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CEO Update
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MAL'S MONTHLY MESSAGE

News from the leading Australian Association representing & advocating
on behalf of Electrical Contractors  



Dear <<First Name>>,

AS/NZS 3000:2018 Documentation: The Master Electricians AS/NZS 3000: 2018 Guidance document is now available to all Members.This document provides you with practical interpretation of the changes from AS/NZS 3000:2007 to AS/NZS 3000:2018.To access a copy of the Guidance Document as well as our Consumer Notes visit
here (note you will need to login)

Conference: This week we will officially kick off our 2018 Master Electricians Conference in Hobart. We will be welcoming all new members and hosting special mentoring, business and networking sessions.This event has now sold out!  If you couldn't make it this year, keep an eye out for a huge announcement about our 2019 Conference very soon at an amazing overseas location!

Training: Master Electricians Training has secured funding from the TBCITB for the following courses:

These courses are available to all members plus you will also receive 6 CPD Points per Course (Tas members). For more information on training courses for your business, contact our Training team on 1300 889 198.

Excellence Awards: We're just 2 months out from the winners from each State battling it out at the 2018 National Excellence Awards finale dinner in Brisbane. Book your tickets now so you don't miss out. For more information and/or to book visit here.
 

Malcolm Richards
CEO 
Master Electricians

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National: Power of Choice Update

Master Electricians Australia is continuing to work hard to resolve the issue created or exaggerated by the introduction of power of choice in December 2017.

The system was implemented through rule changes created by the Australian Energy Market Commission to free up the metering aspect of the retailer process. The introduction of new entities such as Metering Coordinators and Metering Providers is part of the overall plan to reduce power prices by freeing up competition. This is a major shift from the introduction of the retailers to the old monopoly of our network controlling the whole market. The introduction of the retailers alone has not reduced power prices, as the core fundamentals to get power to the home have not changed, only now there are more fingers in the pie. 

Extensive consultation occurred with the retailers and regulators around the financial aspects of introducing the new regime, but little thought was given to the impact on operations and connections. All the key players have some responsibility in the failure of the new system. Networks have struggled with the loss of control of connections to their networks with only NSW and WA having dealt with this issue previously.

Retailers were under prepared to deal with thousands of new connections and Metering Providers struggled to handle the load of connections. State Governments have been hoping the teething issues would settle down after substantial feedback from customers, builders and electricians on the delays of over three months in the early stages...

 

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NSW: Security of Payment

Security of Payment is on the move. Recent collapses in NSW have reinforced the need to effectively protect subcontractors from the consequences of contractor insolvency.

There will be a full review of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999. In response to the review, NSW Fair Trading has released an exposure draft Bill, with accompanying explanatory statement, and a consultation paper.

As part of a NSW review, the NSW Government is seeking feedback on a proposal for a statutory trust. Have your say by providing us with your feedback
here
 

QLD: Inquiry into wage theft

Jason O'Dwyer and Jordan Carlisle from Master Electricians recently appeared before the Education, Employment and Small Business Committee Public Hearing Inquiry into wage theft in Queensland.

Master Electricians believes that most employers are working hard to pay employees their legal entitlements but many are struggling with complex award terms and a complex system.

Wage theft should not defined by a single element. It is not singularly the underpayment of a wage rate, rather, it is the combined efforts of:

  • intimidation of vulnerable workers
  • a system of deceitful practices to hide the practice
  • the avoidance of regulatory steps
  • the overall intent to underpay workers.  

In our recent submission, we drew attention to the recent Labour Hire Department established in Queensland and noted that there are similarities between the cohort of vulnerable employees raised in the Labour Hire issue and the wage theft issue. We believe that there is a high probability of overlap and duplication that could occur with these two policy areas and measures to reduce such overlap should be put in place as well as looking at wage theft as a Federal issue.

To view our representation at the parliamentary inquiry click
here (Note: MEA starts at 25 mins)

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QLD

QLD: Mental Health Initiatives

This month, Master Electricians attended a small business round table meeting aimed at reviewing mental health initiatives and the services available for small business.

This is an important focus as small business owners can experience hardship which can impact on their mental health and well being. Strategies and services are needed to support improved mental health and wellbeing of small business owners.

TAS: Electrical Safety Legislation

Master Electricians recently provided a submission to the Department addressing key issues such as:

  • Electrical safety requirements are spread over different Acts, departments and Ministerial portfolios. 
  • The definitions of terms such as “point of supply”, “electrical infrastructure” and “electrical installation” differ in various legislative instruments and Australian Standards.   
  • Legislating requirements for electricity entities and large industrial process plants is difficult as each business is unique in how they operate. 
  • Australian Standard AS/NZS 3000:2018 requires RCD's to be fitted to all electrical “final subcircuits” in domestic and residential electrical installations. 
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TAS: Power of Choice 

Last week we attended a Power of Choice - Metering Installation Working Group Meeting in Tasmania to establish the current situation to enable the Working Group to report back to the ECIL meeting.

The general consensus is that the time delay has improved significantly but work still needs to be done in order to simplify more complex connections.

The goal is to achieve a maximum of 15 working days delay between submissions of EWR to energising of consumption meter.


It is proposed that the next meeting will be held on 18 October.

VIC: Small Business Regulation Review

Master Electricians has been invited to be part of the Victorian Small Business Regulatory Review consultation and design process (Construction Sector)

The Regulatory Review is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to making it easier to establish and grow a small business in Victoria.

This process is trying to stream line and reduce duplication and streamline licensing requirements. Consultation is underway, with reforms expected later this year. 

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WA: Security of Payments

Last month we announced that the The WA Government had established a review to improve security of payments for subcontractors in Western Australia's building and construction industry, by establishing of an Industry Reference Group.

We're involved as an industry stakeholder, and have also been invited to a private meeting with WA reviewers regarding security of payments.

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