Plumbing registration processes in Queensland are set to be overhauled in Queensland as the state moves to bed down its new regulatory regime for the building and construction industry.
In a statement last week, Minister for Housing and Public Works Tim Mander said that as of September 1 this year, the Queensland Building and Construction Commission would assume responsibility for the processing of plumber and drainer licences from the Plumbing Industry Council (PIC).
Plumbers would also be able to seek occupational gas work licenses from the QBCC under a ‘one-stop-shop’ industry regime, albeit with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines retaining responsibility for assessing these applications.
Mander said the changes simplify previous arrangements which saw the Commission and the PIC – which is set to be disbanded on September 1 – handle occupational licensing for plumbers and drainers while the Commission handled contractor licensing.
“These changes mean licensees will need to hold and pay for one licence only, saving $118.90 if they renew their occupational licence annually,” Mander said. “Importantly, we know this change will bring about savings to the industry without major upheaval to local businesses and plumbers.”
The latest developments follow an earlier announcement that the Commission had established an independent process where builders, trade contractors, building certifiers and home owners can seek an internal review from the QBCC with regard to decisions it hands down.
Prior to this, the only method of appealing a regulator decision was through the Queensland Civil and Appeals Tribunal (QCAT) – an option which remains open to any who wish to pursue it.
Mander said these changes will create a fast and efficient way of resolving concerns with administrative decisions while reducing the number of decisions reviewed by QCAT.
The changes come as the government and the industry are attempting to create a long term blueprint for the industry’s future direction.
Around 70 industry and government representatives will meet in a ‘leaders forum’ this week. That will be followed by a larger meeting of around 400 delegates in September.