The Building Commission has released a decision paper on reforms that will allow a specified range of basic emergency plumbing repairs to be carried out by trained Environmental Health Workers in 205 of Western Australia’s remote Aboriginal communities.
The new arrangements will enable urgent basic plumbing repairs, such as unblocking a toilet or replacing a tap washer or shower head, to be carried out safely in remote communities that do not have ready access to a licensed plumber.
For remote Aboriginal communities that are located some considerable distance from the nearest licensed plumbing contractor, the delay in accessing a plumber to do simple urgent repairs increases the risk to public health. The scheme will improve living conditions in remote communities by reducing the risk of hygiene-related health issues that can arise if plumbing emergencies are left unattended.
Employers of Environmental Health Workers who carry out work under the scheme will be required to report all plumbing repairs carried out to the Building Commission for auditing purposes. In line with this decision a Building Commission plumbing inspector, to be based in Broome, will audit plumbing work carried out in remote communities to ensure it is performed in accordance with the plumbing standards.
Full details of the scheme are in the Decision Paper.