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Peak Industry Body for Plumbing Advises of Misinformation Delivered to the Public

The purported notion that a tradesperson who protects the health and wellbeing of the community is overcharging the public is preposterous. This is the scaremongering drivel reported by Nine News on Monday 12 March.

Plumbers have undergone rigorous training under an apprenticeship, hold the relevant licenses and insurances, carry their workshop, tools and materials around with them, and bear the costs of running a business.

The Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland (MPAQ) found the data reported by Nine News for the story “Contractor Cash” ill-informed and insulting, to say the least, to the hard working men and women of our trades.

MPAQ Technical Services Manager, Ernie Kretschmer, said, “From experience, the figures presented as the “average” charge-out rates for these trades did not correlate with observed industry practice.”

“MPAQ believes the average plumber in South East Queensland, for example, charges in excess of $80.00 per hour,” Mr Kretschmer said.

“The notion that a licensed trade such as plumbing shouldn’t cost more than $69.00 per hour is simply misleading the public.”

Plumbers, gasfitters, electricians, painters, tilers, lawyers, and doctors (as well as many other professional trades) are not governed by a set pricing regime and have the ability to charge what their time and experience is worth. As experts in their profession, like lawyers, tradespersons are able to charge appropriately for what their skill and expertise is worth.

As the peak industry body, MPAQ or any other Association is not in a position to advise or mandate what the plumbing or other trade industries charge for their services. Similarly, we believe misinformation has been provided in the Channel Nine report. This does nothing but denigrate and portrays hard working service trades as excessively expensive and serves to push homeowners and handy men into performing regulated works on their own, which is not only irresponsible but illegal.

MPAQ would suggest that due diligence be followed for future research and potential copy material, opposed to the one source quoted.

Plumbing, drainage, gas and electrical trades are administered by a strict licensing and legislative regime. This is to ensure the safety and protection of the community through the provision of clean drinking water, sanitation, gas and electrical. These trades are strictly governed as the skills required to safely handle water, waste and electricity, which are there to protect the community, NOT line the tradesperson’s pocket.

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For further information contact:

Penny Cornah
Executive Director
Master Plumbers’ Association of Qld
0418 724 457

Ernie Kretschmer
Technical Services Manager
Master Plumbers’ Association of Qld
0418 780 351


The Master Plumbers' Association of Queensland (MPAQ)
is the peak industry body representing plumbing
contractors throughout Queensland, from sole operators
to medium sized plumbing businesses and large
contracting firms.
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