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New Emission Standards have commenced

On July 1 2018 Australia’s new Emissions Standard for non-road spark ignition engines up to

19 kw commenced for outdoor power equipment and marine engines.

Only products that meet our emissions standard, or have an exemption, will be allowed into Australia.

This includes:

  • spark ignition engines with a maximum power of 19 kilowatts. These can be used in household and commercial operations, and include lawn mowers, ride-on mowers, mulchers, leaf blowers, generators, pumps, chain saws, and other small handheld or pushed/pulled equipment.
  • spark ignition engines used in marine vessels including: outboard engines, personal watercraft and stern-drive engines.

The noxious emissions standards apply to new products. They will not apply to engines and equipment people already own, or to second-hand engines and equipment.

From 1 July 2019, only products that meet our emissions standard, or have an exemption, will be allowed to be supplied in Australia. Again, the emissions standards apply to new products and won’t apply to engines and equipment people already own, or to second-hand engines and equipment.

To register a complaint or a tip off regarding noncompliance with the Act and/or Regulations, please call 1800 803 772 or email productemissions@environment.gov.au

Outboard Emissions Law Passed: Now for the details

Outboard Emissions Law Passed: Now for the details

At last we have emissions standards for small petrol engines up to 19kW (25Hp) which includes mowers; generators; chainsaws and all marine engines (outboards, inboards, and Jet Skis). The Bill was passed on September 11 and comes into effect 1 July 2018.

The day after the law passed the Senate the Department, OPEA and the marine sector met to start work on the details of the Rules. (These were all outlined in the January Information Paper you can read at http://tinyurl.com/updatepaper.) Six hours later Industry left with plenty of homework to do and positive signs that the Department will work closely to iron out the details.

But first, just to clear up the nonsense being spread by certain dealers: the law is NOT a ban on two strokes. It is an emissions limit for new imports starting in 2018. There are different standards for:

• ground supported machines (mowers, generators etc where only four strokes will meet the standard);
• hand held machines (chainsaws, blowers etc) have a more generous standard and we will see mostly quality two strokes and most existing four strokes survive;
• marine where four strokes and the unique Direct Injection two stroke outboards will pass.

Around half of the machines sold in Australia already meet the standards. The Rules are based on and accept the USEPA certification. We will also accept EU and Canadian certification – so it seems unlikely that many companies will need to seek Australian Certification. If any member anticipates that they will need to have their machines certified and labelled in Australia – please get in touch with us urgently so we can ensure you are not disadvantaged.

If you do not have USA or EU certified products, then gaining Australian Certification of an engine is an expensive process. First, the Rules will require the more expensive USAEPA testing standard, with 20 to 30 test points instead of just 5. That could cost in the order of $25,000 and you will need to use a recommended ILAC certified laboratory. You can use a Non-ILAC lab – but the Government certification fee goes up from $1,330 to $5,220. If you think that you may need to have an engine certified in Australia, the team working with the Department need to know asap. Please contact us via gary@blueskyalliance.com.au or associations@aigroup.com.au .

Here is a summary of the discussion:

Costs: All government programs need to comply with Australian Government cost recovery guidelines. There are two types of cost recovery charges:
• cost recovery fees—fees charged when a good, service or regulation (in certain circumstances) is provided directly to a specific individual or organisation
• cost recovery levies—charges imposed when a good, service or regulation is provided to a group of individuals or organisations (e.g. an industry sector) rather than to a specific individual or organisation. A cost recovery levy is a tax and is imposed via a separate taxation Act. It differs from general taxation as it is ‘earmarked’ to fund activities provided to the group that pays the levy.

A levy will be charged on imports after 1 July 2018. The Government explained that they need to recover $2m from across an estimated 1.3m imports. The budget needs a lot more work but it might be around $0.80 to $1.60 for a mower and perhaps $200 for a $30,000 ride on. That’s import charges: retail prices are up to importers and dealers.

Exemptions: The laws will have an option for exemptions. Military and rescue and emergency services rate a special acknowledgement. Repowering old equipment may also be granted an exemption but the advice was that this would be in very special circumstances only.

Engines for genuine competition may be eligible for an exemption. It would need to be genuine racing under a recognized body.

The proposed fee for most exemption applications is $1,470.

Exemptions for pre-production samples, which will need to be destroyed or re-exported may attract a lower fee of $390.

The Rules will also anticipate exemptions where necessary for military and national security, rescue and emergency services.

Spare Parts: Buying a non-compliant engine today is the public’s choice to make. I have one, a cheap and cheerful chain saw I rarely use. Under the ACCC laws there is an obligation for spare parts to be available for five years so importers please take note.

Loopholes: There has been a lot of chatter about importing non-compliant products via New Zealand under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement (TTMRA). As it stands today high emission products imported from NZ will be illegal from July 1, 2018. The Department assured us that they are on to this and will have an exemption in place, which will close the loophole before commencement in July 2018.

What Happens Next?
Importers have a lot of work to do. Some of the clean engines we are getting now will need to change over to the US or EU equivalent – some with minor differences – but the key one is that they carry the USEPA or EU certification label.

Debating with government over the fine points of the rules should be their number one priority. Getting it wrong now will take years to fix. Usually a review is carried out every ten years.

Dealers will need to make some careful stock choices. Manufacturers will start to drop models and limit the stock of non-compliant engines. ‘Do I stock up on two strokes for a final rush or will I be stuck with stock I need to sell below cost on 30 June 2019’?

Victa produced their final two stroke mowers and promoted this limited edition last December. According to the chatter, they were slow to move.

Personally, if I were a dealer I would not lose sleep about being left with a single two stroke mower in the shop. The Department will be focused on importers of container loads of products, and won’t be after the odd left over engine.

The message is – don’t panic! If you’re a customer and are keen to get a non-compliant product before they disappear, then order one now. There may be some super bargains in May 2019 as dealers reduce stock to avoid potential fines and seizures. Expect that parts will be hard to find in a few years. Remember the laws only target new imports.

Public Consultation: Once the rough edges have been taken off the draft rules in consultation with industry, an open consultation is planned for November. Get yourself on the Product Emissions Standards mailing list if you want an invitation to be part of the process.

The future of the Industry? The future of our industry looks rosy. Although some cheap and cheerful products will continue to reach the market, we should see a growth in quality products that cost more but last years longer. The extended life of the product will be a public benefit, and the extension in servicing will support the sustainability for dealers.

Questions? Ideas? This is about the final chance to have your say, and we’re listening Please contact us via
gary@blueskyalliance.com.au or
associations@aigroup.com.au

Media Release – Small Engine Emissions Bill is Law

Media Release

Yesterday the Australian Senate voted to approve the Product Emissions Standards Bill.

The Rules (Regulations) are being drafted and Industry has a further meeting with the Environment Department today

The Rules are planned to commence next year, with the final imports of high emission outboards and mowers on 30 June 2018. Wholesalers and Dealers will then have a year to sell off old stock. All of this was announced in January – giving Industry 30 months clear notice – though regulations in general were in process since 2015.

With a two stroke lawn mower pushing out 40 times the emissions of a car, and a brush cutter as much as ten cars, standards were overdue. The USA started small engine emissions laws twenty years ago. The EU, Canada, Japan and many other countries followed. China’s standards commenced in 2011.

Non-complaint outboards (carby and EFI two-strokes) don’t just have 10% or 20% more emissions than four strokes or Direct Injection two-strokes. On average the dirty engine has eleven times the emissions, but some of the Cheap, Cheerful, Copy engines have been measured at 39 times the emissions of a clean engine.

In practice this means that a tiny 8hp carby two-stroke pushes out 59% more emissions per hour that a large 150hp four-stroke outboard. Both “quality” products of the market leading manufacturer.

What follows next is the Rules. The devil is always in the details.

Sadly the Complimentary Bill will be a nightmare for industry. The Bill amends the Customs Act, so Australia’s Border Force is exempted from their usual role of seizing any illegal imports. They seize drugs, weapons, counterfeit handbags and even US made boat trailers. But not illegal engines.

Enforcement will be left in the hands of the Department of Environment. The “pink batts” Royal Commission and two Auditor General Reports make it hard to see how the Department has what it takes to manage the 1.3m small engines imported each year.

Industry has recommended a Co-Regulation arrangement to fill the enforcement gap.

ENDS

Gary Fooks, Chair of Blue Sky Alliance has been working on this Bill since the 2006 Expert Panel. Appointed the Minister’s first Clean Air Champion in 2015 he is a keen angler and winner of the Healthy Waterways Award in 2007.

Media Enquiries 0412 111 573 gary@fooks.id.au

NEWS FLASH – CANBERRA : PRODUCT EMISSIONS BILL PASSED HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Yesterday at 4:49 pm A few minutes ago, the Product Emissions Standards Bill, that will see the end of two-stroke mowers and outboards passed the first hurdle and is expected to be passed by the Senate soon.

The Bill has been classified as “non-contentious” and is supported by both the Government and Labor. Emissions standards for small petrol engines from mowers to outboards and jet skis to chainsaws has been a Greens policy introduced by Sen Di Natale in 2013.

It is well overdue, in fact it’s a little embarrassing for Australia” according to Gary Fooks, chair of the cross industry peak body – Blue Sky Alliance. “The Federal Government has been working on this since 2005, so we are now 20 years behind the USA; behind the EU; Canada; and Japan. We are even six years behind China.”

According to government reports a lawn mower can produce 40 times the emissions of a car, a brush cutter the same hourly emission as ten cars. The phase in will start with import restrictions commencing mid-2018. Nothing in Australian sheds will be banned, and high-quality hand-held machines like two strokes will pass the standards based on the current USA rules.

Asked if industry was happy Fooks replied “Industry has been calling for these standards since 2007, so yes, we are relieved. What still concerns us greatly is the effective enforcement of the laws. The Bill relieves Customs of any responsibility to stop illegal engines, so who will police 1.3 million imports? The pink batts Royal Commission taught us that Environment doesn’t have what it takes to police anything this big.

It looks like Industry will need to take the role of watchdog to protects Australia’s Environment, according to Fooks. The fine details and any loopholes won’t be known until we see the Rules in October.

Victa ceased production of the iconic Australian two stroke mower in 2016.

If you have any comments or questions, please contact Gary Fooks – Chair, Blue Sky Alliance at gary@blueskyallaince.com.au
or go to the website at www.blueskyallaince.com.au .

NRSIEE Update – Emissions Standards – Details and Time Table announced

Emissions Standards   – Details and Time Table announced

After a decade in planning the government has released the details and a timetable for implementation of Non-Road Spark Ignition Engines and Equipment (NRSIEE) emissions standards. To read the updated information from the Department of Environment, please click here.

The bottom line is:

  • USA EPA standards – if you want to certify in Australia; US, EU, Canadian or CARB (California) certification are approved for entry into Australia with proof of certification.
  • These are exhaust standards only.   Evaporative standards will be considered after the 2-year review.
  • No Averaging and Banking allowances for importers, but these are captured by allowing USA certification (products certified under USA ABT can be imported)
  • Low cost recovery on imports. Probably under 40 cents per $100 landed cost.
  • Everything is subject to the Parliamentary process – so it’s certainly not locked in.

The timetable through the halls of Canberra is complex, and a delay in any step will push back the future, but in brief:

  • Introduced to Parliament in the autumn session (Feb-Mar 2017)
  • Bill goes to the Senate in Winter (May-June, remembering the budget is handed down in May)
  • Rules (regulations) tabled for 15 days (August)
  • Six to nine months lag to allow for final shipments of non-compliant engines – so “D -Day” is perhaps 1 July 2018.
  • Importers and retailers will have another 12 months to sell off non-compliant products – that takes us to 1 July 2019.   This was to put a practical cap on any excessive stockpiling.

Australia has had emissions standards for automobiles since the 1970’s but until now, other petrol engines have been completely unregulated. This places Australia 18 years behind the USA, and lags Europe, Japan, Canada, even India. China started regulating non-road engine emissions in 2011, and it looks like Australia will finally catch up in 2017.

The emissions targeted are not carbon, but pollutants like hydrocarbons (blue smoke and chemical smog; responsible for a range of health and environmental concerns), and nitrous oxides (acid rain and again, a host of health concerns). The standards will also address carbon monoxide; a deadly poison that in smaller doses leads to operator fatigue and headaches.

This first round of emissions standards under the National Clean Air Agreement will target:

  • Petrol engines up to 19kW (25Hp), (marine engines of any size), with diesel following in about three years
  • Ground supported equipment (mowers, generators, pumps etc.) will need to meet a tough standard that has only ever been met by four strokes (and in marine, four stroke and direct injection two stroke)
  • Hand held equipment (chainsaws, brushcutters etc.) which need the ability of a two stroke to operate at all angles. We will see a relaxed standard that is already met by many of the well-known brands
  • The end of many of the ‘brand x’ products, which are often seen as cheap and cheerful buy low quality consumer products. This will include four and two stroke products and even grey market imports that cannot meet certification requirements.

For many brands, this will be an easy change. It is estimated that 52 per cent of the small engine products sold in Australia already meet the standards so new workshop training or parts inventory will be needed.

The USA EPA has become the defacto world standard and is already being used in Canada and Japan with the EU harmonising with the US Standards in 2019. Australian emissions standards will replicate the USA standard.

Getting ready

It is never too late to start getting ready. Here is what we have been saying:

  1. Do not ‘bet’ the company on the timing. This legislation has been on and off again since 2012, so until we see the laws in parliament, do not make any irreversible financial commitments.
  2. Do not overstock with non-complaint product. It may be tempting to fill a warehouse with cheap high emission products before the law commences, but do not get stuck with stock that needs to be destroyed or re-exported at great expense when the anti-stockpiling window closes a year later. Remember consumers will be wary or buying ‘dead” stock.
  3. Change over existing models to US specifications. You may already be importing clean, modern engines that probably meet the standard, but unless it is exactly the same variant as is sold in Alabama or Florida, and you have a copy of the USA EPA certificate, it will not get though Australian customs. We have heard of several cases where Australian importers have been told their products are the same as the USA variant, only to discover they were getting a nearly identical international variant, but without USA certification. I know this sounds fussy, but you need to be pedantic with your overseas manufacturer now, and to collect copies of USA EPA certificates for all your products. Your customs agent will soon need these.
  4. If you manufacture machinery in Australia, collect the same USEPA Certificates from your engine supplier.

If it is later found that products you imported did not meet the USA specs, then the fine will be the least of your worries. Customs often insist that the non-compliant products are recalled, destroyed or re-exported. That can be very expensive for both your bank balance and reputation.

Authors: Gary Fooks, Blue Sky Alliance & Robert Baker, OPEA Executive 

PRESS RELEASE

OPEA introduce a new membership position to support our members

The Outdoor Power Equipment Association (OPEA) is delighted to announce the introduction of a new position to support members and potential members; a Membership Development Officer.

Geoff Pearce has accepted the position and comes with a wealth of industry knowledge to support manufacturers; suppliers; dealers and students in the outdoor power equipment sector.

Geoff Pearce has been in the outdoor power equipment sector for well over 20 years; working with manufacturers and as the owner of a dealership in Victoria.

In the membership role Geoff will be contacting and visiting current and potential members to learn more about their business; identifying issues the OPEA can support them with; and to share information about the activities OPEA have been working on and are working on. There have been several changes over the past 12 months including the change to the emission standards (due to be implemented July 2018) and the continuing development within the OPE training sector.

We congratulate Geoff and look forward to working with him and our members over the coming months.

To learn more about the Association visit www.opea.org.au today or email Geoff at geoff.pearce@opea.org.au!

NRSIEE Update paper released [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

An update paper has now been released which details how the new standards will be implemented, including their linkage to international standards, when they will come into force, which NRSIEE products they will apply to and what requirements will be placed on importers and suppliers of these products to the Australian market.

The update paper – ‘Working towards Australian emission standards for non-road spark ignition engines and equipment’ is available via the department’s dedicated NRSIEE website at: http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/air-quality/publications/working-towards-australian-emission-standards-nrsiee-update-paper

Further background information regarding the development of the new emission standards is available on the department’s website at: http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/air-quality/non-road-spark-ignition-engines-and-equipment

 

OPEA Executive Committee

Report on the OPEA AGM –19th August 2016 in NSW by the Power Equipment Australia Magazine.

OPEA AGM

Leadership, representation & cooperation

In 2015/16, the Outdoor Power Equipment Association (OPEA) has delivered on its intention to listen and act on important issues and has seen a great deal of progress as a result. Lauren Butler reports on the recent AGM.

OPEA continues to support its members with training, advice and importantly, industry representation to government. It has been reassuring to see OPEA’s ongoing leadership amongst manufacturers, distributors and dealers, particularly at a crucial point in the introduction of emission standards and ongoing consideration of evaporative laws.

The AGM, held at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney on August 19, saw the introduction of standards discussed in length, alongside updates on training and manufacturing. As always, members were also presented with the president and treasurer’s reports, alongside a statistics report. With many members based in Victoria, and flight delays due to bad weather, attendance to the event was pleasing at 25 members.

Emission Standards

The introduction of emission standards is drawing closer, after more than a decade of preparation, and was widely covered at this year’s AGM. OPEA has been cooperating with its members, as well as other peak bodies and government representatives, to see standards for non-road spark ignition engines and equipment (NRSIEE) introduced in 2017, with evaporative laws a possibility for 2019. OPEA welcomed key note speaker, Mr Declan O’Connor Cox, Director of Air Quality Section, Department of the Environment, to provide an update on the introduction of standards and the next steps in their finalisation.

Mr O’Connor Cox reported that the introduction of national emission standards is being worked towards with hopes to reduce air pollution for personal and environmental health. This is expected to create an estimated $636 million of total net benefit between 2016 and 2035 in avoided health costs, and will also contribute to meeting Australia’s greenhouse gas emission reduction obligations.

As well as NRSIEE, potential evaporative laws and their limitations were discussed. There are some challenges associated with evaporative laws, and these are therefore still in consideration. According to Mr O’Connor Cox, Europe does not currently have any evaporative laws in place, meaning that if evaporative laws were introduced in Australia, European certified products could not be recognised. With the US currently the only country with standards for evaporative emissions, Australia could face significant limitations in terms of buying and importing products from international manufacturers, including those which are currently approved for importation.

Mr O’Connor Cox told members that the proposed requirements will vary depending on the type of NRSIEE. In general the legislation will allow for:

  • Prohibiting the import, manufacture and supply of NRSIEE that do not meet the standards
  • Certifying new domestic and imported NRSIEE products, noting that many NRSIEE products already certified by the US EPA and other jurisdictions with equivalent standards would be recognised in Australia
  • Cost recovery options to support government administration of the standards
  • Flexibility to allow for a timely and orderly transition to the new standards.

He said that government is considering options such as limited and specified exemptions, phase-in timeframes as well as averaging and banking to allow for engine families that, on average, meet the standards.

He also acknowledged that the introduction of standards will take time and that the industry should be given time to prepare for compliance.

“The industry will need a substantial amount of time to adapt. We think a time period of about two years is reasonable,” he said.

For importers of equipment, it is suggested that copies of US EPA (or equivalent) be requested before committing. It is also recommended that they have exporters send a picture of the EPA emission label before purchasing, and inspect products pre-shipping where possible.

Guest speaker, Mr Gary Fooks from Blue Sky Alliance, updated members on who will be responsible for ensuring compliance and how to be prepared for the introduction of standards. According to Mr Fooks, responsibility falls with importers, manufacturers and owners when it comes to compliance. He said that it should be noted that modifying an engine in any way may affect an engine’s compliance. Mr Fooks encouraged members to source compliant components, change suppliers if necessary and run out stocks of non-compliant components as much as possible.

For a full report on preparing for the introduction of emission standards, see pages 25-26 of the August/September issue of Power Equipment Australasia.

Manufacturing in Australia

Guest speaker and Ai Group’s senior economist, Mr David Richardson presented a report on manufacturing in Australia, providing an insightful industry overview for members. Mr Richardson reported that growth areas in manufacturing include food, health and building, with less growth in ‘heavy’ categories. He also informed members that manufacturing recovery is continuing, and that the industry is seeing the longest growth phase in well over a decade. While unit labour costs have increased, so too have productivity levels, though according to Mr Richardson, Australia still ranks poorly on an international level.  Even with an increase in productivity, pressures continue with few large industries achieving the productivity gains they need.

Training

Also guest speaking at the OPEA AGM was VERTO Training’s Ms Kim Stapleton. Kim encouraged members to consider a variety of training options, commenting that staff training benefits include better staff morale and retention, higher levels of productivity and a greater ownership of skills.

When training staff, Ms Stapleton said that recognition of prior learning (RPL) and recognising what the industry already asks in terms of training, is important to consider.

“By using what each company has already developed and what is best practice, we can promote productivity and upskilling with in the industry,” Ms Stapleton said.

With helpful instructions on available training and the benefits and incentives available to employers, members were encouraged to increase low levels of training in the workplace.

Working with dealers

OPEA Treasurer, Mr Peter Wallace, reported that OPEA has achieved some of the outcomes they set out to accomplish; however, more work needs to be done with dealers. According to Mr Wallace, OPEA will commence a drive to attract and engage with more dealers in the next 12 months, and a strategy for this is currently in development.

He also reported that there was an increase in fees for statistics, as members were seeking ongoing services through strategic data.

Mr Stephen Clark also addressed OPEA’s desire to work with dealers in his president’s report, stating that an apprenticeship program to assist dealers had started, with less than expected up-take. OPEA is hopeful that up-take will increase and that the program will be successful.

The new OPEA Board

There have been a number of significant changes in the OPEA Board over the past 12 months, including a change in presidency following previous president Mr Gareth Taylor’s exit from the industry. Mr Clark recognised and thanked Mr Taylor for his contributions as president. The 2016 AGM saw many existing Board members take on new positions, and also welcomed new Board members. All nominations were received and accepted, and no vote was required. The Board for the coming year will comprise of:

  • President – Stephen Clark (Husqvarna)
  • Vice President (Emissions) – Rob Baker (Stihl)
  • Treasurer – Peter Wallace (Briggs and Stratton)
  • Secretary – Tim McCarthy (EPG)
  • Statistics – Patric Soussan (Toro)
  • Training – Lincoln Bowden (Honda)
  • Dealer Representative – Rohan Sutherland (Dawn Mowers)
  • Executive Member – Luke Turner (MTD)

MORE INFORMATION

OPEA

www.opea.org.au

Member Update

The Non-Road Spark Ignition Engine and Equipment legislation is progressing under the new Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg.

Assistant Secretary Bruce Edwards advises that the Department is steadily progressing the development of legislation to underpin the introduction of the standards. Drafting of legislation is well progressed and is expected to be introduced in the Spring 2016 sitting of Parliament.

For all of the latest information regarding NRSIEE; a copy of the fact sheet; or other information please go to http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/air-quality/non-road-spark-ignition-engines-and-equipment 

OPEA Executive Committee

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May AI Newsletter No.1

You can view the May AI Group Newsletter no. 1 here.

This issue includes:

  • Budget 2016: Overall Good for Business
  • Tax cuts for SMEs
  • Changes to tax and superannuation for individuals
  • Redesign of industry, trade and innovation programs
  • New and streamlined employment programs
  • Industry Skills Fund loses $247 million
  • $50 billion for infrastructure
  • Key budget numbers – the bottom line

April AI Group Newsletter No. 4

You can view the April AI Group Newsletter no. 4 here.

This issue includes:

  • Survey reveals top Budget priorities for business
  • Submarine decision a massive boost to Defence industry
  • Is traffic congestion strangling your business?
  • Government links with industry in National Cyber Security Strategy
  • ACCC Inquiry lays platform for gas market reform
  • How far and fast are carbon prices spreading?
  • Today’s VIC Budget needs to build on positive momentum

APRIL AI GROUP NEWSLETTER No.3

You can view the April AI Group Newsletter no. 3 here.

This issue includes:

  • Rejection of ABCC legislation “deeply disappointing”
  • Game of Thrones mimics bloody policy saga
  • Senate abolishes Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal
  • Grant Hackett’s indiscretion and other lessons
  • “Dire Situation” Demands Action On Apprenticeships
  • Johnny Depp Sends A Message To Australian Exporters
  • Government Clarifies Future Of Australian Defence Industry
  • Opposition’s Steel Plan Could Be A Breakthrough

APRIL AI GROUP NEWSLETTER No.2

You can view the April AI Group Newsletter no. 2 here.

This issue includes:

  • April 18: Double dissolution D-Day?
  • Turning back the Email tide
  • Fast Food penalty rates out of sync with needs of business & workers
  • Arrium voluntary administration a reminder of manufacturing pressures
  • Construction Continues To Struggle In March

APRIL AI GROUP NEWSLETTER No.1

You can view the April AI Group Newsletter no. 1 here.

This issue includes:

  • Manufacturing surges to strongest level since 2004
  • Toxic tantrums: negative vibes in the workplace
  • “Flabbergasting decision”: minimum rates for contractor drivers
  • Abolish Road Safety Remuneration Act & Tribunal
  • Services Sector Treads Water In March

MARCH AI GROUP NEWSLETTER NO. 1

You can view the March AI Group Newsletter no. 1 here.

This issue includes:

  • Union claims threaten thousands of casual jobs
  • Manufacturing growth strongest since 2010
  • Defence White Paper To Bring “New Industrial Landscape”
  • Labor’s ‘Sham Contracting’ Proposals Need Work
  • QLD Plots 10-Year Roadmap To Manufacturing’s Future
  • For Lease: Busiest Container Port In Australia

FEBRUARY AI GROUP NEWSLETTER NO.3

You can view the February AI Group Newsletter no. 3 here.

This issue includes:

  • Innovation, skills and tax reform top Budget wish-list
  • Treading the wire: secret recordings in the workplace
  • Innovative Project Develops Leadership Skills For Manufacturing
  • Inquiry To Probe Anti-Dumping Measures For Steel Industry
  • Is It Bribery – Or Just Business?

UPDATE : The Introduction of New Emission Standards

The year is progressing quickly and we would like to keep members updated on the timelines for the introduction of the new emissions standards.

Please be aware that this is a “best guess”.  Cabinet reshuffles or an early election would change our advice.

The draft legislation should be completed around April, at which time there will be consultation with OPEA and other parties.  That should see the Bill introduced by the Environment Minister in May and passed by the Senate in June.   The Regulations, which contain all the important details, will follow shortly after, perhaps July.

Canberra have heard our advice and we have heard no objections.   OPEA has recommended implementation of Phase 2 in July 2017, and the introduction of Evaporative standards and implementation of Phase 3 in July of 2019 (in line with EU).

OPEA are continuing to support our members and the sector generally across several issues to ensure the sustainability of our Industry and that the new laws are not an excessive burden on business.

OPEA Executive Committee

FEBRUARY AI GROUP NEWSLETTER NO. 2

You can view the February AI Group Newsletter no. 2 here.

This issue includes:

  • Labor’s new IR policy “jail threat to employers”
  • Sexual Harassment’s $1.36 Million Price Tag
  • Training system in parlous state
  • The Millennials Are Coming – And Going
  • Safety Under The Microscope In Victoria
  • Employment: How Is It Evolving?
  • Have Your Say: Motor Vehicle Emissions Standards

February Ai Group Newsletter

You can view the February  Ai Group Newsletter here.

This issue includes:

  • Election 2016-These are the Ai Group Policy Priorities for Business
  • Why is 2016 The Year of Stress At Work?
  • Ai Group Proposes Tax changes that can make a difference to growth, investment and employment
  • Senate ABCC inquiry “A Gross Waste of Public Resources”
  • FWC Overturns Bargaining Law That “Impedes Innovation”
  • Is Construction Decline Threatening Balance of Broader Economy?

January AI Group Newsletter

You can view the January  AI Group Newsletter here.

This issue includes:

  • New report “Tackling Foundation Skills in the Workforce“, released by the AI Group, highlights the impact low levels of workforce literacy and numeracy skills are having on the workforce.
  • The release of a new index of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) programs being run across the country, provides an important resource for schools, with a focus on improving students STEM skills before they enter the workforce.
  • Small employers (19 or fewer employees) must meet the SuperStream standard by 30 June 2016.

 

OPEA CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

Dear OPEA Members,

Summer is now upon us and the holiday season is only a few weeks away.

I would like to take this opportunity to firstly wish you all a safe and peaceful Christmas to enjoy quality time with family.

I would personally like to thank you for your support of the Outdoor Power Equipment Association over the past 12 months where we have seen substantial changes.  Your continued support is critical to our mutual success.

As I have echoed previously, the OPEA exists to drive the OPE industry specific agenda on behalf of all members.  So if you have an issue you believe strongly in, we want to hear it.   I further encourage you to consider joining the executive committee in order to have your thoughts heard and help drive change and improvement for the entire industry.

The past year has witnessed strong change for the OPEA.  The most important OPEA news item is the upcoming announcement by the Federal Environment Minister – Mr Greg Hunt regarding the change to the small engine emission standards for Australia. The announcement will signal a massive and positive shift; ensuring product coming into Australia would need to meet globally accepted EPA standards.

Take a moment to consider the improved health and environmental benefits through the creation of emission standards for the approximately 1million small engines that are sold annually in Australia.  Non-compliant product would in effect be stopped at our borders.  Our industry will benefit from the changes and the benefit should not be underestimated.

The OPEA Executive Committee has been a passionate supporter and driver for changes to emission standards over many years; remaining constant and unified throughout.  This unified voice has been presented to government throughout 2015, and the sheer determination of Minister Hunt and his team will bring Australia in line with the rest of the world; and we are confident a positive outcome is close.

The Training Sub-Committee has also seen considerable change over the past year with the OPEA partnering with the Australian Industry Group.  This partnership will support members to: identify potential apprentices; establish apprentices in the workplace; consolidate relationships with RTO’s; and continue to develop RPL and trainee courses for the industry. We will continue to update you on changes or improvements in this area in 2016.

Thank you for your support in 2015 and I look forward to meeting our members as we introduce a general meeting commencing in 2016.

Kind regards,

Gareth Taylor
OPEA President

OPEA MEDIA RELEASE

Yesterday’s announcement from the Meeting of State and Federal Environment Ministers gave the final green light for non-road spark-ignition engine emissions standards. This will bring Australia in line with the USA who lead the world in emissions standards for petrol engine equipment including lawn mowers, outboards, chain saws and generators.
The Ministers had made an “in principle” agreement at their July meeting, which started the ball rolling with a Working Group formed of industry, government and public community representatives formed to advise how best to implement standards for Australia. That report is due before the end of December.

The timetable after December is not locked in. But according to Gary Fooks, Chair of the Blue Sky Alliance and member of the working group “If we stick to the ambitious program set by Minister Hunt, that would see and Exposure Draft of the Legislation released early 2016 and the Bill introduced before June 2016. Actual commencement of the standards would depend on passage of the legislation through Parliament and industry advice on phasing-in.” All representatives of the Working Group agreed that the introduction of standards should progress to the next steps as soon as possible. The Working Group has played an important role in advising on key settings for the implementation of the standards, such as exemptions, phase-ins for certain engine categories and how to most efficiently monitor compliance across the industry.

Asked if that meant no more two stroke lawn mowers or outboards after July Gary was quick to point out “let’s be clear, these laws are not an attack on any one technology: we will still have quality two cycle technology hand held products like chainsaws, and of course Direct Injection two stroke outboards, but yes, four strokes will be the most common engine type for ground supported product in the future.”

Any phase in is likely to be limited. Existing dealer stock gets exempted as the laws should only apply to new imports. And of course no law will ban what the public already has in the garage.

OPEA has long recommended moving immediately to USA Phase 2 but delay meeting the current US standard until the existing EU standard matches the US in 2019.

Fuel system evaporative standards may be delayed until June 2017, to allow Australian tank manufacturers to develop the technology already employed in the USA

In the end, the choice will be up to the Minister to decide based on the advice he has received.

An Extract from the Ministers’ Statement:

Ministers agreed to introduce emission standards for new non-road spark ignition engines (such as garden equipment and marine outboard motors). Non-road spark ignition engines are a significant contributor to air pollution. The introduction of new standards will bring Australia into line with existing international standards, particularly those in North America. Ministers also noted that a working group of experts is on track to provide interim advice this year on implementing the standards, with the aim of introducing legislation into Federal Parliament in mid-2016.

Gareth Taylor
OPEA President