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It is unusual for a member not to be relevant to his own motion, but I would like to support the member for Flinders's acknowledgement of World Plumbing Day and start by highlighting the important work of the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre in my own electorate of Wills. The Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre is a high-profile facility with ongoing promotion both to the general public and industry stakeholders. It is a world-class facility with a high level of water and energy savings and with a commitment to continuing performance improvement. It is a world-class facility in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It is a public building used by diverse stakeholders and it is an educational and research facility.
The establishment of the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre has allowed the plumbing sector in Victoria to keep up with the increasing need of the community for sustainability, in addition to furthering the career options and industry retention of apprentices and plumbers. As the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre has pointed out, an adequate supply of plumbers to meet the challenges of climate change is as important as making sure that our current workforce has the skills they need. Young people enjoy the positive consumer reactions to the new green plumber image, which is particularly relevant to young people considering their career choices. We also need to retain those who are established plumbers, and the green aspects of plumbing add another dimension to their skill base and expand the role of experienced plumbers.
The Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre offers a range of courses not available elsewhere in Australia. This is a centre of excellence supported by all, an initiative that has brought together the plumbers union with other key industry employee and employer groups as well as training bodies so that building design meets key sustainability requirements now and into the future. It is a collaborative project which at its core has had stakeholder engagement essential in delivering effective outcomes for the centre now and into the future.
The vocation of plumbing is at the coalface of sustainability. Whether plumbers are dealing with water, sanitation, gas or solar, raising plumbing industry standards and becoming a venue for innovative research and development of sustainable practices are paramount for the industry and for government. In delivering on this vocation the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre has committed to the construction of a new climate change academy and industry innovation centre that will focus on delivery of green plumbing pre-apprenticeships for Indigenous, female and other students, followed by apprenticeship training delivering dual qualifications in certificate III plumbing and in Green Plumbers Environmental Solutions.
The vision is the establishment of an academy which would see a large number of Indigenous apprentices trained in vital skills for remote communities and to meet the challenges of the mining boom, building on the success of the Indigenous Community Sanitation Program. In an application for financial support from the Australian government, the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre highlighted: 'Whilst the program places great value on the employment and training of Indigenous Australians placed in apprenticeships, the greatest value will be to those communities desperately needing trained generalist plumbers able to maintain proper sanitation and clean water. Australian government funding to assist in the construction of this facility would have a profound impact on real job creation across all areas of the youth population, particularly in mitigating Indigenous disadvantage by increasing the number of Indigenous apprentices to between 20 and 50 over a four-year period.'
I want to turn now to the broader worldwide issue of water and sanitation.Continued...