National Licensing for plumbers & gasfitters (NOLS): Maintain current independent Victorian licensing & specialist classes

This petition made change with 25 supporters!

Natioanal Licensing undermines the investment we all have made via apprenticeship training & the accreditation plumbers & their staff have gained.
Despite the widespread objections it is puzzling why the consultation process has not changed trajectory.

The advantages of Nol's from our opinion is overstated through out the literature we have read.
The plumbing industry as a whole have been precluded from dialogue due to complex Ris papers & the lack of real polling of all licensed plumbers & gasfitters. The stake holders referred to through out the Nol's proposal, via seats on advisory boards have been filled by minority groups which make up less than 10% of licensed practioners. The unions & Master plumbers represent less than 10% of the plumbing industry & don't speak for the silent majority.
Due to all of the small family run plumbing firms making up 75 % of the 23,000 plumbers in Victoria most are to busy keeping their head above water to fully embrace the Nol's proposal or engage with government.
Government could easily get better data via mail outs to all practioners & find their is massive resistance to this change once fully understood. Instead we have only been given options of models, all of which no one really agrees with.
On reviewing the mooted changes to plumbing & gasfitting classes & minimum accreditation requirements we can only express our extreme concern as it will basically dumb down our industry to the lowest skill sets denominator within the states of Australia.
This model has been proven to not solve skill shortages & causes more non compliance issues with our state plumbing regulations.

Currently we have major issues with servicing of gas appliances highlighted by the recent coroners report in the Shepparton deaths of two children. The specialist class of "Type A gas appliance servicing" will be deleted under Nol's recommendations along with other specialist plumbing classes. This one example further illustrates the lack of understanding of the impact Nol's will have on Victoria.
If Nol's recommendations are followed there will be a single class of "gasfitter" - currently there are around 7000 plumbers are also gasfitters. Of these 7000 maybe 1 in every 100 hundred would have the competency to carry out a proper service on today's complex gas appliances. "Gasfitters" mainly run pipe work from the meter & install new appliances with out having to know the working of these appliances. Hence the specialist class of "Type A gas appliance servicing"
Due to Victoria being in a cooler climate & higher density per capita of gas appliances than any other state we have great demand for this specialist task. Given the recent criticism from the coroner of the gasfitter that serviced the faulty gas heating appliance in the Shepparton case, it further illustrates the problems Victoria will face if it adopts the Nol's model for deregulating Gasfitting specialised classes.

This is only one example of the proposed changes but all the specialised classes in plumbing have been put together for a reason over many years mainly driven by non compliance data the regulators come across in the field. To ignore this or to go backwards is at Victoria's peril.
The one question everyone asks is why? Victoria has always lead the way with its plumbing standards and competency demands.

It also must be noted the Victorian Plumbing Industry has suffered greatly with the ongoing debacle from the Plumbing Industry Commissioners, Tony Arnel & Michael Kefford & their leadership groups over the last decade. Tony Arnels has also maintained his seat with NOLA after widespread criticism & investigation in his outrageous behaviour in managing the Plumbing Industry in Victoria. How can any plumbing practioner have any faith in the Nol's proposal whilst Tony holds any place in the NOLA landscape.

VPU feel that the Nol's proposal if successful will undermine any long term future our plumbing industry as we know it today in Victoria.

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