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Regulate The HVAC&R Trade In VIC As A Specialised Trade, Require Min Cert III RAC Quals

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To Hon Lily D'Ambrosio, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Hon Natalie Hutchins, Minister for Industrial Relations, Hon Jacinta Allan, Minister for Major Projects, Hon Philip Dalidakis, Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Hon Wade Noonan, Minister for Industry and Employment, Hon Gayle Tierney, Minister for Training and Skills and Hon Daniel Andrews, Premier for Victoria, we submit the following to acknowledge and make necessary changes to licensing reforms for the HVAC&R Industry

The HVAC&R Industry demand changes in recognition of a nationally consistent skills based license, and implore the Victorian government to adopt and implement policies with legislative reforms, to ensure the HVAC&R Industry is recognised as a specialised licensed trade alongside other peripheral trades. The HVAC&R industry do not want further fragmentation of its industry any more: 


There is no current documented evidence showing any prosecution from works carried out by current national Arctick environmental license holders with a Certificate II in Split/Systems qualification who consistently exceed their scope or break the law from work done throughout Australia however, evidence shows:

·         A RAC trade person who attends 9 jobs, 9 installations with leaks, all installed by plumbers in Victoria

·         QLD Rac tradesperson arrives onsite to find Cert II installer has released all R32 refrigerant, along with many other notable flawed works.

·         Rochester, Victoria, 2 diesel fitters die in a fatal explosion working with refrigerants they didn't understand.

·         2009 Nambour, Qld, plumber dies as a result of cutting pipes and not understanding the pressures relating to refrigerants.·        


  • An estimated 75% of split system installations in Australia are carried out by non-trade qualified RAC persons, and do not meet the designed parameters for energy efficiency. 
  • Peripheral trades are not technically competent to carry out any HVAC&R works, unless a full 4-year apprenticeship in HVAC&R has been achieved.
  • No fully qualified HVAC&R tradesperson can legally work in electrical or plumbing industry without the recognised qualification by those industries.
  • Increased skill shortage nationally due to the introduction of a lesser qualification to accommodate the environmental ARC licence. 32 new job vacancy positions predicted over the next 5 years for RAC tradespeople.(Energy Skills QLD)
  • Less viability for survival of small business in the HVAC&R industry due to peripheral trades undercutting of air-conditioning installations putting immense pressure on family businesses.
  • Higher OH&S risks to HVAC&R tradespeople from exposure to faulty work carried out by environmental license holders. 
  • Plumbers are not the technically competent tradespersons to be signing off on condensate drains, it is the RAC tradespeople. The plumbing union must not dictate the scope of RAC work when the scope of rac works are far outside the scope of plumbing competencies.
  • Refrigeration and Air conditioning tradespeople in Victoria and the rest of Australia seek recognition of their trade as a specialised trade and to ensure labour mobility is increased across the country in line with the New South Wales licencing structure in which a person must be trade qualified Certificate III in refrigeration and air conditioning to carry out any HVAC&R works.
  • Recognising the specialised trade of HVAC&R will remove many government barriers imposed on the HVAC&R industry enabling industry to begin working toward meeting the international agreements Federal government has forced on the industry without consultation along with the individual energy efficiency schemes and emission reduction schemes State governments have also imposed without industry consultation.

The exclusion of a trade license for the HVAC&R industry does not instill any confidence for its tradespeople or consumers.The introduction of a national license trade for the HVAC&R industry will:

  • Remove government barriers preventing the ability for industry to meet the Montreal Protocal, Kyoto Protocol, Kigali Agreement and COp 21. The HVAC&R industry is currently on a course which is opposite to these agreements/commitments, particularly in state, terrirtories and federal governments failure to impliment occupational licencing for the HVAC&R tradespeople.
  • Improve business efficiency and the competitiveness of the national economy
  • Reduce red tape
  • Improve labour mobility
  • Enhance productivity; and
  • Boost consumer confidence and protection without the unnecessary costs or lessening competition.

ARMA will also make a formal submission.

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