22 Passion for plumbing At 23, this Master Plumbers’ apprentice is a strong advocate for the trade

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28 Lessons from legends Three of Australia’s most successful tell all

See page 30

Cover image of Damian de Vincentis by Bernie Phelan. Damian and his team at BeOnd Plumbing are often the first responders when things go wrong. He talks about his plumbing journey and the importance of continuous professional development. Full story, page 24.

34 Australian Plumbing Industry magazine 15/306 Albert Street Brunswick VIC 3056 australianplumbingindustry.com.au

Subscription changes To change your details or to unsubscribe, call 1800 133 871 or email info@plumber.com.au Print post number: PP100019076

Contacts Publisher The Master Plumbers’ and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) E australianplumbing@plumber.com.au

Advertising Christine Watson T (03) 9321 0798 E christine.watson@plumber.com.au

Suppliers saltcreative.com.au southerncolour.com.au ddmail.com.au

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 | Spring 2018

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The plumbing industry plays a vital role in our community

Welcome

from the President and CEO

A stronger plumbing industry safeguarding our community The plumbing industry plays a vital role in our community. Accordingly, it is highly regulated because of the inherent risks involved in providing drinking water, disposing of waste, ensuring the integrity of metal roofing and of HVAC systems and ensuring the safety of gas supply and appliances used in homes and businesses. These risks are managed through a regulatory framework which defines the scope of plumbing work, restricts entry to the market to suitably qualified persons and defines the standard of work required. In Victoria new plumbing regulations are currently being considered to cover our profession over the next decade. While there are some positive changes which provide better clarity for plumbers, we are strongly disappointed that despite previous assurances by the Victorian Government, the new regulations fail to address three pressing issues for the contemporary sector: complex plumbing, continuous professional development and pre-fabricated modules (pods). This is an opportunity missed and remains a significant shortcoming in regulation of the plumbing industry in Victoria. More broadly, we know from experience that constant vigilance is required to ensure that our profession maintains and improves its high standards. Master Plumbers has identified seven key priorities which we believe are critical to the ongoing improvement of our industry and the safety of the communities our members serve. These comprise: safeguarding consumer access to compliant plumbing products; providing a fit-for-purpose compliance system for complex plumbing; ensuring a minimum four-year comprehensive apprenticeship; providing lifelong learning to future-proof our industry, supporting security of payment for contractors, cutting red tape and ensuring public health. Details of Master Plumbers policies for these key areas are outlined on pages 10 to 13. On behalf of our members, we call on all political parties to commit to these priorities to build a stronger plumbing industry and safety community. Scott Dowsett President, Master Plumbers

Building further value for members Master Plumbers has embarked on a journey to make membership more meaningful and relevant to our members, and to ensure the long-term future of our association. Our new strategic plan is focussed on six strategic themes: grow our membership; enhance member value; deliver high quality, relevant training; maintain trusted and effective partnerships; ensure a strong, safe and sustainable plumbing industry and build our organizational capacity and resilience. In the the next three years we will invest in our digital assets, including a significant makeover of our website to improve navigation and usefulness for members and the general public. We will also enhance our find-a-plumber tool to make it more relevant and helpful in connecting customers looking for a plumber with our members. Lifelong learning will feature in Master Plumbers’ plans as we continue to develop our training programs and strive to attract the best talent into our industry. We will provide a suite of programs at pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship and post-apprenticeship levels and tailor our delivery to better meet the needs of members and the broader industry. We will introduce a new program for members who see the importance of continuing professional development and want to stand out from the crowd. Representing members’ interests and advocacy to improve our industry remains a priority for your association. In recent weeks Master Plumbers has taken a strong position on the proposed new plumbing regulations in Victoria and continues to work with our sister associations in other states to ensure the new plumbing training package best meets the needs of our profession over the next decade. This edition of Australian Plumbing features the seven key advocacy priorities that we are fighting for on behalf of members. We will seek commitment to these from all parties in the lead-up to the Victorian Election in November and report back to members through our online channels. As always, we welcome members’ input and I encourage you to tell us your stories and views at australianplumbing@plumber.com.au Peter Daly CEO, Master Plumbers

www.plumber.com.au | 7


Industry news

Your say

Make it safe While a safety incident can happen in a moment and in any workplace, a moment’s forethought can prevent harm. Taking a safety moment can be as simple as spending five minutes every morning talking with your team about the hazards and risks in your National Safe workplace, and how Work theme: to prevent harm.

A moment is all it takes

Over the coming months, we will publish a range of resources on the National Safe Work Month website to help workplaces take a safety moment this October. Injury or death in the workplace changes lives forever. This October, take a moment to consider what workplace safety means to you. Safe Work Australia CEO Michelle Baxter www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au

Silicosis, tradies new deadly A news article in the Herald Sun (24 July 2018) on the alarming spike in “tradies hit by deadly condition caused by ‘the new asbestos’” caused concern. The new asbestos is a condition called silicosis, the irreversible lung disease caused by long-term exposure to silica dust, which is created when artificial or engineered stone is cut.

You responded: I started plumbing in 1992 and safety wasn’t a thing. Remember chasing wall’s with a 9-inch grinder wearing sunnies until I couldn’t see or breathe; let the dust clear and repeat. Was hard being an apprentice in those days. Hopefully, my future isn’t so grim??? B. Hall Every kitchen bloke doesn’t clean after themselves and the cupboard is full of it ready for us to work in.

An ABC story about brass fittings found to cause slightly elevated levels of lead in drinking water prompted Master Plumbers to post: “Our advice to consumers is quite simple – if you’re installing taps at home, make sure they’re WaterMarked and they’re installed by a licenced plumber.”

You responded: You need to explain that watermarked means they have been tested and approved to Australian Standards plus the WaterMark symbol is stamped on the product. The general public don’t know what you mean otherwise. V Murray

It raises the question, what’s not going to kill us.

I had to tell someone two weeks ago I couldn’t install something without the WaterMark. It’s a problem that anything can be imported and sold even if it doesn’t meet the required standards.

A Sahir

P Lovegrove

R. Johnson

Australian Plumbing Magazine wants to hear more from you, email australianplumbing@plumber.com.au with your letters.

Move that Mo Movember is creating positive change for men’s health by raising awareness through their takeover of the month formerly known as November. From humble beginnings back in 2003, the Movember movement has grown to be a truly global one, inspiring support from more than five million Mo Bros and 8 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018

Mo Sistas. For 30 days, your moustache turns you into a walking, talking billboard for men’s health – use it to start the conversation about men’s health this Movember.

The challenge: MOVE every day in Movember. Take a 30 minute walk to work, play a game of ping pong or go on an epic bike ride – no MOVE is too big or small.

And this year there is more. We are calling on you to get more than your Mo moving with MOVE, a 30-day physical fitness challenge to champion men’s health this Movember, starting with your own.

The team at Movember


DRIVE SAVINGS HOME

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A stronger plumbing industry safeguarding our community Plumbing industry priorities

1 Victoria is highly regarded for its robust training, licensing and regulation of the plumbing industry. To stay at the forefront, action is required to meet the increasing complexity of plumbing services and the construction sector. Master Plumbers has identified seven key priorities, which we believe are critical to the ongoing improvement of our industry and the safety of the communities our members serve. We will put these to parties wishing to form government at Victoria’s upcoming state election and report their responses online.

Ensuring the health and safety of our community Plumbers play a vital role in developing and maintaining public health and safety through access to clean water and sanitation and the safe installation and servicing of gas appliances. While Victorian consumers enjoy high plumbing standards, it is essential that this work is overseen by a knowledgeable, respected and well-resourced regulator.

W H AT W E W A N T Phase out open flued gas heaters starting with all public buildings and rental properties. Mandate routine gas appliance servicing for all public-sector housing and rental properties. Introduce a more rigorous audit and compliance regime for public buildings with cooling towers to reduce the risk of legionella outbreaks. Introduce Watermark Certification for plumbing products at point of sale. More vigorously promote a public health and safety awareness program on the risks posed by asbestos, legionella, lead and carbon monoxide.

10 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018


2 Safeguarding consumers’ access to compliant plumbing products Changes in industry procurement and consumer purchasing patterns has raised concerns which may ultimately impact on consumer safety and risk to plumbers. Currently the WaterMark Certification Scheme (WCS) is the industry standard for plumbing products in Australia to protect consumer safety. Compliance is managed by States and Territories. Licensed plumbers are responsible for installing WCS compliant products. This quality standard is now being compromised by some developers and builders procuring goods overseas and avoiding WCS compliance requirements. This is further compounded by the availability of imported, non-conforming products online. Under current arrangements, there is a danger for retailers and distributors as there are no barriers to the sale of non-WCS goods. With no indication whether the product meets the WCS standards, the plumber may unknowingly be confronted with non-compliance after a job is completed.

3

W H AT W E W A N T WCS approval should be mandated and displayed at point of sale (trade, retail and online) on all plumbing products to protect water and waste infrastructure. Offsite constructed modules should be subject to the provision of a certificate of compliance from a licensed plumber when the assembly of the unit involves plumbing works: • the plumber responsible for the offsite construction of the plumbing system within the module would issue a certificate of compliance and be responsible for the warranty on the plumbing system, and • the licensed plumber responsible for the onsite plumbing connection would issue a certificate of compliance warranting their work up to the connection to the module but not the module itself.

Providing a fit-for-purpose compliance system to meet the increasing complexity in plumbing Complex plumbing involves the installation of specialised plumbing systems in buildings, such as healthcare facilities, large multi-storey commercial and residential developments and many public buildings. Master Plumbers believes that further controls need to be applied to this growing segment of the market in recognition of, and to mitigate, multiple inherent risks.

W H AT W E W A N T Review the efficacy of the current system of monitoring and certification in light of the increasingly complex nature of plumbing work and construction projects. Develop regulatory treatments which distinguish between complexity of plumbing work in: • qualification and licensing of plumbers, ensuring fit-for-purpose skills, and • regulation practices and certification compliance, aligning standards and controls in relation to the Ministerial Order 2002. Stronger recognition and engagement by State Government on approaches to complex plumbing and improvements to the current system which more effectively support sound and safe plumbing practices.

www.plumber.com.au | 11


4 Delivering a four-year comprehensive plumbing apprenticeship program as a minimum requirement for registration Apprenticeship training continues to prove the most effective and comprehensive way of developing plumbing knowledge and skill. Industry-led training has provided a clear advantage for apprentices to experience a broad-based approach to learning as it most readily reflects the nature of work they will be entering. This program of learning combined with industry practice and mentoring, sets the standard for plumbers to be registered and ensures that they commence as work ready and skilled tradespeople. Working as an industry group in the provision of apprenticeship training enables timely response to market changes, ensuring that quality plumbers are moving into the field to meet demand. Given the responsibilities for licensed plumbers to certify completed work, the comprehensive and practical approach to training offered through industry programs prepares them for the variety of work and requirements that they will face on the job. The increasing complexity in plumbing work and products requires this high level of practical skill and knowledge.

12 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018

5

W H AT W E W A N T A minimum four-year education and experience requirement for a plumber to become eligible for registration. Extension of free tuition for industry-based Certificate II and Certificate IV apprenticeship training as the TAFE system current receives. Removal of barriers which prevent TAFE Colleges from collaborating and contracting with, industry RTOs.

Providing lifelong learning to future-proof our industry Traditionally, the plumbing industry has valued continued learning to maintain technical proficiency and increase knowledge in line with industry developments. Usually this has been undertaken as an initiative by the individual to attend courses and training sessions of interest, such as those offered regularly through Master Plumbers. This form of accreditation will ensure that plumbers, with direct connection to the health and safety of our community, are always appropriately skilled. It will align learning throughout a plumber’s career with regulatory, compliance and technological developments and provide a level of confidence to the end consumer and regulatory bodies.

W H AT W E W A N T Development of an industrybased CPD program which focuses on the maintenance of proficiency, awareness of changes in the industry and increasing a plumber’s skills in line with industry developments. Requirement for a CPD program to be linked to the renewal of licensing of plumbers.


6

7

Supporting security of payment for plumbing contractors Security of payment is a key issue amongst plumbers as they are generally subcontractors and reliant on payment from head contractors for cash flow to maintain their business. The Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business conducted the report ‘Review Security of Payment Laws: Building Trust and Harmony.’

• Provide an appropriate balance regarding timing in the adjudication process

The recommendations resulting from the Review are based on the preferred East Coast model and seek to:

• Achieve a nationally consistent and effective set of security of payment laws with implementation of the best practice recommendations which requires that the relevant Australian, State and Territory Government Ministers to work together.

• Promote prompt payment to maintain a subcontractor’s cash flow • Ensure the legislation is drafted and structured as simply as possible

• Secure payments from misuse and the risk of head contractor insolvency by implementing a cascading statutory trust, thereby securing the payments of all subcontractors

W H AT W E W A N T

Cutting red tape to build a more efficient plumbing industry Master Plumbers provides a range of advisory services to its members which work through the many legislative, regulatory and commercial systems under which they operate. As such, Master Plumbers supports the development of meaningful reforms that will reduce the regulatory burden for the sector. In considering the complexity, interaction and overlap between small business regulation in the construction sector, it is essential to ensure the regulation sets meaningful and appropriate standards which deliver consistent quality, safety and performance in a dynamic and demanding industry.

W H AT W E W A N T

Australian, State and Territory governments should develop and enact national legislation to ensure security of payments for construction industry subcontractors.

Practical engagement with industry member associations in the Small Business Regulation Review Regulatory Interaction – Construction Sector project.

Ensure a straightforward and timely system is put in place which will benefit construction industry subcontractors and their ongoing financial security.

Engagement with Master Plumbers on the development of a consistent approach by water authorities on developing a register for backflow prevention devices.

Ensure a legislative system which does not compromise the commercial relationship between the subcontractor and head contractor.

Develop a consistent and practical approach to information sharing amongst regulatory bodies and the water authorities.

What now? The full report is available at www.plumber.com.au. We encourage everyone to support the report and tell us your views via ceo@plumber.com.au. www.plumber.com.au | 13


Snapshot

from around the nation Master Plumbers Tasmania (MPT)

Restricted roofing license

endorsement include:

Disappointingly, the Regulator has acquiesced to a very small number of builders wishing to undertake roof plumbing works, introducing a Restricted Roofing Endorsement.

• repairs of a roof plumbing installation (when not associated with building work)

The new Restricted Roofing Endorsement allows a licensee to work on a roof drainage system (associated with the performance of building work), comprising either a new installation of a system or drainage components or an alteration or addition to an existing drainage system. The work can include installation of these roof drainage system components: • roof gutter (including box gutters) • roof valley • metal roof ridge • metal roof weathering • any flashing associated with any such gutter, valley, ridge, or weathering. Types of roof drainage work not permitted under this licence 14 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018

• work on servicing, testing, commissioning, maintaining or disconnecting a roof drainage system (when not associated with building work) • decommissioning or removal of an existing roof drainage system (or its components) except as a “like for like replacement” of similar components as part of associated building work • installation of downpipes • work on subsurface drainage systems or drainage work that will be below ground when completed • work on a surface drainage system that is not intended for the drainage of a roof surface (e.g. runoff from driveways, paved areas etc.) • connection of a roof drainage system to stormwater services (e.g. Council stormwater service)

• connection of a roof plumbing system to an on-site stored water supply (drinking water or firefighting water supply) • an endorsement also does not permit the licensed builder to advertise that they are a roof plumbing contractor Other types of plumbing work that are not permitted under the licence endorsement include: • any other class of plumbing work (e.g. water supply, wastewater management) • design of any plumbing work. The introduction of the Restricted Roofing Licensing has added another level of complexity to the licensing system and most importantly is not in the interests of the plumbing industry or the consumer. MPT will be working to ensure that only the highest standards of practice are accepted and that the Regulator ensures compliance.


Industry issues Occupational Licensing (Supervision of Prescribed Work) Code of Practice 2010 Occupational Licensing Act 2005, 15 December 2010.

Education and excellence matters apprentices with exposure to all forms of plumbing and water technology as well as being energy self-sufficient and feeding into the power grid.

Master Plumbers Tasmania is working hard for members to ensure ongoing success of members’ businesses and the industry. MPT has applied to the Federal Government for additional funding to fit out its new Centre for Excellence for Water and Trades.

This truly will be a state-of-the-art facility offering cutting-edge degree qualifications that MPT is collaborating with the University of Tasmania to deliver.

In addition, it has sought funding for a new building for apprentices – a ‘working’ building that provides

Fast Facts

In 2010 the Regulator issued a Code of Practice related to apprentices, what works they could perform and what supervision they required. While MPT agrees with the concept, we have several issues with the detail in as much as it is not risk based and does not reflect the training and skills acquired by an apprentice and their ability to perform certain works. Consequently, we have been left with an unworkable Code of Practice that has clearly been determined by a bureaucratic process and not a risk-based process in consultation with industry. We have raised our concerns with the Regulator and are looking forward to revisiting this Code and amending where necessary to reflect industry practice as well as being based on risk.

Master Plumbers Tasmania Executive Officer Angela Bennett

1.5%

Plumbing industry national growth

49,900

People employed in plumbing in Australia

14b

Contribution of plumbing to the national economy

24,750

Plumbing businesses in Australia

$

www.plumber.com.au | 15


Snapshot

from around the nation Master Plumbers Association Queensland (MPAQ)

MPAQ Executive Director, Penny Cornah (far left) with female plumbers and apprentices

Queensland to focus on women Earlier this year, Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) published a report into women in construction. The numbers didn’t paint a great picture. Robert Sobyra, Director of Evidence, Construction Skills Queensland tells us why. While half of all workers are women, only 10% of the construction workforce are women. When we narrowed our focus to construction trades specifically, we found less than 2% are women. These numbers won’t surprise anyone on the tools – a female tradie is not unheard of, but they’re very rare. And unfortunately I can’t say that plumbing does better than most. According to the latest Census, there are only 150 women working as plumbers in Queensland – around 1% of all plumbers. That’s about one-third the level of female representation across the rest of the trades. 16 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018

Plumbing is one of the ‘big three’ apprenticeships in construction (with electricians and carpenters). But compared to the other two, plumbing records the lowest female representation, with a training rate about one-third that of all trades. You might be thinking, so what? The plumbing sector has done just fine over the last few centuries with a male workforce. Most nurses are women; most plumbers are men. What’s the problem? Well for starters there’s the simple observation that plumbing businesses are ignoring half the pool of talent the state has to offer. And in a market where margins are getting thinner not fatter, talent matters a lot. Another reason to give this issue a bit more thought is something I like to call demographic disruption. You might have noticed that

plumbers are getting older. Half of all plumbers in Queensland are aged over 37, and every year that average gets pushed out a little further. This means we’re going to start running out of plumbers soon. And there isn’t going to be enough men alone to fill the pipeline. There are two ways to solve this puzzle – get more done with fewer workers and find alternative sources of labour. We will need to do both. For the latter, the female working population is an obvious candidate. The economy is already enrolling more women into the workforce – out of necessity not equity. Plumbing businesses will not be immune to these forces over the coming decades. Contact Construction Skills Queensland on 07 3846 8700 for further information


Fast Facts

Serious WHS claims 13%

carpenters

8%

plumbers

7%

electricians

Safe Work Australia

Security of Payments Press Conference, October 2017

Securing payments means business The next phase of the Queensland Government’s historic Building Industry Fairness legislation will deliver further security for subcontractors, Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni promised recently. He said the reforms would help ensure Queensland’s small businesses are paid in full, on time, every time. “The first term Palaszczuk Government took to the 2017 election a commitment to deliver security of payment for subcontractors in Queensland’s $45 billion building and construction industry,” Mr de Brenni said. “Ensuring people are paid for the work they perform means industry can stop wasting time chasing late or unpaid invoices and can instead focus on growing their businesses

and creating jobs for Queenslanders. “These are the strongest protections for subcontractors in the country. A central component of those reforms was Project Bank Accounts, and from 1 March 2018 they now apply to all government construction projects between $1 and $10 million. “As of early June 2018, four projects have been awarded that require using Project Bank Accounts, 11 tenders are currently being assessed, and another 14 are out to tender.” Mr de Brenni said the BIF Act also legislated to appoint the Building Industry Fairness Reforms Implementation and Evaluation Panel to work with government and with the building industry to assess the implementation of this legislation.

“In the interests of business confidence, we will commence these reforms in tranches, and following industry consultation on the next tranches, I will introduce BIF Act amendments into the House to progress the next stages of reform. “I intend for these provisions to commence from 17 December 2018. Our Building Industry Fairness reforms are a comprehensive package of reforms that will get the building…” A discussion paper will be released for industry consultation soon, and an approved regulation for Minimum Financial Requirements will operate from 1 January 2019. For more information, visit www.qld.gov.au MPAQ Executive Director Penny Cornah www.plumber.com.au | 17


Snapshot

from around the nation Master Plumbers & Gasfitters Association of WA (MPGA)

Currently there is no standard process in Australia for taking samples of drinking water to test for contained metals

Testing for drinking water The MPGA is pushing for the introduction of a standard method for taking samples of drinking water for testing. Currently there is no standard process in Australia for taking samples of drinking water to test for contained metals. The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) specify the allowable maximum concentration of various metals in potable water. But while the ADWG information is very clear, Australia has no prescribed method for taking samples. The sampling method is in the hands of the agency that carries out the testing, which means test data inconsistencies can occur within a series of tests. When testing involves a large taxpayer-funded project such as the new Perth Children’s Hospital, results can vary greatly. Apart from those inconsistent results leading to sensationalist media coverage that has the potential to create public hysteria, there is 18 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018

no definitive data that can be used to contribute to well informed discussions or solutions.

which people would consume water over the course of a day at the site concerned.

There are multiple reasons why metal concentrate can vary in drinking water. These include the type of materials in the plumbing system, the age and complexity of the system, usage patterns, flow rates, stagnation areas, chemicals introduced in the water supply, water temperature and fluctuations in water quality.

Recommendation

Process to establish a standard method A team of industry and stakeholder representatives should be established to investigate and design the method. The process must follow recognized scientific principles and include very specific instructions about the stagnation period before the samples are drawn, the number of samples taken and the volume of water in each sample. The aim should be to replicate, as closely as possible, the way in

We propose that the test method should become part of an existing Australian Standard such as AS/NZS 566751998 – Water quality – sampling – Guidance on sampling drinking water and water used for food and beverage processing. Our recommendation is that representatives of industry groups such as the MPGA and our interstate counterparts, merchants, manufactures, certified testing organisations and government/ industry health representatives should form a team to drive the process of designing the test method and amending the appropriate standard. To read the article in full, visit masterplumbers.asn.au MPGA WA CEO Murray Thomas


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 Surge in tool theft Victoria Police has identified a significant rise in the theft of tools from utilities, vans and trailers belonging to tradies. The crimes are happening in residential streets and at work sites. Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill said tradespeople were being targeted by opportunistic criminals on the lookout for unsecured tools that can be sold for quick cash. “We know offenders often target tradespeople’s trailers and cars because they carry expensive tools and equipment and can be left unlocked for ease of access,” he said. “Police are looking at ways of tackling theft from motor vehicles, which has emerged as an increasing problem in our community.”

“By making sure your ute or van is locked, your trailer secured and your tools out of sight, trades people can reduce the risk of having their property stolen.” Top tips to stop theft of tools and equipment • When leaving tools in your vehicle overnight, park it in a garage where possible. Do not park in dark, unlit or isolated areas. • If you have a driveway, use it. Don’t park your vehicle out on the street where it is easily accessed and secure your trailer so it can’t be broken into or removed. • Lock your vehicle when it is unattended, even at work sites. Wherever possible keep tools out of sight so that thieves are not tempted. • Secure any tools left inside the vehicle with visible locks. Use hardened steel padlocks, shackle protectors and chains. Large, visible locks on toolboxes can be a deterrent. • If you drive a ute, consider investing in a sturdy, lockable ute toolbox and bolt it to the vehicle’s tray. • Alarm your tool box and vehicle. Other actions • Keep an inventory of all of your tools. Photograph and/or record model and serial numbers.

What the impact of this crime is on these small business and sole business owners?

• Engrave or mark your tools for easy identification – the letter V followed by your Victorian licence number is recommended.

“The cost and inconvenience for an individual when the tools vital to their trade are stolen is significant. We know these offences can have a real flow on effect for both individuals and business owners.

• Report any suspicious behaviour to police. If you see people loitering on site or around vehicles and believe they are stealing or up to no good, ring Triple Zero (000) or Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.

Victoria’s record $14.7 billion engineering construction blitz New data released by the Victorian State Government shows Victoria’s engineering construction activity leads the nation, jumping almost 50 per cent in the past 12 months. The total value of Victoria’s engineering construction activity was $14.7 billion in the year to the March quarter –the highest value on record for the state. Treasurer Tim Pallas stated that “every time we build a school, dig a tunnel or open a hospital – it means jobs for Victorians. We’ll keep building to keep this jobs creation momentum going.” Master Plumbers CEO Peter Daly said that he welcomed the forecast investment in infrastructure but encouraged the government to better listen to industry. “Industry is building its capability to deliver this much needed public infrastructure, but we remain disappointed with the Budget’s selective commitment to funding vocational education. “The Government has not meaningfully engaged with the plumbing sector on extending the announced free tuition on priority courses to industry training providers. This is bewildering given that not-for-profit, industry-led training forms a critical part of the education and training of the next generation of trade professionals who will deliver the announced infrastructure projects. More Victorian member news starts on page 42 Master Plumbers Victoria CEO Peter Daly www.plumber.com.au | 19


Product news Noisy pipes be gone

War on waste

Many homeowners complain of noisy water pipes and poor water pressure, even though they have only just moved into their newly built home. The most common reason for this is that the piping system that has been installed for the hot and cold water supply is utilising fittings that restrict the flow of water, and therefore reduce the pressure delivered to the tap.

Management of wastewater from hospitality applications takes a step forward with the extension of ACO’s range of in-ground gravity grease separators, now available up to 5,000L total capacity.

The Aquatechnik Safety System utilises fittings that are the same nominal bore as the pipe itself. The pipe is expanded to accommodate the fitting, rather than a smaller diameter fitting being inserted inside the pipe. For more information, visit www.aquatechnik-australia.com.au or call 1800 278 283.

Wastewater containing fats, oils and grease (FOGs) and food solids enter the grease separator from the kitchen or food processing plant. Food solids sink to the bottom of the unit under gravity, while FOGs, which are less dense, float to the top and the treated wastewater flows into the sewer system. Treatment of trade waste is vital. FOGs in our water ways compromise hygiene, workplace health and safety, plumbing and the environment if not adequately managed. The build-up of FOGs in pipes or through untreated discharge can result in costly repair bills and non-compliance with water authorities and other regulatory bodies. Constructed from lightweight polyethylene or glass reinforced plastic (GRP), ACO’s grease

20 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018

separators feature a smooth finish for easy cleaning and are corrosion resistant to cope with the harshest environments. If buoyancy is a concern, the grease separator design includes external ribs that key into the surrounding soil to assist in preventing the unit from floating. “The ACO Passavant grease separators give designers peace of mind when it comes to trade waste discharge,” says Brad Ryan NSW Sales Manager, ACO. “The new range of capacities enables specifiers and installers to choose the most appropriate volume for the application knowing that the product is fully compliant with Australian water authorities and is easy to install, clean and maintain.” For further information please visit www.acopassavant.com.au


Take it to the top

Connected tools from Ridge

Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has launched the Huski SV-E “Skytower” range of compact, self-propelled scissor-lift work platforms. The Skytower series consists of easy to use, compact wheel-type scissor-lift work platforms, with a maximum working height of 9.68 metres and maximum load capacity of 450kg.

Ridge Tool Australia announces two NEW compact press tools, RP240 & RP241 with bluetooth connectivity. The connectivity allows the tool to be connected through the free RIDGID Link app (available on App Store and Google Play) to your smartphone and/or tablet to access important tool information like cycle count, tool status, battery life, daily press cycles etc.

TMHA’s general manager, corporate compliance and project development, Bob Walmsley, said the new Huski scissor-lift range will complement the company’s current range of Bravi centre-mast work platforms.

The RIDGID compact tools connect copper 15-32mm & 16-40mm PEX*. A new 12V Lithium-Ion Battery provides around 140 crimps per charge.

The RP240 ergonomic pistol grip tool is 15% smaller and 10% lighter than the previous RIDGID RP210B tool. With the new compact design and better balance, the tool will feel even lighter than that. The RP 241 low profile inline tool weighs only 2.5kg and is ergonomically designed to help work overhead and in tight spaces. For more information, call 1800 743 443 or email ridgid.australia@emerson.com

“With Huski scissor lifts and Bravi, we can now offer work platforms for the full range of applications,” he said. “The Bravi platforms have working heights up to 4.6 metres and the Huski scissor lift platforms range from 5.72m to 9.68m. “Backing these new work platforms will be TMHA’s full product-support capability, with our nation-wide branch network, huge fleet of mobile service vans and the best-trained service technicians in the material-handling industry.”

For more Product news see page 48 and 50

www.plumber.com.au | 21


Passion for plumbing Tao Lim is an advocate for the trade, the group training scheme and his journey from apprenticeship to qualified plumber. Tao Lim has a knack for problem solving and an eye for detail. As a young teenager, he also had a passion for woodwork, which led him to consider becoming a cabinet maker.

a Chinese neighbour on the other. It really isn’t a big issue for me.”

As Tao came closer to completing his time at secondary school, he decided he wanted to get a licenced trade and turned to plumbing.

While working through his apprenticeship Tao heard about Master Plumbers’ Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria and was quick to sign up. He was paired up with a domestic plumber, which he said was the perfect match for his first year and a half.

“I felt I wanted to be part of a trade that is regulated,” he told API. “I knew that once I was licenced no one could take my career away from me.”

“Domestic was a good start for me. It gave me a good foundation, good work ethic and I became quite quick because you are always on the go.”

Tao enrolled in trade school at Swinburne and soon realised he was a standout in his class.

“I will never regret it. If someone was looking to become an apprentice, I would certainly tell them to do it the way I did. Domestic really teaches you how to problem solve by yourself and how to approach a job to get it done well.”

“I was the only Asian in the classroom. Luckily, I am accustomed to multiculturalism. In Malaysia I had an Indian neighbour on one side and 22 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018

When Tao decided he was interested in commercial, Master Plumbers paired him with Geshcke and he had to learn another set of skills. “Commercial is a different ball game all together. It’s a bigger scale, we are doing hospitals and schools. I had to remember back to the trade school theory I had learnt and put them into action.” Tao has worked on some very large and important new Victorian builds including the Post Entry Quarantine (PEQ) facility on a Commonwealth owned site in Mickleham. The PEQ facility consolidates all of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources facilities into a single site to process the importation of bees, cats, dogs, horses and plants. “These sorts of projects are great. They are complex and there is no margin for error. Luckily, you have five or six plumbers around you and if you get stuck they are happy to help you.”


I love plumbing. Every day is different. You learn through everything you do. I still get jobs today that really challenge I also get to me so I am constantly work with a motivated. great group of guys.

Geshcke employs about 90 plumbers and has up to seven Master Plumbers’ apprentices at any one time. Tao says the Master Plumbers Group Training Scheme is a wonderful way for apprentices to get skills across the plumbing sector – domestic and commercial. He advocates for other apprentices to speak with Master Plumbers about their careers.

He has also worked at hospitals where he had to install Georg Fischer Piping Systems. “I’ve never done it before, it was new for me. The first day I had to make a jig at home so it will help me be neater and better. It worked well. “I try to (be particular) with my work. Our company likes nice work. If the company appreciates it you will do

that. But if a company is a bit rough I guess you might care less. I am lucky to be with Geshcke. The quality they produced is amazing.” Tao finished his time with Master Plumbers in July when he completed his apprenticeship but that was not the end of his relationship with Geshcke. Gareth Dickson (pictured), has appointed him full time.

“I love plumbing, every day is different, you learn through everything you do. I still get jobs today that really challenge me so I am constantly motivated. I also get to work with a great group of guys.” So what about cabinetry? “Furniture making is my hobby, I do it at home but plumbing is my career.” To become an employee of Master Plumbers, visit plumber.com.au or call (03) 9329 9622. To become a host employer, call (03) 9321 0721.

www.plumber.com.au | 23


Prepared for emergencies Damian de Vincentis and his team at BeOnd Plumbing are often the first responders when things go wrong. He talks to Alison Dean about his plumbing journey, the importance of continuous training and customer care.


Damian de Vincentis was staring down the barrel of one of life’s big questions: what will I do when I finish school? “I hadn’t become the star footballer I thought I would become,” the now 30 year old said with a laugh. “I started exploring trades and did weekend work with a local plumber, and I fell in love with the profession.” After Year 11, Damian converted his work with D & B Plumbing into an apprenticeship. “It was hard work, long hours and the pay wasn’t great. I did it all because I had my eye on the bigger picture.” That bigger picture was to secure all the knowledge he could from his boss, his clients, his teachers at trade school and those in his life so that he could start his own successful business. “The discipline I learnt from those days of work was important training for my work today. The juggling of jobs and the challenge of dealing with different people, taught me all about time management, people management and customer service,” he said. “At BeOnd, we appreciate the great deal of trust that is given to us as a company when invited into homes and businesses to carry out work. Our plumbers are put through a

Damian de Vincentis, BeOnd Plumbing

rigorous training program where the levels of customer service expected are clearly explained. Our ethos of putting the customer first resonates throughout the company.”

responsive-maintenance plumbing. We fell into the insurance side and made our mark to offer exceptional value making properties storm safe and thereafter carrying out the work.

Damian said the importance of customer care today was even more vital than when he began his career. “In those days, plumbers’ main source of work was delivered via word of mouth, maybe a little from the local papers. Now, it is more competitive. You are wide open and exposed in terms of possible feedback from the public on Facebook.”

BeOnd plumbing is a fully registered, licensed company, committed to responding to any major storm or catastrophic event.

Damian started BeOnd as a sole trader in 2015. It was just him and a van but he didn’t stay in this position for long. “I had a vision of where I wanted to see BeOnd. I aligned myself quickly with Master Plumbers and a CRM (Customer Relationship Management system). I invested aggressively to set myself up.” In the beginning he focussed on servicing the real estate and body corporate sector, which was a highly-competitive space. “We wanted to find a niche in the market and set a benchmark for plumbing. We attended a few storms and we realised we had a passion for

“Our crews are accredited in emergency management through SES Victoria and trained in stormseal,” Damian said. “We also train in defensive driving and are vigilant around OHS and PPE (personal protective equipment). Many people talk about these things but when you are out in the storms and up on roofs, there is no room for error.” During the April storms some of BeOnd’s clients put them on standby for a storm coming across from Adelaide that hit metropolitan Melbourne. When the storms hit, BeOnd attended a number of schools that had roof damage and leaks. The SES informed the insurance companies, which rely on BeOnd to do the work. “It was a busy 48 hours tarping roofs, storm sealing buildings and securing leaks.”

www.plumber.com.au | 25


In May, BeOnd was on standby in the aftermath of the devastating Tasmanian storms. “By the time insurance gets the claims in and deal with the 30004000 claims; actual work might not take place for a month or two. The poor policy holder is distraught so we act as a mediator and get the job done quickly and to a high standard.” For Damian and BeOnd it is not just about customers, it’s about the community. Damian and his brother Giulian, who joined BeOnd in 2016 and built up the electrical

side of the business, are committed to “paying it forward”. In March, the team at BeOnd Electrical donated a full day of labour and a high-definition surveillance system to 88 year old Joseph whose possessions were stolen when his Mentone home was broken into. Joseph contacted a radio station to tell his story, when the team at BeOnd heard the story they reached out to make the donation. On their Facebook they wrote: “Inspire kindness and Pay it Forward”. BeOnd routinely donate their time during Good Friday and Christmas

appeals. But Damian said that it was in his local street, during Christmas, that his brother really shines. “Giulian is big into Christmas displays. The street closes down in Greensborough where he animates the lighting to music. It’s huge for the children and the community.” This intense love of Christmas lights made a career as an electrician an obvious choice and with his brother as a plumber it just made sense to join the business. “Now we are in business together and we are often called out to the same job.”

Why Damian is part of Master Plumbers “I joined Master Plumbers pretty quickly after starting the business. It was important for us to align ourselves with a high-end and quality association” Damian told API. For him, Master Plumbers stands for the same quality

26 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018

and professionalism that he strives for each day. “We want to be that benchmark company. We want to align ourselves with organisations that encapsulate who we are.” He said being a part of Master Plumbers is being a part of an industry family. “The access we have had to skilled employer advice is just priceless,” he said.

“Even the Master Plumbers breakfasts that I have bought my boys to, it all reiterates the professionalism and the culture that BeOnd embodies.” “We strive for a good company culture that ensures that no day is a chore. Matching with Master Plumbers provides that family feel; an organisation that has got your back.”


Need a hand?

Hire a PAV apprentice, Hassle free Visit plumber.com.au or call 03 9329 9622 www.plumber.com.au | 27


Lessons from the legends Leadership, bucket lists and the perfect diary, award-winning plumber Matt Reynolds steals the secrets from three of Australia’s most successful.

Justin Burgoine:

the business of people There’s a really common pattern to my interviews with successful business leaders; it doesn’t take long before the conversation turns to developing people. Business leaders’ ability to grow their business is tied very closely to their ability to grow themselves and in turn their people. Justin Burgoine is a man who does just that. While building a business focussed on innovation, I asked Justin how he recruits to ensure the culture at Kincrome is maintained. He believes first in developing people within the business, so they generally look within the business to fill open positions. In addition to investing heavily in employee training, the induction process and setting very clear expectations, Justin looks for attitude, enthusiasm and for people who ask good questions. It’s so important, as Justin explained to learn to ask good questions and to continue to grow yourself. Ask about other people’s experience and their successes he advised. The idea is not to replicate them, but to learn and adapt what you can for yourself. 28 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018

Justin’s advice for growing a business: don’t worry about making mistakes, learn from your mistakes, they can be your best mentor.

Stefan Kazakis:

perfect planning

Stefan’s advice on the perfect diary and planning the perfect day – accept that it won’t be perfect at all! To be productive plumbers and (I would argue) happy people, we need to use our time as efficiently as possible. In contradiction to common thinking, that doesn’t mean scheduling every minute of every day to be busy, we need to have more realistic expectations. Interruptions and distractions will happen, so instead of focusing on maximising available time, focus on maximising output. “What would it look like if 70% of your time is focused on your top 3-5 most productive activities?” Stefan asked. There’s no point, as he explained, in shooting for 100% efficiency. We are humans and need flexibility, being too regimented just causes unnecessary frustration and stress. The key to being productive is ensuring you are working on those 3-5 most important activities, then

tracking how you plan your time versus how you actually spend your time. Most of us have a list much longer than 3-5 tasks which we consider really important. The way to shorten that list and get focused is to start with a longer list, your top 10. From there, you need to look for the tasks which offer the best income generating opportunities, which are different for each of us but are usually activities which grow resources. For a business owner that can be developing people, for example, as the returns over time are exponential. The top 3-5 incoming generating activities are the most valuable items you can work on. Knowing your top 3-5, and planning time to work on them ensures you are more productive, even if you’re spending less time attempting to be productive. It’s worth asking yourself; how would your life be different if you focused on growing both yourself and those around you, threw out your to-do lists and concentrated on developing your bucket list lifestyle and worked on making your days much more productive?


The key to being productive is ensuring you are working on the 3-5 most important activities. Stefan Kazakis

Don’t worry about making mistakes, learn from your mistakes, they can be your best mentor.

One of the most important aspects of a bucket list is to make sure its personal.

Justin Burgoine

Trav Bell

Trav Bell: bucket lists

Trav shared an interesting perspective on life and achievement when we spoke; way too many of us spend too much time on our to-do lists and not enough time on our bucket lists. It really got me thinking about the important things in life and why it’s so easy to get absorbed by meaningless tasks and pointless distractions. If your days start early and finish late, yet you never really feel like you’re achieving very much and aren’t happy, it might be time to think

about penning a bucket list. Trav rightly reminded me, none of us live forever and if we want to be happy we better start living with some purpose today. Why wait?

to meet, something idiodic you’d like to try or some part of a legacy you’d like to leave, your bucket list should be about you, it needs to be personal and shouldn’t be ego driven.

On the surface a bucket list is simply a list of things you’d like to achieve before you ‘kick the bucket’, but the real power is in the deeper conversation you must have with yourself in the process of putting your own list together.

Known as “The Bucket List Guy”, Trav helps people design their life in a way that he calls the bucket list lifestyle. All three interviews can be found in full at xrm.com.au/podcast.

One of the most important aspects of a bucket list is to make sure its personal, whether it’s a place you want to travel to, someone you’d like

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. www.plumber.com.au | 29


Take the API Reader Survey for a chance to

win a $5000 holiday thanks to

Caroma

Enter online at www.plumber.com.au or at www.australianplumbingindustry.com.au or by completing the survey in the Spring 2018 edition of API magazine. We want to know what you think about API so we can ensure your magazine meets your needs now and into the future. Fill out this survey for your chance to win. Make sure you complete the final 25 words or less question as your entry will be judged on the creativity and originality of this answer.

Prize One $5000 holiday thanks to Caroma. The prize can be used at a Master Plumbers’ nominated travel agent. To enter Readers must complete the API Reader survey online or as found in the Spring 2018 edition of API magazine. Entrants should visit www.plumber.com.au or www.australian plumbingindustry.com.au, and complete and submit the survey online, or alternatively complete the survey found in the API magazine and return the completed survey to API Magazine Reader Survey, Unit 15/306 Albert Street, Brunswick, Victoria, 3056. To be eligible to win, entrants must answer the following question ‘tell us in 25 words or less where you would travel to on this holiday and why”. All completed surveys (whether submitted online or returned by post) must include the entrant’s full name, email address and daytime telephone number. Entries must be received by 11.59am AEDT on October 31, 2018. The competition is open to Australian residents aged 18 years and over. Only one entry per person is permitted. Competition terms and conditions apply Competition closes at 11.59am AEDT on October 31, 2018. Judging will take place by representatives of Master Plumbers at Unit 15/306 Albert Street, Brunswick, Victoria on November 8, 2018 at noon AEDT. The winner will be notified by telephone and in writing, and the winner’s name will be published in the Autumn 2019 edition of API magazine. The prize is $5000, which is to be used at a Master Plumbers’ nominated travel agent. This is a game of skill and chance will play no part in determining the winner. For full terms and conditions, visit www.plumbers.com.au or www.australianplumbingindustry.com.au or contact Master Plumbers on (03) 9329 9622. Master Plumbers thanks our prize provider, Caroma (ABN 6800 96593 85) www.caroma.com.au

30 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018


Your Australian Plumbing Industry (API) magazine What content in API do you enjoy or rely on? (select all that apply) President/CEO column National industry news Industrial relations news OHS news

How many people read your copy of API? (select one answer)

Health/wellbeing Vehicles and tools

Just me

Leisure/holidays

One other

Industry leaders

Two or more

None of the above

Regulation news

In the past two years, have you

Business management tips

followed up on anything (product,

Marketing tips

advertising or news) in the API

Tax/financial advice

magazine? (select one answer)

Legal/debt advice

Yes

Plumbers’ stories

No

Product news Advertising None of the above Would you like any of these topics included in API? (select all that apply) Letters/opinions from plumbers/readers Competitions

How long, on average, do you spend reading API magazine? (select one answer)

Have you ever accessed, or will you access, stories, products, advertising via: (select all that apply) Website (www.australianplumbing industry.com.au) e-news (https://forms.plumber.com.au/ subscribe) Facebook (facebook.com/MASTERPLUMBERAU) Twitter (twitter.com/MasterPlumberAU)

Under 15 minutes

LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com and search master plumbers association of Australia)

15-30 minutes 30-60 minutes More than an hour

About you Full name Email address Daytime telephone contact number Membership of a Master Plumbers Association: What do you/would you value most from your Membership? Discounts Professional development

No

Yes, which state?

Are you involved in the plumbing industry? Yes

No

If yes, what area of plumbing do you most identify with?

What are the most important issues facing the plumbing industry? Regulations Industrial Relations

Networking

General plumbing

Skills shortage

Marketing assistance

Heating and cooling

Economic stability

Business mentoring

Gasfitting

Small business red tape

Regulation updates

Roofing

Staffing

Industrial relations updates

Drainage

Administration

Providing a voice for your industry

Commercial

Increased competition

Household income (select one answer) Less than $40k $41k to $78k $79k to $104k

Residential What is your employment status? (select one answer) Employee Self-employed Retired/not working Apprentice

$104k or more

Contractor

Prefer not to say

Business owner

Compulsory entry question Tell us in 25 words or less where you would travel to on this holiday and why‌

www.plumber.com.au | 31


Mastering workplace relations

Altering the Employee Award Can an employer offset award obligations against the rate of pay paid to an employee? Master Plumbers Senior Workplace Relations Adviser Phil Eberhard uncovers some situations where this can occur. There has long been an argument about whether, or not, an employer can offset certain payments provided under the Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2010 (PFS Award), or any other modern award for that matter, against the salary paid to an employee. To put it another way, is the employer able to say to a prospective employee that they will pay them let’s say $38.00 per hour as an “all-up rate”, but they will not pay the fares allowance, the travel allowance and/or annual leave loading provided under the PFS Award? The answer is “yes”.

The practical solution The minimum rate payable to a registered plumber is $24.38 per hour. In certain circumstances, a registered plumber would be entitled to a Fares Allowance of $10.80 per day ($1.43 per hour) and a Travel Allowance of $6.10 per day ($0.81 per hour). 32 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018

In addition, under the PFS Award, a registered plumber is entitled to an annual leave loading of 17.5%. Based on the minimum rate payable to a registered plumber ($24.38 per hour) the annual leave loading equals (approximately) $0.33 per hour ($24.38 x 4, which is the minimum annual leave entitlement) x 38 = $3706 x 17.5% = $650.00 divided by (52 x 38 = 1976) = $0.33 per hour. Therefore, the minimum hourly rate payable under the above situation / scenario is: Minimum base hourly rate $24.38 Fares allowance (hourly) $1.43 Travel allowance (hourly) $0.81 Annual leave loading (hourly) $0.33 Total $26.95 In this situation, an employer that pays the plumber $38.00 per hour would be entitled to say to that plumber that the $38.00 would include the fares allowance payable under the PFS Award, the travel allowance payable under the PFS Award and the annual leave loading

payable under the PFS Award. This is because the rate payable to that plumber is well in excess of the combined amounts payable under the PFS Award ($38.00 per hour vs $26.95 per hour). However, if an employer was only paying an employee $26.50 per hour and they tried to offset the above payments into that hourly rate, then they would be in breach of the PFS Award, as the rate paid is less than the combined offset amounts. As is the case with any industrial relations / employee relations situation, there are a number of conditions that attach to this example.

The legal outcome There are a number of decisions that confirm that an employer can offset certain payments provided under an award against the hourly rates/salary paid to an employee. Some of those decisions include: • John Ubaldo Poletti v Ernest Ecob ([1989] FCA 492; 31 IR 321 (1 December 1989); and


An employer can offset certain payments provided under an award against the hourly rates/salary paid

substitution for “any award provision/entitlements ” or “all award provisions/ entitlements” that may be payable under the award; and

• Maslen v Core Drilling Services Pty Ltd & Anor ([2013] FCCA 460 (24 June 2013); and • Simone Stewart v Next Residential Pty Ltd (2016 WAIRC 00756) The following principles can be ascertained from the decisions: 1 That it is imperative that the intention to offset be clearly articulated in the letter of offer/ contract of employment, because an employer will be unable to meet its’ award obligations by offsetting award obligations against an over award payment, unless there is specific agreement with the employee about what the over award payments are compensating the employee for; and 2 That once appropriated against a certain item, the over award payment cannot be relied on in satisfaction of any other claim; and 3 That (because of principle 1 and 2 above) the contract of employment cannot state that the over award payment is in

4 That (because of principle 1, 2 and 3) the requirement for specificity is crucial because an employee must be able to compare his or her payment to award entitlements so that they can be properly considered and assess the over award payment against the award obligation/s; and 5 That there is a limitation as to what can be offset; a provision that is proposed to be offset must have a monetary component attached to it.

If you cannot quantify an amount for that provision you cannot offset that provision; for example, you couldn’t offset a meal break (because you cannot quantify an amount for that provision).

What Master Plumbers Victoria members get As part of its service to members Master Plumbers provides a variety of letters of offer/contracts of employment to members. The more detailed letter of offer/ contract of employment contains a clause that specifies that certain payments payable under the PFS Award have been incorporated into the hourly rate payable under the letter of offer/contract of employment and are therefore not payable to that employee. This would then ensure that the employer follows the offsetting principles and just as importantly the employee knows and understands what it is they are being paid for (or not being paid, as that particular item/s is included in the hourly rate). If Members require help drafting a letter of offer/contract of employment, contact Phil Eberhard, on 03 9321 0720 or 0425 790 722, or email phil.eberhard@plumber.com.au

www.plumber.com.au | 33


Digital engagement soars As technology continues to evolve, and the competition in small- and medium-sized business increases, digital engagement remains a real opportunity, and real marketplace differentiator, for the sector. Deloitte Access Economics’ Connected Small Businesses report for Google finds that in just 12 months, small and medium businesses adoption of digital tools has grown significantly – with 12% of businesses moving up the digital engagement ‘ladder’, and no longer having just ‘basic’ levels of engagement.

for over half of private sector economic activity and over two-thirds of its employment. “And in recent years, digital engagement has become a critical ingredient to success on a number of fronts – from revenue growth and job creation, to innovation.

mining, manufacturing and utilities, were found to be performing even more strongly on digital engagement than knowledge industries such as professional and financial services, and health, education and public administration. Relative to businesses with basic levels of digital engagement, those with advanced levels of digital engagement are:

For the first time, they are reaching higher levels of engagement across areas that include social media, websites, online marketing tools and data analytics.

“We’ve found that since our first report for Google in 2013, the take-up of digital tools has been accelerating over time, and that there has been a particularly strong uptake since we last surveyed business operators only 12 months ago.

• Earning 60% more revenue per employee.

Deloitte Access Economics partner, and the report’s principal author, John O’Mahony said, across all sectors, more than two million small and medium sized businesses make an important contribution to the Australian economy, accounting

The report also identifies an improvement in digital engagement across all industries. Despite perceptions of lower digital engagement, businesses in traditional industries such as plumbing and other trades,

“Engaging with, investing in, and then keeping up with digital can open up significant new opportunities for businesses in terms of agility, competitive advantage, innovation and growth, regardless of industry and geography,” O’Mahony said.

34 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018

• 50% more likely to be growing revenue


“It’s encouraging that digital engagement has increased across the board, but businesses in regional areas and those with more established operations have lower digital engagement on average. “Our research suggests that age of the business owner or manager, their attitude to and use of technology are key factors in determining the level of digital engagement for the business.”

Fast Fact

Businesses have identified a number of barriers to increasing digital engagement.

“And education and upskilling is

“While we’ve seen a lot of improvement, nearly 90% of businesses are still not taking full advantage of today’s digital tools,” O’Mahony said. “There’s still work to be done in helping some business owners and decision makers understand the value associated with increased digital engagement.

address potential issues or perceived

certainly one areas that can help build trust in digital tools and barriers to greater engagement. “In the end, there can be a clear financial dividend for those smaller businesses that get things right, just as there are significant risks for those that haven’t yet taken the digital leap.”

Plumbing and technology If you think plumbing and technology don’t mix think again: 75% of people in an 11 Mark survey admitted they use their phones in the bathroom. Seriously though, plumbing has always been at the forefront of technology, with the oldest sewer system discovered in the palace of the Indus River Valley in India, dating back to 4000 BC and evidence of indoor plumbing (complete with copper

piping) has been found in ancient Egypt at the Pyramid of Cheops dating back to 2500 BC. It is not surprising then that plumbers are still looking at ways to incorporate technology into their businesses.

www.plumber.com.au | 35


Top tax tips

Plumbers and plumbing enterprises have access to specific tax concessions, Mark Chapman from H&R Block reports. If you run your own plumbing business, the chances are tax is not a popular topic. It’s a complicated subject that can easily take up time you don’t have in complying with obligations you don’t understand and it usually involves writing a large cheque to the government.

Help for capital gains tax (CGT)

There is an upside to tax, though. A number of significant tax breaks exist which are specifically designed to make doing business for people just a little bit easier and a little bit less costly.

Sooner or later, there will come a time when you move on from your business. You might choose to sell your business and buy a new one, retire completely or pass it on to the kids or to your employees.

Called small business tax concessions, here are the tax breaks all plumbing businesses need to know about.

Either way, there is a suite of capital gains tax (CGT) reliefs designed to minimise the taxes you pay when you dispose of your whole business or part of it.

Get an immediate deduction for capital purchases Until 30 June 2019, any small business can immediately write off any asset purchase costing less than $20,000. That means your business can immediately deduct the cost of items like tools, machinery, office furniture and even motor vehicles provided the cost is less than $20,000 per item. The instant asset write off provides a great way for small businesses to tax effectively improve their efficiency and productivity by upgrading the 36 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018

productive assets they need to make their business tick. To use the tax break, your business must have an annual turnover of less than $10 million.

There are four CGT concessions that may be available to eliminate or reduce capital gains made by a small business or its owners where it disposes of “active” assets, like a trade or business premises. The reliefs are available to businesses with an aggregate turnover of less than $2 million. The concessions are:

that has been owned for a minimum of 15 years. The entire gain is tax-free if you qualify for this exemption. • The retirement exemption A taxpayer may apply capital proceeds from the disposal of a CGT asset to the retirement exemption, up to a lifetime maximum of $500,000 – as it is not necessary to actually retire, the concession can be utilised more than once. • The 50% active asset reduction The capital gain arising from the disposal of a CGT asset (like a building) may be discounted by 50% (in addition to the normal 50% discount available to individuals and trusts) • The CGT rollover A capital gain arising from the disposal of a CGT asset may be deferred provided a replacement asset is acquired within a two year period – the gain is deferred until disposal of the replacement asset. This one is great if you dispose of one business and buy another.

• The 15 year exemption Available where a taxpayer who is at least 55 years of age and is retiring disposes of a CGT asset

H&R Block’s advice is for general use, always seek tailored information to suit your circumstances.


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www.plumber.com.au | 37


Cbus Promotion

Super

saving scheme Are you or your children saving for your first home? Find out about the newest super scheme. To help more first home buyers get into the property market, the Government introduced a First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme. The scheme allows you to make voluntary contributions (before or after tax) into your super, which you can then later withdraw for your first home deposit. You can contribute up to $15,000 per financial year, up to a total of $30,000. The main benefits of the scheme are taking advantage of reduced tax rates through super and potentially higher earnings on your savings, which helps in saving for a deposit. You may be eligible if you: • have never owned property or land in Australia; • intend on purchasing a property for residential purposes; and • will live in the property for at least six of the first 12 months you own the property.

How does it work? Voluntary contributions you’ve made into your super from 1 July 2017 could be eligible savings as part of the scheme.

Benefits of the scheme • Tax savings. Before-tax contributions into super (for example, through salary sacrificing) will be taxed at 15 per cent. For most people, this will be less than their marginal tax rate – which could be up to 45 per cent plus the Medicare levy.

There’s no need to open a separate account. Any before-tax contributions (for example, salary sacrifice) will be taxed at 15 per cent on the way in, and any investment earnings on these contributions will also be taxed at 15 per cent.

• Potentially higher earnings on your savings. You might earn a higher return on your savings if the deemed rate is higher than what you’d get in your regular savings account or term deposit.

From 1 July 2018, you’ll be able to withdraw these funds by applying to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

If this scheme interests you, it’s a good idea to talk to a tax agent or financial adviser. Cbus members can access qualified financial advisers over the phone as part of their membership on 1300 361 784 or at www.cbussuper.com.au

Once determining you’re eligible, the ATO will arrange for your money to be paid to you from your super fund. You then have 12 months to sign a contract – or you may be able to ask the ATO for a 12-month extension. Alternatively, you could recontribute the amount into your super.

Want to talk it over?

The information is about Cbus. It doesn’t take into account your specific needs, so you should look to your own financial position, objectives and requirements before making any financial decisions. Read the Cbus Product Disclosure Statement to decide whether Cbus is right for you, or call 1300 361 784 for a copy.

How can I use super to save for my first home deposit? By contributing up to $15,000 each year into super.… you could save more money for your first home deposit.

Case study: John earns $70,000 a year… let’s see the difference Salary sacrificing into super with the First Home Super Saver Scheme

Saving through a standard deposit account

After three years, that’s

$6,210 more

After-tax savings 1st year of savings

$8,212

$6,492

2nd year of savings

$16,920

$13,070

3rd year of savings

$25,892

$19.681

than putting your savings into a standard deposit account.

Source: This estimate was run on 16 March 2018 and based off a total taxable income of $70,000, comparing an annual $10,000 before-tax contribution into super against an equivalent before-tax amount into a standard deposit account over a three-year period. Please see www.budget.gov.au/estimator for full assumptions and disclosure.

38 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018


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Marsh Advantage Insurance Promotion

Reduce the impact of injuries Businesses taking a proactive approach to workplace injury prevention can reap rewards. Workplace injuries can have a serious impact on business productivity. They can mean: • Fines and prosecution; • Downtime; • Higher insurance premiums; and • A serious effect on staff morale. For many occupations, including trades like plumbing, it makes good business sense to lower the risk of accidents. Kristy Nicholson, Marsh’s Principal Safety Consultant, said businesses had to understand risks before they can stop them. “This helps prevent injuries and the need to make insurance claims,” she said. According to Nicholson, it’s not enough to tell workers to be careful doing their job. “It’s actually a legislative requirement for companies to identify and control risks that workers and others are exposed.” Understanding hazards at work begins with risk profiling. An important part of this process is consulting with staff who deal with the business risk every day. “Then it’s essential to look at the regulatory requirements that apply to the organisation. Aside from WH&S laws,

each state has various codes of practice for different sectors – for instance the Code of Practice for Hazardous Manual Tasks,” Nicholson said. “These documents help businesses understand their responsibilities and include useful checklists managers can use to identify risks and control them.” Nicholson said it was important to encourage workers to report incidents and near misses because managers won’t necessarily know about a particular risk unless staff tell them about it. “There should be a no-blame process of reporting risks that allows a business to do something about them before someone is hurt,” she said.

The importance of great safety systems Every organisation should have a workplace safety system, even very small businesses. But what it covers will depend on the nature of the business. Nicholson said the best way to set up an appropriate system was to follow the Australian Standard for OH&S management systems, AS/NZS 4804. “A good safety system starts with a WH&S policy that outlines an overall

commitment to safety and how the business intends to manage it. The policy should be followed with a plan about how to manage the risk profile of the business and outline the safety programs to implement such as manual handling, plant and equipment and electrical safety, depending on the nature of the business,” said Nicholson. Importantly, the system needs to detail how to manage the safety of contractors, who have the same status as employees in the eyes of the law since WH&S legislation was harmonised across the country. Training is another essential part of any strong safety management system, and the legislation requires organisations to train and instruct workers about how to perform their job safely. Managers also need training about how to investigate incidents and near misses and how to conduct risk assessments.

The benefits of a serious approach to safety Nicholson explained businesses that take a proactive approach to safety reap many rewards other than simply having fewer workplace injuries. “A safe workplace is a happy workplace. It also means lower staff turnover, which has financial benefits such as less time spent recruiting and training staff.”

Disclaimer: This document contains general information, does not take into account your individual situation or needs. For full details of the terms, conditions and limitations of the covers, refer to the specific policy wordings and/or Product Disclosure Statements available from Marsh Advantage Insurance on request. Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303, AFSL 238 369) (‘Marsh Advantage’) arrange the insurance and is not the insurer. Marsh Advantage shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. 40 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018


PLUMBERS LIABILITY INSURANCE Marsh Advantage Insurance specialises in plumbers liability insurance. Over 4,000 Australian plumbers’ insurances are currently placed through us. Your cover can be arranged immediately over the phone. To get a quote, call 1300 300 511 or visit trades.marshadvantage.com.au/plumbers Marsh Advantage Insurance are endorsed by the Master Plumbers Association of Australia. Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303, AFSL 238 369) (‘Marsh Advantage’) t/a Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (Aust) a trading name of Marsh Advantage, arranges the insurance and is not the insurer. This advertisement contains general information and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. For full details of the terms, conditions and limitations of the covers, refer to the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) which is available from Marsh Advantage. Marsh Advantage uses the Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) logo under license from MPMSAA (ABN 56 296 473 997). MPMSAA receives a financial benefit when a policy is arranged by us, enabling it to continue to provide further services to the plumbing industry. LCPA 18/0032. S18-0843.


Member news

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees

Awarding the next generation There was a full house at the 2018 Apprentice Awards and Graduation ceremony in July. Master Plumbers CEO, Peter Daly, welcomed more than 140 guests, sponsors, host-employers, members and apprentices to celebrate the hard-working and dedicated apprentices and graduates from Master Plumbers, Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria (PAV). This year’s award winners were decided by the judging panel comprising of Master Plumbers board members Norm Anderson (NSG Plumbing), Kevin Shinners (Shinners Plumbing) and Michael Tomlinson (Tomlinson Plumbing). They were judged on their attitudes, teamwork, leadership and technical skills in work placements and in their training efforts.

42 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018

Master Plumbers RTO Awards Most Outstanding 1st Year Apprentice SPONSORED BY: SIMPRO

Winner: Joshua Traine Most Outstanding 2nd Year Apprentice SPONSORED BY: CAROMA

Winner: Hans Mills Most Outstanding 3rd Year Apprentice – General Plumbing SPONSORED BY: TRADELINK

Winner: Luke Merrett Most Outstanding 3rd Year Apprentice – Mechanical Services SPONSORED BY: RHEEM

Winner: Troy Powell


Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria Awards Sir Rohan Delacombe 1st Year Apprentice Award SPONSORED BY: CBUS

Winner: Benjamin Ambrosi Peter Pratt 2nd Year Apprentice Award SPONSORED BY: PBA SAFETY

Winner: Tahley Houghton Don Pritchard 3rd Year Apprentice Award SPONSORED BY: INCOLINK

Winner: William Kavanagh Alfred Atherton 4th Year Apprentice Award

Hosting apprentices Master Plumbers member and host employer, Andrew Bugeja, was good enough to give up his time and that of his two apprentices, sisters Tahley and Kelsey Houghton, to discuss the benefits of hiring apprentices through the Master Plumbers Plumbing Apprentices Victoria scheme. “Hiring my apprentices through Master Plumbers; it just saves so much time, everything is taken care of,” Andrew says. Andrew, a Member for five years, says he uses his member benefits for fuel discounts, legal advice and more.

SPONSORED BY: INSINKERATOR

Winner: Matthew Jolly

Watch more of Andrew’s interview at Master Plumbers’ Facebook page.

The night also recognised and celebrated the apprentices who had successfully completed their apprenticeships with Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. Those who attended included Karl Agyeman, Dimmos Aivatzis, Jevdet Amit, Nathan Booker, Jack Dainer, Thomas Geraghty, Jack Graffen, Allan Granger, William Hogan, Michael Kinsella, Tao Hing Lim, Simon Lording, Tyler Maaliki, Kieran Milton, Matthew Nowell, Jacqueline Sims, Breanna Szitarity, Mitchell Tampaline. www.plumber.com.au | 43


Member news Dealing with generational difference Lynda Redfern takes professional development and business flexibility seriously, so when she won Master Plumbers’ competition to attend the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Next Gen event she jumped at the opportunity. Lynda, General Manager of Laser Plumber in Croydon, Victoria, says she and her husband, company director Tony, are the typical baby-boomer, small business owners.

reveals. “Most of the questions came from corporates.”

“He is the tradesman who came into the business and I am the wife who had her own career and was doing much of the business operations at night. I knew things had to change and so I came into the business full time.”

She asked Patty McCord what it takes to operate a small family business.

That change was one in a raft of changes that Lynda and Tony have made during their 28-year business partnership. But, Lynda says, the more dramatic changes have come as each new generation of worker has come through the door. This is precisely what Next Gen was dealing with. For the first time in history businesses now have five different generations in the workforce. With the drivers for Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers and Traditionalists, Next Gen looked at how we can all work together in the rapidly changing business environment. Global experts including Netflix’s culture architect Patty McCord, Atlassian work futurist Dom Price, and business transformation expert Tom Goodwin spoke to the Victorian crowd recently about this growing issue. “On my table, I was the only one from a small business,” Lynda 44 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018

Lynda decided to take the opportunity to see if these global greats could impart advice that would pertain to her business.

Patty answered: “I think you can operate a family business really straightforwardly and honestly. I think it is wonderful to give those opportunities to your children. I think what you are doing is really meaningful. I wish you could hire 10 more plumbers so people could learn that important craft. The best advice I can give is to be honest and straightforward about what it is going to take the next generations to succeed.”

Lynda Redfern, General Manager of Laser Plumber in Croydon, Victoria.

The way they do things and their drivers are so different to ours. We have really had to look at things differently in the past 10 or so years.

She also found the words from Tim Goodwin rang true. He said, the greatest threat to incumbent businesses isn’t knowing too little it’s about knowing too much about the old way of doing things. “This is so relevant to small businesses who have been around for a long time and doing things the same way for so many years.”

“To succeed and make money, we just have to keep prodding ourselves and asking, ‘is this the right way?’. We have to keep learning and developing, and be flexible to the new ideas coming through.”

Lynda and Tony have had their three children – Brendan, 26, Daniel, 23 and Christopher, 20 – join the business, so they have had to remain flexible and alert to changing needs.

“Next Gen was held the day before we process monthly claims. It was hard to do (taking the time out of the business) because there are never enough feet on the ground, but it is about planning and committing to it.”

“We are fortunate that we have brought our sons into the business.

Lynda says even though it is terribly difficult, small business operators have to prioritise professional development.


Cbus Promotion

Language matters Did you know that, aside from English, the most common languages spoken in Australia are Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and Italian? According to the Census, English is the only language spoken at home for 72% of the population and a considerable proportion of first and second-generation migrants are bilingual.

It’s important that working Australians can access and understand important information about their superannuation account and their entitlements at any given time.

When you look around construction sites you can see how diverse the workforce is. Cbus works hard to ensure there are services to support workers too; no matter which language they speak.

That’s why Cbus Super Fund has fact sheets in other languages on some key things to know about superannuation plus a free interpreter service available over the phone by contacting us on 1300 361 784.

After English, the next most common languages spoken at home

2.5%

Mandarin

1.4%

Arabic

1.2%

Cantonese

1.2%

Vietnamese

1.2%

Italian Census 2016

Simple and easy super administration with

Cbus

Your choice of SuperStream compliant online administration solutions to suit your business: Employer SuperSite and App

Cbus Clearing House

Suits businesses with a small number of employees who are Cbus members

Suits businesses with many employees and many super funds

Contact Daniel for your business super needs Daniel Tentser Business Superannuation Consultant, VIC

0439 372 365

daniel.tentser@cbussuper.com.au

Read the relevant Cbus Product Disclosure Statement and other related documents to decide whether Cbus is right for you. Call 1300 361 784 or visit www.cbussuper.com.au for a copy. Cbus’ Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262.

www.plumber.com.au | 45


Member news Demand demonstrates interest in continual professional development Master Plumbers received a positive response to its joint Carbon Monoxide training initiative with the Victorian Building Authority and Energy Safe Victoria, with members lining up to continue their professional development. Master Plumbers CEO Peter Daly said we will continue our highly successful program of training throughout the year, including the CO training that is underway. “Our members are constantly The CO testing telling us they information want to keep sessions delivered up to date with practical test the latest in the procedures that industry, including all gasfitters training and should abide by regulations. They know this is an important differentiator for their businesses and that Master Plumbers requires them to abide by the code of ethics and keep their quality high.” The CO testing information sessions delivered practical test procedures that all gasfitters should abide by.

Mr Daly said Master Plumbers was working hard to ensure better community awareness about the importance of hiring licenced and registered plumbers. “This is even more important when it comes to issues like spillage testing. It is not enough to have a CO analyser, they should only hire a licenced and qualified gasfitter who understands the procedures to properly service and maintain gas appliances.” Master Plumbers delivers a series of professional development courses throughout the year, catering for plumbers at all stages of their careers. You can view the full training schedule at training. plumber.com.au/training-courses To register your interest or enquire about any of the courses on offer, email training@plumber.com.au or call 03 9356 8902.

Upcoming events 1 September Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards (PIFA) 17 September Round Table Forum 5 October Bendigo Golf Day 16 October Product Information Session 17 October Master Plumbers Forum – Geelong 23 October Master Plumbers & Tradelink Business Breakfast 1 November SP Solutions Toolbox 14 November Plumbing & Gasfitting Divisional Meeting 19 November WHS Workshop 19 November Round Table Forum 5 December Members Christmas Party

Recognised for excellence Master Plumbers Trainer Garry Waters got more than he expected when he attended the PSCIA Conference in Albury in June. Garry was awarded the Energy Safe Victoria’s Registered Training Organisation Plumbing and Gasfitting Instructors’ Excellence Award for his outstanding efforts with the Carbon Monoxide Testing training held throughout Victoria. 46 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018


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

Fast Fact

Hand injuries Young workers are twice as likely as older workers to have injuries to their hands

Safe Work Australia

Feeding the brain Master Plumbers, in conjunction with event sponsor, Tradelink, welcomed more than 100 members and affiliates to The Meadows Conference and Events Centre in Broadmeadows in July for a Business Operations Breakfast. Master Plumbers CEO Peter Daly welcomed the crowd and spoke about the state of the plumbing industry and the future of Master Plumbers, introducing a panel of guest speakers to discuss hot topics in business operations. The first guest speaker was Sean Melbourne from Source Legal, spoking about how to set your business up to recover unpaid invoices. A hot topic in today’s construction landscape, Sean provided the concerned crowd with some tips that are easily implemented into

any business to address unpaid invoices and actions to take if you find yourself in a position of chasing debt. Next up was Matt Reynolds from XRM Group, who spoke about the changing technology landscape and embracing digital change as a business owner. Sharing his insight into the significant technology changes and development, Matt spoke about the likely impact on the future of the plumbing industry and the way we do business in a digital age.

Rounding out the panel of guest speakers was Matt Jones from Tradie Web Guys, speaking about ‘The Golden Paradigm’, a simple shift that can improve conversions, reduce marketing costs and generate more income for your business. Events like the Business Operations Breakfast, Product Information Sessions and the Forums are free for Member companies and their staff, and held throughout the year at various venues across Melbourne. Keep an eye on the Master Plumbers website and our social feeds to see what’s scheduled near you.

www.plumber.com.au | 47


Product news Cheaper car rego for trade apprentices Thousands of trade apprentices who rely on their car to travel to work every day will be hundreds of dollars better off, with the Victorian Government extending its registration discount program.

Under the scheme, eligible apprentice tradies can apply for a 50 per cent discount on their vehicle’s registration fee and Transport Accident Charge. The Government has expanded the program to include all eligible apprentices who use their vehicle to get to and from work between 8.30pm and 5.30am. The scheme, established in 2016, was previously only available to apprentices who used their vehicles to travel between work sites during work hours. Eligible apprentices paying standard registration on a light vehicle in metropolitan Melbourne, will save $408.20 per year, outer metropolitan areas $381.30 and in rural areas $349.95.

Tradelink delivers to trade community Tradelink has launched new enhancements to its trade delivery service to make it easier to track delivery and access proof of delivery information. Tradelink’s Head of Operations South, David Press said Tradelink was providing customers real-time delivery information to help them better plan their day. The delivery improvements include a new delivery tracking application on TradeDoor – Tradelink’s online account management tool – where account holders can view live progress of their delivery on a map which features an estimate for the time of delivery. Tradelink has also made a number of enhancements to their SMS communications.

Safe jetting initiative Aussie Pumps has introduced a new initiative to support plumbers in upgrading their safety procedures and assist them in complying with Australian jetting safety standards. “The aim is to assist operators eliminate or minimise hazards associated with jetting,” said Aussie Pumps’ Mal Patel. The program consists of three elements: 1 A safe jetting guide, which identifies ways the hazards associated with jetting can be controlled. It also covers the use of equipment and techniques that reduce risks. 2 A set of ‘Safe Jetting’ decals for use on the machine. These highly visible and easy to understand labels act as a constant reminder 48 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018

to the operator on their obligations to work safely at all times. 3 The Aussie Safe Jetting Accessory pack. The pack includes a set of safety accessories that reduce the risks of working with high pressure jets. The kit includes a safety plate, foot valve, hose shroud and safety gloves that protect the operator from jets up to 500 bar. “Aussie’s Cobra and King Cobra drain cleaners are manufactured in line with the new standards. They are fitted with emergency stops, and come supplied with hose shrouds and safety plates. However, many older machines may not include these safety features,” said Patel. “Aussie’s Safe Jetting pack can assist plumbers in bringing their kit into line with the safety standards for Class B machines,” he said.

Steve Black checks out the new manual and stickers.


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1800 816 830 www.plumber.com.au | 49


Product news General Pump solutions

Septic tanks specialists

Since May 1975, General Pump Company has been actively involved in the design, supply and servicing of complete pumping solutions in Australia and internationally. The family-owned and managed business has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience and promises to provide the right product at the right time and price.

Reliability is key in the effluent business. Septic tank pumps operate out of sight and out of mind for most customers. Submerged in an aggressive environment, these pumps are crucial in keeping basic sewage systems working.

General Pump Company represents more than 240 pump manufacturers from around the world. The company stocks a huge range of pumps and pumping systems including: • Submersible pumps for sewage, stormwater, wastewater • Packaged Pumping Stations • Cold Water Supply Pressure Systems • Rain Water Reuse Pumps & Filtration • Hot Water Circulation Systems • Undersink Pump-out Units • Fire Protection Pumpsets • Oil Water Separation Units

Aussie Pumps supply Tsurumi UTZ series submersibles, which are ideal for septic tank installations and pump replacements. “We are talking to plumbers every day that are fed up with re-installing third world pumps that they know will only last a couple of years”, said Aussie Pumps’ Neil Bennett. “We recommend they are replaced with Tsurumi UTZ pumps because of their quality and suitability. Their cast iron body outlasts rolled 304 stainless steel equivalents, they are easy to service and suit the aggressive ph levels found in the tanks,” he said. The pump is fitted with a vortex style impeller that passes compressible solids of up to 35mm in diameter. The maximum flow available from

the range is 440 lpm while the maximum lift, or vertical head is 12.5 metres. “They aren’t the cheapest on the market, but the quality makes them the best value. They are backed up with a three year factory warranty,” Bennett said. For more information, visit www.aussiepumps.com.au or call (02) 8865 3500.

The Tsurumi UTZ automatic submersible pump is specifically designed for septic tanks and built for endurance and reliability.

• Grease Arrestors • Controllers & Switchgear General Pump Company can provide technical information, installation support, commissioning and testing services, ongoing maintenance, repairs and refurbishment of all brands of pumps and pumping equipment. For more information, visit www.generalpumps.com.au or call 1300 662 787. 50 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | Spring 2018

Reece and MYOB are giving “tradies” their weekends back Reece has integrated MYOB’s cloud-based business solutions into its digital sales channels, streamlining bookkeeping for its customers. Reece customers can now have their invoices appear directly in their MYOB in-tray, replacing manual entries. Reece Group Chief Marketing and Supply Officer, Adrian Palumbo, said that Reece is committed to giving customers innovative products and digital services to run their

businesses. David Weickhardt, MYOB General Manager Product said the partnership “removes the need for manual entry and is a great example of how we can make life easier for small businesses.” For more details, visit MYOB.com/au


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Plumbing is a career that’s in hot demand in Australia and overseas. Here at Master Plumbers – Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria – we are dedicated to training exceptional, multi-skilled plumbers of the future.

How? We pay you more at work and while you learn Your employment won’t stop if your boss runs out of work We get you into varied work with industry specialists You have dedicated support to help your training

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Australian Plumbing June 2014  

For over 30 years, Australian Plumbing has been the industry’s leading publication, delivering independent coverage of news and events.

Australian Plumbing June 2014  

For over 30 years, Australian Plumbing has been the industry’s leading publication, delivering independent coverage of news and events.