Friday, January 28th, 2011
Today, peak Australian electrical industry body, the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA), said reports that an interstate rivalry has erupted over the skill level of electricians in Queensland compared to the rest of Australia during flood recovery operations was not true.

NECA chief executive officer, Mr James Tinslay, said the peak industry body was responding to an article in The Australian ( on Thursday 27 January 2011 that implied the skills of electrical contractors in New South Wales were lower than the skills of contractors in Queensland.

“The article made some assumptions based on the view of a Queensland based organisation. These views are not consistent with the rest of the electrical industry across Australia and it should be acknowledged that all electricians attain the same competencies regardless of what state they live in, “Mr Tinslay said.

“NECA represents electrical contractors across Australia and completely rejects the claim that one state is better qualified than another. NECA supports the concept of all electricians being able to work anywhere in Australia because they receive the same training.”

On 30 April 2009, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) endorsed an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) that would establish a national licensing system for specified occupations. NECA represents electricians and contractors on the national occupational licensing system which is scheduled to commence on 1 July 2012.

“NECA agrees with a national licence for the electrical industry and the skill levels of electrical contractors across Australia will be formally recognised as equal when the new national licensing system commences.

“At no time has a difference in skill level been identified during the process to introduce a national licence. It is in fact the opposite and that is why a national licence is being introduced,” Mr Tinslay said.

The response from the electrical industry to the Queensland floods was tremendous. NECA coordinated offers of assistance from as far away as Perth and New Zealand.

Interstate companies that are providing assistance to flood affected homes and businesses in Queensland are subject to the same regulatory framework as Queensland based companies.

“If an electrician has acted in a manner that breaches the regulations, NECA would expect the electrical regulator in Queensland to act accordingly regardless of where that electrician or company is normally based.

“It is unfair to state that all NSW electrical contractors have lower skills based upon one incident,” Mr Tinslay said.


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Ian Richardson – President

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National electrical communications association flood floods Queensland rivalry skill shortage



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