Kicking goals 
Look up and live awareness is hitting the mark across 
Victoria with support from regional footy
Spring 2014
energysafe issue 37
Energy Safe Victoria
Copyright © 2014
Story Pg 05
RIS released 
for electric line 
clearance regs
Safe levels 
for working 
with CO
ESV releases 
final Morwell 
incident findings
Switched on: 
Installing LED 
globes safely
New options for 
complying with 
Assess the situation 
before you start.
Be aware of any 
powerlines nearby. What 
are the possible dangers? 
Could this branch hit the 
Always know the 
No Go Zone for 
your specific job.
Different jobs have 
different requirements. 
Be informed.
If you’re unsure, 
don’t proceed. 
Call and ask the relevant 
distribution business for advice.
SPAusNet 1300 360 795
Powercor 13 22 06
CitiPower 1300 301 101
Jemena 1300 131 871
United Energy 1300 131 689 
A young Victorian vegetation worker died recently when a branch he 
was trimming for a home owner fell on to high voltage powerlines. 
This happened even though he was outside the regulatory clearance 
space. Be aware of the No Go Zone rules and cutting and clearance 
requirements, and always ensure appropriate branch control. Don’t take 
chances with your safety – it’s not worth putting your life on the line. 
For more information go to
Clearance zones specific to vegetation workers may vary depending on 
qualifications, experience, authorisation and methods being used.
For all the latest energy safety news visit
To contact ESV
P (03) 9203 9700
For further information go to
Published by Energy Safe Victoria
Level 5 Building 2
4 Riverside Quay
Southbank VIC 3006
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Country footy stops to look up and live 
06  14
09 Infinity cable recall update and 
Ecable investigation
09 New VPI lock system introduced
11  ESV released final Morwell report 
11  New tool to help electrical industry 
get online
13 Competency-based completion 
for apprentice electricians
16 Business names and corporation 
names—attention electrical 
16 Australian Recognised Trades 
Certificate closes
18 Clipsal industrial plug hazard alert
25 Gas incident data: learning from 
New Zealand
07 ESV sets out safe working levels 
for carbon monoxide
12  Installing LED globes safely
23 New options for compliance 
of gas installations under 
AS/NZ 5601
19 Your electrical questions 
26 Your gas questions 
27 Prosecutions and 
Our cover
ESV has once again partnered with 
AFL Victoria to promote the look up and 
live message across regional areas. 
One of the highlights of our partnership 
is our sponsorship of the U18s 
Vic Country football team, which had 
a resounding victory over VAFA in this 
year’s city versus country game. 
Photo: Gary Sparks.
Colorful history: One of the oldest 
electrical companies in Victoria, 
Greenwood Electrical, marks a 
significant milestone. 
Public comment: The RIS for the 
proposed new Electric Line Clearance 
Regulations has been released and you 
can have your say.
Print this issue
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Spring 2014
energysafe issue 37
From the 
I’ve got a confession to make—I love the 
Royal Melbourne Show. And it’s got nothing 
to do with the rides, the showbags or the 
donuts (although they’re all pretty good—
particularly Lou’s Donuts).
For the past three years, ESV has had a 
stand in the Grand Pavilion at the Show, giving 
our team the opportunity to talk to Victorians 
about what we do, and to share a range of our 
safety information.
During the 12 days, more than 460,000 
people attended the Show and I’m sure at least 
half of them dropped by our stand to give Plugger 
a hug (he’s the star of our PowerSafe Buddies 
children’s electrical safety website and the big blue 
character in the centre of the photo below). 
We spoke to thousands of people and 
distributed a range of promotional items including 
sunscreen and soapy water bottles to remind 
Victorians to barbecue safely this summer, kids’ 
wristbands so they can become PowerSafe 
Buddies, fridge magnets about the need to get 
heaters serviced before winter and brochures 
that explain the dangers when working 
around powerlines.
The importance of these messages was 
brought home to all of us at ESV again as this 
edition of EnergySafe was about to be released. 
News reports carried the devastating story that a 
truck driver had died near Sydney when a crane 
he was hauling to a building site hit powerlines in 
the early hours of the morning.
It doesn’t have to be dark and foggy for 
powerlines to pose a danger, and many of the 
incidents reported to ESV occur in daylight.
As we come into summer, it’s important to 
remember that powerlines sag with heat and load 
and sway in the wind so you can never assume 
you know where they are. You need to always 
be vigilant—whether you drive a truck, work on 
a building site or are installing a flag pole in your 
front yard. 
ESV has been working to spread the look 
up and live message for many years and, as 
our cover story in this issue details, we’re once 
again partnering with AFL Victoria to help raise 
further awareness about this issue with the next 
generation of drivers and tradies.
As we approach Christmas and look forward 
to spending time with family and friends, the most 
important reasons for workplace safety come into 
sharper focus.
Sharon Rainsbury
Managing editor
Sharon Rainsbury
Michelle Robertson
Michelle Robertson
Michael Weber
Laurie Devitt
Enzo Alfonsetti
John Stolk
John Murphy
Anthony Bottegal
Goran Sokoleski
Len Varker
Simon O’Leary
Bronwyn Hellings
Jason Treseder
Sue Sizer
Charlotte Roseby
Kelly Stalker
Jean-Marie Ntahonkiriye
Adam Murdoch
Doug Rennie
Michael Weber
Editorial assistant
Janice Williams
Aer Design
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Energy Safe Victoria
Building 2, 4 Riverside Quay
Southbank, VIC 3006
P 03 9203 9700
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All material appearing in 
EnergySafe is copyright. 
Reproduction in whole or in part 
is not permissible without the 
written permission of EnergySafe 
Victoria, depending on the source 
of the article.
Howsoever arising as a 
consequence of use or reliance 
upon any advice, representations, 
statement, opinion or conclusion 
expressed herein is expressly 
denied by Energy Safe Victoria 
and all persons involved in the 
preparation of this publication.
Have you changed address 
and forgotten to tell us?
All licence and registration holders are 
required to ensure ESV has their current 
information at all times. 
It is a requirement of the regulations 
that we are advised of any changes within 
10 business days.
A large number of copies of the July 
issue of EnergySafe were returned to sender 
because licence holders had changed their 
address and failed to let us know.
It is very important that we always have 
your current details! 
Please don’t forget ESV when changing 
your address! 
Country footy stops 
to look up and live
By Michelle Robertson, Senior Media 
and Communications Advisor
Country footballers were reminded to 
look up and live at the annual Energy Safe 
Victoria round of AFL Vic matches in August. 
At country footy matches around the state, 
ESV distributed look up and live re-usable 
coffee cups in the hope that those working near 
electricity will keep the cups handy and remember 
this vital message.
Leongatha Football Netball Club took things a 
step further by hosting a special Look up and Live 
round event, with giveaways and activities at their 
game against Traralgon. 
The match was attended by the Minister 
for Energy, The Hon. Russell Northe, himself 
a champion country footballer with a long 
association with Traralgon Football Club and 
whose son was playing on the day. Minister 
Northe is pictured (below right) with Mal Mackie 
of the Leongatha Football Club and ESV’s Director 
of Energy Safety, Paul Fearon.
ESV has an ongoing partnership with AFL 
Victoria and a commitment to reaching country 
workers with its safety messages. By educating 
country workers to steer clear of the 3m no go zone, 
ESV is aiming to reduce the number of electricity-related injuries and deaths.
As part of its ongoing association with AFL Vic, 
ESV also sponsored the under 19s country team in 
the annual VAFA versus Vic Country match. 
AFL Victoria Country’s U19s were too strong 
for the VAFA’s U19 side, reclaiming the Brian 
Molony Cup with a thumping victory that saw 
them emerge victorious by 106 points at the St 
Albans Reserve in Geelong. 
It was a tight contest early with the VAFA’s 
pressure in the first term causing Vic Country to 
turn over the ball far too regularly. Despite kicking 
into the breeze, the VAFA led the Country team at 
quarter time by four points. 
But it was all Vic Country from then on as the 
Storming to victory: Connor Hargreaves (left) breaks away during the Energy Safe Victoria U19s Vic 
Country match against the VAFA. The Country team thumped their city rivals in the annual match, played 
at Geelong’s St Albans Reserve on 12 July. Coach Damian Sexton, above right, encouraged the team not 
to lose focus as they ran away with the match by 106 points. Photos: Gary Sparks.
players asserted their authority on the contest. 
The VAFA team was held scoreless in both the 
second and third quarters while Vic Country 
kicked 11.12 in the same period. 
It didn’t get much better in the last. Restricted 
to only one behind, the VAFA couldn’t stop the 
margin blowing out to more than 100 points as the 
Country team powered home for a memorable win. 
The final scores were AFL Vic County 
18.19.127 defeating VAFA 3.3.21. 
For all the latest energy safety news visit Spring 2014
energysafe issue 37
Energy Safe Ad Quarter page horizontal: 70mm x192mm
For more information call us today 03 9739 4216
Electrical Inspections Victoria provides 
electrical inspection and consulting services 
to registered electrical contractors, developers 
and supply authorities across Victoria.
Electrical Inspections Victoria has the 
experience, qualifications and resources 
to provide the service you need.
By Sharon Rainsbury, Executive Manager 
Media and Communications
The Minister for Energy and Resources, 
the Hon Russell Northe, has released the 
Regulatory Impact Statement and proposed 
2015 Electric Line Clearance Regulations 
and incorporated Code for electric line 
clearance in Victoria. 
The draft regulations are open for public 
consultation until 13 January.
The proposed 2015 regulations include a 
number of changes that are generally intended 
to provide greater options for those managing 
line clearance, thereby reducing aesthetic costs 
(particularly in low bushfire risk areas) without 
compromising the safety and reliability of supply.
The key changes include: 
Amended method of specifying minimum 
clearance distances
A linear relationship will be established between 
span distance and required clearance distance 
between trees and electric lines. This change 
will reduce required clearance distances in 
many circumstances, without compromising 
safety performance. Required distances will 
now be represented on linear graphs rather 
than in tables. 
Provision of alternative compliance 
mechanisms and exceptions to minimum 
clearance spaces 
The Code will allow responsible persons to 
propose alternative engineering solutions to allow 
reduced clearance distances around electric lines 
while maintaining safety. It is also proposed to 
re-introduce provisions that would allow certain 
small and structural tree branches to remain within 
the specified minimum clearance distance of the 
electric line in low bushfire risk areas, under a 
number of specific conditions. 
Expanded definition of insulated cable
ESV has redefined insulated cables to include 
a broader range of electric line insulations and 
coverings. This will reduce the required clearance 
distances around some types of electric lines 
without compromising safety. This change 
enhances flexibility and provides opportunities 
to limit the aesthetic impact of pruning.
Adoption of the Australian Standard for 
the pruning of amenity trees
The proposed Code incorporates a requirement 
for responsible persons to cut trees in accordance 
with the Australian Standard AS 4373-2007, 
Pruning of Amenity Trees. This is intended to 
improve the standards for pruning 
and management of established trees. 
Enhanced notification, consultation and 
dispute resolution 
MECs will be required to write to relevant persons 
notifying them of intended pruning or tree removal. 
This is in addition to the current requirement to 
publish notices in a newspaper. Fuller disclosure 
of their dispute resolution provisions will also need 
to be provided. 
These changes are intended to encourage 
more open and transparent communication 
between MECs, those occupying or managing 
the land on which the trees are located, and 
the community. 
Electricity companies will be required to 
give advice to councils with respect to clearance 
distances in limited circumstances and also to 
provide guidance on working safely near electric 
lines, but only when asked. 
The regulations also include a 12-month 
transitional period to enable responsible persons 
to comply with the changes in the regime. 
ESV’s Director of Energy Safety, Paul Fearon, 
said ESV was conscious of the need to balance 
the regime’s three key policy goals—safety, 
reliability and fire prevention—with amenity and 
the environment, while moving towards practical 
compliance and good safety management in the 
longer term. 
“ESV recognises that improving compliance, 
especially in urban areas, presents a major 
challenge for some councils where there is a 
legacy of non-compliance over many years,” 
he said. 
“ESV will work with responsible persons 
to develop approaches that will address and 
prioritise the most serious instances of non-compliance over an agreed timeframe, but 
ESV will take enforcement action if necessary.”
Submissions close 13 January. 
Proposed new electric 
line clearance regulations 
Click hereto read the RIS 
and for details on how to 
lodge a submission, or go 
A growing problem: Powerlines and vegetation 
need adequate separation to ensure safety and 
reliability of supply.
By Enzo Alfonsetti, Manager 
Type A Gas Appliance Safety 
In response to concerns from gasfitters, 
ESV has released a new Gas Information 
Sheet setting out safe levels of workplace 
carbon monoxide exposure.
Gas practitioners can come into contact 
with CO when testing open flued gas appliances 
(such as space heaters and indoor water heaters) 
for combustion product spillage.
As a result ESV developed Gas Information 
Sheet no. 44, Carbon Monoxide Safe Working 
Level, which is available by clicking hereor going 
to the Technical Information Sheets section on the 
ESV website. 
According to Safe Work Australia, the allowable 
limit for CO exposure over eight hours is 30ppm. 
Further information is available by clicking hereor 
going to in 
particular refer to the document titled Workplace 
exposure standards for airborne contaminants 
(18 April 2013).
The eight-hour, time-weighted average is the 
average airborne concentration of a substance 
New information sheet details safe 
levels of CO exposure in the workplace
when calculated over an eight-hour working day, 
for a five day working week:
8 hour
= [Exposure time (min.) x 
CO (ppm)]/480 (480 minutes is equivalent to 8 hours)
The new information sheet also provides 
guidance about measuring your CO exposure. 
It has examples of how to calculate your exposure 
to CO over an eight-hour day and how you can 
monitor your exposure level, progressively, as 
you move from job to job. 
Short-term exposure to CO (exceeding 
30ppm CO concentration) is permitted as follows:
Concentration (a)
Total exposure (b)
200 15
100 30
60 60
Table supplied by Safe Work Australia.
Short-term excursions should never exceed 
400ppm. This represents the sum of exposures 
at this level over an eight-hour workday, and 
assumes no other exposure to CO.
Even though it is unlikely that you will be 
exposed to CO at every job you attend it is 
important to your health and wellbeing that you 
consider the information provided here. 
Click hereto access Gas 
Information Sheet no. 44 Carbon 
Monoxide Safe Working Level
Spring 2014
energysafe issue 37
For all the latest energy safety news visit
ESV sponsored the Master Plumbers Gold 
Medal and Training Awards, which were held 
at Federation Square in June.
It was the 107th time the awards have been 
presented and 10 Victorian plumbing apprentices 
received awards for excellence in their pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship studies and 
Awards night for 
plumbing’s rising stars
on-the-job performance. The Hon. Nick Wakeling, 
Minister for Higher Education and Skills, was in 
attendance and presented the awards. 
Congratulations to Aaron Williams 
who received the Energy Safe Victoria 
Encouragement Award. 
Aaron is pictured above with ESV’s Director 
of Energy Safety, Paul Fearon (right), and Mark 
Squirell, who was a guest speaker on the night. 
Aaron was also nominated for the top award 
of the night, The Andrew Letten Gold Medal 
Award, which was won by another outstanding 
Victorian apprentice, Benjamin Cheng of 
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By Goran Sokoleski, Compliance Officer 
On 27 August this year, the Australian 
Consumer Competition Commission (ACCC) 
announced a recall on various sizes and 
configurations of TPS and Orange round 
Infinity mains power cables. Olsent power 
cables sourced from Infinity Cable Co Pty 
Ltd were also included in the recall.
A total of 18 national suppliers were involved in 
the recall and six suppliers in Victoria were identified 
to have bought this product from Infinity Cables. 
ESV advised Victorian electrical contractors 
of the recall on 27 August via email. To view this 
notification, click hereor go to
Since the national recall, all Victorian suppliers 
that had supplied the affected cables have 
voluntarily recalled the product: They are:
»ABC Arian Electrical Suppliers 
»Norcab Electrical Wholesale 
»Titan Trading 
»Wholesale Electrical Supplies Pty Ltd 
»Phoenix Wholesalers 
All 4 Tradies Pty Ltd had already completed 
the recall on the cables they supplied.
L&O Technology, which initially advised ESV 
that it had purchased cable from Infinity, has since 
confirmed that it did not supply or install any of the 
recalled products. 
Electricians who installed this product should 
contact any affected customers to advise of the recall. 
Electricians may also receive calls from 
customers inquiring if this product was used 
at their premises.
Ecables non-compliance
And in a second recall relating to electrical 
cable, ESV is investigating Ecables copper clad 
aluminium (CCA) power cables with RE 110 
elastomer insulation. 
The issue identified to date is that the 
insulation of the cables does not comply with the 
requirements of AS/NZS 3808. 
The non-compliance is due to the elastomer 
insulation not being correctly cross-linked during 
its manufacturing process and, when heated, the 
insulation can soften and deform. 
ESV is continuing with this investigation to 
assess specific electrical safety risks involved 
with this non-compliance.
Ecables is cooperating with ESV’s 
investigation. The supplier stopped offering 
the cable from the beginning of July 2014. 
For additional information 
regarding the new VPI 
locking system, please go to
As Christmas approaches, ESV will be 
running its annual awareness campaign 
to remind Victorians of the need to 
ensure electrical and gas appliances 
they buy are approved and safe for use.
This year’s campaign includes radio 
and online ads with the message “how 
much are you willing to pay”.
This message is particularly relevant 
this Christmas following the death in NSW 
earlier this year of a woman who was using 
a faulty USB charger that had not been 
approved for use in Australia.
Always look for the regulatory 
compliance mark on all electrical products to 
ensure your family has a safe Christmas. 
office closure
ESV’s Southbank and Glen Waverley 
offices will close for Christmas at 1pm on 
Wednesday 24 December and will re-open 
at 8.30am on 5 January, 2015. During this 
time ESV staff will be available to respond 
to gas and electrical emergencies. 
Don’t buy 
By Simon O’Leary, Enforcement Officer
This year a new Victorian Power Industry 
(VPI) lock was introduced by the Victorian 
Service and Installation Rules (VSIR) 
management committee.
The new VPI lock provides greater security 
for building owners and tenants and also allows 
stakeholders to have dedicated locks and key codes. 
Electricians, builders, developers and other 
relevant stakeholders can now purchase and 
install keyed alike locks, effectively meaning they 
will be able to have one key coded for their own 
use for all the VPI locks installed at a particular site 
or multiple sites. 
This means that, essentially, a REC can 
purchase multiple locks all keyed-alike for 
individual or multiple sites and only require one key 
type for all locks. 
This system needs to be managed carefully by 
building owners and managers as the registration 
and allocation of a code means that the lock and 
key code is owned by the original lock purchaser. 
New VPI lock 
system introduced
A card and number are issued with the lock 
and this number will need to be quoted when 
purchasing additional locks or keys. Should, for 
example, a building change ownership, the card 
would need to be passed on to the new owner 
so that they have control over the locks coded 
for that premises. 
Under the new system, all occupants have 
common rights of access to their occupancy’s 
meter equipment, located in a group meter location 
within a multiple occupancy electrical installation. 
Infinity Cable recall update
Spring 2014
energysafe issue 37
For all the latest energy safety news visit
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ESV releases 
Morwell report 
By Michelle Robertson, Senior Media 
and Communications Adviser
ESV has released its final report into 
the incident at the Morwell Terminal 
Station on 4 April that led to a dramatic 
flashover and loss of supply to 100,000 
customers in Gippsland.
The investigation found the incident 
was rare and was the result of a short-circuit on one phase of a 66kV powerline 
and that two protection systems that were 
designed to stop the flow of electricity in 
the event of a fault failed to operate. 
ESV was unable to determine the 
primary cause of the short-circuit but the 
investigation found the network’s primary 
protection system did not operate due to 
an incorrect relay setting that had not been 
reset, while the secondary system failed 
due to a faulty component. 
No link was found between the fault 
and the fire at the Hazelwood Mine earlier 
this year. 
When the protection systems failed to 
operate as designed the flow of electricity 
was not isolated and this caused the 
conductor to overheat, melt and fall into 
other electrical infrastructure assets, 
including a 66kV powerline, a 22kV 
powerline and infrastructure within the 
Terminal Station. 
The report makes a number of findings 
on the operation of protection schemes by 
SP AusNet (now AusNet Services) in its 
terminal stations. 
Master Electricians Australia has launched 
a new online resource to help electrical 
business owners embrace technology and 
take advantage of the digital economy.
The Electrician’s Digital Business Kit
takes business owners through a range of digital 
topics including how to build an effective website, 
social media opportunities and using cloud 
The kit features how-to guides, 
downloadable templates and real-life case 
studies. Electrical contracting business 
Platinum Electrical took part in a video case 
study showing how it uses social media to 
complement marketing efforts.
Malcolm Richards, chief executive officer at 
Master Electricians Australia, officially launched 
the kit in September at the Electrical Industry 
Conference in Noosa.
“The kit is a vital resource for business owners 
across our industry and provides step-by-step 
guidance on how to grow an electrical business 
using digital tools,” Mr Richards said.
“We have tailored the kit specifically for the 
electrical industry and we believe it will help 
businesses to stay ahead of the game,” he said.
“Businesses can access the kit through a 
custom-built website and can go through the 
topics at their own pace.”
Ten module topics are available now with 
New tool to help 
electrical industry 
get online
more to come in 2015. Information is suitable for 
everyone from the beginner to the tech savvy. 
MEA will distribute the kit in 2014 throughout 
industry and online channels. The kit will be 
regularly updated to incorporate new ways of 
making use of digital tools as these emerge in 
the sector. 
The kit is available for free 
by clicking hereor going to 
Spring 2014
energysafe issue 37
For all the latest energy safety news visit
The Essential First Step of any excavation.
Visit or 
call 1100 during business hours.
By Bronwyn Hellings, ESV Customer 
Service Technical Officer
There is a misconception that anyone 
can change a downlight and associated 
transformers installed in an electrical 
installation. ESV provides the following 
Light fittings are sometimes reinstalled in a 
way that causes the cables and the transformers 
to be too close to the metal housing of the fitting, 
resulting in over-heating of the transformer and 
potentially a fire. 
A competent person is permitted to change 
a light globe in a light fitting without an electrical 
licence provided they are not disturbing the 
electrical cabling or using a tool to remove 
covers or guards.
The removal of a light fitting for any 
reason, however, is considered electrical 
installation work and it is required to be 
performed by a licensed electrician who is 
then required to verify the compliance of the 
installation work and provide a Certificate of 
Electrical Safety (COES).
Removal of a light fitting, including taking it 
down to inspect the transformer to establish if it 
will be suitable for LED conversion, is effectively 
an alteration to the configuration of the electrical 
circuit by changing the location of the cables, 
fittings and transformers.
To meet the requirements of the Electricity 
Safety Act 1998 and the Electricity Safety 
(Installations) Regulations 2009 in relation to 
the alteration, addition or repair of downlights, 
clause of AS/NZS 3000:2007 Wiring 
Rules (amendment 2) requires the installation of 
a warning sign at the access point to any ceiling 
indicating the presence of downlights installed 
within the ceiling. 
Other downlight requirements
When extra low voltage (ELV) dichroic 
luminaires started to become popular as 
decorative lighting in the mid 1980s, the 
Installing LED globes safely
luminaires were required to be provided with a 
protective earthing conductor at the transformer 
or plug base.
The requirement for providing a protective 
earthing conductor at each lighting point was 
introduced in the 1976 version of AS 3000. All LV 
dichroic downlights with exposed metallic parts 
are required to be earthed. 
Before 1976, the wiring rules allowed the 
installation of luminaires without the provision 
of a protective earth conductor, when that 
luminaire had: 
»no exposed metallic parts; or
»double insulation; or 
»was installed in a location where contact 
with both the exposed metallic parts of the 
luminaire and a conductive medium that could 
make a circuit to earth (earthed situation) were 
not possible.
In all other locations the exposed metallic 
parts of luminaires were required to be earthed.
The likelihood of a zone not being an 
“earthed situation” is highly unlikely. Since the 
introduction of the 1976 wiring rules all earth 
contacts of socket outlets were required to 
be connected to earth and where an earth or 
conductive building medium was introduced 
into a non-earthed situation, all existing 
electrical equipment with exposed metallic 
parts was also required to be connected 
to earth (reference 1 and 2). 
Replacement of dichroic downlights
In August 2009, the EL 001 committee 
provided a ruling, Frequently Asked Question 
(FAQ) 003, stating that the replacement of a 
luminaire is considered a repair. Prior to the 
publication of this FAQ the Wiring Rules stated 
only an identical replacement part was considered 
a repair—an alteration was deemed to be new 
work and all relevant provisions of the current 
standard applied. 
In cases where it can be established that 
the installation of the dichroic downlight was 
compliant with the requirements of the Wiring 
Rules when installed, the replacement of the 
dichroic downlight with a LED downlight can 
be performed without the installation of a 
protective earth conductor, otherwise a 
protective earth conductor at the plug base, 
LV transformer or luminaire shall be installed. 
The replacement of semi-enclosed rewireable 
fuses, where installed, is recommended but not 
The installation of RCD protection to the 
circuit is recommended but not mandatory. 
Due to safety concerns with insulation 
in ceiling spaces, warning signs required by 
Clause of AS/NZS 3000:2007 shall 
be installed in all cases. 
Legislative framework
All electrical installation work must comply 
in all respects to the Electricity Safety Act 1998 
and the Electricity Safety (Installations) 
Regulations 2009.
The current version of AS/NZS 3000 the 
Australian and New Zealand Wiring Rules and 
associated Standards becomes a legislative 
requirement for electrical installation work 
through the Electricity Safety (Installations) 
Regulations 2009.
Clause 1.4.72 of AS/NZS 3000:2007 defines 
a point (in wiring) as a “termination of installation 
wiring, intended for the connection of current 
using equipment”.
Clause 1.9.3 of AS/NZS 3000:2007 states 
the repairs can be effected using the methods 
that were acceptable when the part of the 
electrical installation was originally installed 
providing the methods used complied with 
the basic safety principles of section 1 of 
AS/NZS 3000:2007.
Clause 5.4.1 of AS/NZS 3000:2007 requires 
exposed metallic parts of electrical equipment 
to be earthed. 
Clause 5.4.3 of AS/NZS 3000:2007 requires 
the earth to be provided at the LV transformer and 
exempts the earthing of exposed metallic parts 
for luminaires that operate at ELV. 
By Sue Sizer, ESV Compliance Officer 
Electrical apprentices who commenced their 
apprenticeships from 1 January 2011 are 
under the competency-based completion 
(CBC) model, rather than the traditional 
time-served approach. This means that the 
apprenticeship ends once the apprentice 
is found competent by the RTO and this is 
confirmed by the employer in the workplace. 
Under the Electrical Safety Act 1998, 
an electrical contractor must not employ a 
worker to carry out electrical work unless that 
worker holds the appropriate electrical licence. 
Apprentice electricians are deemed to be 
licensed as electrical workers while under 
a contract of training. 
Once the apprenticeship is completed, the 
apprentice must gain an electrical licence to be 
able to continue to carry out electrical work. If 
they do not obtain a licence within three months 
of the completion of their apprenticeship, they are 
considered to be working unlicensed, and both 
the contractor and apprentice may be subject to 
significant fines. Electrical contractors who employ 
unlicensed workers may be fined up to $7380 for 
sole traders or partnerships, and up to $36,900 
for companies. The individual worker may be 
fined up to $7380.
The Victorian Electricity Safety (Registration 
& Licensing) Regulations 2010 state, in part, that 
a person applying for an electrician’s licence 
must complete a four-year contract of training 
(48 months) as an electrician, or equivalent. ESV 
continues to apply a ruling made by the Director of 
Energy Safety that applications for an electrician’s 
licence will only be considered once a person has 
completed a minimum of 42 months of training.
In addition, the regulations state that an 
applicant for an electrician’s licence must 
completion for apprentice 
Energise Oz is trialling competency-based 
progression for the electrical industry. 
There are more than 1500 apprentices 
undergoing a system whereby they will move 
through four phases of training at their own pace. 
To ensure a robust model, E-Oz Energy Skills 
Australia has involved industry stakeholders to 
build the phases and milestone benchmarks. 
The pilot program ends mid-2015 and the results 
will inform the future of apprenticeship training.
You can contact your local Energise Oz 
Mentor-Adviser for further information or 
advice on 1300 11 EMAP. Alternatively, visit view 
some videos on competency-based progression 
and what it means for stakeholders. 
Doing it right: Apprentices need to ensure they 
have completed a minimum of 42 months’ training 
before applying for an electrician’s licence. 
complete an examination suitable to ESV. In 
Victoria, this examination is currently known as 
the Licensed Electrician’s Assessment, or LEA. 
This examination sits outside the Certificate III 
Electrotechnology qualification the apprentice 
completes at their RTO. 
Ensure your 
apprentices have 
completed all the 
requirements for an 
electrical licence, 
before signing 
the apprentice 
out of his or her 
It is therefore possible for an apprentice to 
complete their apprenticeship under the CBC 
model, but they may not be eligible to apply for an 
electrician’s licence in Victoria, due to not having 
completed their LEA, or not having completed 
the minimum standard required by demonstrating 
at least 42 months under the contract of training. 
Apprentices signed out of their contract of training, 
who are not eligible to apply for an electrician’s 
licence will be required to apply for and hold a 
supervised worker’s licence. This will allow them 
to continue to carry out electrical work, under 
supervision, until they can complete the minimum 
acceptable apprenticeship requirements for 
an electrician’s licence. 
A supervised worker’s licence is valid for three 
years but would only be required to be held for the 
shortfall period as determined by ESV, following 
review of the contract of training information as 
extracted from the VRQA database, known as the 
Delta system.
Further information on competency-based 
training and completion can be found on the 
DEECD website. 
Phase Phase Phase Phase 1
Verified relevant work experience (profiling)
Successfully completed trade training
Achieve Phase 1 
Achieve Phase 2
Achieve Phase 3 
Achieve Phase 4 
Industry Benchmark Progression Assessment (knowledge and skills test)
Energise Oz trials competency model
For more information visit
is registered as an electrical contractor to
contract or undertake to carry out electrical
on work in Vic
Registered No:
Registration/Renewal Date:
Expiry Date:
02492g energysafe cards.indd 1 09/08/2007 9:33:58 AM
is licensed to carry out electrical installation
work throughout Victoria
Issue/Renewal Date:
Expiry Date:
02492g energysafe cards.indd 3 09/08/2007 9:34:9 AM
Spring 2014
energysafe issue 37
For all the latest energy safety news visit
History turns up in surprising 
places. Charlotte Roseby
meets licensed electricians Paul 
Hobden and Simon Choate of 
Greenwood Electrical Group 
and discovers a treasure trove 
of electrical history. 
As Australia commemorates 100 years since 
the beginning of World War 1, Greenwood 
Electrical Group is celebrating its century 
this year—100 years of unbroken electrical 
With its REC number of 95, Greenwoods is 
one of the oldest electrical companies in Victoria 
(the REC numbers have now reached five digits!) 
Rather than be weighed down by the long 
legacy, licensed electricians and company 
co-directors Paul Hobden and Simon Choate 
have embraced it. 
“We feel a responsibility toward the history of the 
business. It’s quite an honour to keep the company 
going all those years. Our customers really respond 
to the long-standing nature of our company, so we 
promote it … a lot of people trust us. 
“We’re not part of the original Greenwood 
family, but Greenwood Electrical is still a family 
business … our families!”
Living history
Part of the responsibility that Paul and Simon 
feel to the history of the company is to preserve as 
many of the original electrical artefacts as they can. 
The history really springs to life in their Reservoir 
workshop: you can see the decades of hard work 
in the heavy pedestal press drill with leather belts 
and the worn anvil from a time when electricians 
did their own manufacturing and fabricating.
Their most precious historical item is one 
that is still in use: the original 500 Volt wind up 
“Megger” insulation and resistance tester. It is kept 
on Paul’s van and called into action every couple 
of days, just as it has for years.
“It runs rings around the new digital Meggers,” 
says Paul. “The batteries just never go flat! It’s the 
number-one tester for rectifying any RCD faults we 
get called out to diagnose; it breaks the resistance 
down in a flash.”
Paul and Simon have also collected their own 
little shop of horrors of illegally and dangerously 
wired switches, as well as a collection of original 
porcelain throw switches with copper contacts 
and live terminations behind a screwed brass 
cover, which would certainly not meet safe 
earthing requirements these days. 
“They had these in my local pub until very 
recently,” says Simon, who looks suitably horrified 
at the memory.
Greenwood Electrical 
celebrates centenary
Some of Paul and Simon’s tools and 
equipment are stored in a spectacular wall of 
original colour-coded old tin drawers. They are a 
fossicker’s delight. “Young blokes think we just 
bought these down the road at Ikea,” Paul says 
with a laugh. 
1914: war, electricity, light and power
The story of Greenwoods, as it tracks through 
history, is certainly an insight into Melbourne’s past. 
In 1914 Abel Francis Greenwood—son of 
a prominent Coburg grain merchant and local 
councillor—first acquired what was then a lift 
maintenance company. 
Paul says that Abel Francis bought the 
business “from a German fellow who was no 
longer allowed to own a business here”. This was 
a common story. In 1914 when Australia joined the 
British Empire in the First World War, anti-German 
sentiment was rife. Germans and Austrians who 
were old enough to join the army were put into 
internment camps, and many Germans lost their 
jobs and were forced to sell their businesses.
Meanwhile, electricity was booming in 
Marvellous Melbourne. The Victorian government 
authorised the electrification of Melbourne’s 
suburban railway network in 1912 and in 1913 
work began on construction of the Newport 
railway power station.
By 1915, Melbourne boasted 285km of 
illuminated streets. Electric lights were a symbol of 
prestige, progress and social advancement. The 
National Council of Women lobbied for improved 
lighting in city parks and gardens to promote 
safety and “purity”. 
The demand for electricity skyrocketed. The 
State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SECV) 
was formed in 1921, with Sir John Monash as 
the first chairman—a significant moment for the 
unregulated industry, and certainly a significant 
step towards our excellent electrical safety in 
According to the Encyclopedia of Melbourne 
(Cambridge University Press): “The four main 
organisations generating electricity in Melbourne—
the Melbourne City Council, the Melbourne 
Electric Supply Co., the North Melbourne Electric 
Tramways and Lighting Co. and the Newport 
power station of the Railway Commissioners
—had neither a standard voltage, phase or 
current, and tariffs varied as much as the 
Melbourne weather”. 
In the following years, the SECV introduced 
uniform standards, acquired the two main 
A proud history: Greenwood Electrical co-directors Paul Hobden and Simon Choate.
independent companies, and eventually 
incorporated Spencer Street and Newport power 
stations into the state system.
Going up!
Abel Francis, electrical engineer, 
successfully ran the Greenwood Electrical 
Engineering Company, specialising in lift 
maintenance, in central Melbourne from 1914 
until 1931.
The bill of sale of the company boasts 
an impressive list of plant and equipment: “a 
Colchester lathe, a leg vyce, anvil and tongs, 
history of 
Sign of the times: Greenwood Electrical’s workshop contains a treasure trove of items that span the 
company’s 100 years, including these colourful cases that definitely didn’t come from Ikea. 
a swage block, a German jack and shafting, 
hangars and belting”.
Abel Francis also had an impressive list of 
ongoing maintenance commitments for 13 new 
buildings in the city. At the top of the list was 
the new AMP building in Collins St, Melbourne. 
The decorative “commercial palazzo” 10-storey 
building was built to the maximum allowable 
height limit of 132 feet—an impressive sight at the 
time—featuring a wire cage lift. 
Abel Francis must have been a forward-thinking electrical engineer; electric lifts were a 
relatively recent innovation and Melbourne was 
one of the first cities in the world to introduce them 
into “high rise” city buildings. 
The first early hydraulic lifts in the 1880s were 
powered by water (and when the town water 
pressure was low, the lifts wouldn’t run, according 
to Stephen Downes in Going up: How Yarra-powered lifts raised Melbourne into the modern 
age). Electric lifts were installed in the early 
1900s when the Melbourne City Council began 
connecting electric power to buildings.
New partnerships, new chapters
Abel Francis Greenwood sold his successful 
company in 1931 for 100 pounds. Thomas Mills 
and Stanley Warren bought the business and 
eventually Thomas’ son, Kevin, took over. 
Paul Hobden and Simon Choate were both 
apprentices to Kevin in Greenwood Electrical 
in the late 1980s and early ‘90s, and ended up 
becoming partners in the business. 
“Kevin came to see me at home, which was 
very unusual. I thought I was about to get the 
sack!”, Simon says, laughing. “It turns out he 
offered me a share in the company.”
Paul and Simon took over the company 
from Kevin in 2001. “We offered Kevin a 
»1879: football match played at the 
Melbourne Cricket Ground under primitive 
electric lighting
»1881: Australian Electric Co. erects arc 
lamps outside its Swanston St premises 
»1889: lamps erected outside Parliament 
»1893: power station built in Spencer St 
»1894: arc lights installed across the city
»1896: Victorian Parliament enacted the 
Electric Light and Power Act 
»1912: electrification of Melbourne’s 
suburban railway network 
»1913: construction began on the Newport 
railway power station 
»1921: State Electricity Commission of 
Victoria (SECV) established.
(Source: Encyclopedia of Melbourne Online, 
Cambridge University Press)
lifeline for Greenwoods. We couldn’t bear 
to see it close its doors,” says Paul. “Not after 
all that time.” 
Into the future
Now Greenwoods has a large customer 
base ranging from minor domestic electrical work 
through to commercial/industrial works.
Simon is particularly proud of its commercial 
work at the Abbotsford Convent. They have been 
working closely with the Abbotsford Convent 
Foundation since it first began transforming 
the convent into an arts precinct 12 years ago. 
The Greenwoods team completely rewired 
the infrastructure in the difficult heritage-listed 
buildings to bring them up to standard.
Paul’s favourite job? Their 25 years of 
electrical work at the University of Melbourne. 
Powering offices, libraries, lecture theatres and 
science labs is hugely satisfying, says Paul. 
They have significant and complicated power 
demands and strong, green power-saving 
requirements. This kind of hi-tech work calls 
upon a wide range of skills, says Paul: lighting 
control systems, security and CCTV, fire and 
thermal detection, data works and audio/visual 
The Greenwoods team has certainly 
inherited the Abel Francis work ethic along 
with the company. They switch from installing 
a new industrial plant with safety module relays 
and E stop circuits to the smallest domestic 
electrical job without missing a beat. And they 
work safely. “It’s always safety first. That’s 
important,” says Paul. 
So is loving the job: “I wake up every morning 
looking forward to going to work. I love my job. 
I’ve been doing this for 28 years, and we take 
high pride in our work. We set ourselves high 
standards. We put our heart and soul into the 
business every day.” 
Happy centenary Greenwood Electrical! 
Spring 2014
energysafe issue 37
For all the latest energy safety news visit
By Kelly Stalker, Manager Licensing
Following the consolidation of the 
Business Names Register to the Australian 
Securities and Investment Commission 
(ASIC), electrical contractors appear 
to have dropped the light bulb, so to 
speak, on maintaining their business 
names, as well as advising ESV when 
their corporations have been wound up 
or deregistered by ASIC.
The number of deficiencies found by the ESV 
Licensing team through its review of contractor 
registrations is very concerning. 
ESV Licensing cannot process your 
renewal where the trading entity does not exist! 
Disappointingly, the team has received renewals 
Business names and 
corporation names—attention 
electrical contractors!
that indicate that there have been no changes to 
the registration, only to find that when validated 
the business name has been removed or the 
company has been deregistered some time ago. 
In some cases it has been years! 
With the change to five-year registrations, 
ESV does require you to be across these business 
requirements as you are no longer receiving your 
yearly renewal notice to remind you.
Should these problems continue, matters 
will be referred to ESV’s Compliance Officers 
for further investigation. ESV cannot renew an 
unregistered entity and you cannot conduct 
business or trade as an unregistered entity. ESV 
could immediately suspend your registration due 
to the entity not being viable and therefore you will 
fail the requirement to maintain registration.
Australian Recognised Trades Certificate 
Program Closes
By Kelly Stalker, Manager Licensing
Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) ceased 
accepting Australian Recognised Trade 
Certificate (ARTC) applications from 
30 September 2014.
Under the new Trades Recognition Service 
(TRS) introduced from 1 October, those applying 
for an electrical licence with ESV must first be 
assessed by TRA or their nominated training 
Are you issuing a 
Certificate of Electrical 
Safety for every job 
you complete?
Certificates can be purchased and lodged via 
the ESV website. You’ll find more information 
The Electricity Safety Act 1998 and Electricity Safety 
(Installations) Regulations 2009 require a certificate to be 
issued for all electrical installation work. This includes addition, 
alteration, repair or maintenance of an electrical installation.
Failure to comply is an offence that could result in penalties.
As electrical contractors you must keep your 
business affairs in order as the public face of our 
industry. If your business is not registered correctly 
or is invalid, your insurance companies may also 
have some concerns and you could find yourself 
not covered for electrical work undertaken, 
resulting in your insurance policies becoming void. 
Why put your family home and assets at risk? 
Before signing your contractor’s renewal, 
please make sure your insurance, ABN details, 
corporation and business names are all in order. 
It will save you in the long run should an electrical 
incident occur and will stop the licensing team 
from getting grumpy at you for not being across 
this issue as a business owner! 
Please help us out and be better informed 
about your business affairs! 
providers—Vetassess, Victoria University 
or Future Skills International. 
ESV continues to accept the ARTC 
Certificates issued by TRA.
The new TRS program will ensure that 
regardless of where a person is trained, the 
qualification outcome will be the same.
ESV regards this as an excellent 
mechanism to streamline overseas skill 
sets and recognition of qualifications in 
accordance with the qualifications and 
national training framework. 
More information is available hereor 
go to
Lead. Connect.
We support members by delivering first-rate industry 
services including technical and workplace relations 
advice, training and education, industry news, 
networking opportunities and more.
Join now at
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recognised by industry, government and 
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contractor association and benefit from first-rate 
industry advice, expertise and services.
Membership starts from just $865
Be part of 
industrial plug 
hazard alert
By Adam Murdoch, Manager Equipment 
Safety and Energy Efficiency 
ESV has recently investigated an electric 
shock incident involving a 32A Clipsal 
56P432 industrial plug. 
It was found that the internal pin assembly 
was incorrectly inserted into the plug body 
meaning the earth pin was not in the correct 
position. Consequently, when the plug was 
inserted into its socket and energised, the frame 
of the supplied equipment became live. 
Affected products 
Clipsal has advised that this type of fault 
is possible with the following products supplied 
to the market during May to August 2012:
32A Versions
»Straight plugs—56P332, 56P432, 56P532
»Angled plugs—56PA332, 56PA432 and 
»Socket connectors—56CSC332, 56CSC432 
and 56CSC532
»Pendant outlets—56PO432 and 56PO532.
40A Versions
»Straight plugs—56P540
»Angled plugs—56PA540
»Socket connectors—56CSC540
»Pendant outlets—56PO540
50A Versions
»Straight plugs—56P550
»Angled plugs—56PA550
»Socket connectors—56CSC550
»Pendant outlets—56PO550
It is important to note that the affected product 
was, and still is, compliant to AS/NZS 3123:2005. 
In order to mitigate any chance of incorrect 
assembly happening again, Clipsal has 
implemented a design change where the key 
has been increased in diameter, meaning that it 
is now impossible (even with reasonable force) to 
incorrectly assemble the plug. 
In 2012 Clipsal also advised all electrical 
distributors nationally to ensure no sales of this 
product could occur until the product and the 
By Jean-Marie Ntahonkiriye, 
Compliance Officer Equipment Safety 
ESV took part in the Rochester Farm and 
Road Safety Expo in August, sharing its 
safety messages with around 700 primary 
school children from the greater Bendigo area.
The Expo is an annual event organised by the 
Rotary Club of Rochester and designed to share 
safety displays and messages relating to the farm, 
the road and home.
Students who visited the ESV tent were able to 
ask questions and try out its children’s safety website, 
PowerSafe Buddies, which promotes electrical safety 
inside the home, outdoors and at school. 
They also took home showbags to share with 
family members that included gifts and information 
about various safety topics including look up 
and live, which encourages safe work around 
powerlines and it is especially relevant to farmers 
and country workers. 
Participating primary schools included Rochester 
Primary, Rochester Secondary, St Joseph’s 
Rochester, Girgarre Primary, Cohuna Consolidated, 
Colbinabbin Primary, Kyabram P-12, Merrigum 
Primary, Nanneella Primary, River City Christian 
College (Echuca) and St Joseph’s College (Echuca).
PowerSafe Buddies is aimed at primary school 
children and features animated videos, games and 
challenges plus resources for teachers. 
PowerSafe: ESV’s Jean-Marie Ntahonkiriye explains some key electrical safety rules to primary school 
children from the Bendigo area.
Rochester Farm and Road 
Safety Expo draws a crowd
Check it out hereor go to 
product’s instructions were reworked to make the 
user aware of the correct orientation of the plug. 
This latest incident shows that message didn’t 
reach all electricians and some plugs with this 
type of construction are still in the market. ESV is 
warning all electricians to be mindful when fitting 
this type of product. 
For more information contact 
Clipsal by Schneider Electric on 
1300 202 525, press 2 and 2.
Question Answer Standard Clause
I have been issued a defect notice from my 
electricity distributor stating that the one 
pole of my two pole private overhead electric 
line only has 30mm of sound wood. 
I am further advised because the area is 
rated as having a high fire risk and I cannot 
replace the pole and need to install an 
underground supply, is this correct?
Yes, a private overhead electric line that is to be constructed or 
substantially reconstructed in a hazardous bushfire risk area must 
be placed underground. Substantial reconstruction means in case 
of a private overhead electric line the replacement of more than 20 
per cent of the wiring or more that 20 per cent of the poles in a line 
supporting the wiring. The replacement of one pole of a two pole 
overhead private electric line is 50 per cent and exceeds the 
20 per cent.
I have been asked to install an enclosed 
spray painting booth. I have been told there 
are no electrical components installed 
directly in the hazardous area but it does 
have electrical control equipment installed 
for the protection of the hazardous area. 
Is the installation non-prescribed? 
No, all electrical equipment installed within the hazardous area and 
all electrical equipment installed outside the hazardous area that is 
associated with the protection of the hazardous area is prescribed 
electrical installation work.
238(1) (h)
Can I install underground consumer’s 
mains at a depth of 300mm under a concrete 
driveway in compliance with clause 3.11.3 
of AS/NZS 3000:2007? 
No, consumer’s mains are required to be installed with a minimum 
depth of cover of 500mm from the top of the additional protection 
to the surface of the ground.
Am I required to issue a Certificate of 
Electrical Safety for minor repair work such 
as the replacement of a socket outlet or an 
architrave switch? 
Yes, doing minor repairs is electrical installation work, and the person 
who is responsible for the carrying out of electrical installation work 
must ensure that a Certificate of Electrical Safety is completed in the 
required timeframe in respect of that work and give the completed copy 
to the person for whom the work was done and provide a copy to ESV.
Safety Act 
45A (1)
I recently bought a quantity of 1mm
3 core 
double insulated cable and found it has a solid 
earth conductor. Is this cable compliant? 
Yes, AS/NZS 5000.2:2006—Electric cables—Polymeric insulated.
Part 2: For working voltages up to and including 450/750 V allows 
2cables with a solid 1mm
earth conductor.
Clause 5
Is the replacement of a main switchboard in 
an emergency situation prescribed or non-prescribed electrical work?
The replacement of a main switchboard regardless of it being 
an emergency is prescribed electrical installation work and 
requires the mandatory inspection.
What Standards apply for the installation 
of electrical equipment in a high voltage 
customer-owned substation?
AS 2067:2008 Substations and high voltage installations exceeding 
1kV a.c. and Appendix K of AS/NZS 3000:2007 Wiring Rules except 
for the following provisions—
Clause K11.4.2, Clause K11.5.2. and the note in Clause K2.
Must I install wiring that originates from a 
single point and supplies individual lots of a 
subdivision in common property or can the 
wiring pass through other lots?
No, the individual wiring supplying a lot or occupancy must be 
placed in common property or common area.
209 (a) & (b)
The catenary between the house and shed 
was brought down by the limb of a tree. I have 
been advised that the line cannot be repaired 
and has to be installed underground because 
of the location of my property. 
Private electric line aerial wiring systems to be constructed or 
substantially reconstructed in locations designated as high fire 
risk by the fire control authority shall be placed underground.
Substantially reconstruction means, in the case of private aerial lines 
supported by catenary, the replacement of more than 20 per cent of 
the cable supported by the catenary, or catenaries or replacement 
of more than 20 per cent of the poles for the catenary or catenaries 
supporting a cable.
For all the latest energy safety news visit
Spring 2014
energysafe issue 37
Your electrical 
Compiled by ESV’s Electricity Technical 
Advisor, John Stolk 
EnergySafecontinues its regular series 
featuring some of the questions that 
ESV receives on a range of electricity 
installation issues, some of them relating 
to gas installations. Also provided are 
the answers together with references 
to the Acts, Standards, Regulations and 
Clauses that apply to them. 
Employing an apprentice can be rewarding. 
You get to pass on your knowledge to future 
generations, watch them grow and develop and 
celebrate the success of projects.
But there is also the stress of payroll, schooling 
and are they up-to-date, mentoring, profiling and 
have they been trained in a broad range of skills, 
and most of all, will I have enough work?
NECA Apprenticeships can remove all this stress 
by managing your apprentice. We take care of 
payroll, superannuation, WorkCover, schooling, 
profiling plus we provide mentoring and advise 
on OHS. 
We will ensure your apprentice is job-ready, 
including a medical, Scissors Lift certification, 
Construction Induction Card, tools and Personal 
Protective Equipment.
PLUS, if you experience a quiet period you can
let us know and we can re-deploy your 
apprentice until you need them again!
Give our team a call and see 
how we can remove your 
stress today on 9389 9959.
Let us remove the stress of 
managing your apprentice
Conducting business in the Electrical Contracting industry is 
tough! Today’s economic environment has resulted in massive 
numbers of electrical worker redundancies and businesses 
going to the wall, and there are no indicators to point to a change 
anytime soon.
In Victoria, electrical contracting businesses who have union 
enterprise agreements are finding it particularly hard to win work. 
The high cost of labour associated with these companies is fast 
making them uncompetitive. A worker who is employed by such 
companies is paid $45.66 per hour for a 36 hour week, receives 
double time for any overtime and shift work, receives 26 rostered 
days off a year, and on top of that also has over $120 per week 
paid on their behalf into a redundancy and income protection 
fund. These conditions are great for workers but are costing jobs 
on a daily basis.
There has been three other 
significant developments in the 
Victorian electrical contracting 
industry over the past two years. The 
first is the growing influx of interstate 
contractors competing directly with 
Victorian contractors for the little work 
that is available. These interstate 
contractors operate from a far lower 
cost base as they are not weighed 
down by the high costs associated 
with union enterprise agreements. 
More and more we are seeing 
interstate contractors winning work 
from Victorian contractors as they 
are cheaper by far. Builders these 
days are displaying a preference 
for contractors tendering on a lower 
price, rather than by the type of enterprise agreement they have. 
The second major development in the industry has been the 
growing trend for contractors to deal directly with their employees 
to negotiate enterprise agreements. These companies tend to 
position themselves on a more competitive footing in the part of 
the industry in which they operate in. They manage to do this 
whilst at the same time maintaining wages and conditions that 
keep their employees happy. Due to their competiveness, these 
companies are also winning a sizable slice of available work in the 
Victorian market. They tend not to have redundancies, in fact in 
many cases they are growing in their size and capability. 
A further trend which is enormously concerning is the drop off of 
employing apprentices. The main reason again for this dilemma is 
again due to cost! Whilst a junior apprentice in a union enterprise 
agreement starts their career at $14.55 an hour for a 36 hour 
week in their first year, they quickly rise to $33.02 an hour in their 
final year. The repercussions of apprentice redundancies and 
lower employment levels will be realised in a few years’ time when 
the industry will face a massive shortage in qualified electricians.
In the face of these concerning trends, the Electrical Trades Union 
has launched its ‘Follow the Leaders Contracting EBA Campaign 
2014’. What the union believe is reasonable in these hard economic 
times is a 20% increase to wages and allowances over a three 
year period, an immediate increase in superannuation guarantee 
contributions to 12%, and an additional 18% increase to the 
employer contributions into the severance and income protection 
fund in addition to the establishment of portable annual leave and 
sick leave schemes. These unreasonable demands will result in 
the devastation of the electrical contracting industry. The result will 
be more massive job cuts, Victorian electrical companies closing 
their doors and greater opportunity for interstate contractors to 
move in and capture Victorian electrical work. 
Further to these problems is the pending introduction of a new 
federal Building and Construction Code. When passed into law, 
all building and construction companies, including electrical 
contractors will have to be fully compliant with the Code in order 
to be allowed to tender for government funded work. Government 
funded work currently constitutes 42% of all work performed in the 
industry. Companies who have enterprise agreements certified 
by the Fair Work Commission on or after 
24 April 2014 with be required to have 
content of such EBA’s fully compliant with 
the code otherwise they risk not being 
allowed to tender for government funded 
work. If the current union enterprise 
agreement was recertified in its current 
form it would not be code compliant. 
Should new claims made by the union 
in the ‘Follow the Leaders Contracting 
EBA Campaign 2014’ be agreed to for 
a new enterprise agreement, then that 
EBA would also not be compliant with 
the new code.
For all of the above reasons, the 
IR Committee of NECA recently 
unanimously formed a view to 
recommend to the entire electrical 
contracting industry that employers should pursue enterprise 
agreements directly with their employees. This is the only 
viable option that can provide Victorian electrical contracting 
businesses with the ability to compete in today’s market and to 
offer some degree of job security for Victorian electrical workers.
Kevin McCosh
Executive Director
National Electrical and Communications Association 
How to keep electricians employed
Growing trend for 
contractors is to 
deal directly with 
their employees 
to negotitate 
South West TAFE’s Certificate IV in Plumbing 
(CPC40912) provides plumbers with training 
required to qualify for several licences with 
the Victorian Building Authority: Plumbing 
Division (formerly the Plumbing Industry 
This course will equip you with additional 
technical knowledge and skills at a supervisory 
level in the gas fitting, mechanical services, 
waste disposal, water supply and roof 
plumbing trades. This course is required to 
become a licensed plumber.
For more information please contact 1300 648 911 or 
email | 1300 648 911
South West 
With the expansion of gas and renewable 
energy industries, the demand for 
skilled plumbing tradespeople continues 
to grow. South West TAFE has risen 
to this challenge and now provides 
comprehensive training for plumbers 
and apprentices.
Make an impact and progress your career 
with a plumbing qualification at South West TAFE.
South West TAFE’s plumbing courses provide the 
training you need while undergoing your industry 
If you don’t have a job, don’t worry—South 
West TAFE’s pre-apprenticeship courses will 
prepare you for industry employment.
South West TAFE will help you develop a 
broad range of skills and knowledge associated 
with drainage, water supply, sanitary, backflow, 
gasfitting, roofing and business-based units. 
Gain employment in the plumbing industry as a 
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You will be trained using the latest tools and 
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TAFE teachers have industry experience and close 
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West TAFE include:
»widest range of industry-specific programs on 
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»experienced, skilled trainers who have relevant 
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»opportunity for customised delivery to meet 
specific training needs
»training available on-site in the workplace
»up-to-date training materials and resources
»Flexible delivery approach
To find out more click hereor 
Meet the plumbing team: James Langston, Chris Lawlor, Peter Mentha and Scott Hetherington 
By Jason Treseder, 
Type A Gas Engineer 
All gasfitters should be aware that 
AS/NZS 5601 was published late last year 
and is now called up in Victoria. One of the 
more obvious changes from the 2004 edition 
was the introduction of a new Section Two—
Performance-based design and other 
essential requirements.
The additional section provides a new path 
for compliance, based on demonstrating 
compliance with performance-based 
requirements for installations where Means of 
Compliance requirements in sections three to 
six are not possible or necessary to achieve. 
While it is expected that Means of Compliance 
will remain the default method for most installations, 
performance requirements provide a new path for 
installations with innovative technology or other 
reasons for not being able to directly comply with 
the Means of Compliance requirements.
Means of Compliance 
The Means of Compliance sections contain 
prescriptive requirements, for which a combination 
of experience, history and calculations have 
already shown will produce safe and reliable 
installations. In contrast, performance-based 
requirements are based on the high level safety 
and operational objectives that must be achieved, 
without specifying or limiting how the objective 
may be achieved. This provides a high level of 
flexibility for the installation, although an equally 
high level of responsibility is placed on the installer 
to ensure all aspects of the performance base 
requirement have been addressed, without causing 
New options for compliance 
of gas installations under 
AS/NZS 5601
detriment to other aspects of the installation. 
It is important to be aware that performance-based requirements offer an alternative means for 
demonstrating compliance and are not an option 
for installations that are simply not compliant.
In particular, the installer using performance-based requirements is obliged to ensure that 
the level of safety, convenience and efficiency 
of operation for installations is not less than for 
installations that comply with the prescribed 
means of compliance.
Exemption process
In the past installations that did not comply with 
the prescriptive means of compliance requirements 
required an application for exemptions (schedule 6) 
under the Gas Safety Act. The exemption process 
still exists and remains the only option for installations 
that are directly non-compliant. For installations 
where performance-based and exemption 
application approaches are both possible, it is up 
to the installer to choose which path they prefer.
Alternative solutions for complex gas 
installations must be assessed by ESV to ensure 
they meet the performance requirements of the 
installation. The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) 
should be contacted when considering alternative 
solutions for standard gas installations. 
ESV requirements for alternative solutions
ESV requires all alternative solutions that 
are based on performance requirements to 
be accompanied by documentation. The 
documentation should outline the scope of 
work the alternative solution relates to as well as: 
»the performance requirements that the 
alternative solution is required to meet
»identification of the relevant deemed-to-satisfy 
»documents relied on to substantiate the 
alternative solution proposal including, where 
relevant, NATA-accredited test reports and 
expert judgments 
»other evidence that is being relied upon 
to support the alternative solution.
The level of documentation and evidence 
required will depend on the nature of the 
installation and the performance requirement 
being addressed. All documentation must be 
kept by the gasfitter for seven years.
Assessment methods
Assessment methods for each installation 
are determined based on the complexity of the 
alternative solution design and performance 
requirements to be achieved.
Assessment methods may include:
»review of documentary evidence
»verification of methods
»independent expert judgment methods
»comparison to the deemed-to-satisfy 
Submissions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and no guarantee is given that a 
performance-based approach will be accepted 
by ESV. If a performance-based approach is 
being considered it is recommended that ESV be 
contacted and advised early on in the process.
Please contact the Gas Technical 
Information Helpline on 1800 625 
563 for further information.
By Doug Rennie, ESV Gas Inspector
From modest beginnings, the Northern 
Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT) recently 
celebrated 100 years of quality trade 
training. Today NMIT is one of Victoria’s 
leading training providers for gasfitters. 
With the continued partnership and support 
of ESV, NMIT’s dedicated staff are proud to 
offer a variety of courses in gasfitting.
NMIT training provides:
»plumbing and gasfitting apprenticeships
»registration with the Victorian Building 
Authority in gasfitting
»the opportunity to obtain a licence with the 
Victorian Building Authority in gasfitting
»gas conversion work
»licence renewal with the Victorian Building 
Authority for previously licenced gasfitters.
NMIT’s teaching staff are fully qualified in all 
areas of plumbing and gasfitting.
NMIT facilities include state-of-the-art work 
stations and equipment. Training is focused 
on a combination of technical information and 
NMIT: Training gasfitters for today and tomorrow
hands-on practice, and at all times the 
NMIT teaching staff seek the advice and 
support of ESV.
For more information on existing courses or 
new courses contact the plumbing and gasfitting 
staff at NMIT on (03) 9269 8633.
Spring 2014
energysafe issue 37
For all the latest energy safety news visit
Holmesglen to 
offer Type A 
servicing course
Holmesglen is one of Victoria’s largest 
providers of vocational and higher 
Today, Holmesglen Chadstone Campus delivers 
education and training to more than 800 plumbing 
apprentices and registered plumbers across 
Certificate II, Certificate III and Certificate IV. There is 
also further education and training in specialty fields 
related to the plumbing industry including appliance 
servicing, which is a major growth area.
To accommodate appliance servicing, 
Holmesglen will run a new Type A gas appliance 
servicing course in October 2014. It will also deliver 
eight Certificate IV Gas courses during the year with 
the option of both day and night time classes.
ESV and Holmesglen have always recognised a 
need for quality training in all fields of the gas industry 
but more recently in the area of appliance servicing.
Staffed by 30 general, mechanical services 
and specialist teachers, Holmesglen is well 
equipped to deliver the quality and depth of 
training needed in our community.
Launched in 1982, it quickly developed in to 
the leading provider of plumbing and mechanical 
services training in Victoria and is still a leader in 
plumbing skills training 32 years later.
Holmesglen’s Plumbing and Mechanical 
Services Department has enjoyed a long and 
proud history of partnership and collaboration, 
including the support of ESV and industry 
partners, and continues to identify and develop 
industry best-practice along with the appropriate 
education and training necessary to support it. 
Specialist team: Holmesglen is well equipped to deliver quality training to gasfitters.
For further information click here
or go to
By Michael Weber, 
Technical Communicator
Energy Safety New Zealand has long been 
recognised by the Gas Technical Regulators 
Committee (GTRC) as a producer of high 
quality gas incident statistics. 
The GTRC is an association of government 
departments responsible for the safe use of gas 
and includes representatives from every state and 
territory in Australia and New Zealand.
Early in September, Michael Weber of ESV’s 
Gas Installation and Appliance Safety (GIAS) Division 
met with Mark Wogan, Manager Energy Safety—
High Hazards & Specialist Services, and Vallabh 
Patel, Senior Research Analyst at Energy Safety 
NZ offices in Wellington, over a two-day period, 
to discuss and exchange ideas for the collection, 
analysis and distribution of gas incident data. 
It was also an opportunity to make 
comparisons and identify improvements for 
ESV’s GIAS data recording and analysis.
Similar yet different
Some similarities exist between Energy 
Safety NZ and ESV. Energy Safety NZ enjoys a 
similar role in that it also monitors and enforces 
compliance with the laws related to electricity 
and gas supply. Energy Safety NZ is a part of 
WorkSafe New Zealand. 
New Zealand’s North Island uses natural gas 
and LPG while the South Island uses only LPG. 
Natural gas on the North Island is reticulated 
through piping networks in urban areas.
With a small workforce of only 12, Energy 
Safety NZ covers gas issues from the city gate 
to the consumer. This area of responsibility is 
equivalent to ESV’s Gas and Pipeline Infrastructure 
Safety (GPIS) and GIAS combined. 
Phone enquiries to Energy Safety NZ are 
handled by a call centre that processes about 
85 per cent of calls, while the more difficult 
enquiries are passed to Energy Safety NZ 
technical experts for processing. 
Differences between our two organisations 
begin to show when it comes to recording gas 
incidents. Differences are seen in the description 
of equipment types, cause codes, type of 
accident or incident and the notification 
of accidents and incidents. 
Energy Safety NZ does not distinguish between 
Type A and Type B gas appliances as ESV does, 
nor does Energy Safety NZ distinguish between 
gas incidents before or after the gas meter.
Energy Safety NZ collects gas incident 
data from government agencies, gas supply 
companies, appliance companies and industry 
associations and also from hospitals, consumers 
and public notification and the news media. ESV 
operates with similar industry and consumer 
relationships for gas incident data collection.
Energy Safety NZ investigates accidents, 
and records at least a basic level of data for all 
reported accidents, regardless of the scale of 
Gas incident data: learning 
from New Zealand
Hot Water Service
Domestic Appliance Incidents
July to August 2014
BBQ & LPG storage vessel
the investigation. More comprehensive information 
is recorded for significant accidents. These 
accidents are analysed for severity and frequency 
of similar types of accidents.
Energy Safety NZ further enhances its 
records by using a matrix for assessing the cost 
of damage or repair to property as a whole or a 
portion thereof, based on damage due to fire, 
water or smoke. 
Case management system
Accident information is prepared through 
a case management system known as ESI 
(Energy Safety Intelligence). This integrated case 
management system brings electricity and gas 
accident information into a single database 
allowing reports of a variety of topics to be produced.
ESV employs a similar case management 
system known as CIMS (Complaint Incident 
Management System) however the current structure 
of the CIMS Advanced Search report is less flexible 
for reporting gas incident outcomes even though 
more information is captured than is displayed.
Energy Safety NZ accident data is analysed 
and categorised with the use of Excel pivot tables. 
SAP Crystal Reports are used for data reporting with 
tables and graphs of electrical and gas accidents. 
Energy Safety NZ produces gas accident 
statistics quarterly and on a calendar year basis, 
which it says allows it to stay in line with the 
rest of the world. It benchmarks internationally. 
Energy Safety NZ produces a detailed report 
of accidents each year, including the level of 
consequence and frequency. 
Recently GIAS began geographically 
plotting gas incidents. On a map of Victoria 
gas incidents relating to gas type or appliance 
type can be marked. 
Areas where there is a greater frequency 
of gas incidents are easily identified and can be 
targeted for future safety campaigns.
ESV is striving to improve its documenting and 
reporting of statistics. The two-day meeting was 
an excellent opportunity to compare processes 
and learn from benchmarking against the New 
Zealand gas regulator. 
Energy Safety NZ is proactive and works 
hard at producing detailed statistics of gas and 
electrical accidents. There are a number of 
similarities between Energy Safety NZ and ESV 
however it is from the differences that lessons 
can be learned. 
Building a picture: Plotting gas events in Victoria by category will help ESV better identify trends.
For all the latest energy safety news visit
Spring 2014
energysafe issue 37
Your gas 
Compiled by ESV’s Gas Installations 
and Appliance Safety team.
As per previous issues of Energysafe, 
we are pleased to provide answers 
for a varied range of frequently asked 
questions received on ESV’s Gas 
Technical Helpline, 1800 652 563. 
Question Answer Clause
Before commencing your gas installation 
what do you need to establish?
You need to establish:
(a) the gas type available
(b)  whether the gas supply is adequate to satisfy likely simultaneous 
demands or peak loading
(c)  whether the gas meter or cylinder supply is sufficient to meet 
the anticipated maximum demand
(d) the gas pressure at the inlet to the consumer piping
(e)  the maximum pressure supplied at the outlet of the gas meter 
or cylinder in the event of a failure of the supply regulator or control
(f)  the location of the gas meter. 
Also you need to establish the gas pressure and flow requirements 
for all gas appliances including existing gas appliances.
AS 5601:1:2013
3.1 Gas supply
3.2 Gas demand
Before sealing or connecting the pipework 
of your installation what must you check for?
You must check that your pipework is clear of any debris and 
dry before sealing it.
AS 5601:1:2013
3.4.1 Removal of 
In a situation (while work is in progress) 
where you are required to remove of a gas 
fitting or appliance from consumer piping, 
or required to cut an installed pipe what 
must you do to the open ends of the pipe?
The open ends (other than those of the immediate work area) of the pipe 
must be sealed prior to, and for the duration of, the work. When you vacate 
the work site you must make sure all open pipe ends have been sealed. 
The closing of a shut-off valve will not satisfy this requirement unless 
the outlet of the valve is sealed.
AS 5601:1:2013
3.4.2 Open ends 
to be sealed while 
work is in progress
In a situation where you provide an outlet 
in consumer piping (not fitted with a quick-connect device) for the future connection 
of a gas appliance what are acceptable 
methods for sealing the pipe?
The pipe outlet can be sealed using a plug, a cap, a blank flange or a capped 
or plugged manual shut-off valve.
AS 5601:1:2013
3.4.3 Outlet provided 
for future connection 
to be sealed
Before you put any new gas installation 
or altered existing consumer piping into 
operation what must you do?
You must test the consumer piping, the installed gas appliances 
and the valve trains for gas leakage.
Leakage tests also apply to consumer piping that has been altered, 
repaired or extended.
AS 5601:1:2013
3.5.1 Testing a new 
gas installation
3.5.2 Testing 
consumer piping 
after alteration, 
repair or extension
NoteThe technical regulator may require notification before work commences and confirmation that completed work is in accordance with 
this Standard (AS 5601—2013) and any other relevant requirements.
Types of 
2014 REC LEW 
Offence Penalty
Jul 14 OTHER 6253 Supply equipment not approved $577
OTHER 6253 Supply equipment not approved $577
OTHER 6253 Supply equipment not approved $577
OTHER 6384 Supply equipment not approved $2887
OTHER 6384 Supply equipment not approved $2887
OTHER 6381 Supply non-complying equipment $2887
OTHER 6381 Supply non-complying equipment $2887
LEW 6212 Unregistered person holds out $722
LEW 6215 Fail to display number $289
REC 6241 Fails to complete certificate $141
REC 6241 Fails to complete certificate $144
LEW 6241 Fails to complete certificate $141
Aug 14 OTHER 6381 Supply non-complying equipment $2817
OTHER 6211 Unregistered person carries out work $704
LEW 6219 Non-complying installation work $722
LEW 6219 Non-complying installation work $704
OTHER 6229 Fail to give certificate within time $148
LEW 6232 Fail to have work inspected by inspector $577
LEW 6233 Fail to have connected work inspected $590
LEW 6243 Fails to lodge copy with the Office $148
OTHER 3588 Gasfitting work did not comply $590
OTHER 3591 Appliance or installation did not comply $2887
OTHER 3591 Appliance or installation did not comply $2887
OTHER 3592 Unauthorised uncover or expose gas pipe $289
OTHER 6368 Unregistered person offers to do work $3609
OTHER 1577 Build closer than distance in table 313 $295
Sep 14 OTHER 6232 Fail to have work inspected by inspector $577
LEW 1504 Fails to notify defects $289
Oct 14 LEW 6227 Fail to disconnect equipment from supply $577
OTHER 3592 Unauthorised uncover or expose gas pipe $289
LEW 1504 Fails to notify defects $295
OTHER 6381 Supply non-complying equipment $2952
Total 4 6 0 11 5 0 6 12 14 2 4 64
ESV has recently taken 
legal proceedings against 
the following individuals 
and companies.
» Aaron Valladares of Essendon, unlicensed, was 
prosecuted in Werribee Magistrates’ Court for 
offering to carry out work when not registered, 
carrying out electrical installation work when 
not licensed and installing unsafe electrical 
equipment. Valladares was released on an 
undertaking to be of good behaviour for one 
year with a payment of $500 to the Court Fund.
who made 
his own COES 
and fined
By John Murphy, ESV Solicitor 
ESV has successfully prosecuted a 
handyman for carrying out defective 
electrical work and making his own 
Certificates of Electrical Safety (COES). 
Naray Oczakmak, from St Albans, was 
charged with two counts of offering and carrying 
out electrical contract work, two counts of 
offering and carrying out electrical installation 
work while unlicensed, one count of numerous 
instances of installing unsafe electrical equipment 
and one of employing Nazim Karim to carry out 
electrical installation work when Karim was not 
an electrician and Oczakmak was not a REC.
He was convicted and the Magistrate fined 
him $4000 plus $1500 in costs.
ESV was alerted to the illegal operations 
after receiving a complaint in March alleging 
that a person trading as NAZCON Building and 
Maintenance had delivered a document titled 
Customer Copy of eCOES to a builder for the 
installation of a builder’s pole at a building site 
at King St, Airport West. 
The document was a fraudulent compilation 
showing the ESV logo of what purported to be 
a Certificate of Electrical Safety. ESV has the 
sole statutory power to prescribe the format 
of and supply COES under section 45A (4) 
of the Electricity Safety Act 1998. 
The document supplied to the builder carried 
the name Naray Oczakmak and an electrical 
contractor licence number. That number belonged 
to a licensed electrical installation worker who had 
no connection with Oczakmak and who had not 
authorised the accused to use his number. 
The court heard Oczakmak was not 
a licensed installation worker nor was he 
a registered electrical contractor. 
ESV began an investigation and, while that 
was taking place, a further a complaint was made 
about another customer copy of eCOES being 
given to the owner of units at Moonee Ponds 
for electrical work carried out by the accused.
The customer copy of eCOES given by 
Oczakmak was a doctored version of a certificate 
shown on the Queensland Government Electrical 
Safety website on which ESV’s logo had been 
Once the builder was told that the accused 
was not a licensed electrician he engaged a 
licensed electrical inspector to check the work. 
The inspector reported numerous faults, some 
of which were unsafe. A registered electrical 
contractor was engaged to rectify the faults and 
a COES for prescribed electrical installation work 
was completed and the work inspected. That 
additional work was carried out at the builder’s 
expense as well as having paid the accused 
$770 for the defective work. 
Prosecutions and infringements
» Tim Horvat of Brisbane, company 
director, was prosecuted in Wodonga 
Magistrates’ Court for 10 counts of carrying 
out electrical contracting work when not 
registered. Horvat was fined $7500 without 
conviction and ordered to pay an additional 
$1800 in costs.
» Glen Calvert of Bairnsdale, LEIW meter 
installer, was prosecuted in Orbost 
Magistrates’ Court for installing unsafe 
electrical equipment and failing to comply 
with the provisions of an Order in Council. 
Calvert was released on an undertaking to 
be of good behaviour for six months and 
ordered to pay $1000 costs.
For all the latest energy safety news visit Spring 2014
energysafe issue 37
For further information visit Energy Safe Victoria call 03 9203 9700
Never work live on switchboards
and electrical installations.
Even when you’re under the pump, there’s no
excuse to cut corners. Don’t risk electrocution
or serious injury - you may not get a second chance.