Master Plumbers welcomes the long-awaited release today by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio, of the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) which will determine the best approach for setting minimum standards for gas appliance servicing from 1 June 2022.
Mandated minimum servicing requirements for gas appliances has been a critical gap in Victoria’s regulatory coverage and Master Plumbers has been at the forefront of advocacy for it to be addressed.
The RIS follows a 2018 coronial inquest into the death of Ms Sonia Sofianopoulos and recognises that in Victoria, there is currently no mandated minimum standard for the servicing of gas appliances to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Master Plumbers’ CEO Peter Daly said that the Australian Standard for gas servicing (AS4575) already exists, is already mandated and used elsewhere in Australia by licensed plumbers and gasfitters.
“It’s disappointing that it has taken so long to get to this stage, but we strongly support the Government’s move to require a baseline for all gas appliance servicing.
“Servicing of gas appliances is a specialised area of plumbing and gasfitting, which requires additional training, experience and an additional accreditation to a plumbers’ license. Mandating minimum standards will provide consumers with further confidence in the servicing of their heaters, cooktops, hot water and other appliances and help regulators identify those who are doing this work illegally and potentially unsafely.”
Mr Daly said that it’s essential to always use a licensed/registered plumber to service your gas appliances or conduct any other gas-related work at your home or property.
“Ensure that you ask for and view the licence of any plumber visiting your house or property to undertake gas-related work. Qualified plumbers must carry a photo identification card provided by the Victorian Building Authority which includes a unique identification number and expiry date listed on the card. The rear of the card will indicate what plumbing work that individual can legally carry out.”
Well serviced gas appliances are safe, efficient and a critical part of Victoria’s energy mix. This move to mandate minimum standards and improve oversight of appliance servicing will ensure they remain so.