The 2021 PIA AGM took place online in early November, allowing Members to attend from across the country from their offices or at home, no matter what restrictions were in place in their state or territory. While the year did not go as planned, attendees were able to hear about some of the successes and activities that did happen, and plans to resume to more in-person meetings and training in 2022.

The PIA reported that while COVID-19 continued to have an impact on some activities over the course of 2021, it has continued to successfully liaise with government and other organisations on items of interest to the industry, and membership has continued to grow, putting the Association in a good position for 2022.

Industry engagement

Due to ongoing restrictions making it difficult to organise in-person events for most of the year, the PIA was only able to hold one Technical Meeting and one Pumps and Systems training course.

The Pumps and Systems training course took place in Melbourne in late March, with 21 people to date having completed the course. As there are a number of competing training courses across the country, the PIA will look at ways to increase interest in the nationally-recognised course in 2022.

In April, a Technical Meeting was held in Perth at Tsurumi Australia with over 30 people in attendance. Attendees heard from PIA President, John Inkster, and Tsurumi Australia Managing Director, Michael Woolley, before hearing a presentation about Tsurumi Australia and taking a factory tour.

At the time of the AGM, there was an online seminar scheduled for late November on Energy Efficiency of Pipelines. The seminar was taken by Rob Welke, Managing Director at Tallemenco, and looked at energy optimisation of pipelines and pipeline performance degradation. A second online seminar is planned for Q1 on flow metering for onsite pump testing.

The PIA has also been busy undertaking other activities to engage the industry, and provide support and assistance where needed. A key engagement has been with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), following a request made for more clarity on works being undertaken that are covered by the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018 so companies could ensure compliance and avoid fines.

Jason Cunningham

Discussions with the QBCC were initiated in July regarding the licensing of PIA Members for work covered by the Act. The case was tabled in early October with the Services Trade Council (an instrument of the QBCC) and was under consideration in November with the PIA awaiting a formal response.

The PIA aims to get a better understanding as to what needs to be done so that regulations aren’t broken by the many small to large companies that are based or do work in Queensland.

Ongoing work with standards and publications

The PIA continued to engage with Australian and international standards organisations, and government departments to review and provide expert comment on related standards. It was on three Standards Australia committees in 2021:

• FP-008 Fire Pump Committee

The only notable work to take place on this Committee over the year was the review of AS2419.1 Fire hydrant installations, Part 1: System design and installation. This standard has been under review for a number of years and PIA submitted a number of comments, with a majority of them accepted. The revised standard has now been published

• ME-030 Pump Committee

ISO 21630:2007 (vers. 3) Pumps – Testing – Submersible mixers for wastewater and similar applications came up for review

• EL-58 Energy Efficiency for Swimming Pool Pumps Committee

PIA was asked for input on Draft AS 5352 Swimming pool and spa heat pump systems. The Association submitted substantial reviews of the standard to sort out some issues and to try to clear up if pumps were included in the energy efficiency calculations or not. The draft standard was expected to be released for public soon at the time of the AGM

Other important work and changes included the review of draft changes to the NCC 2022, as well as aged standards; and support was provided to ensure the PIA’s Pump Technical Handbook was up to date with the most current standards in preparation for a new edition to be released in 2022.

Two items of note were ISO 50001 Energy management systems – Requirements with guidance for use will become Australian Standard AS/NZS ISO 50001:2021; and Europump announcing it is now pushing legislators in Europe to implement the extended product approach on behalf of pump manufacturers to have any energy calculations also include the pump, motor, drive and controller.

With training taking a backseat again in 2021, a major focus of the year was updating the Pump Technical Handbook. It has taken many hours and the help of volunteers to complete, with the aim to release the new version in Q1. The PIA would like to thank all those who took the time to lend their expertise to review the Handbook.

Looking to the future

The PIA reported that with the effects of the pandemic expected to continue into 2022 and the uncertainty of how it will play out, it is difficult to formalise a business plan for the year. However, provided the situation allows it, the Association intends to hold a number of Breakfast Meetings, Technical Meetings and online seminars over the year. The PIA also hopes to continue to grow its membership in 2022 to more effectively represent all businesses, with the incoming council encouraged to reach out to the larger pump organisations in particular for their support and experience.

Achieving business success

The AGM ended with a presentation by Jason Cunningham, Co-founder and Director, Head of Business Advisory at The Practice, about the key ingredients to business success based on his book Have Your Cake And Sell It Too – the 7 Key Ingredients of Business Success.

Jason provided an informative and entertaining presentation, with attendees hearing about some of the ingredients they need to grow their business asset for tomorrow, while enjoying the profit and lifestyle rewards now, and securing their future.

The virtual PIA AGM was facilitated by Pump Industry magazine publisher Monkey Media and hosted by Monkey Media Managing Editor, Laura Harvey.

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