Calls for govt home reno plan to include electrical safety

Tuesday, 02 June, 2020

Calls for govt home reno plan to include electrical safety

The federal government’s suggested home renovation package should focus on electrical safety measures as well as saving jobs, according to Master Electricians Australia.

MEA CEO Malcolm Richards said that small electrical contracting businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19 and assistance was greatly needed.

Targeting that assistance to electrical safety measures such as installing safety switches on all circuits would not only create the economic stimulus the government wanted, it would also leave a lasting electrical safety legacy.

“Small business has been hit hard by the COVID-19 economic sledgehammer. MEA welcomes reports that a home renovation stimulus package is in the works and we urge the government to ensure that electrical tradesmen also benefit from the scheme,” Richards said.

“A home renovation package should focus very strongly on electrical safety measures such as installing safety switches on every circuit, which would not only generate business for electrical contractors but would also lift the safety of Australian homes.

“In the case of an electrical fault, a safety switch can cut the power to a circuit in less than one-hundredth of a second — faster than the critical phase of a heartbeat. The federal government has the chance not only to save businesses, but to save lives.”

“There is also scope for initiatives around improving the energy efficiency of Australian households. Again, this would achieve twin goals of generating work for small business while helping Australians lower their power bills.”

Richards also said that safety needed be a top priority to prevent a repeat of the disastrous home insulation scheme.

“The industry does not want a repeat of the disastrous pink batts scheme that results in deaths to young electrical workers while also endangering homeowners. There needs to be strict criteria requiring all work to be conducted by a fully licensed professional.”

MEA has already written to respective state and federal ministers advocating stimulus measures to kickstart the electrical sector in the post-COVID-19 recovery phase:

  • Safe home improvement package — safety switches
  • Smart home package — metering
  • Energy efficiency package
  • Apprentice incentives
  • More flexible modern awards

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