Fletcher Building’s Recent Statement at Odds with WA Plumbing Regulator
By PPN Editor | 25th September 2023
Perth, WA – September 25, 2023
In a perplexing twist to the ongoing investigation into water leaks plaguing homes in Perth due to the Pro-Fit™ polybutylene pipes manufactured by Iplex Australia, Fletcher Building’s CEO, Ross Taylor, recently made a surprising public statement that contradicts the findings of Western Australia’s building and plumbing regulator, Building and Energy.
Building and Energy’s extensive investigation, which has been ongoing for several months, has been focused on unravelling the root cause behind the widespread water leaks in homes linked to Pro-Fit™ polybutylene pipes, primarily those manufactured between mid-2017 and mid-2022. The probe involved on-site inspections at over 50 affected properties and rigorous laboratory testing of the pipe samples retrieved.
The preliminary findings of Building and Energy were unveiled in a statement by their Executive Director, Saj Abdoolakhan. He revealed that their investigation had dismissed installation work practices and workmanship as the primary causes of the pipe failures. Abdoolakhan stated, “Our investigation has been comprehensive and involved detailed laboratory work to determine if the cause was a product manufacturing issue, substandard workmanship during installation, or a combination of both. As the plumbing regulator, we have formed the view that installation work practices were not the causes of these failures.”
However, last week, Ross Taylor, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Iplex’s parent company, publicly expressed a starkly different opinion on the matter. Taylor asserted, “We’re actually finding the pipe is OK,” and suggested that the high correlation of pipe failures in WA to installation practices may be the actual issue. He added, “We’re seeing a really high correlation to installation.”
The public statement by Taylor has thrown a curveball into the ongoing discussions surrounding the Pro-Fit polybutylene pipe controversy. While Building and Energy’s preliminary findings seem to absolve installation practices, Taylor’s remarks appear to place the blame squarely on installation methods.
The divergence of opinions between the regulator and the company responsible for the product has left homeowners, builders, and the broader community in a state of uncertainty. The conflicting statements underscore the complexity of the issue and leave room for further investigation and examination.
As the investigations continue and more data is analyzed, it remains to be seen whether the root cause of the Pro-Fit polybutylene pipe failures in Western Australia can be definitively attributed to defective pipes or installation practices.
This ongoing dispute between Building and Energy and Fletcher Building is likely to be closely monitored by the ABCB, the ACCC and the public, as it carries significant implications for homeowners and the construction industry in the region.
For now, the residents of Perth and industry stakeholders can only watch this space and await the final results of the investigations that will shed light on the true source of the persistent water leaks affecting homes in the area.
WA’s building and plumbing regulator has announced that installation work practices were not the causes of the PB Pipe failures
Iplex Parent ‘Hopes’ for the Best Outcome for Polybutylene Pipe Mass Failures
Fletcher Building is becoming hopeful its Australian leaky pipe problem will turn out to reflect issues with the quality of installation, rather than the product itself.
Fletcher Building CEO Cautiously Optimistic About WA Polybutylene Pipe Failures (VIDEO)
He says FB established the $15 Mill fund to get access to homes to independently investigate the PB pipe failures
Here is the video of the full interview; see in particular from 4:51-7.35