Advisory Services T: +61 2 9736 2111

News Service 113 – Electrical Trade Trainer job, Tech to increase productivity, Consultations – Apprenticeship support, Gas & Electricity Act and Health, Women in trades, Education pathways program, Regulator morale down, Electricity Jobs Advocate 1st report, Australian Training Awards winners, NSW Small Business last week, Union slams CEDA licencing plan, Electrician fined, ACCC deadly solar batteries, Electrical safety webinar, Energy & renewables

uensw  > News headlines >  News Service 113 – Electrical Trade Trainer job, Tech to increase productivity, Consultations – Apprenticeship support, Gas & Electricity Act and Health, Women in trades, Education pathways program, Regulator morale down, Electricity Jobs Advocate 1st report, Australian Training Awards winners, NSW Small Business last week, Union slams CEDA licencing plan, Electrician fined, ACCC deadly solar batteries, Electrical safety webinar, Energy & renewables

Download a PDF version of the News Service 113


The NSW Productivity Commission has released its latest report on how emerging technologies could enhance productivity and improve economic growth in NSW.  The November 2022 titled, “Adaptive NSW: how embracing tech could recharge our prosperity”, suggests from its modelling, that if emerging technologies are widely adopted, they could potentially increase productivity growth in NSW to 2.0 per cent a year and lift the growth rate of real Gross State Product to 3.0 per cent a year to 2035.

That said, the key findings would mean under this scenario, “, Gross State Product would be 11.8 per cent larger by 2034-2035. This represents a ‘productivity dividend’ of an extra $11,600 per person or $27,400 per household (in 2021-22 dollars). Government own-source revenues could also grow by as much as $4.5 billion by 2034-35.”

The NSW Productivity Commissioner, Peter Achterstraat AM, stated in the forward to the report, “It’s no secret that we face a productivity challenge. Like other developed economies, NSW’s productivity has lagged for some time. The 2021-22 NSW Intergenerational Report (IGR) projected average productivity growth of just 1.2 per cent a year for the coming 40 years. Unfortunately, this is not nearly enough to meet our ‘fiscal gap’—the gap between our Government’s revenue and its expenditure. The gap is projected to grow to 2.6 per cent of Gross State Product (GSP) by 2060-61. If we don’t tackle this problem with higher productivity growth, we risk our future living standards and public spending capability, not to mention the prospect of burdening future generations with debt.

But the productivity challenge comes with an incredible tech opportunity. Using advanced economic modelling, powered by Faethm AI, Adaptive NSW shows how emerging tech could recharge the state’s productivity growth to 2.0 per cent a year and lift economic growth to a robust 3.0 per cent a year to 2035. That would be like a repeat of the 1990s ICT boom.  …

Adaptive NSW lays out the policy principles and insights that could get us to a high tech, prosperous future—from public sector governance to smart regulation, from building an agile and digitally-skilful workforce to measured interventions that could foster tech entrepreneurship and attract world-class talent and expertise.”

The Report advances how its “modelling shows that rapid automation would not increase unemployment in NSW”, stating, “Rather, jobs and work tasks will become more flexible, cognitive, and social. Most new jobs will be created in services but new and expanding industries will also create high-skill, high-pay, tech-related jobs. 

Figure 1 – NSW real wages have gone backward since the pandemic began

We lay out the core principles for NSW policymakers thinking about technology, automation, and the future of work:

  • Be a fast technology adopter. This means encouraging private sector tech adoption through smart regulation, while embracing technology to improve public services.
  • Attract and foster the core tech adoption workforce. This requires nurturing entrepreneurship, harnessing local talent with expertise in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and making targeted efforts to attract leading-edge overseas tech talent.
  • Build all workers’ adaptive capacity. This includes supporting lifelong learning and continuous upskilling, combatting credentialism and creating smooth mid-career transition pathways, and spreading digital education opportunities, microcredentials, and other forms of non-formal learning. 
  • Ensure the process of tech adoption and adaptation is inclusive. This means ensuring smooth transitions for workers and industries facing technological disruption, using technology to diversify regional economies and broaden workforce participation, and ensuring the benefits of technology are distributed widely.”



A reminder that the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR) is seeking your feedback on its Australian Apprenticeship Services and Supports Discussion Paper.

The website states, “The discussion paper explores the current non-financial services and supports available to seek views on how to address three key questions facing the apprenticeships system:

  • What changes are needed to drive up the completion rate?
  • How can apprenticeship services better encourage and support apprentices from diverse background?
  • How can support services be optimised to me the current and future needs of apprentices and employers?”

This paper tracks the journey of an apprentice and seeks views on how we can address key issues at every stage of the apprenticeship life cycle. It is focused on non-financial supports. A review of financial supports will be undertaken in late 2023.

Figure 2 Australian Apprenticeships – Overview of the data – 31 March 2022

Responses to this paper will inform apprenticeship services and supports that the Australian Government takes forward.

Consultation is open until 16 December 2022.  To get involved download the discussion paper and submit your feedback. Your responses will inform future priorities within the Apprenticeship System.”


The Central Coast Community College covering the areas of Rutherford, Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW are seeking to recruit a full time Electrical Trainer.

Promotion for the position states, “We are currently seeking a highly motivated, proactive, and skilled Electrical Trainer to deliver training on a permanent basis at our Rutherford site.

Your excellent interpersonal skills paired with your passion for adult education will see you deliver quality training to students and genuinely make an impact on people’s lives. Our Trainers work with our students through face-to-face contact, as well as by distance, and online to deliver training, support, and assessment.

We employ trainers who are actively engaged in industry practice whilst teaching, giving students insight into current industry processes and trends. To be successful in this role, you will be a Trainer and Assessor with strong student engagement and enthusiasm for sharing your current industry knowledge and experience in the Electrical industry. You will be effective and engaging in the delivery of training material for VET courses alongside maintaining all assessment and reporting documentation for all participants. . You will work closely with the Training Coordinator to implement effective holistic programs, ensuring successful student outcomes.

To be successful in this role, you will also need to demonstrate:

  • Current Electrical qualified supervisor’s license
  • TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment or higher
  • Ability to work both autonomously and within a team environment
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Experience working in the Vocational Education and Training sector
  • Experience using Microsoft Suite programs and Office 365
  • An understanding of the relevant Australian Standards and State Regulations.

Who you’ll be working with…

The amalgamation of HVTC and the Central Coast Community College has combined two dynamic organisations working in the VET sector delivering apprentice & trainee employment and vocational education and training. 

HVTC is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to changing lives through training and employment.  …”

Further information on this position can be obtained by contacting Holly Wolfe, Senior HR Advisor, on 02 4932 4222.

Applications close 4th December 2022



The Agrifood and Electrotechnology ITAB’s will host FREE showcase days for Manufacturing, Agrifood and Electrotechnology (MAE) industries in partnership with the National Vegetable Protected Cropping Centre and Essential Energy.

An exclusive event for female participants aged 16-64, careers advisors & influencers.  You’ll see industry at work, gain hands on experience and develop a sense of the many jobs available for consideration.

SYDNEY:Held on location, Building S40, Horticulture Road, Hawkesbury Campus, Western Sydney University, Richmond NSW

Attendees will have the opportunity to:

  • meet and talk with female industry leaders involved in protected cropping, beekeeping, pollination, energy and electrotechnology industries
  • gain hands-on experience
  • access the latest career information & learn more about rewarding occupations
  • ask questions and have them answered by industry experts
  • register and reserve a place for obligation free opportunities to do work experience with local MAE industries
  • free networking lunch

Showcase day participants numbers are limited and registrations are essential.

WHEN: Wednesday, 7 December 2022, 9:30 am to 2.00pm
Download a copy of the flyer here: MAE SYDNEY FLYER
Check for bus access and support.

For more information contact Melissa by email or call 0421830056; or visit the agrifooditab website


The NSW Govt has implemented a strategy to get more women into trades.  The strategy addresses key actions necessary to increase the representation of women in non-traditional trades.  The strategy is part of the Trade Pathways Program.

Why the new approach

  • Women are underrepresented in trades – making up only 2% of qualified trade workers.
  • The lack of women entering trades is a serious economic issue (The Productivity Commission White Paper launch released on 31 May 2021)
  • Women are vital to addressing trade skill shortages.
  • Trade careers are rewarding and improve economic security for women.

Why there are low numbers of women in trades

  • Research shows that it’s partly cultural. 
  • Some industries resist encouraging women in the workforce. 
  • There are perceptions built up over time about which jobs and roles are ’suitable’ for women.
  • Women often don’t enter the trades industry because they perceive that it’s male dominated.

Why we need women in trades

Nationwide there are critical skills shortages in industries such as building and construction. Women are an untapped market. The trades industry offers women employment stability and economic security.


Explore an array of women in trades initiatives and learn more about the $5 million the NSW Government has allocated to help women get a head start in trades as part of its Connecting Women to Trades program, by visiting the link below:



Editor, Stephen Matchett in the 25 November 2022 edition of Campus Morning Mail reports that employee morale is somewhat down within the halls of the higher education regulator as well as the vocational education and training regulator.

The article states, “53 per cent of TEQSA staff are “proud to work in my agency,” 23 per cent down on the Australian Public Service as a whole, … And if you think morale is not universally terrific at TEQSA, it’s not great at ASQA”.

In relation to TEQSA, “It’s one of the findings in the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency’s employee census for 2022, conducted for all Australian Public Service organisations.

Good findings include staff opinions on the agency’s flexible working arrangements, 23 per cent above the APS as a whole.

But the overall positive employee engagement score is 67 per cent – the same as last year and 9 per cent lower than the norm for regulatory agencies.

TEQSA people believe in their work. There are positives, largely in line with the APS overall on the “purpose and objectives” of the agency (84 per cent) and commitment to its goals (77 per cent).”  …

With respect to ASQA, “Just 42 per cent of staff at the Australian Skills Quality Authority are “proud to work in my agency” – 34 per cent under the all of the APS figure.

Part of the problem appears to be the way top management is perceived. The overall score for survey respondents’ immediate supervisor is 70, unchanged from last year and just 6 per cent down on the APS as a whole.”



The latest Educational Pathways Program Newsletter of 25 November 2022 reports on the successful two-day 2022 ‘LookForward’ Conference.

The article states, “During the two-day conference, more than 125 Head Teacher Careers, SBAT Engagement Officers and School Administrative Officers worked closely with members of the executive and program team. This inaugural conference was an opportunity for key stakeholders from the EPP to collaborate with program colleagues face-to-face, hear from guest speakers and panellists, discuss best practice and participate in workshops with colleagues.  …

Support for the program

The Hon. Sarah Mitchell, Minister for Education and Early Learning, and the Hon. Alister Henskens, Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade, Minister for Sport, Minister for Skills and Training, and Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology, expressed their continued support for the program through videos that were presented at the conference.

Minister Mitchell’s address conveyed the significant investment in schools, communities and careers initiatives that the program represents. It also touched on the need to open up new opportunities for our students and young people, with a particular focus on young women entering what might once have been considered non-traditional trades.  …

Principal Champions announced

To commend their support and advocacy for the program, three principals from participating schools were acknowledged as Principal Champions: James Ostermann – Principal, Callaghan College, Jesmond Senior Campus; Kirstine Gonano – Principal, Liverpool Girls High School; and Richard Finter – Principal, Lightning Ridge Central School, who was unfortunately unable to attend to flooding in North West NSW. James, Kirstine and Richard have exhibited incredible enthusiasm, commitment and passion for the promotion of vocational learning and career pathways.”



Dr Mark Apthorpe, Electricity Infrastructure Jobs Advocate has released his first report to the Minister for Energy on the activities he has undertaken since being appointed. 

The Jobs Advocate is required to report once a year thereafter in the statutory role of NSW’s Electricity Infrastructure Jobs Advocate Under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020.

The first report to the Minister for Energy is now available on the Energy and Climate Action website – Entities delivering the Roadmap.

The report outlines the Job Advocate’s initial findings on employment, training and workforce development in the Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) and infrastructure to promote export opportunities for generation, storage and network technology. These observations are informed by consultation with Roadmap entities, government agencies, local councils and business and community stakeholders.

The report lays out seven focus areas for the coming year. These are:

  • increasing workforce supply with a particular focus on women, First Nations communities and those with limited engagement in the workforce
  • addressing skills gaps including through the Renewable Energy Skills Audit and clearer mapping of skills anticipated in each REZ
  • improving the coordination and accessibility of training including investigating the opportunities for local renewable energy training schools, leveraging TAFE NSW’s significant resources and local skills coordinators 
  • creating opportunities in the electricity infrastructure supply chain by raising awareness of opportunities for local businesses
  • promoting renewable energy careers by mapping energy sector career pathways and promoting the sector in high schools
  • identifying infrastructure initiatives to support energy related exports
  • continuing to engage widely across the sector by undertaking consultation in the South-West and Illawarra REZs and building networks across the government, private and community sectors.

Some issues the Jobs Advocate has suggested to the NSW Government are:

  • advocating to the Commonwealth Government to increase skilled migration for professions linked to the REZs, including electricians and engineers
  • continuing to develop mechanisms to accelerate housing supply in the REZs
  • investigating opportunities to attract skilled workers and professionals to REZ regions, including possible housing-related incentives and ongoing promotion of regional liveability
  • coordinating the construction of REZ transmission and generation projects to balance energy security considerations with the benefits of a smooth pipeline of projects, such as:
    • improved access to labour for employers
    • an ongoing pipeline of work for employees
    • better value for money for investment in training.

The NSW UE ITAB commends the work undertaken and release of the first report, thus far, by the Jobs Advocate and looks forward to participating in continued collaboration and dialogue to developing and recommending appropriate strategies that ensures there is an adequacy and pipeline of competent and qualified workers for the future of the industry and consumers.



The NSW Government has several reviews underway which encompass issues of electrical licencing, safe electrical work, supervision of apprentices and trades assistance, continuous profession development (CPD) for licenced occupations, updated enforcement provisions and more. 

In relation to the first two below, government is seeking feedback to inform prospective legislative changes to current arrangements, from the public and stakeholders.  The opportunity for you to have your say will soon close.  It is important that you consider what the proposed changes might mean to your current work practices and what eligibility and maintenance of competency requirements will be decided with respect the classes of specialist electrical licensing.

These are:



The main proposals in the discussion paper include:
– changes to definitions such as electrical and gas fitting work
– expansion of the scope of the Act to capture hydrogen gas and appliances
– certification of electrical articles
– transfer of auto gas installation for vehicles to the Motor Dealers and Repairers Act 2013
– introduction of the Type A and Type B framework for regulating gas appliances in NSW
– changes to notification requirements for serious electrical or gas accidents
– strengthened compliance and enforcement to improve consumer safety
– improved ways of sharing information with industry.
Feedback closes
Monday, 5 December 2022.
Retired Supreme Court Judge to Carry out Review of SafeWork NSW – CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

The Review will examine SafeWork NSW’s performance of its regulatory functions (including educational functions) under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW).

Terms of Reference – Independent Review of SafeWork NSW

The reports will be publicly released after they are provided to the Government.
Interim Report to be provided to the responsible Minister by 31 May 2023, with a final Report to be provided by 29 November 2023

Your feedback is important and will help shape proposed changes that will be presented to Parliament for consideration according to the programmed parliamentary schedule.


The Australian Training Awards were held Friday 18 November 2022 at the Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia. 

The Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements in the vocational education and training sector.  16 Awards categories were be presented at the Awards —eight categories were individual achievements and eight for businesses and registered training organisations.

The Awards are held annually in November in a different state or territory.

Apprentice of the Year Award

This years, Apprentices of the Year Award went to Cairns based Queenslander, Jennah Halley who recently completed the Certificate III in Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration

Jennah studied at TAFE Queensland and developed her competencies with Messina Airconditioning and Refrigeration. 

The award summary states, “Jennah’s training journey started when her brother, also a refrigeration technician, asked her to help out a few hours a week. From there, Jennah grew a keen interest in the industry and, with the completion of her Certificate III in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration in 2021, she is believed to be the only qualified female refrigeration technician in Cairns – a statistic she’s hoping to help change.

Innovation in VET Award

This year’s silver winner of the Innovation in VET Award included an organisation involved in the Energy sector.  It was the APA Group.

APA is one of Australia’s leading energy infrastructure businesses, providing gas, electricity, solar and wind services across Australia.

APA value the professional development of their workforce, placing importance on upskilling staff through VET qualifications.

They piloted several solutions to improve the efficiency of VET assessment administration, identifying RealWear headset technology to be the most effective. The innovative use of technology has meant that during pandemic travel restrictions and lockdowns the students were not disadvantaged, the duration of their VET education was not extended, and assessment was consistent across facilities.



Editor Sandra Rossi reports in the 23 November 2022 edition of Climate Control News (CCN) that the proposal by CEDA has been condemned by unions and some employers.

The article states, “Australia’s rigid occupational licensing and restrictive housing market are a handbrake on more Australians moving into jobs suited to their skills,” according to a Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) report released today.

CEDA CEO, Melinda Cilento, said Australia needs to be addressing skills shortages and lifting lacklustre productivity to drive a stronger economy and wages.

“Australia must break down entrenched barriers in the jobs market,” she said.

“Major structural shifts including digital transformation, the energy transition and an ageing population will require a much more agile labour market.”

In a submission to the federal government’s Employment White Paper, CEDA found occupational licensing is widespread with around one in five people in jobs with registration requirements.

The report calls for the removal of licensing and a shift to regulations which focus on quality standards for goods and services within consumer law.

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) was the first to condemn the report as a dangerous thought bubble.

ETU acting national secretary Michael Wright said labelling trades as personal services was ridiculous.

“A skilled workforce performing important safety checks are the backbone of Australia’s licensing systems. It’s no accident that Australia has one of the lowest rates of household electrical fires in the western world – it’s because we have amongst the highest standards in training for our electrical workers,” Wright said.



SafeWork Wrap November reports in its 25 November 2022 edition of two webinars that are scheduled to discuss the important of electricity safety in construction.

SafeWork NSW is inviting you to join SafeWork NSW inspectors and experts in a discussion to learn more about how to reduce the risk of injury to you, your workers and others around you.   Also, to share simple measures to work safely when working with or near electricity and electrical equipment.

When: Wednesday 30 November and Thursday 1 December

Promo for the event states, “Contact with live electricity is a major cause of serious injuries and fatalities in NSW workplaces.

The team will also be on hand to answer any live questions you may have relating to electrical safety in the industry.

What will you learn?

  • Your WHS obligations with respect to electrical safety and the new penalties in the regulations
  • How to identify, assess and manage risk with real examples of electrical hazards on construction sites 
  • Using our new electrical safety checklist to help you comply under WHS
  • Q & A with SafeWork NSW Inspectors and experts to tease out key industry issues 

Who can attend?

  • PCBUs, principal contractors and site supervisors
  • Electricians and electrical apprentices
  • Anyone who supervises apprentices or vulnerable workers


  • Gary Colthorpe – Senior Inspector, High Risk Work Workplaces and Stakeholder Engagement
  • Neil Roberts – State Inspector, Engineering, SafeWork NSW
  • Scott Middleton – Principal Inspector, Construction Regional, SafeWork NSW
  • Jeff Adams – Senior Inspector Construction Services Group | Harm Prevention and Compliance Programs, SafeWork NSW (Facilitator)

By attending the webinar, you may be eligible for the $1,000 Small Business Rebate to help you purchase safety items to improve work health and safety for you and your workers.

When: Wednesday 30 November and Thursday 1 December



The 25 November 2022 edition of SafeWork Wrap, a SafeWork NSW monthly publication reports that the NSW Government is inviting businesses and communities to have their say in shaping SafeWork NSW’s new strategy to enhance health and safety measures for workers across the state.

The article states, “Research shows health and safety can be improved when work is designed to be physically and psychologically healthy and workers are engaged in the way work is done. 

We encourage you to review our principles of ‘Healthy Work’ and to contribute ideas, stories, and examples of healthy work practices. Help us understand your experience and share examples of: 

  • how healthy work is good for business 
  • how leadership is fundamental to creating healthy work 
  • ways in which healthy work can positively influence lives. 

We are proposing a Healthy Work vision for NSW which strengthens an already robust work health and safety framework and gives clarity and consistency across various industries. This work builds on SafeWork NSW’s commitment to improving work health and safety by ensuring businesses meet their compliance obligations, and are supported to achieve healthy, safe and productive workplaces. 

Have your say by 31 January 2023 

We would like to hear from business owners, managers, work health and safety professionals, human resources professionals, workers or anyone interested in improving the way we think about health and safety.”



The latest, 24 November 2022 NSW Small Business Commission newsletter highlights the many events that are on during November NSW Small Business Month. 

The newsletter states, we’re in “the final week of this November’s NSW Small Business Month.

There are lots of events still to come, with over 40 events happening on the last day of November alone! Don’t miss your final opportunity to Connect for Success – find an activity online or near you and register now.

From networking with industry leaders to keynote sessions on small business trends, you’re sure to find an event that interests you.”

Check out these events happening in the final week of November!

Explore the many events happening in the last week of #NSWSmallBizMonth.


NSW Small Business Commission is happy to answer your questions”

Please reach out if you have any questions and email the team at


The 25 November 2022 edition of Mine Safety News Weekly Incident Summary, produced and distributed by the NSW Resources Regulator reports of a recent instances of corroded electrical components having resulted in a fire on a mobile processing unit (MPU) and a no-flow condition of an ammonium nitrate emulsion (ANE) pump.

Resource Safety & Health Queensland issues a ALERT Safety Notice related to Explosive on 11 November 2022 – Explosives Inspectorate | Alert | No.107 V 1 | 11 November 2022

The article states, “Damaged electrical components in the vicinity of ammonium nitrate product were subject to corrosion. Routine maintenance and pre-start inspections failed to identify and replace affected wiring, solenoids, actuators and switches.

In one instance, a wiring harness with damaged insulation on a MPU bin lid actuator energized resulting in a small fire.

In another incident, an internally corroded actuator energized and started a NAPCO™ ANE pump while the mine reload was unattended.

Key issues

Critical hazards associated with ammonium nitrate and ANE that affect electrical components include:

  • Fire due to arcing of electrical components, cables and wire looms, from inadequate/damaged ingress protection
  • Fire due to resistance generated heat in electrical components affected by corrosion
  • Unplanned detonation due to inadvertent activation of equipment / ANE pumps without warning.

Where ANE pumps are inadvertently activated, or where ANE pumps fail to shut down, no-flow events introduce heat into the ammonium nitrate emulsion, generally under confinement. This can lead to thermal decomposition of ammonium nitrate emulsion and an unplanned detonation event[1].”

The Alert Notice provides a series of recommendations and also advises, that investigations are ongoing and further information may be published as it becomes available.  The information in this publication is what is known at the time of writing.



Editor Sean Carroll reports in the 23 November 2022 edition of Electrical Connection that the ACCC will be directly contacting almost 5,000 households that are likely to have energy solar systems with dangerous LG solar batteries in the coming weeks, to continue efforts to raise awareness about safety recalls.

The article states, “The batteries, which may be branded LG, SolaX, Opal, Redback, Red Earth, Eguana and VARTA, can overheat and catch fire, causing property damage and injuries. The ACCC is reaching out to consumers who are likely to have recalled LG batteries to warn them of the fire risk associated with the faulty batteries.

Consumers are urged to turn affected batteries off, keep them off and contact the manufacturer for a free replacement or a refund. LG will provide financial compensation to consumers who have higher electricity bills as a result of not being able to use their batteries as expected.

So far, about 2,900 batteries have been replaced or removed from consumers’ properties. A further 1,400 batteries have been switched off or have had the maximum charge capacity reduced to 75% to reduce the risk of overheating while waiting for a replacement or refund.

However, LG and SolaX are trying to trace around 3,000 additional recalled batteries.

“This recall has been updated twice to include new models, affected systems and dates of manufacture, so even if your battery was not recalled previously, you must check your battery’s serial number again. We remain very concerned about the fire risks these faulty batteries pose, so please act quickly,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard says.

“Unfortunately, since October 2019 there have been nine reported incidents involving these types of batteries in Australia resulting in property damage and one injury. We do not want to see any more incidents or injuries.”



Electrical Comms Data reports in its 23 November 2022 newsletter that a Perth electrical contracting company and electrician were fined $18,000 for failing to install correctly a multiple earthed neutral (MEN) connection.

The article states, “Dangerous and defective electrical work carried out in the Great Southern, south-east of Perth, has led to fines totalling $18,000 against a Perth electrician and an electrical contracting company.

Following prosecutions by Building and Energy, separate cases were heard at Perth Magistrates Court against Cockburn-based Future Power WA Pty Ltd (EC8853) and its employee, electrical worker MJ (EW114241).

According to facts presented in court for both matters, Future Power was contracted in 2020 to connect the electricity supply for two communication huts in Shadforth and Broomehill West.

MJ carried out the work and Future Power submitted notices of completion declaring that the installations were checked, tested, compliant and safe.

However, a Western Power electrical inspector later found the multiple earthed neutral (MEN) connection had not been installed at the Shadforth site. Without a MEN, protective devices such as circuit breakers and fuses may not operate if an electrical fault occurs, which can cause metal objects to become live with lethal voltage levels.

Western Australia’s Director of Energy Safety, Saj Abdoolakhan, said the cases should remind electricians why checks and tests of their work are mandatory.”



Warwick Johnston, Managing Director of SunWiz reports in the 23 November 2022 edition of RenewEconomy that heat pumps are the fastest growing solar technology that is likely to being overlooked at the moment.  The article states, “I remember a time when ‘solar panels’ meant ‘solar hot water’ panels.

There was a time when you had to refer to solar power to be clear you weren’t referring to what was Australia’s dominant solar technology. They were referring to metal panels mounted on your roof (and then evacuated glass tubes).

When I started in the industry (2005), for every PV system installed, there were 28 Solar Hot Water Systems added.

In cumulative terms, the crossover point occurred in 2012 when there were just under 1 million of each. Now there are cumulatively 3.5 Million PV systems in Australia. Compared to 1.5 million solar water heaters (1.2M Solar Hot Water Systems + 0.3M ASHPs).  (This is based on REC/STC registration, some SHW / ASHP systems haven’t claimed certificates)

For solar water heating, the tide has turned. More accurately the tide has turned because of the rise of Air Source Heat Pumps, a technology classified as renewable by the Clean Energy Regulator and deemed worthy of creating STCs.

SHPs essentially extract latent heat from the atmosphere at low temperature and pump it into a water storage tank at high temperature, much in the same way a reverse cycle air conditioner pumps heat from the outside to the inside of your home.

PV may still be the dominant technology – there are still far more PV systems installed in the last 12 months (323,000) than there were SHW plus ASHP (115,000). But the growth rate of ASHP installations is far greater than PV.”



The Australian Pipeliner in its 22 November 2022 edition reported that Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) has welcomed the decision by state and federal representatives at the Energy Ministers Meeting to amend the national gas and energy laws to include hydrogen and other renewable gases.

The articles states, “The APGA is advocating for a sustainable solution that delivers downward pressure on domestic gas and electricity price while helping Australia achieve its emissions reduction target of 43 per cent by 2030 and net-zero by 2050.

Chief executive Steve Davies said it’s been a tumultuous year for Australia’s energy markets.

“The long-standing linkages between the domestic electricity and gas markets have become more apparent than ever and these linkages are likely to grow as the energy transition progresses,” he said.

“The next step is a national plan to unleash our domestic renewable gas supplies. This would encourage private investment, decarbonise the national energy grid and provide much-needed energy security.

“We urgently need sophisticated, independent integrated system planning that considers the myriad of factors that impact the cost and speed of the transition across all energy types.”



EnergyCo has issued an invitation to stakeholders to participate in an online End of Year Briefing on Tuesday 13 December 2022

The invitation states, “The Energy Corporation of NSW (EnergyCo) is pleased to invite you to our End of Year Briefing on Tuesday 13 December 2022 from 10:30am to 11:30am.

Since our formal appointment as Infrastructure Planner as part of the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, EnergyCo has set a solid path to coordinate, plan and deliver the State’s first five Renewable Energy Zones (REZs), and priority transmission infrastructure.

Our Executives will provide an update on EnergyCo’s program of work and ways to get involved as we move into 2023, including:

  • James Hay, Chief Executive, EnergyCo
  • Alexandra Finley, Executive Director, Commercial, EnergyCo
  • Mike Young, Executive Director, Planning and Communities, EnergyCo
  • Andrew Kingsmill, Executive Director, Technical Advisory Services, EnergyCo
  • Vincent Ong, A/ Executive Director, Strategy and Program, EnergyCo”


This is another opportunity to understand EnergyCo’s role in the State’s [NSW] energy transition.

EnergyCo looks forward to welcoming you to our End of Year Briefing. If you are unable to join, the webinar will be recorded and distributed to those that register for the event.”


EnergyInsider, a joint publication of Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and Australian Energy Council (AEC) reports in its 24 November 2022 edition South Australian customers are once again the victims of wild weather in what ranks as the largest outage event since the infamous state-wide blackout of September 2016.  

The article written by Dor Son Tan, looks at the important things this event tells us about the future and how networks, governments and market bodies are working together to create an electricity system more resilient to climate change impacts.

The article states, “The recent storm activity in South Australia brought back memories of the 2016 “system black’’ event. This state-wide blackout occurred when cyclonic winds brought down multiple transmission lines in SA’s mid-north. The chain reaction sent the entire state black, though most of the 1.7 million South Australians affected had their power back within eight hours. In this most recent storm, 163,000 customers were impacted by widespread destruction of the distribution network due to a combination of lightning strikes and storm cells that brought many trees down onto powerlines.

On Saturday 12 November, a major storm impacted both the transmission and distribution networks that supply SA customers. More than 420,000 lightning strikes and winds exceeding 100kmph were recorded. The major damage occurred when a cyclonic storm cell moved across populated areas at about 4pm, leaving a swathe of destruction in its path.

A tower on the interconnector with Victoria was flattened on a section of the Heywood interconnector near Tailem Bend (~90km southeast of Adelaide), prompting the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to invoke an emergency security-of-supply response. The distribution network was extensively damaged with reports of more than 500 wires down and outages stretching right across the state affecting 163,000 customers or 20 per of the customer base.

In addition to the mass response from SA Power Networks and its contractors, Essential Energy provided 24 additional three-person field crews from NSW to help get customers back on supply as quickly as possible.

The lack of interconnection mentioned earlier meant there was nowhere for excess solar generation (which is usually exported to Victoria) to go. This contributed to a phenomenon known as minimum demand, which is well explained by this handy AEMO fact sheet.

What does this tell us about the future?

This event has highlighted consequences of increasingly severe weather that until now have not been as well documented and understood.  One of these issues gaining alot of media attention is curtailment of residential solar.

Some quick numbers for context of the event:

  • Total installed solar capacity in SA is ~1.9GW
  • Projected output was expected to peak at ~1.4GW, this number also includes largescale solar farms.
  • The total peak amount of Solar PV curtailed was ~400MW, only about 100MW of which came from large scale solar farms.
  • For perspective, this means only ~300MW of the 1.4GW (or ~21%) of customer solar production was curtailed for this relatively infrequent event.

To add another perspective, there is no textbook answer for managing a power system with as much variable renewable energy powering the grid as South Australia.  It is literally being written as you read this article.

While the impact of major weather events on a system with very high renewable penetration may currently look like a South Australian problem, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes an Australia-wide problem. This stresses the importance for state, federal governments, industry and society in general to learn from the SA experience, and work together to deliver a future we need, not just the individual outcomes we want.”


For more, contact Dor Son Tan, Energy Networks Australia


The 24 November 2022 edition of Utility e-news reports of a growing call for the introduction of a Renewable Energy Storage Target (REST) in the Federal Government.

The article states, “As a response to the rising energy prices across Australia, climate and clean energy organisations are calling for the introduction of a Renewable Energy Storage Target (REST) in the Federal Government.

The organisations, which are lobbying in Canberra on 21 November, are pushing for energy ministers to adopt a REST at the next Energy Ministers’ Meeting, due to take place in early December, as a matter of urgency.

The group includes the Climate Council, Smart Energy Council, Clean Energy Investment Group, Advanced Materials Battery Council, and Solar Citizens. Together, they released a joint statement describing the introduction of a REST as “the fastest way out of Australia’s current energy price crisis”.

A Renewable Energy Storage Target – which Australia does not currently have – would stabilise prices, lower emissions, and increase the amount of electricity available in the electricity market from renewable sources. It achieves this through a combined regulatory and market based model.

New data from the Climate Council has found a REST could unlock $42 billion dollars of private investment and create around 100,000 jobs in renewable energy.

The groups say new wind and solar projects coming online at pace should be combined with a national REST to deliver reliable, secure energy for Australian homes and businesses.

Smart Energy Council Chief Executive, John Grimes, said “We can’t get to 82 per cent renewables by 2030 unless we unleash renewable energy storage, and that means we need a Renewable Energy Storage Target.

“We need everything from electric vehicles plugging into the grid, household battery systems to unlocking massive investment through the Renewable Energy Storage Acceleration Scheme.”

Climate Council CEO, Amanda McKenzie, said moving to cheap, clean renewable energy will free Australians from huge energy bill shocks already experienced in 2022.

“At the same time, it will put us on track to make the deep cuts to emissions we need this decade to avoid more harmful climate change,” Ms McKenzie said.

“Wind and solar power backed by batteries and pumped hydro is the recipe we need for cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy, so let’s get on with delivering it.”


[1] AEISG Code of Practice – Storage and Handling of UN3375