Independent Ceramic Tile Merchant Associations have existed in all Australian States for more than 40 years.
In 1965 representavies from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia met to form a federal body. By 1970 Western Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory had also joined.
National meetings were held twice yearly, and each State took turn to host the Annual General Meeting. The major manufacturers were invited and each made presentations on developments in the industry. A tradition was established of the manufacturers hosting a formal dinner for all participants on the evening.
Nearly all sales at that time were of wall tiles and it was not until 1974 that floor tiles experienced significant sales groth. Matters of concern to distributors and retailers of ceramic tiles were on each agenda, and one of the early agreements was on a code of Ethics for the industry.
In 1995 at their Launceston Conference the merchant associations agreed to change the name of the group to The Australian Tile Council Incorporated, with membership becomming open to “all bodies and persons who have a genuine interest in the responsible sustainned growth of the Ceramic Tile market”.
This move was endorsed by the major manufacturer representatives present, and a number of manufacturer and merchant delegates were immediately elected to the inaugural Management Committee.
It was agreed to establish a National Office of the Council and appoint a Chief Executive Officer. Each State would be separatly Incorporated, be a Division of the Council and be governed by its own committee.
A National Constitution was adopted at the Brisbane Conference in April 1996, with each Division agreeing to bring their own constitution into conformity with the national document.
Divisions send delegates to form a Management Committee, which in turn elects an Executive Committee for day to day operations. There are Standing Committees with representation from Divisions having responibility for Technical, Membership and Promotion matters. Members joined in the State in which they operate, with those companies with offices in more than one State being required to join each Division individually. Each Division sets its own subscription rates.
To represent the industry, to promote the sale of ceramic tile products by ensuring public access to quality goods and services, and to protect and elevate the standards and business practices of all those within the industry.
One of the first actions the new Council took was to lobby the then Federal Government when it became known that the Treasurer intended to introduce a sales tax on Ceramic Tiles in the 1995 Budget. A committee was formed and funds raised from members to fight this introduction.
In conjunction with our Trade Consultant in Canberra and the accounting practice of Cooper and Lybrand a submission was made to a Senate hearing and to individual Ministers and politicians. Other bodies within the building industry were also active in this matter but the Australian Tile Council was the only individual Association invited to appear before the hearing. The government did not introduce the tax.
Prior to the 1996 Federal Election the Council again made an approach to the major political parties and received assurance that there were no plans for the introduction of a similar tax in the future Budget.
The Council is active nationally in efforts to expand the range and scope of membership services with many others activities.
National Tile Week was inaugurated in October 1996 and each Division conducted its own promotional activities.
The Asthma Foundation of Victoria has accepted Ceramic Tiles made or sold by members of the Australian Tile Council as “Approved Product” in the campaign to educate consumers on reducing the effects of asthma in the community. Members have exclusive merchandising material for display with their products to promote this approved status.
The Australian Tile Council is committed to continuous and effective efforts in the areas of Industry.