A report released by ACIL Allen Consulting in February 2014 contained 51 recommendations broadly aimed at making Western Australia’s plumbing laws more modern and responsive to the changing needs of the industry.
The report was a result of an independent review of WA’s plumbing regulation announced by the former state government earlier that year.
Since the report’s release, the Building Commission has been implementing the recommended reforms in phases. Reforms already implemented include the adoption of the Plumbing Code of Australia as the primary technical reference for water supply plumbing, sanitary plumbing and drainage plumbing in WA; and the broadening of the Plumbers Licensing Board’s disciplinary powers to enable improvements such as the issuing of infringement notices for unlicensed plumbing work.
The remaining reforms are those that require legislative changes, and the current state government is keen to obtain feedback from a broad range of stakeholders on issues raised in the report. The feedback will be considered by the government when making decisions about changes to plumbing regulation.
The Building Commission is drafting a public discussion paper (or Consultation Regulation Impact Statement) for the next phase of reforms.
The Building Commission is in the process of obtaining information such as an economic analysis and is conducting preliminary discussions with stakeholders to inform the discussion paper.
This has included sponsoring a series of free information sessions run by the Master Plumbers and Gasfitters Association of WA as part of its 2017 Industry Education and Compliance Update Tour.
The Building Commission’s involvement in the sessions has included a financial contribution as well as delivering presentations and participating in industry panel discussions at two metropolitan and eight regional locations between August and November 2017.
Once completed, the discussion paper on the remaining plumbing reforms will be released to stakeholders for comment.
Information on the review of WA’s plumbing regulation, including reforms already implemented or underway, is available on the Building Commission website at www.commerce.wa.gov.au/building-commission/plumbing-review.