Last chance to get entries in by close of business Monday 31 July!
Excitement is building here at LQ Awards HQ. With entries rolling in there is still time (but not much!) to enter your projects completed since 30 June 2015 and be in the running for for these prestigious awards. Achieve finalist, highly commended or win a category and it gives you ability to promote your business as an award winning one - marketing gold for you! Full details on the LQ website - call LQ Awards HQ 1300 883 966 if you have any queries and good luck!
Landscape Queensland believes that the training and upskilling of the landscape and related industries in this state is vital and plays an important role in the success of all businesses involved is this sector.
Members have previously been advised of the opportunity to become involved in the LQ Education & Training Committee. This working group has been set up to identify training related issues in our industry and develop strategies aimed at making improvements which benefit Landscape Queensland members and the industry as a whole.
It is foreseen that the work of the Education & Training Committee will be ongoing with a number of short, medium and longer term projects being identified and undertaken.
The makeup of this committee includes Landscape Queensland contractor and training industry members. We take this opportunity to thank the following members for their involvement in this committee:
Paul Luck: TAFE SW (Committee Chair)
Brett Oakley: Parklane Landscapes
Craig Knight: WPC Group: GTO
Jason McGarry: Eureka Landscapes
Saul Johnson: SJ Landscapes
Steve Bray: TAFE Brisbane
Warren Driscoll: DGF Landscapes
Steve Jameson: Trainer: RTO
Eric Eller: Trainer: RTO
Stuart Alexander: Greenworx
Mark Sorby: CEO Landscape Queensland
The board of Landscape Queensland has determined that Education & Training is to be a priority focus of the association. The following training related priorities have been identified to date;
· Quality of training
· Training methods and programs
· Training package content
· Industry skill shortages
· Industry profile and awareness
· Promoting of landscaping as a viable employment career
Members will be updated/consulted periodically and given further opportunities to have an involvement or to provide feedback on training related issues.
News articles concerning a recent decision handed down by the The Fair Work Commission (FWC) proposing to change some entitlements for casual and part-time employees in a number of modern awards may have been misleading. Members are advised that at this stage the decision is yet to be finalised and further announcements will be made in due course. The proposed decision includes adding casual conversion provisions into 85 awards. This article by LQ Member Benefits Partner Masula Compliance sets out clearly the differences between casual, part time and permanent employees as well as an overview of the proposed changes.
Members are reminded of the importance of using only products which conform to Australian Building Codes in their landscaping projects. Suppliers should be able to advise whether this is the case and whether the product/s they are supplying are 'fit for purpose'.
Whilst there may be a myriad of cheaper, perhaps imported products to choose from those products may fail and cost you and your client more in the long run. The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has recently launched an online hub to assist consumers and contractors develop a better understanding about building product safety and where suppliers or contractors can report a product or material they suspect is non-conforming.
The QBCC Home Warranty Insurance Scheme has been in place for several years and covers a range of construction and related activities undertaken on residential homes where the contractor fails to complete the work, the work is defective, or subsidence occurs.
Members were advised in November 2016 that the scope of the scheme had been broadened. From 1 July 2017 there has been an increase in the premiums payable under the scheme.
Navigating the QBCC website can sometimes be difficult so we have developed a flow chart for members to better understand when premiums need to be collected.
NOTE: Consideration of whether or not the Scheme applies to any individual project needs to be made at QUOTING stage as the premium itself forms part of the Total Price and any deposit payable by client MUST include the premium – total deposit MUST NOT exceed deposit limits as set out in the LQ Domestic Landscaping Contract Schedule.
To access the LQ flow chart click button below and full details of the QBCC Home Warranty Insurance Scheme can be found on their website. http://www.qbcc.qld.gov.au/contractor-insurance-requirements/about-home-warranty-insurance
Whilst the Timber Framing Code AS 1684 contains information covering most aspects of timber framed construction, it is silent when it comes to stair tread and stringer sizes etc.
A case recently reported to Timber Qld involved very "bouncy" 240 x 45 hardwood treads spanning 2400 mm. There is some good information on this topic in the WoodSolutions publication Technical Guide #08 Stairs, Balustrades and Handrails.
Stair treads and stringers are structural members that need to be designed to comply with the loading requirements set out in the Loading Code AS 1170.
The following table extracted from the Guide indicates how far the F27 240 x 45 were from being compliant and the suggested "fix" for the stairs in question was to retro fit an intermediate stringer.
Stair tread spans
1. The thicknesses in the table are minimum design thicknesses and may not represent commercially available thicknesses.
2. Timber grading should be in accordance with the appropriate Australian Standard for milled products (i.e. AS 2792 and AS 4785). The stress grades used for design in accordance with the loading requirements of the BCA are as indicated.
3. The F17 grade included in the table is intended for unseasoned hardwood, to be used for external stairs only.
Thanks to Timber Queensland for provision of this article.
Agriculture Ministers have agreed to take a National approach to dealing with Fire Ants in Australia and will effectively double the amount of treatment and surveillance committed over the next 10 years.
The plan will include a significantly expanded fire ant treatment program which will commence in September 2017, running through to May 2018. Members are advised to report any Fire Ant suspected sighting by submitting an online report form at www.daf.qld.gov.au/fireants or call Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.
This tax time the ATO really wants people to know what they’re eligible to claim before lodging their tax return, so to help with this they have designed the attached poster that specifically addresses common work-related expenses for building and construction workers.
Student David Ostrofski was recently awarded Equity VET Student of the Year (Central Qld) in the annual Queensland Training Awards. He was trained by longstanding LQ member and sponsor Horticultural Training and completed a Cert III in Parks & Gardens.
Meanwhile, LQ members Contemporary Landscapes and SJ Landscapes both based on the Sunshine Coast were awarded silver and bronze places respectively in the annual Qld Garden Expo Landscape Display Competition.
Image courtesy of SJ Landscapes
There are now over 600 separate pieces of State and Federal legislation imposing personal liability on directors and officers. Add to this exposure to claims regarding WHS and employment issues and it could end up a recipe to ruin any business. LQ Member Benefits Partner and Gold Sponsor Insurance House has put together a comprehensive solution to this potential problem with their Management Liability Policy.
We have been brought up to live in a very competitive world. During our younger schooling years, we were measured against children who may have better literacy skills, better numeracy skills, better skills in the field of sport, music and so on. Then as we grow and progress, matters become increasingly intensified. In high school and university, we are told to do all that we can to win and to look after number one (that’s you!). However, the challenge is in a business world self-seeking people generally lose.
WHS Queensland - Free Injury Prevention & Management program event Victoria Park Gold Club 3 August 2017
Nursery & Garden Industry Qld - NGIQ - Trade Days - Full list of dates for 2017 Trade Days
Timber Queensland - Matching Timber Species to Correct Internal & External Use - Victoria Park Golf Club 24 August 2017 - click here for full details
Protrade United - 9 Steps to Hire & Keep the Best Staff - breakfast workshop at Woolloongabba Friday 25 August 2017
Fraser Coast Regional Council - Sustainable Agriculture Forum is being held in Maryborough 25 - 27th September 2017
Green Urban Scape Asia - International Exhibition and Conference on Landscape, Greenery Design, Construction and Technology, Returns for its Third Edition on 9 – 11 November 2017 at the Singapore EXPO Convention and Exhibition Centre
Irrigation Australia - International Conference 13 - 15 June 2018 Sydney
The Landscape Industry Costing Guide - Edition 7 is packed with information vital to your business you can't afford to be without one - purchase yours today from the LQ website shop.
Our approach to work place health and safety had traditionally been to use our common sense in day to
day work practices and conform with the minimum that was required by law. With the recent
introduction of the amended WHS laws and the offer of a free information night from Landscape
Queensland partner Stack Masula, we decided it was time to look at our approach more seriously.
Like many contractors I’m sure, we had our reservations about the cost to our business and the time it
would take to implement the required changes. We have a staff of 12, and for our business I estimate
it took me just one day of my own time, plus two days of a dedicated staff member, and around
$3,000.00 in costs. There were the expected jokes and rolling of eyes when we first started making
changes, but talking to staff now it is genuinely appreciated that we talk about safety regularly and
consider their safety at work a serious issue. It is also a comforting feeling as an employer to know that
if there is ever an incident at work then you have done what can reasonably be expected to have avoided
The documentation can be daunting when read in isolation, but in consultation with Stack Masula it can
be modified to suit individual workplaces (as we have done), so that it does not become a burden.
I would recommend it to all Landscape Queensland members who haven’t already done so.
Park Lane Landscapes
Member Benefit Partner Stack Masula have assisted many LQ members to sort through the WHS minefield and keep on top of this important area of running their businesses. For further information on how they can help you contact LQ office on 1300 883 966.
Landscape Queensland Board members and Staff would like to thank all of our sponsors.
Please support those businesses which support your Association!