Water and Plumbing Products Cluster

Our Water and Plumbing Products Cluster (WPPC) met on 15 November. We heard presentations from WELS and JASANZ with an update from Nathan Spinner on the ABCB Plumbing Code Committee held in the same week. Members continue to hold concerns about the lack of progress with the low lead RIS.  There was also further discussion around the handling of products covered by expired WaterMark licences, with latest movements being not satisfactory to industry and requiring further input.  Members were also advised of the part played by Ai Group in concluding a successful resolution to recent issues concerning a negative ballot arising from concerns expressed by members around a proposed standards change affecting a key everyday household safety product.

Peter Flynn – Deputy Chair

Electric Vehicle – Member Reference Group

The inaugural meeting of the Electrical Vehicle MRG was held on 26 November with participation from NHP, Legrand, Ampcontrol and Owners Corporation Network. The scope was widened so that other types of EVs can be considered such as inductively charged mining vehicles. A key issue that will have to be considered by the MRG is the emerging policy on remote demand response. The next meeting will be held in Sydney on 13 February 2020 in Sydney. All members welcome.

Ross De Rango - Chair

Electrical Equipment Manufacturers and Suppliers Forum

We held the third EESMF meeting of the year in Melbourne and farewelled Ian Forte as chair. Ian will continue to be involved with the EEMSF and CAG. We were joined by the electrical regulators from Victoria, NSW, QLD and New Zealand with discussions around topics including EESS, RECS/REAS, Demand Response and AS/NZS 3000.

Nick Thompson – Co-chair “Accessories”

Australian Water Heater Forum

The Australian Water Heater Forum met in Melbourne in late November. The meeting was dominated by a discussion regarding the COAG bureaucracy’s decision of the previous week to mandate demand response capability on electric water heaters. This decision was taken despite almost universal industry rejection to the consultation RIS on the issue, and the Federal Govt’s own Office of Best Practice Regulation’s rejection of the Decision RIS as incomplete and unsuitable as a basis for regulation. With the Federal Minister supporting the industry and refusing to support new regulation, the future of the initiative is now uncertain. The AWHF supports the concept of demand response, however a flawed standard (AS/NZS 4755), coupled with a lack of consumer incentives or cyber security safeguards, renders the current proposal unsuitable for regulation.  Members of the AWHF will continue to work with the Minister and via the responsible Standards Committee (EL054) to achieve a workable outcome.

Gareth Jennings – Chair

Australian Filtration and Water Treatment Forum

The AF&WTF represents the Australian industry sector for importers and manufacturers of water filter and water treatment products. The forum provides a network for sharing and managing industry issues such as industry trends, addressing regulatory standards for the Australian market and other factors that may impact our industry.  

Over the last two years the AF&WTF has focused on changes to AS 3497 Drinking Water Treatment Units with the aim of making a level playing field for suppliers.  We have now made a number of key changes to this standard with the standard in the final stages of review with Standards Australia.  We hope to have the new standard released in Q1 2020.

David King – Deputy Chair