WHY CAN'T QLD INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS BE SOLD IN QLD BUT CAN BE SOLD IN THE REST OF AUSTRALIA?

WHY CAN'T QLD INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS BE SOLD IN QLD BUT CAN BE SOLD IN THE REST OF AUSTRALIA?

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Firstly, let us introduce ourselves.

We are Malcolm and Corinne Matthews of ConstructAmesh Pty Ltd. 

ConstructAmesh is a Queensland born and bred revolutionary scaffold safety encapsulation mesh invented by Malcolm.  www.constructamesh.com.   Malcolm cares about people and their safety, particularly in the workplace – did you know that Scaffolding is in the Top 10 most dangerous professions in the world – which is why his main criteria was that it should be lightweight (light enough for one person to easily carry) and easy to install.  We have grandchildren so we also care about our environment and the future of our planet.  Therefore, ConstructAmesh is 100% recyclable, reusable, easy to transport, which means less fuel used and less storage area required.

There were 2 major fires which occurred on scaffolding mesh in Sydney CBD in 2018.  Whilst other products being used at the time scrambled to come up with a solution, ConstructAmesh did not have an issue as Malcolm had already thought about this and so ConstructAmesh has had an inbuilt fire retardant from the beginning.

So, why am I telling you all of this???

ConstructAmesh is able to be used anywhere in the world (as far as we are aware) and in all states and territories of Australia, with the exception of Queensland.

Yes, you read this correctly………

This product is a Queensland invention which is currently selling in South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales and Canberra.  ConstructAmesh is also heading for the Global Market.  We are part of a new project which has an initial trial site in Sydney and from there will be taken into the US market.  We are also in negotiations to launch ConstructAmesh in the UK and other European markets, but yet we are not allowed to sell a Queensland innovative product in Queensland. 

So why would the Queensland Government not be excited in the prospect of opportunities for trade, financial and employment that ConstructAmesh could bring to the Sunshine State?

ConstructAmesh meets Australian Standards and British Standards.  Although we have high demand from reputable companies in Queensland, we are unable to supply ConstructAmesh onto the marketplace in our home state due to Section 315D which forms part of Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011.  We have twice applied for an exemption firstly, to Section 315D and, secondly, Section 315I and been denied both times.  The first exemption was done with the advice of the current president of Scaffolding Association of Queensland and the second exemption was done with the advice of a scaffolding specialist senior consultant engineer whom is well respected by government and industry alike.

We have previously queried the fact that although Section 315D requires a tensile strength of 2kN the fixings which attached the encapsulation material to the scaffold do not meet this capacity.  Queensland Government WH&S Principal Adviser (Construction Engineering), Stuart Davis, has never sighted our product and despite many requests over a number of years has never made himself available for a face to face meeting to discuss anything to do with ConstructAmesh - Why?  For the record, Stuart Davis is a mechanical engineer.  It has been suggested to us that as long as Stuart Davis is in his position of Principal Adviser (Construction Engineering) to the Queensland Government, he will ensure Section 315D will stand.  We wonder, is this due to his involvement in the writing of this codicil to the Australian Standards?  We have been advised by the legal profession that Stuart Davis has been cross examined on the dock in court before today and been proven to be erroneous in his views.

We have been advised by a solicitor that the only way to tangibly get in front of the Queensland Government is to get a number of principal contractors to state they want our product in the Queensland marketplace.  We have already handed over letters from Industry Stakeholders to the Queensland Government, alas, to no avail.  We were told that the biggest opportunity for change had passed us by on Saturday with the State elections – surely not! 

Is our great state of Queensland really this committed to living in the past and not prepared to open our eyes to the innovative products that are available in the present and ready to take us into our future??

Our journey commenced in 2014.  Our focus has consistently been to go through all the proper channels, this included an email to the Premier, Annastacia Palaszczu in 2015.  This email was forwarded through to Curtis Pit MP and then sent on to Grace Grace MP.  We were then advised to contact Bradley Bick, then Director of Work and Electrical Safety Policy, Office of Industrial Relations.  This began extremely positively when we were advised we could apply for an exemption and could be granted approval very quickly to enable the use of ConstructAmesh in Queensland.  Unfortunately, it seems to us that all roads led back to Stuart Davis.  One can only wonder why a decision such as this rests with only one person when we live in a democracy?  Our final email, which we were copied into inadvertently, was from Stuart Davis stating "Brad, Nice E-mail - Thanks" after we were sent a photo of a major competitor to give us an example of what is acceptable in Queensland.  Strange that Section 315D seems to almost describe what was then a patented product leading to it being impossible to bring a newer and innovative product onto the Queensland marketplace without having to apply for an exemption even though a product meets Australian Standards.

One could be forgiven for their mystification in an innovative safety product which meets or exceeds all relevant Australian and British Standards not being allowed onto the Queensland market?

We are not asking to allow an inferior product into the Queensland marketplace.  That would actually contradict everything ConstructAmesh stands for .

We are asking for your support to petition the Queensland Government to create a fairer playing field for all and remove the extremely unfair Section 315D which we believe was allegedly written around a competitors product.

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