Changes to the Plumbing and Drainage Act

A QBCC representative talking to 2 contractors

The Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018 was approved by Parliament on 11 September 2018. The Act and a new Plumbing and Drainage Regulation will commence in full in mid-2019. Upon commencement, the current Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002 and Regulation will be repealed.

This attached table provides a general overview of the new Act and outlines the differences between the new and current Acts.


Temporary Building Sites and Permits

Licensees and industry members are reminded that temporary structures must meet safety expectations and comply with all relevant Queensland laws. Temporary structures are used for a variety of reasons, including on construction sites and at public and private events.

QBCC Commissioner, Brett Bassett, has reiterated the need for licensees to meet their obligations, whether a structure is a temporary or permanent one.

Why Plumbers need the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA)

The PCA contains the technical requirements for plumbing in Australia. It is the critical link between the Plumbing Acts and Regulations in each State and Territory and product or installation standards.

Plumbing compliance is more than meeting the requirements in the AS/NZS 3500 series of standards, you also need to comply with PCA requirements.

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has a range of resources available to increase your knowledge of the PCA. Check out the ABCB Resource Library for details.

Maintenance of Hot Water Systems

A joint investigation by the QBCC and Queensland Health has revealed that home owners are often not aware that hot water systems need to be serviced regularly.

Plumbers should remind home owners that it is generally recommended for hot water systems to be serviced by an appropriately licensed individual. Where the source water for the system is not a potable, reticulated source, the system may need to be serviced more frequently.

Form 4/4A reminder for backflow prevention devices

There has been confusion in the industry about whether a Form 4/4A is required for backflow prevention devices.

A licensee is required to lodge a Form 4/4a if they install, replace or remove a testable backflow prevention device (refer to category 8 of schedule 2, Standard Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2003).

A licensee is required to lodge a Form 9 with the Local Government Authority (LGA) every time they test a backflow prevention device.

Frequently asked questions – Licensing requirements for plumbers and drainers

Contractor looking a laptop screen

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers relating to the licensing requirements for plumbers and drainers.

Q: What licences do I need?

A: There is currently some confusion in the plumbing industry about what licences are required for the work they perform.

The basic types of plumbing and drainage licence include:

When to lodge your Form 4

Is the work operational before you issue an invoice?

As a licensed plumber, you give a quote for the installation of 10 toilets and this is considered to be a single transaction.

The quote is accepted and you commence work. Each toilet becomes operational in turn over a period of five days.

The work is considered to be completed after the tenth toilet becomes operational on the fifth day. An invoice is issued a week later.