After significant research and strong contributions from many industry stakeholders, FPA Australia is pleased to announce the release of its important Information Bulletin on Selection and Use of Firefighting Foams.
Firefighting foam is a suppression medium known for its effectiveness in preventing, extinguishing or controlling fires involving flammable liquids (Class B Fuels). Firefighting foams are used in fixed and portable fire extinguishing systems as well as fire brigade apparatus. Firefighting foam is produced by mixing foam concentrate with water to produce foam solution.
The environmental acceptability of different firefighting foam classes, based on their chemical composition has been an issue of global debate in recent years and varying information is available in the public domain on the different environmental and firefighting performance of fluorinated and fluorine-free foams.
This information bulletin is intended to provide a balanced overview of the key issues which impact on the selection and use of firefighting foams. To download the Information Bulletin - Click Here.
AS 3745 Amendment Seminars Wrap Up - FPA Australia Thanks All Attendees, Speakers and Sponsors
The FPA Australia National Seminar Series on AS 3745 Planning for emergencies in facilities, including its recent amendment, wrapped up in Tasmania last week, with around 300 people attending the seminars around the country.
The strong attendance at these events is a great testament to the commitment of Association members to keeping up-to-date with the latest industry developments and FPA Australia would like to sincerely thank all of those who attended.
In addition, the Association thanks our fantastic speakers Rhondel Johannessen, Managing Director of DELTRA Australia and Rebecca Fullerton, General Manager Business Development, Training, Sales & Marketing at Chubb. This event was the first for FPA Australia with an all-female speaker line up and all presentations were very well received.
FPA Australia would also like to thank our valued sponsors Chubb, LinkFire, Concept Safety Systems and Alan Wilson Insurance Brokers, without whom the seminars would not be possible.
All attendees should now have received an eMenu which includes all presentations from the seminars and also certificates of attendance for CPD purposes. FPA Australia again thanks everyone involved in this important seminar series and we look forward to seeing you again at one of our upcoming events.
BCA To Be Free Online From 2015
The Australian Building Ministers' Forum has announced that, from 2015, all editions of the National Construction Code will be made available online for free.
It is expected that this change will significantly contribute to reducing the burden of building regulation. The decision to eliminate costs associated with purchasing the code will allow it to become more accessible to both small business and the building and plumbing industries, encouraging them to remain well-informed of current changes.
The forum also agreed to move from a one-year amendment cycle to a three-year amendment cycle which will deliver more certainty and stability about regulatory change to the building and construction industry.
To view the Media Release issued by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, or a list of frequently asked questions relating to the decision, please visit the ABCB website by clicking here.
NSW Planning & Environment Advisory Note - Design and Installation of Fire Sprinkler Systems in Aged Care Facilities
The NSW Department of Planning & Environment has issued an advisory note about the design and installation of fire sprinkler systems in aged care facilities. This advisory note deals with a number of important issues including:
Workplace safety during installation - obligations of the aged care provider, designer, installer and others
Advice about the hiring of sprinkler system designers and installers
The required approvals for sprinkler system installations
Testing of the completed sprinkler system installation
FPA Australia strongly supports the efforts of the NSW Government, not only in implementing these important reforms that require all nursing homes to be fitted with automatic fire sprinklers, but also working to ensure that only competent individuals are contracted to commission, design and install these lifesaving systems.
To view the Department's Advisory Note, click here. To view FPA Australia's NSW Fire Sprinkler Provider List click here.
Fair Work Commission Announces Minimum Wage Increase
The Fair Work Commission's Expert Panel has recently announced a 3% increase in the national minimum wage.
The decision increases the minimum wage and the rate in modern awards based upon the base trade rate of the Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award by 3%. This increase will be effective from 1st July 2014.
The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) requires this Panel to conduct and complete a review of minimum wages in modern awards (s. 134) and the national minimum wage (s. 285) in each financial year. These objectives are accordingly set out in these sections of the Act.
The minimum wage is set at the lowest rate and classification level of the Manufacturing Award - C14. The national minimum wage will now be $640.90 per week or $16.87 per hour.
The current base trade rates under the following Awards will increase by 3% from 1st July 2014. Noting that the base trade rates are the same across all 3 Awards:
Current Weekly Rate
Current Hourly Rate
July 1 Weekly Rate
July 1 Hourly Rate
C5 - Manufacturing Award
SF Level 1 - Plumbing Award
The rates in enterprise agreements will not be altered unless the current rates are below the award rates. Necessary care will need to be taken by employers to ensure that any non-enterprise agreement rates are not below the newly increased national award rate from 1 July.
For further information on the changes visit the Fair Work Commission website here.
Queensland Government Consultation on Building & Plumbing Regulation Changes
A significant number of changes are currently being considered by the Queensland Government in relation to building and plumbing. These include:
A Review of the Building Act 1975 and Building Certification in Queensland
A Review of the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002
Proposed new Queensland Development Code (QDC) part for farm buildings
Proposed amendments to the QDC for building over or near infrastructure
In order to properly communicate the proposed changes and consult with industry and related stakeholders, the Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works is conducting consultation sessions around the state. These information road shows kicked off on June 20 and will continue through to July 17.
These events are free public information sessions that are aimed at interested members of the plumbing and building industries, local governments and the community.
At the same time the Queensland Government has also released a "Building & Plumbing Newsflash" which proposes amendments to exclude interconnected smoke alarms installed in Class 1 buildings and sole occupancy units within Class 2, 3 and 4 buildings from being referred to the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) for advice.
You can view the full schedule of events at the Building Codes Queensland events page here and for more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
To view "Building & Plumbing Newsflash 259 - Referrals for interconnected smoke alarms in Class 1 buildings and sole occupancy units in Class 2, 3 and 4 buildings" click here.
Engagement & Education Department Branding Introduced
New branding is now in place for the Engagement & Education department at FPA Australia and all department pages on the Association's website are now available.
To visit the new department on the website head to www.fpaa.com.au/engagement to find out everything you need to know regarding FPA Australia training, events and state & territory membership groups.
The Engagement & Education department is a highly streamlined team integrating three critically important areas formally administered separately.
The department delivers:
One single point of contact for all education, events and state & territory engagement information
More administrative assistance to answer queries, process applications and address other requests in a timely and responsive manner
The premier events FPA Australia is well known for, including Fire Australia and HazMat, as well as an increased range of highly-relevant and insightful national and state-based events
The ongoing high standard of educational offerings of our RTO, as well as new units of competency (coming 2014/2015)
A strong communications channel between the state & territory membership groups, the national office and the fire protection industry
For any enquiries regarding the Engagement & Education department please call 1300 731 922. To view the full announcement about the new department click here.
Victorian Building Authority Seminar Videos Available
In May the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) held an important seminar series on changes to the National Construction Code 2014, as well as the review of the Victorian Building Regulations 2006.
The VBA has made videos from these sessions available on its Youtube channel, meaning if you were unable to attend the sessions but you are interested in this content, you can get up to speed easily online.
Click here to view the videos from the building session
Click here to view videos from the plumbing session
For more information about the VBA visit www.vba.vic.gov.au or call 1300 815 127.
Outgoing NFPA President Jim Shannon Presented With a Special Gift From FPA Australia
This year Mr James M. Shannon resigned as NFPA President after serving in the role since 2002. Mr Shannon is a long serving employee of NFPA having spent 23 years with the Association.
During a recent trip to the U.S for the annual NFPA Conference, FPA Australia CEO Scott Williams presented Mr Shannon with an authentic historic boomerang from the Northern Flinders Ranges area of South Australia.
The traditional hunting boomerang, which is made of hardwood (mulga) and is around 70cm long, was likely made sometime in the 1960s. Mr Williams said he was proud to be able to present the gift to Mr Shannon in person.
"Jim Shannon has been a strong supporter of FPA Australia, an outstanding leader and a highly effective advocate for fire protection globally during his more than two decades at NFPA," he said.
"It was an honour to present him with something uniquely Australian as a symbol of congratulations on behalf of our Association."
FPA Australia again congratulates Mr Shannon for his outstanding & dedicated service to his Association and the global fire protection and electrical industries.
Reminder About Maintaining Employee Records
FPA Australia is reminding all fire protection industry employers about the importance of maintaining accurate employment records.
Recently the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) issued a media release stating that it has issued notices to several businesses about maintaining such records.
The FWO indicated that it will be conducting site visits on 350 businesses throughout NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and the ACT with the aim of educating employers about these responsibilities and how the FWO can assist in complying with workplace laws.
The FWO has taken punitive action against employers in the past for not complying with these laws.
The Fair Work Act states that an employer must make, and keep for seven years, employee records of the kind prescribed by the regulations in relation to each employee. The Act also requires that employers provide a pay slip to each of its employees within one working day of paying an employee.
Fire Protection Association Australia | Building 2, 31-47 Joseph Street, Blackburn North, VIC 3130 | 1300 731 922
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