Services Trades Council (STC) | Queensland Building and Construction Commission

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About the STC

The STC:

  • promotes and enhances the QBCC’s licensing of plumbing and drainage, fire protection and air conditioning and mechanical services tradespeople
  • supports the QBCC’s investigation of complaints relating to regulated and unlicensed work by the above service trades and to take appropriate enforcement action where necessary
  • is a responsive regulator in addressing issues of concern raised by the Minister or representatives of the Council
  • assists the QBCC in promoting acceptable standards of competence for the above trades.
  1. The STC held its first meeting on 4 August 2016. The STC was re-appointed in July 2020, and currently meets on a bi-monthly basis.

    The STC forms part of the QBCC, and is supported by the QBCC’s Assistant Commissioner—Service Trades and Regulatory. The STC may provide advice and recommendations to the QBCC Commissioner and the Minister for Public Works about issues affecting the service trades industry.

  2. As the independent advisory body representing Queensland service trades, the STC's vision is to protect the public's health and safety as well as the environment.

  3. The Service Trades Council (STC) is responsible for delivering the following functions:

    • conferring on national policy development and implementation for the trade
    • reporting to the Minister on—
      • any issue relating to the trade the Minister refers to
      • any issue relating to the trade the council considers the Minister should know about
    • making recommendations to the QBCC Commissioner about the performance of the Commissioner’s functions under the Act
    • establishing a panel of the Council to assist the QBCC Commissioner to effectively and efficiently perform the Commissioner’s functions under part 3, divisions 1 to 6
    • establishing other panels to assist the Council to effectively and efficiently perform its functions
    • reviewing decisions of the QBCC Commissioner made under section 51 of the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018.
  4. All members of STC and its deputy members, alongside the QBCC staff who support the Council, are committed to carrying out functions in a professional manner, with emphasis on:

    • treating clients and each other with respect
    • being transparent and accountable
    • observing the principles of natural justice in all actions, policies and procedures
    • striving towards best practice in everything the Council does.
  5. The STC acts as the internal reviewer for decisions of the QBCC Commissioner made under section 51 of the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018 to take disciplinary action against a licensee.

    If you have received a decision notice advising that the QBCC is taking disciplinary action against you, and you would like a review of the decision, you can request the STC to review the case.

    You must make your application for review within 28 days after you are given notice of the decision. 

    To apply for a review, please send the following information to the Service Trades Council Secretariat:

    • your name, licence number and contact details
    • the date you were given notice of the QBCC’s decision; and
    • why you would like a review of the decision.

    Applications can be lodged:

STC Members

Meet the members of the STC below.

  1. Executive Director of the Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland (MPAQ)

    Penny Cornah is the Executive Director of the Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland (MPAQ).

    MPAQ is a peak industry body representing plumbing contractors throughout Queensland from sole operators to medium-sized plumbing businesses through to large contracting firms.

    Penny has been employed with the Association for more than fourteen years and previously held the role of Member Services Manager. Penny is well known to MPAQ members and works closely with them and the Board on the raft of issues that currently face the industry.

    Penny identifies her role as heading the organisation that is the conduit between protecting community health and the environment. Penny is a strong leader in a male-dominated industry and has earned respect throughout the plumbing fraternity. She has developed strong relationships within the Queensland Government ensuring the industry’s voice is heard at the highest levels.

    Penny was appointed as a Director to Master Plumbers Australia Ltd in 2012 and was appointed as a Director of QLeave in July 2016 and also the Chair of the Service Trades Council, a role in which she is humbled to be given. Penny was also appointed as a Director of Construction Skills Queensland in October 2017.

  2. Advanced Environmental Health Scientist with the Water Unit, Health Protection Branch, Department of Health

    Janet Cumming is an Advanced Environmental Health Scientist with the Water Unit, Health Protection Branch, Department of Health. Janet has an honours degree in chemistry, and a PhD in chemical risk assessment from Griffith University. She is a Member of the Royal Society for Public Health, and a Registrant of Australian College of Toxicology and Risk Assessment.

    Janet previously worked for Smart Water Research Centre, National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology (Entox), and National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS). 

    She holds the title Lecturer at Griffith University School of Medicine, and has previously taught Risk Assessment at Queensland University of Technology.

  3. Director, Program Design within Department of Employment, Small Business and Training

    Michelle Kennedy is the Director, Program Design within DESBT responsible for managing Queensland’s training policies (Certificate 3 Guarantee, Higher Level Skills, User Choice), priority qualifications for funding, approval of new pre-qualified suppliers and a range of skilling projects in Queensland. 

    Having worked in Government for over 20 years, Michelle has vast experience across a range of policy areas including employment, skills, apprenticeships and corrections. This has included stints working in TAFE Queensland and the Office of the Queensland Training Ombudsman. 

  4. Local Government Association of Queensland

    Greg has more than 30 years’ experience working within the building and construction industry, starting his career in the civil sector as a labourer then pipe layer.

    After working in the mechanical services industry employed by an air conditioning company, Greg moved into the construction of new homes, commencing his plumbing apprenticeship in 1992.

    A short time after attaining his contractor’s licence, Greg started a Plumbing, Drainage and Gasfitting business that quickly grew into a company employing 16 full-time staff and several part-time contractors.

    After running a successful business for 16 years, Greg moved into local government and took on a role as a Plumbing Inspector.

    Four and half years later, Greg was successful in his application to become an Investigator with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC). He gained further experience as a Manager of the Service Trades Unit supporting the functions of the Service Trades Council, and as the Manager of the Plumbing and Pools Investigations Unit, finishing his time with QBCC as a Principal Investigator with the Plumbing Investigation Unit. 

    Greg now manages the Building and Development Compliance and Plumbing Services teams of Moreton Bay Regional Council.

  5. Department of Energy and Public Works

    Anne has over 30 years’ experience working in regulatory and policy and legislation roles.

    Anne currently leads a policy and legislation team within the Department of Energy and Public Works. In this role she supports the Queensland representative on the Australian Building Codes Committee.

    In 2013, Anne was appointed as the registrar of the former Plumbing Industry Council and remained in the position until it was disbanded in late 2014. Recently she has led the policy development for the new mechanical services licensing framework.

    Anne holds graduate and post-graduate qualifications in science, legal studies and policy analysis.

  6. Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union Queensland

    Gary has 32 years' experience working in the services trades and construction industry after commencing his plumbing apprenticeship in 1984.

    Since 2015, he has been the State Secretary of the Plumbers Union Queensland where his leadership has led a significant industry progress over a short period of time, especially in the area of training.

    Gary is a Director of a number of state-based and national organisations, two of which he serves as Chairman.

  7. Director of Regional Operations and Engagement at the Queensland Office of Fair Trading

    Sharon is the Director of Regional Operations and Engagement at the Queensland Office of Fair Trading. 

    She has worked in senior dispute resolution, regulation and communication roles for more than a decade and has over 25 years experience in fair trading and consumer protection. She is responsible for the Office of Fair Trading’s compliance, enforcement and conciliation services outside Brisbane as well as communication, media and community engagement across the state. 

    Sharon represents Queensland as a member of Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand’s Education and Information Advisory Committee and as member of the National Indigenous Consumer Strategy Reference Group.

  8. Institute of Plumbing Inspectors Queensland

    Geoff has close to 30 years’ experience within the plumbing and drainage industry and has spent the last 12 years working within local government. Geoff is the Plumbing and Drainage Coordinator at the City of Gold Coast having been previously employed at Logan City Council as a Coordinator and Townsville City Council as a Senior Plumbing Inspector.

    Additionally, Geoff is a member of the institute of Plumbing Inspectors Queensland, having served on the committee for the last 6 years, and is the current president. Geoff is excited to serve on the Services Trade Council to negotiate and facilitate appropriate industry and legislation.

Panels established by the STC

The STC also establishes and monitors the performance of two panels:

  • Service Trades Licensing Advisory Panel (STLAP)
  • On-site Sewage Treatment Panel (OSTP)
  1. The STLAP (formerly called the Complex Licensing Panel) is established under section 106(d) of the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018 to assist the Commissioner with the performance of the Commissioner’s functions under part 2, divisions 1 to 7 of the PD Act, and to support the STC.

    The functions of the Panel include:

    • reviewing and providing advice about technical qualifications for licences under the PD Act
    • providing advice about skills and experience required for licences under the PD Act
    • reviewing national training packages to ensure they are delivering appropriate outcomes for apprentices and other trainees
    • conducting research and analysis of licensing practices in other Australian jurisdictions and overseas
    • reviewing licence applications that may be referred by the QBCC for further analysis
    • reviewing and providing advice or information about any other relevant matter referred to the Panel by the Council.
  2. STLAP members are appointed by the STC for a term of two years, and include representatives of both government and industry. Current STLAP members include:

    • Mr Luke Barden, Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union (Chair)
    • Mr Ernie Kretschmer, Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland (Deputy Chair)
    • Ms Rechelle Adams, Institute of Plumbing Inspectors Queensland
    • Mr Andrew Evans, Independent Member
    • Ms Kimberly Kerby, Independent Member
    • Mr James Metassa, Air-conditioning and Mechanical Contractors Association
    • Mr Adam Shaw, TAFE Queensland
    • Mr Allen Taylor, National Fire Industry Association
    • Ms Penny Cornah, Service Trades Council Chair
  1. The OSTP is established by the STC under section 106(e) of the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018 to investigate and provide recommendations on issues relating to on-site wastewater systems in Queensland, including:

    • health risks
    • licensing requirements
    • training and qualifications
    • public knowledge of maintenance requirements.

    The OSTP also provides advice on any other matter referred to the OSTP by the STC.

  2. The Panel includes members from government, private sector, industry stakeholders, and specialists and academics in the field of on-site sewage management. Current OSTP members include:

    • Dr Janet Cumming, Queensland Health (Chairperson)
    • Ray Smith, Institute of Plumbing Inspectors Queensland (Deputy Chair)
    • Dr Greg Jackson, Queensland Health
    • Mr Daniel Field, Queensland Health
    • Eddie Denman, Institute of Plumbing Inspectors Queensland
    • Greg Moore, Local Government Association of Queensland
    • Ernie Kretschmer, Master Plumbers Association of Queensland
    • Lindsay Walker, Department of Housing and Public Works (HPW)
    • Simone Boughen, HPW
    • Russell Martin, HPW
    • Chris McCahon, QBCC
    • Medina Handley, Seqwater
    • Bruce Smith, Global Certification Pty Ltd
    • Ted Gardner, Central Queensland University
    • Des Harms, TAFE Queensland.

Last reviewed: 6 Oct 2021 Last published: 5 Jul 2022
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