Update on Bricklaying Apprentices.


Apprenticeship To 31st December 2020 To 31st December  2021 % variation
Bricklaying 213 252           3 F +18.31%


Apprenticeship To 31st December 2020 To 31st December 2021 % variation
Bricklaying 128 118 -7.81%

MCA Annual Awards & Dinner – Change of Date

The MCA Executive have made the decision to move the Annual Awards & Dinner which was to be held on Friday 29 October 2021 to next year due to the current COVID lockdown and restrictions.

The change of date for the MCA Annual Awards & Dinner is now on Friday 4 November 2022 at Doltone House – Jones Bay Wharf.

A big Thank You to those that have sent in their Award Entries already, these will be held over for the Awards Night on Friday 4 November 2022.

Free PD courses

The online PD courses available on the Construct NSW website have been made free during this period of lockdown for the construction industry, normally $140.00 ea. You may want to complete some PD courses while not working.

  • Ethics in Construction
  • Communicating to build stronger foundations
  • NSW Planning Portal

For more information visit: https://training.tafensw.edu.au/constructnsw/

Attention MCA Sponsor / Contractor Members,


Members are advised that the NSW State Government has issued an updated Health Order which became effective today.

Please see attached MBA NSW e-circulars:


Dear Valued Stakeholders,

Did you know, it is estimated that the cost of mental health issues to NSW employers is about $2.8 million a year.

Research also suggests that businesses that invest in workplace mental health programs could gain more than $4 for every $1 invested as a result of improvements to productivity and reductions in absenteeism.

In this episode of the SafetyCast, Ryan Tinker discusses Mental Health in Construction with State Inspector Ian Firth.

Find the Full episode at: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1344256/8198522

The Take 5 at: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1344256/8198529

Industry Update - Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC)

Industry Update June 2021The Sanctions Edition

  • What’s the current state of the construction industry? Find out in this (June 2021) edition of Industry Update.

Click here to read more…


Industry Update – May 2021 Edition

  • What’s the current state of the construction industry? Find out in this (May 2021) edition of Industry Update.

Click here to read more…


Membership of a union or employer association is your choice.

  • In the February edition of Industry Update we look at the concept of freedom of association. Read on for our case studies and more.

We also give you the chance to help shape future Industry Updates by taking part in our two minute survey.

Click here to read more…


  • The December edition of Industry Update is our 2020 legal retrospective, with case studies of the most common contraventions, including right of entry, coercion, wages and entitlements and much more.

Click here to read more…


  • In the November edition of Industry Update, ABCC take a look into the extension of JobKeeper, the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy, the increase in the building and construction minimum wage and much more.

Click here to read more…

Commercial Drone Registration Becomes Mandatory

Members are advised that there is less than a week before employers in the Building and Construction Industry risk fines for flying unregistered drones or remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) in Australia.

From 28 January 2021, any RPA flown for work or on behalf of an employer must be registered with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) – no matter how much it weighs.

Click the below link Commercial Drone Registration Becomes Mandatory for further information on requirements and penalties for flying without an accreditation.


Industry Reference Group (IRG) Supporting the Development of the Managing Respirable Crystalline Silica Dust Exposure in the Construction Industry Code of Practice (the Code)

Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, the Office of Industrial Relations has been encouraged by the progress made with the Steering Group and the (IRG). The Steering Group has now met three times, on 17 May, 28 July and 25 November 2020, to consider key issues for the development of the Code. The input from the IRG, including the feedback provided on the construction materials, tasks and workplace scenarios etc. of particular concern or importance for your work, has been of great assistance in this process by helping us to ensure that a diverse range of views from across the industry are supporting the development of the Code.

At the latest meeting, the Steering Group reviewed a proposed scheme for determining the controls and associated requirements for a wide range of common construction tasks. This proposed scheme will be subject to further consideration in early 2021 and will lead to drafts of the Code that we expect will be shared with the IRG next year.

The Office of Industrial Relations has now extended the scope of the Code beyond the initial definition of ‘construction work’ in the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011. The extended scope means the Code will also apply to the manufacturing of construction elements, including where the manufacturing of construction elements (e.g. bricks, tiles, glass) occurs separately from a construction site and for general construction retail purposes.

This change recognises the large number of materials containing respirable crystalline silica that are manufactured for use across the construction industry, and is considered appropriate to ensure all Queensland workers manufacturing construction materials are protected from the significant risks posed by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The membership of the IRG has now been extended to include additional key organisations involved in the manufacturing of construction elements.

 QLD Gov

Rebekah Jensen
Manager, Work & Electrical Safety Policy
Office of Industrial Relations
Street: 1 William St Brisbane
Post: GPO Box 69 Brisbane Qld 4001
P: (07) 3406 9885
E: rebekah.jensen@oir.qld.gov.au
W: www.worksafe.qld.gov.au

SafeWork NSW – Mentally Healthy Workplaces

Please find attached a flyer and frequently asked questions regarding “Mental Health at Work” and “Managing for Team Wellbeing” online interactive training for businesses with less than 200 employees.

The training is free and run by Black Dog Institute, in partnership with the NSW Government.

To sign up, see the attached flyer and FAQs.

Flyer 1: Mentally Healthy Workplaces Program Summary FAQS [Download]
Flyer 2: Mentally Healthy Workplaces Free Program Flyer [Download]

Construction Services Group
SafeWork NSW

p 13 10 50
92-100 Donnision St, Gosford NSW 2250
Locked Bag 2906, Lisarow NSW 2252



SafeWork NSW – Safe Work Month is about Everyone’s Health and Safety

October is national Safe Work Month – a time to increase focus on improving work health and safety in your workplace, including the wellbeing of your employees.

With over 3.2 million workers in NSW, Safe Work Month provides you with an opportunity to build awareness of work health and safety and encourage discussion about safety at work in your workplace.

Did you know the construction industry is one of NSW’s highest risk industries?  Every year thousands of workers are injured on construction sites as a result of easily preventable incidents.  Some workers lose their lives; others suffer serious and debilitating ill health.  It is important to manage risks associated with construction work.

While construction sites have many risks, they can be easily managed without significant costs to the business.

Help make Health and Safety a Priority on your Worksite

We are supporting managers within the construction industry this year with the launch of a series of free Construction Site Supervisors Virtual Workshops to show how straightforward managing safety in construction can be.

The first workshop will focus on understanding your obligations for managing WHS at the worksite.  Every month a new module will be released, so register now to reserve your spot or continue to keep checking the SafeWork NSW – Events page.

Working at Heights 

Throughout Safe Work month and beyond, SafeWork Inspectors are targeting working at heights safety in the construction industry.  If you want to find out more about the program and what you can do to make your site safe, simply visit our working at heights resource page.

Help us Spread the Word about Safe Work Month

We’ve developed a communications pack to help you get involved in Safe Work Month.  You can use this pack to share the Safe Work Month message throughout your workplace and to your contacts.

You can find out more about Safe Work Month by visiting our website or if you have any queries relating to the Safe Work Month, please email us at HRWSET@safework.nsw.gov.au.

High Risk Work & Stakeholder Engagements Team

Construction Services Group
SafeWork NSW
p 13 10 50


work at height

Stakeholder Pack PDF file [Download]

Construct NSW and the Office of the Building Commissioner (OBC) Milestones


This is a big week for the Construct NSW and the Office of the Building Commissioner (OBC) with the following milestones arising:

  • Commencement of the RAB Act (Pillar 1),
  • Publication of the Certifier Practice Standard (Pillar 1),
  • Launch of the new learning management system (Pillar 3),
  • Launch of an update to ePlanning so that it manages strata building bonds and OC audits (Pillar 5),
  • An updated Construct NSW website.

Summary information is below for Members:

Developers Must Provide Advance Notice of Class 2 Building Completion 

  • Building developers must provide an expected date that they will apply for an occupation certificate. This notice must be provided at least 6 months in advance and no later than 12 months.
  • If notice is not provided, fines may apply and/or a prohibition order may be made that stops or delays an occupation certificate being issued. Notice can be given through the NSW Planning Portal or online via nsw.gov.au/construct-nsw.
  • A transitional period applies to developers with residential apartment buildings due for completion within the first six months of the Act starting 1 September 2020. In these cases, notice must be given within two weeks of the new legislation coming into effect. 

Inspectors Have More Powers

  • The NSW Building Commissioner now has unprecedented powers to regulate and raise the standard of residential buildings in NSW. These powers are part of the OBC’s Construct NSW strategy to protect apartment owners and residents from poor construction.
  • A number of class 2 buildings will be selected for an Occupation Certificate Audit.
  • The audit involves a review of designs and documents (including contracts) and a physical inspection of the building construction. If inspectors find a serious defect, they can enforce action to stop work, order defects to be rectified, and delay the occupation certificate being issued.
  • Without an occupation certificate, the building can’t be occupied, and the sale of apartments can’t be settled, protecting buyers and residents from poor construction.
  • Authorised officers can:
    • Enter building construction sites to do in-depth inspections without notice or permission,
    • Investigate, monitor and enforce compliance, determine if the building has serious defects, take and remove samples, and require records to be produced for inspection,
    • Demolish or open part of the building work if they have grounds to believe there is a serious defect,
  • While construction sites will be selected for audits based on regulatory insights that identify the most risky buildings, random selections will also be made.

   Reporting a Defect

  • All building defects and building-related complaints should always be reported in the first instance to NSW Fair Trading. Individual strata and community lot owners can report their issues here lodge complaints with the Office of Fair Trade.
  • Each complaint will be reviewed and assessed to identify the appropriate response. It is important to note that not every compliant will result in an investigation.
  • Caretakers and others who control access to areas of the common property will be obligated to cooperate with inspectors to enable the inspection to be carried out.

 Developers to Lodge Strata Bonds through the NSW Planning Portal

  • Starting 1 September is the requirement for developers to lodge the 2% strata bond and associated documents via the NSW Planning Portal. This replaces the Strata building bond and inspections scheme (SBBIS) e-Portal, which will remain available for existing projects.
  • The bond provides a fund for the owners corporation for post-construction repairs. Compliance checks will ensure the correct bond is lodged.

 Training Available for People Involved in Audits

  • NSW Government is proactively addressing skills and learning gaps in the construction sector by creating, sponsoring and approving training courses through the a Learning Management System (LMS).
  • The first training course is Understanding Occupation Audits, which is now available. It is recommended for anyone involved in the new occupation certificate audit process – developers, builders, certifiers, suppliers, manufacturers.
  • The module takes approximately 2 hours to complete and is available for a free trial for the first 60 days. After the trial period, the training course will cost $140.
  • Access the Understanding Occupation Audits course by visiting the TAFE NSW website.

 NSW’s First Certifier Practice Standard being Published

  • The Standard will apply to all registered certifiers undertaking certification work for new residential apartment buildings, being class 2 buildings under the Building Code of Australia (BCA) including multi-classified buildings which contain a class 2 part that are approved through the development application process.
  • This Standard is a formal and legal document under section 14 of the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018. Section 14 of this Act provides that a registered certifier’s conditions of registration may require the certifier to carry out certification work in accordance with specified standards or methodologies.
  • The Standard was developed in full consultation with a reference panel that covered all the major relevant areas of the building sector and building regulation. The valuable contribution of all members of the reference panel and the working groups is fully acknowledged.
  • The Standard is intended to serve a number of important purposes:
    • To provide a clear, accessible and specified standard of what is expected of certifiers in undertaking their role and function,
    • To reinforce that the role of the certifier is different from builders and other building practitioners,
    • To make clear the professional obligations and conduct of certifiers as public officials, and
    • To enhance the accountability and responsibility of certifiers.
  • It is expected that the Standard will be a living document and change over time, including being expanded to other classes of buildings.

–> Media Release (NSW Government) – Download

New Bricklaying Qualifications

Brendan Coyle, MCA President, has been working with TAFE and the Government for over 3 years regarding the new Bricklaying Qualifications.

Brendan Coyle is also on the Masonry Structures Committee working with Standards Australia regarding proposed changes to the Elements and Performance Criteria to:

  • CPCCBL3002 Carry Out Masonry Veneer Construction
  • CPCCBL3003 Construct Masonry Structural Systems
  • CPCCBL3003A Carry Out Cavity Brick Construction

MCA Member Resources

Masonry Contractors Association (MCA) are currently adding new resources to the Website for our Members to download.  Please click on the below link and type in your email address and password:


“MCA Excellence in Brick and Blocklaying Awards and Dinner 2019” 

Photos Available here!


Please don’t forget to review Artibus Brick & Block” – Review


Minimum wage increase – make sure you are paying the right rate

New minimum wage increases apply from the first full pay period after 1 July 2019.

Who do the new rates apply to?

Employees who get their pay rates from:

  • the national minimum wage
  • a modern award, or
  • an enterprise agreement (if the base rate is below the modern award rate).

We are here to help

For help understanding your wages obligations in the building and construction industry, visit wages and entitlements page or call on 1800 003 338.

You can also find out more about the new rates through the Pay and Conditions Tool on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

Australian Apprenticeships

Federal Budget 2019 – AA website fact sheet

What is the Additional Identified Skills Shortage Payment? Find out here

02724 - FB Graphic - White Cement REV-B

Latest From The Blog

Subscribe to the MCA Newsletter