Page 1

EDITION 4: JUNE 2021

THE OFFICIAL TRADE MAGAZINE FOR THE POOL & SPA INDUSTRY

For the industry, by the industry IN THIS ISSUE: Interviews with: Kevin Rust, Spa Electrics David Smithwick, The Pool Tile Co Jeremy Smith, SR Smith

Up close & personal with Sadie Davidson, the new Executive Officer of SPASA WA Hear from Kate Raymond of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission A day in the life of building commissioner David Chandler Cover image coursesy of Spa World ™


For the industry, by the industry Our front cover image, featuring a Vortex model spa supplied courtesy of Spa World ™.

Contents Taking the industry’s pulse - Kathryn Barres, SPASAVIC ................................................... 4 Multi-million dollar Aquatic Centre opens in Gippsland..................................................... 6 Changes to building & construction general on-site award 2020 ..................................7 Product Safety Recall: Astralpool gas heaters .......................................................................7 Innovating into the future, Kevin Rust, Spa Electrics .......................................................... 9 How to make your pool more sustainable, RACV RoyalAuto ......................................... 10 Kate Raymond of the Queensland Building & Construction Commission ............... 13 A day with NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler .............................................. 14 Hayward Pool Products set to become publicly traded ...................................................17 SPASAVIC Training & Events........................................................................................................21

Subscribe to AQUA Magazine!

Introducing the new Executive Officer of SPASA WA: Sadie Davidson......................22 Providing access to all, Jeremy Smith, SR Smith.................................................................26 Ensuring a seamless process end to end, David Smithwick The Pool Tile Co..........28 Luxury Pool & Spa built by Personal Pools now owned by Tones and I ..................... 31

https://www.spasavic.com.au/ aqua-subscribe

Published by SPASAVIC June 2021 Contact: Kathryn Barres, Communications / Marketing Co-ordinator ABN 66 076 867 091 Reproduction of the contents of this magazine is strictly forbidden unless approved in writing by the Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Victoria (SPASAVIC) The material contained in this publication has been compiled by the Swimming Pool & Spa Association of Victoria Ltd (SPASVIC) for the benefit of its readers. SPASAVIC does not warrant or represent that the material is free from errors or omission, or that it is exhaustive. The material is provided without SPASAVIC assuming a duty of care to readers. SPASAVIC is not in the business of providing professional advice and gives no warranty, guarantee or representation about the accuracy, reliability or timeliness or otherwise, of the information contained in this publication. SPASAVIC disclaims, to the full extent permitted by law, all warranties, representations or endorsements, express or implied, with regard to the material including but not limited to, all implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. The material is made available on the understanding that SPASAVIC and its employees and agents shall have no liability (including but not limited to liability by reason of negligence) to readers for any loss, damage, cost or expense whether direct, indirect, consequential or special incurred by, or arising by reason of, any person using or relying on the material and whether caused by reason of any error, omission or misrepresentation in the material or otherwise. Readers of this publication are responsible for making their own assessment of the material and should verify all relevant representations, statements and information with their own professional advisers.

AQUA MAGAZINE | EDITION 4 - JUNE 2021

3


Follow us on socials!

Taking the industry’s pulse It has been almost a year since we launched our first edition of AQUA trade magazine. How time flies! In the past year we have seen tremendous change – the turmoil of coronavirus, interest rates declining to an all-time low and an increase in personal savings due to international travel being off the cards. SPASAVIC’s consumer awareness campaigns have continued to plant seeds in the minds of consumers, and this – combined with the themes of a global staycation and backyard revolution - have delivered considerable growth across our construction and supply sector.

As always, we will continue to bring you articles of interest showcasing everything that is new, different, unique, innovative and informative about this wonderful industry of ours. In time, we hope that collectively, all industry members will contribute to AQUA, as ultimately it belongs to all of us.

All of these things - and more - have contributed to a currently buzzing, thriving and booming pool and spa industry – for which we can all be grateful for in many ways.

Email kathryn@spasavic.com.au with your content suggestions, stories or ideas. Kathryn Barres

The current delay in roll-out of COVID vaccinations has further cemented our decision not to hold a consumer expo until 2022. Despite our obvious disappointment at not being able to deliver the biggest consumer expo in the Southern Hemisphere, safety and integrity remain our top priority. AQUA trade magazine was born at a time when our industry was experiencing uncertainty and when no one could foresee the full effects of coronavirus on either consumers or industry members. But the timing turned out to be perfect – and for that we thank all those who have willingly participated in it through interviews, feature articles and advertising, across our sector.

4

This edition will be available both online and in print for the first time! Please share it and encourage your employees, colleagues and every industry member that you come into contact with to engage with AQUA, as we grow the platform with even more exciting developments in the months ahead. Here’s the ‘Subscribe HERE’ link: https://www. spasavic.com.au/aqua-subscribe

Marketing & Communications Co-ordinator, SPASAVIC

Subscribe to AQUA HERE: https://www.spasavic. com.au/aqua-subscribe


Mark Johnson 1256 Nepean Hwy, Aspendale

Adam Gold 15 Dennison St, Sunshine

Mary Sheils 34 Waverley Avenue, Brighton

30 DAY FREE TRIAL

Zhia Xu 297 Finlay St, Glen Iris

Patrick O’Brien 211 Mercaltile Way, Hartings

POOL INSPECTIONS MADE EASY! Designed for Victorian inspections only.

At last - a smart and simple app for all pool barrier inspections! Pool Inspection Apps does everything from the initial booking, selecting the right Australian Standard, undertaking an inspection through to issuing a report or compliance. Everything is completed and issued on the spot.

From initial booking to issuing a certificate and everything in between. Designed for inspectors by inspectors

It even sends your personalised tax invoices automatically. Checked off

Desktop, smartphone,

against a series of basic questions with simple explanations appropriate

and tablet

only to the right Standard, Pool Inspection Apps provides a cloud-based inspection management software which can replace your old paper-based checklist by allowing you to use your office computer, mobile or tablet. It records all your completed inspection report data, photos and certificates and also allows any pre-set inspections to be completed on-site whether you are online or offline.

Simple to use auto checklist Applies only the correct Australian Standards ...and lots more!

Become a member today! Call 1300 640 100 or visit poolinspectionapps.com Free download PROFESSIONAL MEMBER

Get the Pool Inspection App


Multi-million dollar Aquatic Centre opens in Gippsland The new Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre (GRAC) in Traralgon opened in March 2021 providing a world-class health and fitness facility for families across the region.

Minister for Regional Development MaryAnne Thomas officially opened the $57 million facility in March 2021. It forms the centrepiece of the Andrews Labour Government’s $85 million Latrobe Valley Sports and Community Initiative. The centre caters for competitive swimming and training, leisure swimming, general community use and major events. It includes an eight-lane, 50-metre indoor pool with seating for 500 spectators, an indoor water play zone, two large water slides, a learn-toswim pool, a cafe and retail precinct and a 25-metre heated outdoor pool. Visitors can relax using a range of health and wellbeing facilities including a warm water therapy pool, spa, sauna and steam rooms, a wellness centre and a gymnasium with group fitness rooms. The centre is the first public aquatic facility in Victoria to incorporate a deep bore geothermal heating system –tapping into an aquifer at a depth of more than 600 metres and using the 65-degree heat from the groundwater to warm the pool.   In a boost for the local economy, more than 500 workers contributed over 100,000 hours of labour on-site, providing ongoing work during the coronavirus pandemic. The project has been delivered by the Latrobe Valley Authority in partnership with Latrobe City Council, with an $8 million dollar investment from Sport and Recreation Victoria’s Community Sports Infrastructure Loan Scheme.

6


IN BRIEF Changes to building & construction general on-site award 2020 A determination has been released by the Fair Work Commission for The Building and Construction General On-Site Award, resulting in a name change to Building and Construction General On-site Award 2020 effective from the first full pay period that starts on or after 1 March 2021. For more information visit: https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/ documents/modern_awards/award/ ma000020/default.htm

Product Safety Recall: Astralpool gas heaters Fluidra has initiated a Voluntary Safety Related Product Recall Campaign involving selected AstralPool Natural & LPG Gas Swimming Pool Heaters. The following AstralPool gas heaters sold by Fluidra through swimming pool specialists between 1st December 2012 and 26th October 2020 form part of this campaign: AstralPool HiNRG, Viron EVO and ICI gas pool heaters.

The AstralPool JX and HX gas heaters and ICI400B are NOT affected by this recall. DEFECT: Water or moisture may enter the ignition module inside the heater causing it to fail. This may result in overheating and ‘sparking’ and in certain circumstances may lead to the plastic casing of the ignition module catching fire.

If you have any of the affected models of gas heaters, please follow the instructions outlined on the AstralPool website HERE

It can also create a ‘false’ call for heating, allowing the heater to operate when in the ‘OFF’ position, bridging the safety circuit and allowing the heater to operate with no water flow. HAZARD:  If the ignition module fails and causes a fire, this may result in a serious injury or death to users or bystanders.

AQUA MAGAZINE | EDITION 4 - JUNE 2021

7


www.bwtrobots.com.au

Now available down under!

EVERYTHING YOU NEED IN A ROBOTIC POOL CLEANER

www.bwtrobots.com.au

Now available down under!

EVERYTHING YOU NEED IN A ROBOTIC POOL CLEANER

P600 APP

D300 APP

D200

P600 APP

D300 APP

D200

For pools up to 15 m long

For pools up to 12 m long

For pools up to 12 m long

Cleaning type

Floor, walls and waterline

Floor, walls and waterline

Cleaning cycle

1.5, 2 or 2.5 hours

1.5, 2 or 2.5 hours

Remote control

P600 App APP Yes, Mobile

Pool size P600 APP

Pool size

Filter type

Cleaning type

Floor, walls and waterline

Floor, walls and waterline

Floor, walls and waterline

1.5, 2 or 2.5 hours

1.5, 2 or 2.5 hours

2 hours

11 kg microfibre 4D, hyperfine

11 microfibre kg 4D, hyperfine

11 kg 4D, hyperfine microfibre

top access 3Easy Years

Easy top access 3 Years

Easy top access 2 Years

Premium trolley

Premium Caddy

Premium Caddy

11 kg

11 kg

11 kg

3 Years

3 Years

2 Years

Storage accessory Remote control

Premium trolley Yes, Mobile App

Warranty Filter Access

D200

For pools up to 12 m long

Easy top access

Filter type

2 hours

For pools up to 12 m long

4D, hyperfine microfibre

Cleaning cycle

D300 APP App Yes, Mobile

Floor, walls and waterline

D200

For pools up to 15 m long

Filter Access Weight

D300 APP

Storage accessory Weight Warranty

4D, hyperfine microfibre Easy top access

Premium Caddy Yes, Mobile App

4D, hyperfine microfibre Easy top access

Premium Caddy –

Always ahead the curve! Always of ahead of the curve!

www.linc.com.au

Victoria Victoria 03 9580 9016

www.linc.com.au

03 9580 9016

Also available in WA from Austral Pool Solutions

Queensland New South Wales P: 9240 5600 Also available in WA from Austral Pool Solutions South Wales 9674 6008 07Queensland 3279 0083 New 02 sales@australpool.com.au P: 9240E: 5600 07 3279 0083

02 9674 6008

E: sales@australpool.com.au


Innovating into the future with Kevin Rust of Spa Electrics How is business at Spa Electrics? Business at Spa Electrics is great! We are grateful to be part of an industry that has always supported one another through hard times, such as COVID-19. The team here is working on some exciting new products to introduce to the market very soon, drawing on the ideas and needs of our customers at all times as we continue to grow the business both locally and overseas.

How did the COVID pandemic affect your business? We were fortunate enough as a business to be able to continue operating during the majority of the COVID-19 lock-down periods in Melbourne, however there were many challenges to work through - from the constrained supply of parts, through to logistical delays, to operating our business remotely, running separated manufacturing shifts - and of course, delivering on our promise of excellent customer service, including timely delivery, despite all of this. I’m pleased to say that each and every one of our team members worked hard to modify their way of working, learn new skills, think differently - and at all times work in a COVID-Safe manner. I’m very proud of how we navigated through this difficult time, but also see that many of the challenges are still ahead of us! What are the challenges of being an industry supplier? As we all know, the pool and spa industry is quite dynamic, with consumer demand being driven by many factors. In recent times it has been COVID-19 influencing buying patterns, while over the past 18 months we saw extreme weather patterns creating havoc, in the form of bush fires and flash flooding. All of these industry influences flow through to how many pools go in the ground and what products we need to stock. That informs what parts we buy and how much we order from our suppliers. Our supply chain is about 10 months from the order of raw materials to the actual products being delivered. So the biggest challenge for us is planning effectively, a year in advance, for what the weather is going to do – what could go wrong?!

What does innovation look like at Spa Electrics? Here at Spa Electrics, we pride ourselves on supplying the market with innovative and high quality products. Innovation to us means listening to our customers, understanding what is most important, and then translating that information into well engineered, high performing and intuitive products that exceed the demands of the industry. How did you become involved in the swimming pool and spa industry? I had always enjoyed pools and spas from a consumer perspective and with my passion for the trades and background in business, I was excited at the prospect of a business opportunity when a friend of mine floated the idea. A small company called Spa Electrics was up for sale in 2004, and I was looking for a new opportunity to engage with. They were selling underwater pool lights - mainly in Victoria - and had been quite successful in that limited market for about 25 years. After a few discussions with the previous owners, I quickly realised that the business had a lot of potential and so with a few mates and a couple of family members, I decided to take the plunge and the rest is history!

What do you love about the industry? I personally love the pool and spa industry because it’s both dynamic and innovative. Things are constantly evolving and there are always opportunities to advance our products to better our customers. The relationships that are built within the industry and the connections that are made, are something that I have never seen before. It’s almost like everyone is just one big happy family! Everyone knows each other and we always look forward to industry events to catch up over a beer. Where to from here for Spa Electrics? I’m really excited for the future of Spa Electrics. It has been amazing to watch our company grow from only having 7 staff members, to now having over 70. I believe that we set the industry standard with our products and I want to keep building on that. We will continue to provide the market with innovative products using the highest quality materials and employing the smartest engineering minds. We are very excited to show you all what we have been working on very soon!

“I personally love the pool and spa industry because it’s both dynamic and innovative. Things are constantly evolving and there are always opportunities to advance our products to better our customers”

AQUA MAGAZINE | EDITION 4 - JUNE 2021

9


How to make your pool more sustainable RACV’s Royal Auto magazine recently quoted SPASAVIC CEO, Chris Samartzis, and SPASAVIC Member, Rainwise Pools Melbourne, on ways to make your pool more sustainable. Article written by Tianna Nadalin. Published by RACV RoyalAuto.

Whether you already have a pool or are considering a plunge into pool ownership, there are many ways to make your private splash zone more sustainable. From solarpowered pumps to thermal covers that maintain temperatures and reduce water evaporation, here’s how to improve your pool’s eco credentials.

“This is something that pool owners are concerned about,” says Juliana Styles, cofounder of Rainwise Pools Melbourne, which took home the Water Neutral Pool Program Award at the 2020 SPASAVIC Awards of Excellence. “The fact that a water-neutral pool is not only environmentally friendly but will save the pool owner money is a great incentive.”

1. Make it ‘Water Neutral’ 2. Use Eco-Friendly Technologies For aspiring pool proprietors who are concerned about water and energy usage, water-neutral pools offer an easy solution. Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Victoria (SPASAVIC) CEO Chris Samartzis explains that water-neutral pools use a combination of water-saving and waterharvesting devices – such as water tanks to collect rainfall to top up the pool, and backwash-minimisation systems – to minimise environmental impact by reducing the amount of overall water needed to maintain a swimming pool. Water-neutral pools also deliver cost savings through reduced chemical, energy and water use.

10

Making use of eco-friendly accessories, such as LED lighting instead of traditional halogen globes, is another way to make your backyard pool a little greener. LED lamps use less than a quarter of the power used by traditional halogen bulbs and last longer too, so you’ll save money on new bulbs. They’re also easier to automate and can be set to a timer which can be controlled from your phone. “New pools come with LEDs as standard,” says RACV’s trade training manager Andy Anderson. “But if you have an older pool, it’s worth having a qualified electrician convert the halogens to LEDs.”

Above: Cookes Pools & Spas’ eco-friendly design, which used thermal pool cover (pictured above with cover open and closed) and recycled bearings for the pool’s circulation system.

3. Harness the Sun One of the most eco-friendly (and budgetsavvy) ways to heat your pool is to use solar power. “Installing an extra 2-3kW of solar panels, above your standard requirements, is sufficient to cover the cost of running a pool and accessories – such as the pump, filter etc,” says RACV Solar CEO Andy McCarthy. “Setting the pool pump on a timer, generally between 10am and 3pm in summer, ensures you are using your excess solar power, and will save you more money.”


If you don’t have enough roof space for both solar panels and pool heating, Andy says it’s possible to install solar panels over the pool heating. “It requires a specific system, so it’s best to contact a solar expert who has experience with these types of projects,” he says.

He says many systems are fully automated, which means they switch off when the cleaning is complete. This also saves energy as you won’t be running your cleaning system for any longer than needed.

4. Invest in a Thermal Pool Cover or Solar ‘Bubble Blanket’

Much like smart technology for inside your home, smart pool systems enable you to automate your pool’s essential functions – including the pool pump, cleaning system, lighting, heating and even chlorine levels. Smart tech can help reduce your energy bills by eliminating excess usage due to accidentally leaving your pump running too long or forgetting to turn off the lights.

Covering a pool when it’s not in use is a simple yet effective way to reduce our carbon footprint. “Aside from providing insulation and convenience, swimmingpool covers can help with heat retention, reduce evaporation, and maintain chemical balance,” says Chris Samartzis. While all pool covers will prevent water evaporation, thermal covers are designed to withstand strong UV, which means they last longer and have greater insulating properties, which will save you on heating costs. Look for thermal covers with the highest R value (thermal resistance) you can afford.  Alternatively, solar covers – also known as bubble blankets – contain air pockets that absorb heat from the sun and transfer it to the water, heating your pool. A good solar cover can heat your pool by up to eight degrees, however they are not as effective as thermal covers at retaining heat overnight. Typically more affordable than thermal covers, solar covers tend to have a shorter lifespan.   Chris says the most advanced pool covers can even transform into an over-pool roof at the press of a button to provide shade when you’re in the water.   5. Install Self-Cleaning Systems You can also turn up the eco factor by installing a self-cleaning system. Chris explains that in-floor cleaning systems use water circulation to reduce chemical usage and keep swimming pools clean, without the need for regular hand vacuuming or any other cleaning. “As well as reducing maintenance time, in-floor cleaning systems also reduce running costs and limit the need for excessive chemicals being added to the pool,” he says. “And because the system returns treated water to the floor of your swimming pool, loss of heat and chemicals from the water’s surface is greatly reduced.”

Top Left: Neptune Swimming Pools’ fully automated pool has an in-floor self-cleaning system that can be operated via Smartphone Above: Maleco’s award-winning multi-purpose pool cover and shade system.

6. Make it Smart

7. Don’t Overheat It For most pools, the ideal temperature is 25 to 28 degrees. According to energy.gov.au, each degree rise in temperature adds 10 to 30 per cent in energy costs. To save on energy costs, reduce the temperature or turn off the heater altogether whenever the pool won’t be used for several days or longer. 8. Don’t Overuse The Pump According to energy.gov.au, a pool pump running 24 hours a day can produce as much greenhouse gas as a large car over a year. To reduce emissions and costs, use a timer to manage your pump’s running time, and run it off-peak (to take advantage of cheaper power rates) at the lowest recommended speed for maintaining correct pool hygiene.  To keep your pump running as efficiently as possible, energy.gov.au also recommends regularly cleaning the skimmer basket, pump basket and filter and keeping your intake grates clear of debris. The website also advises to: “Purchase a minimum five-star energy-efficient pool pump from the list of pool pumps participating in the government’s voluntary labelling program. Although it may feel like you’re splashing out, buying a high-efficiency pump will save you energy and money over the long term in running costs. The more stars the better.”

Read the original article in full: https://www.racv.com.au/ royalauto/living/victoriansustainability/sustainablepool-trends.html

AQUA MAGAZINE | EDITION 4 - JUNE 2021

11


Add to your profit pool.

SWIMJET

SWIMROLL

Increase your revenue up to 40%. Reduce your clients costs up to 70%. Everyone’s 100% happy. Remco has been manufacturing high quality pool covers and products for over 30 years, with a range of European style, award-winning designs to meet every need and budget.

POOL GUARD

When you add a Remco product to your pool construction you can earn up to 40% more revenue by increasing the scope of the project. Your customers will also get to enjoy all the good things about a pool with far less cleaning and heating costs and can rest assured they have one of the safest products on the market. Contact Remco today to find out what we can do for you, and your customers.

www.remco.com.au I 1800 609 986 I


Amid the pandemic, construction of all things continues, including pools Queensland’s building and construction industry regulator has seen some changes to the industry since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic but swimming pool construction has not slowed down. The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) administers the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme and tracks residential construction work covered by the Scheme. Its data shows that across Queensland, new swimming pool construction jumped from 8,318 in 2018-2019 to 8,605 in 2019-2020. In the current financial year, that number is already at 7,773. QBCC Assistant Commissioner Service Trades & Regulatory, Kate Raymond, said that as at 22 March, 2021, there were 409,500 pools on the Queensland pool safety register, compared with 400,746 as at 1 July, 2020 and 387,240 as at 1 July, 2019. The QBCC also regulates the work of its 570 Pool Safety Inspectors, and in the past 12 months took disciplinary action against 50 PSIs who had issued a pool safety certificate to a noncompliant pool. Thirty-seven PSIs received monetary penalties ranging from $100 to $1,000 and in two cases, the inspector’s licence was suspended. Ms Raymond said the QBCC also takes action against pool owners when required. “We issued an infringement notice of $2,135 to one owner for failing to provide us with notice of selling their property when there was no pool safety certificate in effect upon settlement,” she said.

“We are probably best known for our regulatory work in the more traditional parts of the building and construction sector but pools and pool safety will always be an important focus for us, as we work to keep people safe in any and all built environments.” Ms Raymond said that the COVID pandemic had brought challenges but that overall, the industry had coped well and continued to experience strong demand. The QBCC’s summer 2020 public pool safety campaign sought to educate property owners, pool safety inspectors, property managers, landlords and tenants about their pool safety responsibilities.

The QBCC’s summer 2020 public pool safety campaign sought to educate property owners, pool safety inspectors, property managers, landlords and tenants about their pool safety responsibilities.

“To help us to do this as effectively as possible, we collaborated with Queensland’s Residential Tenancies Authority,” Ms Raymond said. “They were able to help us to reach property owners, property managers and tenants, to give them a better understanding of their obligations, and to enable us to work together to ensure their pool and surrounding areas are safe, compliant and maintained.”


A day with NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler, who is lifting standards in the construction industry. This article was written by Sue Williams, Domain Reporter on March 30, 2021

When the NSW government decided to appoint a building commissioner after a run of scandalous building fails, including cracking in Opal Tower, the leaning of Mascot Towers and combustible cladding slathered over so many apartment building facades, no one really believed much would change. The scepticism increased with the appointment of an adjunct fellow of Western Sydney University to the role. An academic? What would he do? Even though he was granted incredible powers six months ago to shut down sites where he wasn’t happy with standards, and have work stopped, everyone expected a mild-mannered Clark Kent. Instead, they got Superman. To date, Mr Chandler has issued orders on nearly 1000 apartments in 10 developments to either fix them up or stop work, and deny them occupation certificates. Problems range from inadequate waterproofing, structural problems with facades, too-small lift wells and shoddy workmanship, all the way to the serious defects in what he says is the worst building in Sydney, a 16-storey tower in Auburn. “I think it’s great that he’s weeded out a lot of the bottom end of the market,” says George Tadrosse, CEO of developer Aland, which is building 1400 apartments across 10 stages at this Schofields site today, and which passed their audit three weeks before.

14

“The development market is pretty small with around 30 players – 10 tier-one developers, 10 middle-range and 10 we might call ‘flyby-nighters’. He’s putting a lot of pressure on that bottom end, which is good as it’s the only way to lift standards and bring confidence back into the market.”

“And, ones where there’s no relationship between the developer and the manufacturer of the products they’re using on their buildings, so I’ve seen so many problems with how they’re using the products as they don’t understand them. It’s a disgrace. Now, can I see your bathrooms?”

There are now calls for similar commissioners with the same powers to be appointed in other states, too. In her former role as the president of the NSW chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects, Kathlyn Loseby said: “Sydney and Melbourne have had the major disasters but it would be good to have a consistency of construction standards across all states.”

There’s a flurry of activity and he’s escorted upstairs into one of the buildings proper. He halts at one of the doorways to an apartment, takes out a coin and taps all the way around. The atmosphere is tense. It looks as if no one is drawing breath until he finally smiles, apparently liking what he hears.

Chris Duggan, president at strata managers’ body Strata Community Association (NSW), agrees. “The government could have brought in a bureaucrat but he’s someone who’s making meaningful, no-nonsense reforms that will benefit all consumers,” he says. “I believe he’s leading transformational change in the sector and introducing initiatives that we’d like to see rolled out in all states.” Mr Chandler isn’t shy about calling out any wrong-doing he sees, as he sets out on his goal of 100 audits a year. “But I’m happy with you guys,” he says reassuringly to the men standing anxiously around him. “I go to so many jobs where I can’t believe they have the people they do running their projects. It’s a real worry.

“It’s important there’s enough mortar in these,” he explains. “It’s a simple tap test.” He then advances to the bathroom, coin out again to check how securely the tiles are fixed to the walls. A hollow sound would indicate that they’re not well enough stuck. The constant tapping seems to be his theme tune. “I’ve had around 1000 bathrooms pull their tiles off as they weren’t done well enough in the first place,” he says, turning to the crowd of onlookers. “But these are fine.” Bathrooms and facades are Mr Chandler’s main concerns as he says they often have the most critical problems.


visit: https://www.nsw.gov.au/building-commissioner

Jerome Harb, director of Aquastop Waterproofing Australia, which is the subcontractor looking after the waterproofing on this site, is relieved that it’s been given the all-clear. Other companies aren’t going so well, he says. “There’s a lot of panic out there in the industry at the moment with David Chandler doing inspections,” says Mr Harb. “I think in the last six months, since he was given his powers, a lot has changed as a result. “But it really shouldn’t have taken that long. There’ve been problems for a long time, but no one had addressed them before.” Happy with the bathrooms, Mr Chandler then inspects the facade, with its CSR lightweight fibre cement cladding system, and gives it the thumbs up. Harry Fine, CSR’s innovation and technical manager, says he’s happy to have someone lifting standards. “He’s been really good for the industry,” says Mr Fine.

Mr Chandler checks his watch and is now ready to go to his next appointment, another building site in another suburb. He shakes all the hands proffered and says his farewells.

“These small things are important,” he says. “We need more women in the industry, but how can we attract them if they have to put up with these conditions?”

“Everyone senses that the winds of change are coming,” he says. “That’s good as we’re looking for a better outcome for consumers and it’s reinforcing the level of management that’s being done to projects. And I’m hoping for more and more improvements.

As he marches away towards the exit of the site, Mr Tadrosse looks pleased.

“When I see things are a bit ordinary, I don’t mind doing a dummy spit.” He did one just the other day, when he inspected the women’s toilets on a site. He even took a photo of a dirty toilet bowl and showed it to the head of the site.

“The small things are important.... we need more women in the industry, but how can we attract them if they have to put up with these conditions?”

“He has fairly awesome powers and he’s ready to use them,” he says. “You needed someone tough as the builders and developers he takes on are tough, and have a lot of money. You need a guy who’ll take no prisoners. Everyone needs a tune-up and he keeps everyone on their toes. As a result, everyone has lifted their game. There’s always something you can do better.” At that very moment, there’s a roar of displeasure, and everyone stops in their tracks. It’s Mr Chandler standing stock still, pointing to a drain hole in the ground, without a cover. “Come on guys,” he bellows. “Don’t disappoint me now.” To a person, everyone looks crushed. If anyone could magic up some Kryptonite, they surely would.

Originally published in Domain: https://www.domain.com.au/news/a-day-with-nsw-building-commissioner-david-chandler-who-is-lifting-standardsin-the-construction-industry-1036337/

AQUA MAGAZINE | EDITION 4 - JUNE 2021

15


WATER FEATURES

WATER CHEMISTRY

TEMPERATURE

IN-FLOOR CLEANING

SPA CONTROL

LIGHTING

POWER SUPPLY

FILTRATION

EXPERIENCE THE LUXURY OF TOTAL CONTROL. The Hayward OmniLogic pool and backyard automation system provides an easy way to control the chemistry of a residential pool and spa, as well as the heating, lighting, water features and any other pool or backyard equipment... straight from your smart phone!

OmniLogic

>>> Pool & Spa Automation Pumps I Filters I Heating I Cleaners I Sanitisation I Automation I Lighting I White Goods


Hayward Pool products set to become publicly traded. This article was written by Rebecca Robledo, deputy editor of Pool & Spa News and Aquatics International

Within the next few days, the parent company of Hayward Pool Products will launch onto the stock market. With this change, all of the so-called “Big 3” manufacturers will be publicly traded.

Hayward expects to grow both organically and through acquisition. The company estimated that 85% of its products are designed for energy efficiency, water conservation or reduction in chemical usage. It historically has been rare to see pool/spa companies on the stock market. In addition to fellow “Big 3” manufacturers Fluidra and Pentair, Hayward joins PoolCorp and Leslie’s Pool Supplies.

While no date has been released, the initial public offering (IPO) is expected to occur this week. The company has gradually ramped up to this point. In mid-2017, the manufacturer was purchased by three investing firms after more than 50 years of ownership by the Davis family. Hayward Holdings was formed as a holding company. The three investors -- private equity firm CCMP Capital Advisors (former owner of PSN parent company Hanley Wood); MSD Partners; and Alberta Investment Management Corp. -- will retain portions of the stock, as will some Hayward management and others who invested before the public launch.

More companies are taking an interest in the pool/spa industry, and not only because of climbing demand from the pandemic, says Greg Howard, president of industry buying group Carecraft. With millions of pools now installed, the growing need for replacements and renovation put to rest any concerns about seasonality or the industry’s susceptibility to economic conditions, he said.

In its Federal Trade Commission filing, the company reported some interesting data, including a sales growth in 2020 of 19.4%, to $875.4 million from $733.4 million in 2019. That same year, its operating income margin grew from 13.5% to 14.2%; net income margin from 1.2% to 4.9%; and adjusted EBITDA margin from 23.5% to 26.5%. Hayward says it holds 30% market share in North America. Approximately 75% of its sales come from the aftermarket, the company said. It also stated that 81% of its sales come from North America, while the remaining 19% sales take place in international markets. At the end of last year, the manufacturer had approximately 350 patents, with another 135 pending.

“There’s a lot of interest on the part of Wall Street to invest in the pool industry,” Howard said. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Since 2017, Hayward made some significant acquisitions, including smart device maker ConnectedYard and infloor pool cleaner producer Paramount Leisure Industries. In 2019, the company hired President/CEO Kevin Holleran, who had experience running a publicly traded company. In its filing, Hayward said it is banking on a number of factors to aid in its success -- its increasing emphasis on energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable products and smart technologies; expansion in North America and international markets where the company currently is under-represented; and continued interest in home improvements that has intensified amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the company plans to increase its presence in the commercial market, having expanded its sales team in that arena.

View the original article: https://www.poolspanews.com/business/

AQUA MAGAZINE | EDITION 4 - JUNE 2021

17


No lock-in contracts

Direct from the manufacturer

sales@bosssolar.com.au www.bosssolar.com.au 1300 786 489

Australian made


SPASAVIC Training & Events SPASAVIC’s Industry Training Program provides the framework for competency within the pool and spa industry and supports an ongoing drive to improve knowledge, skills and safe practices.

SPASAVIC’s Industry Training is important to the success of Naughton’s Pools & Spas. I recently sent 15 employees to hydraulics training and I am satisfied that the tuition my staff received will be an excellent investment in my business in the long run. Justin Hatfield, Director of Naughtons Pools & Spas

SPASAVIC offers all those associated with the swimming pool and spa industry the opportunity to attend our unique and highly regarded training courses through our Industry Training Program. Knowledge Increases Profit and Productivity All SPASAVIC training courses have been designed in consultation with leading industry experts Courses are delivered by knowledgeable industry specialists with years of hands-on, practical experience Training ensures that your employees can better navigate the ever-changing Government regulations and standards Our courses are an affordable and valuable investment in your business SPASAVIC training is recognised as an excellent investment in your business and is utilised by the most successful employers within the pool and spa industry. As an employer, the training of your staff is vital to the success of your business and will ensure that you and your staff remain up-to-date with current industry best practice. Invest in your business by educating and training your staff professionally through SPASAVIC’s Industry Training Program. For more information please visit: https://www.spasavic.com.au/ spasavic-industry-training

We highly recommend that anyone involved in the pool & spa industry take advantage of the excellent industry training conducted by SPASAVIC. Helen Strangos, Director of The Diamond Pool & Spa Company

SPASAVIC is celebrating their 60 year anniversary this year at their Awards of Excellence Gala dinner on Saturday 31 July 2021 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC). Don’t miss the biggest night on our industry’s calendar. Book your tickets here:

60 year anniversary

Awards of Excellence Gala night

Saturday 31 July

Pool Construction Essentials Training

Tuesday 3 August  8.30am - 4.30pm

Domestic Builder Contract Training **

Wednesday 18 August 11.30am - 1pm

Hydraulics  Training

Wed 25th AND Thu 26th August 9am - 4pm

Basic Chemistry  Training

 Monday 20th September  9am - 4pm 

Advanced Chemistry  Training

Wed 22nd AND Thu 23rd Sept 9am - 4pm

Pool & Spa Expo + Outdoor Living

Friday 4 February - Sunday 6 February 2022

Spa & Pool Show + Backyard & Garden Show

Saturday 9 July - Sunday 10 July 2022

BOOK HERE BOOK HERE BOOK HERE BOOK HERE BOOK HERE BOOK HERE

** For Restricted & Builder members only 

SPASAVIC has partnered with Masters in Building Training (MIBT) to offer a career pathway for industry participants through their Certificate IV in Swimming Pool and Spa Building and Building Inspector (Pool Safety) training courses. MIBT training offers complete learning flexibility through their online learning system so that students can learn anywhere at any time.

MIBT CPC40808 – Certificate IV in Swimming Pool and Spa Building. MIBT VBAISP2020 Building Inspector (Pool Safety). Victorian Swimming Pool and Spa Barrier Inspection training

BOOK HERE BOOK HERE

AQUA MAGAZINE | EDITION 4 - JUNE 2021

21


Introducing the new executive officer of SPASA WA: Sadie Davidson!

Congratulations on your recent appointment as executive officer of SPASA WA. What attracted you to the pool and spa industry? I saw the role advertised and I knew that with my background working for industry associations and with peak bodies of the real estate and property development industries, it was definitely in my comfort zone. It seemed like a great opportunity to branch out, meet new people and be part of an industry that is going so well at the moment. We are so lucky that the impact of COVID has had the opposite effect on our industry to what most others have experienced. I feel fortunate to come on board at the helm at a time when business is going so well. That provides a lot of opportunity to innovate and be creative without the pressures of a struggling industry. It will allow me to make some key changes and bring the industry forward as well as have some fun along the way.

22

How have your first few weeks on the job been? Everyone has been so welcoming and the reception from the membership base has been really fantastic. For a young woman stepping into this role, there was a bit of apprehension as to how I would be received, but because our leadership is already gender diverse with great female representation, it seemed a logical next step and I really don’t think my gender or age played a factor in the employment process. I’m the first female in this role but our board is already pretty much 50/50. Our vice president is also female, and there have been previous female SPASA WA Presidents. There’s a real sense of community among the WA members, and I look forward to being a part of this great industry.

What is the overall vision of SPASA WA? Like any business, we’ll need to be nimble and be able to adapt to changing market conditions and improvements in technology. The recent pandemic has shown us just how quickly business and industry can adapt if needed and I think it’s very important that we don’t settle back into ‘business as usual’ which could concrete the changes and not continue to adapt. Things like bringing everything online and being able to embrace future technologies will be a big deal, particularly with event registration and nominations for awards. And then it will just be about continuing to do what we do well. The vast majority of our members are incredibly satisfied with what they receive from SPASA WA so we’ll continue to do what we do best.


As you’ve just mentioned, SPASA WA has been a stable independent organisation that has served its members well. What do you plan to do that’s new or different in your role at SPASA WA? Something that is on the horizon is our 25 year anniversary! There will be a big celebration of everything that has been achieved in the past 25 years and also what we hope to achieve in the future. What challenges do you envisage in the coming 12-18 months?

Where do you see the industry heading? I’m very hopeful that the economy in WA seems to have hit its stride after a six year down-turn. We are very familiar with a cyclical economy here in the West that is quite unique to the Western Australian economy. We are hopeful that this peak will continue with slow and steady growth which will give our industry more time to adjust, particularly with some of the trade shortages we have experienced due to COVID. We need to think about how we can make our industry attractive not only to customers but so that people want to come and work in our industry. That’s how our industry will grow.

Like every industry, we need to be able to find our new normal. It could be very easy over the next “We really 12 months while there are need to think still travel restrictions In WA, we have a lot of in place to become about how we can competing industries complacent. We such as mining make our industry know that people are and commercial attractive not only to currently spending construction, so customers but so that their spare money on we need to attract people want to come and their homes but that and retain the best work in our industry. will come to an end at tradespeople and That’s how our some point so we can’t ensure that customers industry will afford to be complacent demand them. We need grow.” and stop marketing and to provide something that branding activity. ultimately every customer is happy with. If we can continue to Our awards and expos are so important do that – and we have done this well to date to continue to promote ourselves and the - we’ll be in good stead to continue. In WA, positive contribution we make as an industry with our weather and climate like ours, there throughout the busy times as well as quiet will always be a market for pools. times despite the fact that business is booming. As soon as international borders Also, with the general housing market in open, there’s a real risk of a slump, so we WA, property house prices were slumping need to be ready and prepared now by for a good five or six years, so there was the continuing to promote our industry. feeling of why would you invest in a pool if your house value was decreasing? But now that house prices are increasing, people are seeing the addition of a pool as a much more viable investment.

What is your greatest achievement to date? I’ve worked incredibly hard to be where I am today. I’m very proud to have run major national and state-based political campaigns which had the desired impact of changing the outcome of state and federal elections. Even to be in my current role at twenty eight years old, it’s not something you see every day, but it’s something I’ve been very strategic about to reach this milestone before I turned thirty. Our readers are from all over Australia. Is there anything you’d like to say to the industry? As an industry, there will always be a level of competition and we are at our most powerful and our most productive when we work together. Ensuring that there is a healthy level of competition - but also the right amount of collaboration - between our industry and industries in other states, it is so important. If we can work together to add benefit by creating more jobs and making people’s homes more enjoyable and helping them spend more time together as families, there’s a huge amount of value our industry can add to our society that perhaps has been underrated in the past. But we can only do this when we all work together towards the same goal. Sometimes we need to put competition aside and realise that as an industry we can work independently while still being collaborative.

AQUA MAGAZINE | EDITION 4 - JUNE 2021

23


Sell more pools ‘on the house’.

Imagine how many more customers you could sign up for a pool if you told them it was ‘on the house’. Of course, you can’t give them a pool for free, but you can show them how refinancing their home with Outdoor Finance can free up enough money to fund the pool they’ve always wanted. The Outdoor Finance team are specialised mortgage brokers who help refinance loans to fund outdoor projects like pools, spas and landscaping, showing your customers how refinancing can save enough money to fund their dream outdoor space. Help your sales reps sell more pools and close deals earlier by showing customers how they can get their pool ‘on the house’. Find out more www.outdoorfinance.com.au Outdoor Finance is a collaboration between SPASA Victoria and AB Phillips. Credit services provided by AB Phillips Pty Ltd Authorised Credit Representative number 465469 of Australian Finance Group Ltd Australian Credit Licence Number 389087.

24


AQUA magazine is proudly brought to you by our sponsors who value the pool & spa industry in Australia:

Everything you need for your pool business is right here. From quality pool products to seamless ordering and fast delivery, Reece Irrigation & Pools have you covered this pool season.

Available Australia-wide We have 40 Reece Irrigation & Pools branches across the country to service your needs.

Expert advice Our knowledgeable staff will give you the best advice so you can get the job done.

Quality products, whenever you need them. Fast delivery direct to site, or we can hold stock for when you need it.

Easy ordering Online ordering is simple through our maX online system.

reece.com.au/pools

AQUA MAGAZINE | EDITION 4 - JUNE 2021

25


Providing access to all Jeremy Smith of SR Smith: “I’ve worked in the pool industry for over 15 years now. My parents are American and I’ve got dual citizenship. SR Smith was a start-up entity here in Australia originally. We started out as a small business with a lot of good backing behind us. The first few years were hard slog, but I’ve really enjoyed working for SR Smith. How’s business, both in Australia and the USA? It’s really good! There have been a lot of negatives from a business perspective due to coronavirus, but demand in both our residential and commercial categories has been overwhelming. Last year was our biggest growth year since we’ve been in Australia. We’ve experienced overwhelming growth for the past twelve months. When we first came into the market, a lot of our products were not commonly accepted – particularly our residential items which are high ticket products which haven’t traditionally been found in retail outlets – our waterslides for example can range from between $2,000 and $7,000.

26

So initially pool shops resisted offering our products or displaying them, but we overcame this by focussing on digital marketing to consumers and basically pulling the demand through from the back end. Then pool shops and builders realised that there was demand and they started seeking them out. At the end of October last year, we had completely sold out of all stock in our warehouse and on the water pre-Christmas. All of the slides – and we had ordered a considerable volume – we had sold out by the end of October and we are still fulfilling back orders in March. This is definitely due to people not holidaying or travelling overseas and wanting to spend money on their backyards, but there’s also a shift in what people think about our products, and that they should be offered at the point of sale by the builders. It’s an easy option to include some in-pool furniture if they are building a sun shelf or a water-slide for a young family. Our products in the past haven’t made a lot of sense to people but now builders are realising that they can easily offer them and leave the decision up to the consumer. In the past there was a bit of gate-keeping going on.

AQUA talks to Jeremy Smith of SR Smith about the overwhelming growth of the business that provides ‘access to all’.

From 15 years in product development within the industry, I know that if you walked into a pool shop fifteen years ago and said to someone, “One day you’re going to sell a pool cleaner for $2,500,” they would laugh you out of the shop. Pools shops have become a really good destination for high ticket items such as variable speed pumps, robotic cleaners and sanitisation products. K-Mart has taken the inflatables and other companies have taken some of the chemical business but that’s where our products fit in nicely for s pool shop and a pool builder.

What trends do you see emerging? In-pool furniture is becoming very popular. Lounges mainly. This ties in with pool design as there is a current focus on creating different sections of the pool that appeals to different age groups. We make in-pool tables and stools plus lounges that can be removed from the pool and used on an adjacent deck. Last year was the release of our ‘Slide Away’ which is a slide that doesn’t need to be bolted to the deck and can be packed away at the end of play. Grandparents love these as they can be brought out when the grandkids are over and put away for the rest of the time.


Could you give me a brief history of SR Smith?

What changes have you seen in the pool and spa industry over the years?

SR Smith was originally founded in 1932, so we’ve been around for almost 90 years. We started out as a manufacturer of diving boards and then through a process of innovation and acquisition of companies, we morphed into slides and games.

There’s more of a focus on options. In the past, at least here in Australia compared with Europe and the US, we’ve been quite conservative in the types of products that we offer and the accessorising of our pools.

Accessibility is also a big part of our business. We manufacture pool lifts now too. SR Smith acquired a commercial company by the name of Antiwave in 2013 and we then released a number of commercial products then brought in our residential lines. To this day, our commercial sales have grown considerably and we’ve acquired a number of businesses that have helped with that as well. Sunbather was one of these. More recently we acquired Stark Bulkheads. They were importing bulkheads into the Australian market for about ten years and we were also manufacturing our own bulkheads locally, so it was very strategic for us to take on their technology and provide it as an option within our range. We took the opportunity to partner with a company that had been in the bulkhead business for a lot longer than us and the plan was to combine both our technologies and create a more cutting-edge product.

In the US it is common to use their backyard as the favourite room of their house. They have outdoor tvs, pergolas and a party area with swimming pool slide and diving board in the deep end. A lot of accessorising goes on. Here in Australia we’ll spend $30,000 on an indoor entertainment system but buy cheap inflatables for the pool out the back.

“I think this is the biggest change in the past co uple of years. People are re-evaluating their lifestyles and its more about convenience now”

But I think this is the biggest change in the past couple of years. People are reevaluating their lifestyles and its more about convenience now. Mineral pools and in-floor cleaning make it easier for pool owners to maintain their pool and they are also willing to pay a bit more for things. When it comes to pool pumps, filters and sanitisation there is a lot of development there. Accessorising is finally taking hold where people are looking at their pools and realising that buying a pool noodle isn’t going to keep their kids in the pool for long because they’ll be back inside on the ipad under the air-conditioner in no time. If you put a water-slide in there, the kids will not only spend hours on it but they’ll drag their friends along as well and spend hours playing. We are competing with some of the most incredible computer games these days. When I was a kid, there was only Pac-man!

continued on page 28

AQUA MAGAZINE | EDITION 4 - JUNE 2021

27


Providing access to all AQUA talks to Jeremy Smith of SR Smith about the overwhelming growth of the business that provides ‘access to all’. (Continued from page 27)

What have been the biggest challenges as a supplier?

What opportunities does the current climate present to industry suppliers?

How do you see the industry pivoting and innovating in the future?

I think the challenge last year in particular was being able to forecast for the demand as the market shifted. As pool builders got more on board with our products, we had to adjust very quickly.

This ties in with the trends that we’re seeing with accessorising backyards, and as people become more open to new products, having spaces where both adults and kids can enjoy, we’ve begun development on some new products that really tie in nicely with that.

One area that has really come to the fore is extending the swimming season. In the past, the school holidays dictated how long people were willing to use and maintain their pools but home-schooling due to coronavirus last year, people were looking for ways to extend the swimming season and pool heating was a big part of that.

Most of our residential products are manufactured in the US. International freight was very difficult to forecast the lead times. We’ve overcome that this year by placing our Summer orders already. We intend to be three months ahead. One of the biggest parts of our business is stainless steel rails and ladders which we manufacture locally. We don’t have lead-time issues with them. Most of our commercial products are Australian made. It’s really only the supply of pool slides and lifts that we need to think carefully about.

“Our products are not just for kids. Most of our products can accommodate adult users too. We want to make sure the whole family can enjoy, and this ties in with our catch phrase of ‘Access for all’.”

28

Our products are not just for kids. Most of our products can accommodate adult users too. We want to make sure the whole family can enjoy, and this ties in with our catch phrase of ‘Access for all’. A large part of our business is disability access. We sell a lot of lifts now. The NDIS has been very beneficial for so many. A lot of people in the past haven’t had the option of enjoying pool time with the family and the government funding has allowed them to do this. We also know that managing people’s mental health is critical and this ties in with the physical wellbeing that can come from outdoor exercise and activity. We manufacture the pool lifts in the US and we hold the stock in Brisbane. A percentage of these lifts are used in commercial facilities and quite a few of them now are going into backyard pools. They are an expensive and technical product but through the NDIS, they are more accessible than ever.

So our acquisiton of Sunbather was very timely and important. If the pool industry can be on the same page with this and market outside of the traditional time frames, we’ll be able to extend the swimming season further and increase sales. Part of that is changing the mentality of the local pool shops, as there is a huge opportunity for profitability all the way through until May instead of slowing down in February, or ramping up in August or September instead of doing their open day in October and November. I think that’s something as an industry that we all need to get behind. You can’t just have one company starting to promote pool slides, it needs to be everyone, because all the consumers are targeted for pool products, not just every once in a while. And if everyone gets on board, we can extend the season out.


Less noise. More impact. 6 Star 2 Speed Pump

Designed to help your customers save money on running costs and promote a cleaner environment, our complete range of energy efficient pumps can be relied on every day for your pool projects.

8 Star 3 Speed Pump

8 Star 200 & 400 VSD Pump with Bluetooth

Available at Reece Irrigation & Pools reece.com.au/henden

Advertise in the next edition of AQUA!

Reach the trade by advertising in AQUA!

Published quarterly and produced in both digital and hard copy editions, AQUA’s following is growing fast and is quickly becoming the go-to magazine for industry trends, news and information. Contact Kathryn Barres on kathryn@spasavic.com.au to discuss pricing and availability.

AQUA MAGAZINE | EDITION 4 - JUNE 2021

29


David Smithwick The Pool Tile Co

What’s new in swimming pool tiling?

How and when did the Pool Tile Co begin?

“Greys are really popular right now, so we have rapidly expanded our offering.  A very popular colour is a marble-look tile called ‘Carrara’.

The Pool Tile Co began about seventeen years ago by Robert and Amanda James who identified a niche in the market for pool tiles. They started sourcing tiles from tile wholesalers that are no longer around today. We now direct import from overseas suppliers with a team of 60 and we continue to expand.

While grey seems an unusual choice for swimming pool tiling, you would be surprised at how blue the pool water can look with grey tiles. We have dark, mid, light and ash grey as part of our range, and each shade of grey will give a different coloured water. Dark grey will give a natural, sea water look – like ocean water. Mid greys can give almost a denim blue look. More recently we added 4 new timber look porcelain pavers - the TileDeck series.  Our timber look porcelain has many advantages over wood, including longevity and coolness underfoot.  TileDeck takes the total porcelain coping options to 16 colours in a multitude of sizes with matching drop face, bullnose and square edge. We’ve also expanded our range into commercial pool tiles for Olympic-style pools and hotels. We listen to our clients for what they want. Even our architects and pool builders inform us of market demands, such as a new shade. We then take our requests back to our supplier and before you know it, we’ve got a new or expanded range. Victoria is very industrial, with greys and blacks, whereas the QLD market is very earthy with lots of browns, sandstone and natural travertine colours that lend themselves to blues and whites. Having said that, our ice blue tile is probably our biggest selling tile Australiawide as it stays the same colour regardless of the weather.

30

Ensuring a seamless process end-to-end

About two years ago we opened up a new showroom and warehouse in Keysborough, Victoria. The showroom worked well in Brisbane as it relieved the pool builders of going through the tile selection process by allowing consumers to come in and go through it with us, so that they could make an informed decision. We go through all the tile colours and shades, as well as all grout colours with customers, and we advise them of how their pool water will look with each selection. We have replicated that showroom model in Victoria with great success. We don’t just do pool tiles, we also do pool coping and paving. We’ve got natural stone and a huge range of outdoor porcelain tiles. Our team have been trained to only discuss retail pricing with customers, so we don’t affect the builder’s or landscaper’s bottom line. The plan was to try to make it as easy for the builder and customer as possible, so it’s a seamless process, end-to-end. Our showroom team all have design backgrounds and they get excited when people bring their plans in so that they can gush over the options available and what they think will look good for each client. Everyone in our company is very passionate about what we do and that makes The Pool Tile Co a great place to work.

What are the challenges of being an industry supplier? The last twelve months has been the biggest challenge for us. Mainly just keeping up with demand. The industry has really ramped up beyond any expectation. We did have some supply and shipping issues with getting stock in from overseas, but mainly we managed to keep up. It’s very rare for us to say ‘no’ to anyone. We managed to get through the bumpy ride that was COVID. This January and February, we continue to break records. With international travel stopping, rather than people spending $10,000+ on an overseas trip, people are investing in their homes including their back yards. It was amplified even more during lockdown because everyone was at home! What does innovation look like at the Pool Tile Co? With such a niche market, innovation can be tricky. We’re proud to have made a substantial investment in our glue formula and machinery in order to offer ‘meshless’ glass mosaics. We have invested substantially in plant and equipment to cut and edge outdoor porcelain tiles and natural stone to our customer’s requirements. We have many long-term relationships with our overseas suppliers. Our relationship with them is very strong and they have a great understanding of what is required by the Australian market and our expectations. People spend a lot of money on swimming pools in Australia so the expectations are high. Our quality control has always been excellent and if there is ever an issue, we rectify it straightaway. We’re about solutions not problems.


How did you become involved in the swimming pool and spa industry? It’s a long story! About eight years ago I worked in the caravan industry and took a random phone call from who I thought was a prospective customer but turned out to be a head-hunter. She set me up with a new job at a tile company but unfortunately they went into voluntary administration. I realised that I really enjoyed the wholesale side of things more than the retail side. Then I went to work for another competitor within the tile industry before I ended up at the Pool Tile Co. Robert James, owner of The Pool Tile Co, had messaged me through LinkedIn asking if I’d like to work for him, and the rest is history! They had only just moved into the Victoria market and we arranged to meet up for a chat at the SPASAVIC Expo. I’m the State Manager now rather than the Territory Manager. What do you love about the industry? The people! I’ve formed some great relationships with staff and clients, both in Brisbane and Melbourne. Every day is awesome because the industry is full of great people. My team are phenomenal – they are so bubbly and so committed. They love what they do. I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of people to surround myself with.

Where to from here for the Pool Tile Co? It’s all about growth. Onwards and upwards for The Pool Tile Co. We’ve outgrown our 800 square meter warehouse by a country mile. We are expanding our Victorian facility by the end of the year so we can display our range properly and have more of our porcelain and stone readily available on the ground in Victoria. If we grow, the industry grows with us, as there’s more we can offer. Our goal is to make the pool builder’s job easier by becoming a one-stop-shop. Tiles, surrounds, even skimmer lids! We can offer it all in one delivery instead of going here and there for this and that. We’ve also got the best delivery guy in the entire industry! It has always been about strong relationships and industry connections. Our glass range allows us to do custom blends. We want to cater to everyone and we love finding solutions for whatever people are after. We also cover the commercial range to cater for aquatic centres and we’ve recently done an Olympic size swimming pool. It doesn’t matter what State. If the business is there, we’ll go out of our way to make sure we can help out. My message to the industry is: “Come and see us!”

Oak TileDeck

Melbourne Showroom 62 Indian Drive, Keysborough VIC 3173 P: 03-9798 2631 Brisbane Showroom/Head Office 7 Westringia Road, Brisbane Airport QLD 4008 P: 07-3854 0462 W: www.pooltile.com.au

Ash Marblano

Achieve a similar water colour by fully tiling in Dark Grey Ceramics. Dark Grey Ceramic CMC305

Your Outdoor Tile Specialist With a wide range of affordable and quality products in stock, ready for immediate dispatch and supply Australiawide, we are Australia’s No #1 Supplier of Swimming Pool Tiles, Natural Stone, Outdoor Tiles and Wall Cladding.

AQUA MAGAZINE | EDITION 4 - JUNE 2021

31


We love you but... you’re paying too much for Builder’s Warranty Insurance.

At AB Phillips, we love the Pool and Spa industry. It’s why we have worked so hard to bring you a warranty product outside of the Victorian government offering, to make sure we are looking after your industry. We’re the only insurance broker that has access to this exclusive facility, which is why we are confident in saying we can look after you. Our rates are often lower than what you’re paying and you can still access and lodge your certificates online. Ask another pool builder insured with us, and they’ll tell you it’s also our advice that sets us apart. Talk with one of our Account Managers. You’ll soon see how much we love you. Call 1300 242 136 or email insurance@abphillips.com.au

abphillips.com.au In issuing this Policy, AB Phillips Pty Ltd act under an authority given by the Insurers. This means that when issuing this Policy AB Phillips will be acting as agent for the Insurer and are therefore not able to consider your personal circumstances. This applies only to this Policy, AB Phillips Pty Ltd are your Insurance Broker on all your other Policies unless stated otherwise. AB Phillips Pty Ltd Australian Financial Services Licence No. 234457 ABN. 91 007 075 934


Luxury pool & spa built by Personal Pools now owned by Tones and I As a proud member of SPASAVIC and celebrated winner of the 2020 Best Innovative Pool or Spa Award of Excellence, Personal Pools built this luxury swimming pool at the $7.08m property that is now owned by pop star Tones & I.

EXTRACT Pop star Tones and I has snapped up another multimillion-dollar property on the Mornington Peninsula, dropping $7.08m on a luxurious Mount Eliza pad with a dazzling basement lounge. Title documents name the Dance Monkey singer — who also goes by Toni Watson — as the buyer of the OTT mansion with a pool and spa. The property, which has coastal views looking towards the city skyline, was first listed in 2020 for $8m-$8.8m. CoreLogic records show it sold for $7.08m earlier this year. The five-bedroom, five-bathroom property is set on a whopping 2500sq m block and has more than 800sq m of living space across two main levels, plus a tennis court, sunken fire pit and bar. It also has a basement to rival the most indulgent of hotels, with colour-changing light fixtures, a wine lounge, glass doors that open onto a 3000-bottle wine cellar, and an underwater view of the pool. Her worldwide hit Dance Monkey, which was released in 2019, broke the ARIA Singles Chart record for most weeks at No. 1 after 24 weeks in the top spot. It also reached No. 1 in more than 30 other countries and became the first Aussie song to top streaming platform Spotify’s prestigious Global Chart. The singer famously lived out of her van, and then in a hostel rent-free, in 2018 after quitting her retail job at Southland to move to Byron Bay, where she was discovered as an artist.

The full article was written by Alanah Frost of realestate.com.au on 15 April 2021. Read it here.


THE SMART WATER LEVELLER HAS ARRIVED

AVA ILAB NOW LE !

Australia’s most trusted auto leveller just got better • Easy to install • Incredible value • New Smart Sense technology • Suitable for all water projects

Follow us on Instagram for news on our huge launch promotion!

• Added features for more versatility

1300 652 076

cookeindustries.com.au

/cookeindustries

waterwitch Electronic Water Leveller


EXTEND YOUR POOL SEASON WITH A HIGH PERFORMANCE HEAT PUMP ULTRATEMP

TM

Pentair UltraTemp heat pumps will automatically heat your pool to your desired temperature so you can swim in comfort. The UltraTemp essentially steals heat from the air and transfers it to your pool with incredible efficiency. Unlike solar pool heating, UltraTemp heat pumps can reliably heat your pool rain, hail or shine and can be sized so you can swim in comfort year round, or even just extend your pool season.


Profile for Master Pool Builders Association Australia

AQUA National Trade Magazine  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded