As we go to print, much of eastern Australia has been in the grip of severe floods, in some areas the worst on modern records. Two years ago, about this same time, we had just experienced appalling bushfires in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
Plumbers have been front and centre in the recovery efforts for both; ensuring potable water is restored, stormwater and waste systems repaired or replaced and rebuilding plumbing systems in the many homes, shops, schools and public buildings impacted. There is no doubt the building and construction industry will again mobilize to assist these communities in need and our collective best wishes go to our colleagues undertaking this effort.
But there will be big challenges over coming months across Australia as these devastating recent floods put further pressure on our industry. We are already experiencing delays in many projects, large and small, due to workforce and material shortages; together with rising costs and shrinking margins. Issues such as insurance costs, availability and coverage; wage pressures; security of payment and retention payments continue to be detrimental to the ongoing sustainability of our industry. Federal and state governments must address these ‘house of cards’ issues and we continue to keep them on the policy agenda, working with like-minded stakeholders in the other plumbing, building and peak employer associations.
In Victoria, over coming months, Master Plumbers will also be vigorously representing member interests across a range of looming industry changes, with Regulatory Impact Statements (RIS) current or about to be released on mandatory Continuing Professional Development for Victorian plumbers; a reset of VBA’s plumbing practitioner and compliance fees; mandatory adoption of AS4575 (the gas servicing standard); and the planned mid-year adoption of the national Automatic Mutual Recognition scheme for plumbing.
In closing, in this edition we welcome our colleagues in Tasmania to readership of Australian Plumbing Industry magazine. API magazine will continue to evolve as we incorporate more of the critical advocacy and work done in the Master Plumbers family from across the country, with a total refresh planned in coming editions bringing a wider range of news, technical articles and reviews to readers.
Scott Dowsett President, Master Plumbers
Peter Daly CEO, Master Plumbers