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Painters Licence Mutual Recognition

Automatic Mutual Recognition (AMR) of Painters Licences

Daniel Wurm | 09 Feb 2021

The Commonwealth Government has agreed to introduce a uniform scheme for the automatic mutual recognition (AMR) of occupational registrations to assist Australia’s economic recovery.

AMR will allow a painter who is licensed or registered for an occupation in one jurisdiction to be considered registered to perform the same activities in another, without going through further application processes or paying additional registration fees. National Cabinet has now released draft legislation for consultation which will amend the Mutual Recognition Act 1992, enabling AMR to commence from 1 July 2021.

This legislation would allow licensed painters in QLD for example, to work in NSW, without getting a NSW licence. However, it also means that unqualified licensed painters from South Australia could work in QLD, without getting trained or qualified.

Although the National Painting and Decorating Institute supports national licensing over mutual recognition, there is some immediate benefit for this reduction in red tape, particularly for painters who live on the border of states where licensing is required. For example, painters living in the Northern Rivers region of NSW would be able to work on the Gold Coast without having to pay additional fees and obtaining a Queensland licence. Likewise, painters on the Gold Coast could work in NSW without having to pay and apply for a NSW licence.

The draft legislation includes provisions for states to still require painters from interstate to register with the state regulatory body, or to request that additional training be carried out before their licence in recognised.

For example, if you are a NSW licensed painter wanting to work in QLD, you may be required to register with the QBCC before you can work in Queensland. But the registration process would not cost you anything, and would be a very simple straight-forward process.

However, if you are a licensed painter from South Australia who wants to work in Queensland, you might be asked to get additional training if you are not already qualified. (Not all licensed painters in SA are trained and qualified)

The draft legislation is open for consultation, and the National Painting and Decorating Institute is putting in a formal submission on behalf of the painting industry. Please contact us if you would like to provide input or have your say.

We will be recommending that automatic mutual recognition only apply for states that have identical or very similar requirements for training and certification. New South Wales, WA and QLD all require licensed painters to be qualified or have received formal training as part of an apprenticeship or through a formal skills assessment process. Victoria will no doubt also be following this model. The only problem is South Australia, where painters can still obtain a painters licence despite not having any training. We will be lobbying all state governments to only allow trained and qualified painters from South Australia to work in other licensed states, or to require all South Australian painters seeking mutual recognition to be formally skills assessed and qualified.

The risk to the community of having untrained and unqualified painters working in other states is too great, not only in regards to the issue of lead paint exposure, but also the preparation of asbestos.


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