Lighting : LIGHTING Feb-Mar 2018
42 LIGHTING MAGAZINE | February/March 2018 system to identify every relevant MP to every one of our 100 Lighting Council members by electorate. I believe it’s vital to ensure MPs are aware of where our members are located and the issues they face. What’s the biggest policy issue on the cards at the moment? Everyone at LCA is currently involved in a massive campaign to challenge the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for LED Lighting that the Federal Department of the Environment and Energy is attempting to foist on the industry. We’ve even brought in extra staff to work on this. Our lobbying effort has involved substantial outlays and numerous meetings with Federal, State and Territory Parliamentarians. We’ve been wearing the carpet out in Parliament House, Canberra and have successfully enlisted support from the Labor Party, the Greens and from Pauline Hanson. We’ve also got the support of a number of members of the Coalition who are not happy with what has been proposed – in terms of promulgating highly costly and unnecessary regulations on the Australian lighting industry. At this stage, the Department is fairly rapidly trying to dilute their plans, but they’ve got a fair way to go before we’ll ease up. The Lighting Council is, of course, very happy to support energy efficiency measures, including the phase-out of halogen lights (and we’ve even indicated we’d bring that forward if that was helpful); but we’re not going to support measures that will punish Australian lighting companies for no measurable benefit. What else are you working on currently? MEPS for LED Lighting is definitely the biggest thing on the agenda at the present time, but we are also working to mitigate proposed changes to the National Construction Code, where a number of hair-brained ideas have been advocated by a consultant. The proposed measures are likely to have horrendous effects on our community, on the industry and on the citizens at large. Under the proposal, for example, you will not be able to have a light pointing upwards to highlight a tree. They also want to ban brick lights in walkways and bollards, which are important in public areas for safety. These are quite ill-considered ideas and we are starting to increase our activity on that front as well. I’m quite sure that the nonsensical nature of those measures will meet with a resounding rejection, once I’ve had time to brief members of the House of Reps and the Senate. What about regulatory changes, what is the update on this? In December last year, the Environment Department agreed to completely capitulate on regulating luminaires. They were planning to bring in a raft of costly measures on luminaires, and we’ve fought hard against those because of the impact they would have in the absence of any perceived benefit. That’s certainly an important win for many lighting companies. In addition, LCA sent a representative to at least five international regulatory meetings in 2017. These meetings are concerned with regulations governing lighting and trying to standardise things around the world. We’ve also continued our involvement in the Global Lighting Association so we can keep abreast of new developments globally. You’ve mentioned an increased focus on marketing. How will this manifest? We created a marketing role so we can communicate in a consistent and effective way to our members, as well as help us develop strategic partnerships with key players in the smart lighting and smart control space. We want to connect and establish a relationship with all the new players and companies (such as Tesla and Amazon) who are moving into this space so we can help the Australian lighting industry stay at the cutting edge of new and evolving technologies. With that in mind, we’ll be hosting a major event/conference next year to present the latest innovations and ideas. Tell me more about the event? It’s still in the embryonic stage, and we are yet to finalise dates, but it will be towards the end of 2018 and will include high-profile international opinion leaders who can help educate the Australian industry on the latest developments in relation to smart lighting and smart controls. The event will combine exhibitions, informative speaker sessions, entertainment and hospitality and make sure our members know the sort of opportunities that are out there in this fast- Our lobbying effort has involved substantial outlays and numerous meetings with Federal, State and Territory Parliamentarians. Q&A changing environment. I mean, just the LED lights are changing every six months so if you don’t stay up with what’s going on you’re going to get left behind and ultimately left out of the market. How else have you beefed up your communications activities? Internally, we’ve initiated a newsletter called Illuminations. It’s a good, quick way for us to let our members and associated interests know what’s going on. We’ve already got a subscriber list of 3,000 recipients including allied interests: designers, architects, and other decision makers etc. It’s designed to give a clear idea of what the Lighting Council’s position is on certain topics and I get a lot of emails from people saying how useful it is. In October 2017, we also re-launched our Technical and Regulatory Workshops with more planned for 2018. They’ve been a feature in the past in the Lighting Council, but the numbers of attendees has been dwindling so we decided to give the workshops an adrenaline shot by revamping them and bringing in exciting speakers on all sorts of topics. For example, we looked at the issue of non-compliance in relation to imported products, particularly from Asia which is a big concern to our members at the moment. We brought in specialists to explain how to identify non-compliant lighting. We’ve also had a speaker talking about scientific developments in lighting that are relevant to the eye and we are also looking into publishing information and advice on relevant technical topics in easy-to-read formats in 2018. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? We are still committed to our environmental programs, including the importance of recycling fluorescent tubes and the battery EXITCYCLE program. We’re currently in discussions with the Queensland Government to get them to put more resources into the EXITCYCLE program, which is designed to encourage the sensible disposal of batteries as part of a pilot program. We hope in time this pilot will be rolled out nationally.
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LIGHTING Apr-May 2018