Air Con suppliers reeling after Queensland changes the rules

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: A decision by the Queensland Labor Government to implement new regulations to its building code is set to cost air conditioner suppliers millions of dollars.

From 1 July 2009, Queensland will move to the most stringent environmental conditions in Australia, meaning that vendors who sourced products to comply with national standards may be left with product that is unable to be sold north of Tweed.

One of these affected suppliers is Teco. Air conditioning product manager Mike Hoffman explained to Current.com.au that when Queensland moves to its new Efficiency Ratio (ER) minimum of 2.9 this July, it will render Teco’s most recent shipment of air conditioners – sourced to comply with the Federal Government’s national standard of 2.7 – unsellable in the Sunshine State.

Whilst it is true that the new code only applies to installed air conditioners, Hoffman said that retailers were unprepared to range his latest shipment, with many worried that future changes will leave them with unsellable stock. Hoffman reported that he has received requests from Queensland retailers to accept returned stock for a credit notice.

“We just placed an order, received a shipment, and then the Queensland Government says as of 1 July, you can’t sell it,” said Hoffman.

“We’d already paid for it, we had to put it back on the boat and ship it south to New South Wales.”

The representative group for air conditioner suppliers and servicers, AREMA, has sought meetings with the Queensland Government to discuss this issue. So far little headway has been made. AREMA’s objective is to have a grandfather clause inserted into the new regulations. This would mean that whilst suppliers cannot source or import non-compliant stock, they are allowed to sell out their existing non-compliant stock.

“They say, ‘This is the way it will be,’ we get all the spin but then there’s no grandfather clause: effective 1 July, shutters down, thank you very much,” said Hoffman.

Current.com.au contacted the relevant Queensland Government office for comment; they did not return our calls.

Are you affected by this change? Do you have anything to say on the matter? Send me an email.

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