Media Release 20 March 2020

Call for Government leaders and health professionals to acknowledge that licensed plumbing contractors provide an essential service in the fight against the coronavirus. 

As the coronavirus pandemic strengthens its hold, The Master Plumbers and Gasfitters Association of Western Australia is calling for government leaders and health professionals to acknowledge the public health role of licensed plumbing contractors. 

CEO Murray Thomas has issued the following statement:

"Licensed plumbing contractors provide an essential service that many people take for granted. From the highest level of policy makers down to ordinary Australians in their suburban homes, the common attitude is that plumbers are just 'tradies'. The truth is that without these qualified professionals, Australia would have a permanent and potentially catastrophic public health problem."

"Licensed plumbing contractors are responsible for installing and maintaining everything involved in providing clean drinking water and removing sewage and other wastewater. Without them, we would always live with the risk of widespread water-borne diseases."

"The coronavirus pandemic is highlighting the gap between public perceptions and reality.”

"Policy makers must get the message out that the current emphasis on enhanced personal hygiene means professional plumbers are more essential than ever."

"For example, the virus may survive in sewerage systems. Just one blocked drain that exposes people to contaminated water could be responsible for spreading the coronavirus. So could a faulty water heater that stops a household from washing themselves thoroughly. Nobody should hesitate to call a plumber if they need work done in their home or business."

"In addition, government must take steps to ensure that plumbers have access to all the protective personal equipment they need including facemasks, goggles, protective suits and gloves. Plumbers put their own health at risk when they protect the public."

Mr Thomas added, "Most licensed plumbing contractors are small business owners. We welcome the banks’ announcement that they will defer small business loan repayments for six months. It is vital for Australia that our plumbing industry survives this crisis.”