Industry Today

STC Forum Recap

On 8 February 2018, the Service Trades Council (STC) kicked off their regional outreach program for 2018 with an industry forum in Logan.

The forum was opened by the Minister for Housing and Public Works, the Honourable Mick de Brenni MP, and sponsored by the Department of Housing and Public Works. Other presentations included an overview about the STC, an update from Logan City Council, a quiz about notifiable work and presentations from departmental representatives about the Queensland Building Plan, licensing reviews and other policy matters.

Health and safety concerns relating to PE pipes, or ‘blue line poly’

The QBCC has recently identified issues relating to the use of Polyethylene (PE) pipes in potable water systems, primarily related to chemicals such as hydrocarbons or pesticides infiltrating the pipes. 

The key issues causing a health and safety concern are current storage methods of PE pipes, and particular installation methods which may increase the risk of permeation of chemicals into the pipes and into drinking water supply.  

Builders reminded to ensure firefighting equipment is provided during construction

Concerns have recently been raised about some builders’ failure to adhere to mandated fire-safety precautions during the construction process.

The Technical Standards Unit (TSU) within the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) has sought to flag this issue with the construction industry, after identifying concerns with a small number of builders of multi-storey Class 2 to 9 buildings.

Report into lead levels of the drinking water supply at Perth Children’s Hospital

Tap with running water at a kitchen sink

In July 2017, the Western Australian State Government released the Report on Perth Children’s Hospital Potable Water following the discovery of lead levels at above the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) in the drinking water supply of the hospital.

Lead at higher than suitable levels was identified in the drinking water supply in May, 2016. The construction of the new Perth Children’s Hospital had commenced in 2012.

The findings of a review into the issue concluded that:

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Notifiable work audits

Plumbing and drainage licensees are often curious as to how the QBCC conducts their audits.

When it comes to notifiable work administration audits, there are three audit programs – random, compliance and real estate.

For random audits – plumbing and drainage companies are randomly selected using online searches, industry advertisements, newspapers, contractor licence lists, radio advertising and vehicle advertising.

Course in Issuing Development Permits for Building Work - 2018

If you have ever considered becoming a private certifier or you are already a building certifier and would like to obtain development approval endorsement, you will need to complete a course in issuing development permits for building work.

The next course is scheduled to run in Brisbane over two days on the 8th and 9th February, 2018. The 2 day course is being held at Brisbane International Virginia Corner Sandgate & Zillmere Roads, Boondall.

Round two of the QBCC's educational shows hits the road

On 1 November, the QBCC is launching the second round of our 2017 educational Tradie Tours, with technical advice and legislative reforms the hot topics for discussion.

Feedback from those who attended the first round of Tradie Tours in June indicated a desire for more information on technical issues and changes within the industry.

The QBCC has listened, and the second round will feature information on a costly and common defective work complaint, the installation of timber and aluminium joinery.  

Female Plumbers and Apprentices Breakfast

On Wednesday, 23 August, 2017, QBCC Commissioner Brett Bassett, Assistant Commissioner Esther Blest, and several QBCC female staff members who work to support the State’s licensed plumbers and drainers attended the Female Plumbers and Apprentices Breakfast at Parliament House, in Brisbane.

The early morning event was held by Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland (MPAQ) and was all about honouring female plumbers and drainers, and encouraging female apprentices who are new to the trade to stay with it.

STC goes to Bundaberg

The Service Trades Council (STC) travelled to Bundaberg in August to meet with local licensees and hear directly from them about issues impacting the services trades in the region.

QBCC Assistant Commissioner, Esther Blest, said that Bundaberg’s regional industry forum provided the STC members with new insights into local issues.

STC members, Stephen Jennison and Bradley Hodgkinson, also delivered a well-received presentation on hot water system installations and legionella.

Service Trades Council and QBCC visit Townsville

Service Trades Council Forum in Townsville

On 15 June 2017, the Service Trades Council (STC) visited Townsville and held a forum for local members of the plumbing, drainage, fire protection and mechanical services industries.

About 25 industry members attended the forum, which included topics such as the Non-Conforming Building Products Bill, supervision of apprentices, hot water system compliance, working near electrical lines and an update from Ian Savage of Townsville City Council.

While the STC was in the area, officers from the QBCC’s Service Trades Unit also attended to conduct compliance activities.

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