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The Rising Main

Rising Main is the quarterly newsletter for members and associates of the Master Plumbers Association of the ACT.


In this Issue
EO Message
New Members
MPA News
In Brief
Sector & Partner News
Member Profile
Better Business Info
Find a Plumber
Business Partners and Sponsors

Executive Officer Message

Hi members and friends

As we come into a new year Master Plumbers is reviewing the way we provide services, support and other benefits to members that make being part of an industry association worthwhile. As you know, our vision is … “To be recognised as the leading association of plumbing, drainage and gas fitting businesses, dedicated to professional training, industry leadership and ethical standards in the interests of public health, safety and environmental sustainability in the ACT.” In a practical sense, our activities and the work we’ve done behind the scenes this past year have all contributed to helping protect the integrity of your plumbing licence – eg through our mediation in consumer complaints, representation to government on a broad range of issues, provision of information critical for your business, and close relationships with local training providers and other stakeholders.

We believe that these values, activities and resulting outcomes are equally important whether you are a member or involved with the association in other ways – as a customer, provider or business partner, so that everyone who deals with our members know they are working with ethical, highly qualified industry members.

Our focus this year will be to continue to assist our members to gain the knowledge they need to conduct a thriving plumbing business.  As an election year, we will be ensuring that the ACT Government listens to us around our broad concerns – whether it be about licencing issues, or things that impact public health and safety such as backflow prevention. Master Plumbers will be providing opportunities in the period leading up to the election day on October 17 for members to have their say on any issue of concern to you that you feel Government should be aware of. But please feel free to contact me at any time if you would like to discuss an area of concern. Call me on my mobile of 0455 062 171.

New MPA Board Member

Master Plumbers welcomes Anthony Hayman, ACT General Manager Axis Plumbing as a new board director of the Association.

Happy World Plumbing Day.


Leigh Watson
0455 062 171

New Members

Master Plumbers welcomes the following new members to the Association, and we look forward to working with them:

Pro Plumbing & Gasfitting (Marc Leake)

Monaro Plumbing & Gas (Peter Roberts)

Planet Plumbing (ACT) & Health Projects P/L (Daniel Bennett)

Precision Gas and Water (Luke Reeves)

Become a member today

Membership benefits include information and/or advice through our partners, events and networking and member discounts and savings.

Join Now

MPA News

Subcommittee to advise ACT Government

We are pleased to announce that Simon Corbell, Senior Advisor to Energy Estate has agreed to Facilitate the recently established Master Plumbers Energy and Sustainability subcommittee. The subcommittee was formed late last year in response to the ACT Government’s announcement to phase out the use of gas in the ACT.  The terms of reference for the group are to “ … provide strategic direction and leadership so that ACT Government receives the correct advice, input and support required to guarantee that optimal outcomes are achieved in the implementation of its Climate Change Strategy 2019-2025 and in the development and implementation of ACT Sustainable Energy Policy 2020–25. In particular, the Subcommittee will aim to ensure that all appropriate alternatives to the use of natural gas are investigated thoroughly and to provide accurate information that will help developers, the community and ACT Government make informed judgements when transitioning the ACT to a greener future. This is regardless of whether the ACT eventually transitions to a full electrification future, a full hydrogen future, or a combination of both.” Simon’s experience both in the energy and political space will be a huge benefit to securing productive outcomes.

Vale Russell Gordon Todd

The Canberra plumbing community is mourning the loss of Russell Todd who passed away on 4 January. Russell started his plumbing career in Melbourne but came to Canberra in 1978 through work he was undertaking with a building company, EA Water Pty Ltd. From there Russell started his own company, Jemyru Pty Ltd and never looked back and the business thrived building up to over 20 staff. 

His association with Master Plumbers was strong and he joined in 1981 and stayed a member until his retirement. He was also a member of the board up till the early 90s. In 2007 he was awarded a Certificate for Outstanding Service for 26 years of dedicated and active membership. More recently he stayed involved with Master Plumbers through his membership of the Old Boys’ network along with his wife Jean.

Oldest Canberra plumbing businesses

Our recent call for the ACT’s oldest plumbing business elicited a response from O’Neill and Brown and an outline of their history ….

1960 – partnership formed between Pat O’Neill and Tom Brown (see photo)

1963 – first apprentice – Tony Pantano

1967 – first major project Lyneham Flats

1969 – Tom Brown passes away from Leukaemia

1970 – Change of partners Pat O’Neill (GM) and Tony Pantano

1971 – Tony’s first apprentice Ivan Brunello

Ozhelp our charity partner for 2020

We are pleased to announce Ozhelp as our Charity Partner for 2020. They were chosen because of their focus on working directly with those in the construction industry on issues around mental health, especially for young employees and apprentices. Wendy Prowse, Director of Business Development said that OzHelp is delighted to be the Charity of Choice for the Master Plumbers Association for 2020 as they celebrate nearly 20 years of working with many of MPA’s members on local building and construction sites delivering services to support mental health and wellbeing in our aim of suicide prevention.  

“Our team delivering the Tradies’ Tune Ups, Hard Hat chats and counselling services are well known to many across Canberra as is our dedication to support apprentices across the industries.  We like to work with businesses to develop stronger, more resilient workforces through improved worker wellbeing and believe through our programs that you will see an increase in organisational productivity through a healthier and supportive workplace. OzHelp has a variety of different services and programs to support businesses and their employees and we are always available to have a chat to see how we can work with you to meet the needs that you have identified as being important.”

Master Plumbers ACT Industry and Training Awards

Help us celebrate our upcoming plumbers – the stars of our industry – on Friday 15th May at the Southern Cross Club. Nominees will be announced shortly!  Emcee & entertainer, Tash York, well-known for her ballsy voice and dynamic energy, is a phenomenal performer, charismatic and courageous – and just the right touch for this important night! Keynote speaker will be Kate Carnell AO, the inaugural Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) who has run her own small businesses for 15 years before becoming ACT Chief Minister and is passionate about the rights of small business operators. And of course the night will include a wonderful 3 course meal and drinks. Keep an eye out for further details.

Getting hydrogen savvy

MPA member, and Chair of the Energy and Sustainability Subcommittee, Rob Edwards recently attended a hydrogen training academy in Belgium at his own expense. Operators of major gas networks, renewable energy generators and oil companies, from all over the world were in attendance so they could get a better understanding of the future of their assets. Electronics manufacturers, project financiers and project coordinators also attended. “At the academy we received expert training on hydrolysers, which release hydrogen from water, and fuel cells that turn hydrogen back into electricity. We also learnt how to set up hydrogen projects such as refuelling stations (HRS) for HFCEV such as cars, buses and trucks,” said Rob.

“I witnessed how committed many parts of Europe were in regard to testing all facets of a hydrogen future. For example, Germany already has 85 hydrogen refuelling stations for HFCEV, 100% hydrogen boilers for domestic heating are already in use in the Netherlands, and battery powered forklifts were operating alongside a large fleet of hydrogen powered forklifts in the same facility. I was reminded by the Commercial Manager of Gas Networks Ireland, that the Coal Gas, which we used in Australia until the mid-1970’s, contained up to 20% hydrogen and that injecting blue and green hydrogen into the gas grid is already an everyday event for his networks.  It was very evident that the level of collaboration and information sharing is high when compared to Australia. For example, an extremely high level of detail was made available to all attendees about finding markets for hydrogen, planning projects, securing finance, building, operating and optimising the use of hydrolyser facilities.”

Three things Rob took away from the academy:

  • It is very likely that fuel cells and batteries will both have a role to play in a zero emissions future. 
  • By sharing the risks, governments in Europe have fast tracked a lot of renewable energy projects that may never have been started otherwise. 
  • Collaboration and information sharing at these early stages is extremely efficient and will help everyone.

Consumer information

There isn’t a tradie in Canberra – especially plumbers – who hasn’t at some point had to defend the cost they have quoted or charged a customer. While as an Association we can point out to customers that our plumbers are highly qualified – and ethical – sometimes it is impossible for them to understand that the amount they are being charged fits into their idea of fair, or ethical. Explaining your background costs sometimes can help them see the bigger picture. We will be printing a new brochure in the new future for you to hand out to customers but in the meantime, you can refer them to our website regarding service costs or use these words. See flier here.

Member Training

MPANZ Webinar: Cybersecurity for your Plumbing Business 

Thursday 5 March, 2pm-3pm
This course is being run by Master Plumbers Australia & NZ
Legionella Management Course

Master Plumbers ACT has partnered with Master Plumbers Australia and NZ to deliver a course on Legionella Management. This course has been designed for plumbers and apprentices and those involved in building management to further their knowledge about the Legionella risk in water systems within buildings.  
Asbestos Safety Awareness 

The 10559NAT Working with Asbestos Containing Materials Course is a mandatory training program for ACT tradies likely to come into contact with materials containing the harmful fibres. The course teaches you the knowledge and skills to assist in identifying asbestos and minimising exposure.
Gas Work Licence – Restricted to Service 

This course is run by CIT
Working safely with Asbestos-containing Materials

This course is run by CIT

Members will be sent further details regarding these course, but please feel free to contact Paul at Master Plumbers on 6112 8630 or

Member business information sessions 

Calculating your hourly rate – Adrian Fadini
Thursday 2 April 3pm-5.30pm

Tax for small businesses - ATO
Wednesday 10 June 3pm-4.30pm 

Digital fitness – Southern Region Business Enterprise Centre
Date TBC

Debt Recovery by Sneddon Hall &Gallop Lawyers
Date TBC

More information including booking details will be sent to members.

Sector & Partner news

Reece supports bushfire rebuilds

It’s been devastating to see how the bushfire crisis has impacted Australia. The fires have had a severe impact on the communities, properties, local business, wildlife and farm stock. In the fire areas, there is an immediate focus to ensure the wellbeing and safety of residents while fire services battle the blazes. As well as the immediate dangers, there will be a long-term impact to each affected community who will be looking to rebuild what has been lost in the fires. This is why the Reece Grant will be directing all funds raised until 30 June 2020 to projects dedicated to Bushfire Rebuild projects. The Reece Group have kick-started this fund with $150,000. The support from the trades and the community has been inspirational and the Reece Grant is happy to assist to rebuild these communities. 

If you, or a tradesperson you know is involved in a project to help rebuild in a community that has been affected by the Australian bushfires, you can apply via the Reece Grant website at  Applications for other Local projects and Abroad projects can still be submitted, however, these will be placed on hold for review in the second half of 2020. Another great way that you can help is by purchasing a drink through a Reece branch as 100% of profits from the drink sales go directly to the Reece Grant and those that have been affected by the bushfires. 

Engaging employees and contractors – what’s the difference?

When you are engaging staff, it’s important to know the difference between an employee and a contractor, and the legal and financial implications of each under the Fair Work Act 2009 “(Act”). 


An employee is part of your business – they are engaged under a contract of service to work for you, their employer. They are employed to do a certain role, and you pay them for the time spent at work. Employees can work full time, part time, or on a casual basis. Under the Act employers must provide minimum employment conditions:

  • National Employment Standards (NES) - the safety net of minimum conditions contained in the Act.
  • Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2010 – minimum wages, overtime and penalty rates and allowances, and other industry specific conditions. 

Employers can also set employment terms and conditions over and above the NES and the Award:

  • Enterprise agreement – an agreement between the employer and all employees in the business.
  • Individual contract between the employer and each employee.


A contractor is a person engaged by business to carry out a specific piece of work. Once the job is complete, the relationship ends. A contractor runs their own business and has an ABN. They generally have their own insurance and supply their own tools and equipment and pay their own tax.

A contractor can be an individual or a company, and may be working for multiple businesses at the same time. Contractors should be engaged with a written contract specifying the work to be done and agreed price, invoicing procedures and obligations of both parties. 

Sham contracting

Sham contracting occurs when a business calls someone a contractor, but when you look at the nature of the relationship, that person is really an employee. An employer may have done this on purpose to avoid paying employee entitlements, or it could be accidental due to an assumption that if someone has an ABN that means they are a contractor.  If a business is found to have committed sham contracting, under the Act the business will be required to pay the employee any owed entitlement, and possibly financial penalties of up to $64,000 for companies and $12,500 for individuals. The court looks at the range of factors to determine whether a worker is an employee or a contractor, including:

  • the degree of control over how work is performed
  • hours of work
  • expectation of work
  • risk
  • ownership of tools and equipment
  • who pays tax

All employers should regularly review their subcontracting relationships to identify any subcontractors that may have started looking more like employees. For further information contact Sneddon Hall & Gallop.

Great discounts on vehicles!

Did you know that if you are a member of Master Plumbers ACT, you may be eligible for Gold Fleet discounts across the entire Toyota new vehicle range! For pricing and discount eligibility, please contact Louise Hogden at Canberra Toyota on 02 6222 1919;  0417 221 456;

Hot water solutions for student residences

The ANU Union Court (Buildings 152 and 156) is part of the Australian National University student accommodation. Situated on Griffin’s Municipal Axis, Building 152 consists of 450 one-bedroom student rooms, while Building 156 features a swimming pool, gym and health and wellbeing amenities. The hydraulic consultant, Sellick Consultants, required high efficiency hot water plants for the two new buildings in line with the university’s innovative sustainable design focus. The main hot water plant for Building 152 needed to provide hot water needs for 450 students, with an 11,250L peak load. The requirement for Building 156, which features 32 showers and 44 basins, was 3,464L over the peak. 

Rheem recommended commercial heat pumps because of their high efficiency and low energy input. The heat pumps also require a significantly smaller footprint compared with a traditional solar thermal plant, which freed up valuable space in the buildings. To overcome the challenge of ensuring sufficient hot water, even during Canberra’s periods of low ambient temperatures, while also maximising the efficiency of the heat pump operation at all other times, a strategically-controlled electric boost was installed. In addition, space issues were overcome by utilising large capacity stainless steel tanks and double stacking horizontal discharge heat pumps. 

Building 152

  • 1 x Rheem Commercial Heat Pump system consisting of:
  • 8 x Rheem Commercial Heat Pump model 953022/H – Horizontal Discharge
  • 6 x Rheem RT2000N9ALU Stainless Steel Storage Tanks
  • 6 x 30Kw Heating Elements 050353
  • 8 x Grundfos CM3-2 Primary Circulator 366084
  • 2 x Heat Pump Controllers 052140

Building 156

  • 1 x Rheem Commercial Heat Pump system consisting of:
  • 3 x Rheem Commercial Heat Pump model 953022
  • 4 x Rheem RT1000N9ALU Stainless Steel Storage Tanks
  • 4 x 15Kw Heating Elements 050353
  • 3 x Grundfos CM3-2 Primary Circulator 366084
  • 1 x Heat Pump Controller 052140

Delivering hygiene in health care

The Enware Sequential Leva range offers premium quality, ergonomic design and effortless activation. It is built for the rigours of daily use and the diversity of user groups.  When it comes to ensuite design synergy, the Sequential Leva Range matches perfectly with the Health TMV shower mixer handle.  Single plane sequential movement is a great feature for both basin and surgeon mixers as it provides effortless activation using either hand, wrist or elbow operations. The streamline design of the entire tap aids in the reduction of dirt and bacteria traps and the removable spout means it’s easy to disinfect.

In a health care application, the optimised flow rate (5 litres per minute) allows the basin to be adequately cleansed of soap residue and pathogens. The inclusion of a laminar flow device in the spout outlet reduces the risk of airborne bacteria. The surgeon and basin mixers provide users the option to choose between a hand/wrist 80mm lever or a disabled/surgeon 150mm lever. The disabled/surgeon 150mm lever is designed specifically in Health and Aged Care premises where hands free, elbow operated scrub facilities are required. In comparison, the surgeon and basin hand/wrist 80mm lever are ergonomically designed for ease-of-use by the hand or wrist. All SQ Leva mixer varieties include a detachable flat spout which can be removed for disinfection, allowing the user to cleanse the spout and mitigate bacteria growth.

Revolutionary technology for water saving and hygiene

Smart Command® is an ecosystem of intelligent products that enable building managers to monitor water use in real-time and make smarter decisions that reduce maintenance costs, while improving hygiene and up time. An innovative range of tapware, urinals and invisi toilets have been developed to seamlessly integrate with Caroma’s Smart Command® technology. These intuitive products incorporate the latest in touch-free technology for optimal hygiene for a more efficient bathroom design which requires less cleaning and maintenance. Smart Command enabled bathrooms allow building managers to precisely track every detail and collect data in real time, from water usage, to the number of activations. This data can be accessed locally from a mobile app or integrated to an existing Building Management System (BMS) or on cloud platforms. This information empowers the building or facility manager to make informed decisions and monitor the impact in real time, driving efficiencies such as cleaning and maintenance resourcing.

Super for contractors

As an employer, you are responsible for paying super to your employees but do you know that you may also have to pay super to contractors, even if they quote an Australian Business Number (ABN)? Make sure you know your super obligations for employees and contractors. 

Contractors or employees

There are a number of ways to differentiate between contractors and employees but it can be tricky to determine your super obligations to contractors as there isn’t a single determining factor that sets them apart from employees. It’s important to consider the whole working relationship. 

Independent contractors

  • have the option to outsource to others to complete the work 
  • provide their own tools and equipment
  • are responsible for the commercial risks 
  • operate their own business and have freedom in the way the work is done subject to terms in their contract 

Individual employees 

  • cannot outsource or pay someone else to complete the work
  • are provided with tools or a tool allowance by the employer
  • are not responsible for the commercial risks
  • follow directions from the business on how to perform the work

Visit the ATO’s website for more details on the differences. 

When to pay super to contractors 

While the general guideline is for contractors to pay their own super, the ATO details exceptions when the contractor is:

  • contracted wholly or principally for labour – i.e. more than half the contract value is for labour 
  • paid for personal labour or skills – e.g. physical labour and mental or artistic skills – and not to achieve a result
  • expected to perform the work personally and are not able to delegate the work to somebody else. 

Under Superannuation Guarantee legislation, the current contribution rate payable is 9.5% of ordinary time earnings (OTE).

Employers cannot pay an additional 9.5% wages to the contractors as the super contribution. The minimum super contribution must be paid to their super fund. 

If you are unsure, use the ATO’s employee/contractor decision tool to work it out. 

To learn more about super contributions, visit or call 1300 361 784

This article was brought to you by Cbus, the industry super fund for building, construction and allied industries. 

The information above is of a general nature only. It does not take your specific needs or circumstances into consideration. You should look at your own objectives and business requirements and seek financial advice and legal advice where appropriate before making any decisions. You should read the Employer Handbook, Cbus Industry Superannuation Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and other relevant documentation to decide whether Cbus is right for you. Call 1300 361 784 or visit

Cbus’ Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262

Sarina Russo announced as apprentice providers

In November 2019, the providers who were chosen to deliver the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) were announced.  The ACT has one organisation providing AASN services - Sarina Russo Apprenticeships are now your one-stop shop employing an apprentice. Skills Canberra is transferring Australian Apprenticeship training contracts in AVETARS on 31 January 2020. Training contracts registered with a different ANP (for example MEGT or Apprenticeships Support Australia) have been transferred to Sarina Russo Apprenticeships. Employers, RTOs and Australian Apprentices will notice a change in the RTO & ANP tab in your AVETARS portal.

Sarina Russo Apprenticeships will now be your contact for all AASN services including:

  • Job matching and other pre-commencement services
  • Administration of Australian Apprenticeships Incentive Program payments
  • Targeted in-training support services including mentoring
  • Facilitation of the training contract sign-up
  • Providing information on ACT training contract eligibility and obligations

Sarina Russo Apprenticeships, Field Manager Sue Black, recently signed up Lachlan Carey and Stirling Doyle to apprenticeships with Pacific Facilities Maintenance. Struggling to find qualified tradespeople, Justin Hyland from Pacific Facilities Maintenance Canberra took a business decision to take on more apprentices to ensure his company maintained a skilled workforce. As a commercial building services maintenance company offering a range of services including plumbing, Justin said they pride themselves on quality workmanship and delivering on our corporate values. “So we took the opportunity to train our apprentices, not just in their chosen field, but to skill them up to deliver for our customers. By the time our apprentices are full-time employees, they’ve developed the right industry best-practice job skills. On a personal note, I really get a kick out of giving an opportunity to the next generation of tradies and then watch them flourish,” Justin said

Contact Sarina Russo directly for free assistance -, 1300 178 776.

Grants for your apprentices

Rheem Australia is encouraging Australian apprentice plumbers and gas fitters, both current and those who are this year starting their TAFE/RTO course, to apply for a share of the $30,000 in grants available from the scheme.  Ten deserving apprentice plumbers from around Australia will be rewarded with a grant of $3,000 to support the progression of their study and help kickstart their career.  Now in its eighth year, the Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants program was established to alleviate the financial strain felt by many apprentice plumbers, and to invest in the skills of future plumbers and provide training assistance. Grant recipients will receive $2,000 to assist with their TAFE/RTO fees and textbooks, and $1,000 to help newcomers build their all-important trade toolbox. More information

In Brief

Plumbing business fined for misleading advertising 

The ACT Supreme Court has ordered Your Local Plumbing Group Pty Ltd pay a $100,000 penalty for making false and misleading representations, and engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct, in relation to the advertising of plumbing services in the ACT. See ACT Government media release.

Input to Evoenergy 5-year plan

Evoenergy own and operate the gas network in the ACT, Queanbeyan and Bungendore. They are seeking input from the community on their 5-year plan as well as long term considerations for the gas network (including use of renewable gas). Take the survey here.

Training cuts 

The ACT Government’s recently announced funding cuts to Vocational Education and Training, including the Certificate III in Plumbing, will not have an immediate impact on CIT’s Australian Apprentices and employers as CIT has implemented an interim strategy to absorb the cost for semester 1 2020. However, in the medium to long-term, if subsidies remain at this level into the future, fees may need to increase. Master Plumbers ACT will be keeping a close eye on this issue.

Access Canberra – apprentice inspection opportunities

The Plumbing and Gas Inspectorate Apprentice Training Scheme for 3rd and 4th year Apprentices allows apprentices to accompany Inspectors on their daily operations for a week to gain an insight into the team’s operations. It provides a great opportunity for your apprentices to see different construction sites around Canberra and to meet some of the inspection team. Access Canberra pay the Apprentices wages for the week through MPA. Contact us if you are interested.

Member Profile

Iraq and Canberra — a world of plumbing difference!

In this issue of Rising Main we have decided to profile a member’s employee in recognition of World Plumbing Day on 11 March.

There’s a vast difference between being plumber in Iraq and a plumber in Canberra. And no-one knows this better than local Canberra plumber Mohanad Al-Ani, who is telling his story for World Plumbing Day.

Al, as most people call him, never stops counting his blessings that it is now Canberra where he plies his trade, having fled from war torn Iraq in 2003 following the fall of Sadam Hussein. At that time, as an electrician in the Irag Army, Al also worked on plumbing related tasks. 

“As the army technical unit we were responsible for setting up army camps and bases for the soldiers so needed to be qualified across the trades. Every time we moved from one border area to another, I had to connect generators to the main, help set up pipes for mains and other plumbing tasks.”

When war broke out, he and his family were very vulnerable due to his army role so fled to Jordan where they were granted protection by the UN. Here they had no citizen rights, so work was spasmodic and generally unskilled. Then after 7 years they finally got the happy call telling them that Australia would welcome them.

“When I arrived, I could not speak English so went to CIT as I wanted to re-qualify for my electrician licence in Australia.” But before starting he decided that it was plumbing he was more interested in. 

“Plumbing is more creative – every plumber has a different way to do a certain job. And every day is different.”

Finally, his English was good enough to allow him to start his apprenticeship – by now he was well and truly a mature aged student at the age of 32. Al was incredibly impressed with the quality of training he received through his apprenticeship both on and off the job. 

“Everyone – the teachers and my boss were very patient and good teachers – I learned so much from them.”

Now, as a commercial plumber working for Canberra firm Laser Plumbing, Al generally works in a “clean” environment installing plumbing fit outs for new buildings such as gyms, restaurants, etc. He also manages to do some volunteer work for his children’s school, fixing their toilets and generally keeping the plumbing fixtures running. He does not miss the days working on the Iraq border in 50+ degree heat.

The main differences between Iraq and here?

“In Iraq there is not much respect for tradies – they feel it’s a dirty job. Where here you get paid better and people respect you for working hard for your skills,” said Al.

“And most importantly” said Al, “I don’t get shot at here!” – referring to the time in Iraq he got in the way of crossfire and sustained shrapnel wounds to his backside! 

Better Business Info

New Fair Work Information Statement

All employers are required to give it to every new employee so they are aware of their entitlements. The Fair Work Information Statement, has recently been updated, so it’s a good idea to ensure you’re providing the new version. And remember, you should also make the relevant award available to all employees. Gene Schirripa from Sneddon Hall & Gallop, our Business Partner, has written an article that explains what the Statement is and why is has been updated, and to remind employers about the importance of making sure a Statement is given to every new employee.

See article here.

See statement here.

Single Touch Payroll (STP)

STP is a new way of reporting tax and super information to the ATO. Employers need to send the ATO their employees’ salary and wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and super information every time they pay them. All employers with 19 employees or less were required by law to report this way by 30 September 2019. Larger employers were required to report by 1 July 2018. In the plumbing services industry, 32% per cent of small employers are still not reporting through STP and haven’t been in touch with the ATO to ask for more time. Although the deadline has passed, there are still options available for those not reporting through STP.. More information from the ATO here.

If you need help contact our bookkeeping partner Trade Guardian who can answer your questions. Call Kristen on (02) 6162 1928.

Information Line for Apprentice employment

The Wage & Entitlement Information Service helps businesses, apprentices and trainees to understand their rights and obligations.  This includes assistance in determining wage rates, which modern award they’ll be covered by and progression through their apprenticeship.  The service is run by the Canberra Business Chamber on behalf of the ACT Government and is free for all Canberrans! 

Contactable Monday to Friday 9am-5pm on 1300 278 681 or email or visit their website.

Safe Work Method Statement Seminars

Due to the popularity of the Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) seminar additional free seminars have been scheduled for 2020. 
  • Tuesday, 17th March 2020 – 7.30am to 9am
  • Tuesday, 26 May 2020 - 7am to 9am

The seminars will cover:

  • What is a SWMS?
  • Who needs to prepare a SWMS?
  • What are the 18 high risk construction work categories?
  • What is the role of the principal contractor and PCBU?
  • What information must be included in a SWMS?
  • Implementing a SWMS?
  • Where to keep a SWMS?
  • Reviewing a SWMS
  • What is work of a minor nature?
  • Compliance with SWMS

To book or make enquires email

New Plumbing Code resources

Plumbing Resources Booklet provides an overview of the National Construction Code Volume Three, and the Australian Plumbing Regulation Framework.  

New Cross connection control Handbook provides guidance on new cross-connection control requirements.   

New residential fire sprinkler requirements for all new Class 2 and 3 residential buildings four or more storeys.   

Find a Plumber

The Find a Plumber search tool on our website is for customers to use when they need to find a plumber in Canberra. We also direct all phone enquiries we receive from the public for recommended plumbers to the site.
It’s FREE for members.  To complete the form online on your phone or computer please click here. It only takes 2-3 minutes and is quick and easy.  Or, you can download and fill it out manually here to download it, and return via email.

Useful links and contacts

Business Partners and Sponsors


Business Partners

Contact us
Master Plumbers ACT is here to represent members’ views to Government. Please feel free to contact us any time. Phone 6112 8630 or email
Who we are
Master Plumbers Association ACT is an independent not-for profit organisation that has served the ACT since 1976. Membership is available only to people who are registered plumbing and gas-fitting contractors in the ACT. Our members are all business owners and most of them employ other qualified trades people or apprentices.
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