Service Trades Council (STC)

STC - Complex Licensing Panel (CLP)


The Complex Licensing Panel (CLP) was established by the Service Trades Council (STC) to assist the QBCC commissioner effectively and efficiently determine licensing matters.  The purpose of the CLP is to assess licensing matters the QBCC commissioner deems to be of such complexity that making a decision in the matter requires the assistance of an expert panel.  Typically, these complex licence matters involve applications from overseas-trained practitioners. 

Role of CLP

The role of the CLP may also include other functions which relate to licensing, training and assessment in the plumbing and drainage industry. These functions include:

  • providing advice to the STC about the establishment of a practical skills assessment program to ensure that applicants for occupational plumbers and drainers licences are appropriately skilled.
  • reviewing national training packages to ensure they are delivering appropriate outcomes for apprentices and other trainees.
  • reviewing mutual recognition processes to ensure that only appropriately trained and skilled persons are eligible for licences.
  • reviewing and provide advice on any other relevant matters referred to the panel by the STC, the QBCC commissioner or the Minister.

Ernie Kretschmer - Chair

As a second generation plumber and drainer, Ernie has been around the plumbing industry his whole life.  He is very passionate about our industry and as the Technical Services Manager at MPAQ, he strives to take care of the technical and training needs of members. Since commencing with the Association in 2005, Ernie and the technical team have been able to assist thousands of members with issues ranging from the smallest of technical concerns, to the largest of major projects. He has also assisted MPAQ in delivering quality training to the plumbing, drainage and gas industries Queensland wide, developing MPAQ as an RTO (Registered Training Organisation) and providing solutions for the industry, such as developing purpose built mobile training platforms and offering online/correspondence courses for plumbing and gas. Ernie is the Master Plumbers Australia representative on the Plumbing Codes Committee, a National committee which reviews national legislation and codes and practices. Ernie also participates on several standards committees which review plumbing and associated standards.

Kerry Apelt - Deputy Chair

Kerry is a licensed plumber, drainer and gasfitter with over 47 years experience in plumbing and mechanical services.  Kerry was a Lead Vocational Teacher - Plumbing for TAFE Queensland for 29 years and worked closely with Plumbing Regulators, the National Plumbing Services Training Advisory Group and the Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council in the development of modern training packages and specialist courses to suit the needs of Industry. Kerry was involved in the Plumbing Industry Council and has extensive experience in assessing overseas migrant plumbing qualifications.

Panel members

Portrait of CLP member Penny Cornah

Penny Cornah

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 which 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.


Bradley (Brad) Hodgkinson

Brad has worked in Local Government for the past 26 years as a Co-ordinator of Plumbing and Compliance.  As a licensed plumber, he holds qualifications in both construction hydraulics and management.  Brad was first appointed as a general referee to the Building and Development Tribunals in 2003 and continues this appointment today with the Building and Development Disputes Resolution Committees.

Brad looks forward to working with the STC and its members to support appropriate regulation for plumbing licensees throughout our state.

Danny Platt

Danny completed his plumbing apprenticeship in 1975 and immediately started his own business. After 4 years working for himself, he applied for a hydraulic designer position with Austin Anderson.  After a year in this role, Danny moved onto teaching and spent the next 33 years at TAFE, initially with NSW TAFE and then to TAFE Queensland in 1989.    

In 2015, Danny moved out of his teaching role and is currently employed by TAFE Queensland as the Business Manager of Plumbing.

Portrait of CLP member Jennifer Pountney

Jennifer Pountney

Jennifer has worked in the Queensland Government for over 20 years, 14 of those working in the Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate. Jennifer has worked in Townsville, Emerald and Rockhampton and Brisbane offices during this time. For 12 of those years Jennifer was a licensing officer based up in North Queensland at Townsville and was successful in the position of Manager of Licensing for the Inspectorate in 2016. 

Jennifer has completed several Diplomas in Lead Auditing, Government and Project Management and holds a current Training and Assessment Certificate IV and Gas Work Licence - Restricted to Servicing. Jennifer is passionate about the industry and ensuring the health and safety of all Queenslanders.


Ray Smith

Ray is a plumber, drainer, gasfitter and plumbing inspector and has worked in the plumbing industry for 40 years.  He spent 20 years as a plumbing contractor and plumbing inspector.

His current role is Coordinator of the plumbing inspectorial team within Toowoomba Regional Council. Ray is a committee member and Secretary of the Institute of Plumbing Inspectors Queensland and has been a committee member for 18 years.

Portrait of CLP member Allen Taylor

Allen Taylor

Allen is a licensed fire sprinkler fitter with 18 years’ experience in the fire industry; having worked in both service and construction installing, servicing and maintaining fire sprinkler systems. Allen has also worked as a fire designer which involved designing of fire protection systems in accordance with the National Construction Code and applicable Australian Standards and was also part of the design team for special projects which included fire engineering solutions. Allen then moved into special hazard fire protection which included the design, engineering, hydraulic calculations, testing and commissioning of gaseous suppression, foam suppression and water mist systems.

His current role is with a leading fire supplier of fire protection products as the Australian and New Zealand business line manager.