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New VLT laws accepted nationally

With Tasmania announcing in November the new allowance of 20% VLT for rear windows in passenger vehicles, we can now say the revised regulation has been enacted nation-wide. The NT is the only different jurisdiction, which has for years had a 15% allowance on rears.


WFAANZ President Ally Cronan comments, “It’s the biggest news in auto film since WFAANZ saved the industry from extinction in 1992. Tinters have long asked WFAANZ to fight for equality with privacy glass. While privacy glass can still be darker, this change from 35% to 20% for rear aftermarket film gives tinters much more flexibility when selling auto film. It’s a monumental win for our industry.”


Through every step of the process, WFAANZ has been liaising with government departments, fielding questions and issuing information to ensure tinters are aware of the changes.


The one sticking point seems to be tinters spreading misinformation, claiming 20% is now legal on all windows. That’s not the case – anywhere in Australia.


There are State-specific conditions to these rules that all tinters should be aware of. That’s why we have the state regulations readily available on the auto laws page of the WFAANZ website.


Technical bulletins have been published by WFAANZ to explain the new rules. Unfortunately, a technical bulletin has not yet been issued for Victoria as WFAANZ is waiting on the government’s revised information bulletin. We have been told this will be available in the new year, at which time WFAANZ will update Victorian tinters immediately.


Click here to download the new Tasmanian technical bulletin

New WERS website

A new WERs website has been launched, with updated search functionality and user-friendly features. This has the complete residential and commercial window film rating tables. From now on, all updates will be made to the new website, which you can visit here

Slip, slop, slap n tint

Did you know that two in three Aussies will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime? Source: Cancer Council NSW. For the most part, Aussies know to apply the slip slop slap principal when venturing outdoors, but what about when they’re on a road trip, or watching TV, or working next to a window? Dermatologists have found that skin can suffer from UV exposure outdoors and in – and that includes inside a vehicle.


It just makes sense to factor in skin protection when you’re discussing the benefits of window film this Summer.


Here’s a video from the International Window Film Association (IWFA), America’s version of WFAANZ, featuring interviews with home owners about indoor sun protection.

John Hunter Hospital gets film treatment

1740m2 of external window film has been installed on the vast skylights at the Hunter region’s largest hospital – John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle.


The hospital sought to reduce heat and glare transmission from an expansive peaked skylight, a prominent architectural feature of the building. Areas underneath the skylight required high air-conditioning levels to counter the spike in temperature, and patients moving through the hallways below - on foot and in beds - were exposed to the glare. Of particular concern was discomfort to patients in post-operative stages.


The skylight consists of angled 1200 x 4000mm glass panels that form a peak running the length of the building. An external film that performs well on sloped surfaces was selected for the job, and sealed with 3600 lineal meters of silicone to maintain the longevity of the film. A seven year warranty on the film was given, after intensive tests conducted by an independent laboratory in Arizona.


WFAANZ member Aaron McCarthy, TintFX, completed the project in six weeks. As with all outside jobs, the weather greatly impacted the schedule, as did the state of the glass itself.


Aaron comments, “A lot of time and energy was spent cleaning the glass. We believe the glass hadn’t been cleaned externally for years, so we were contending with dirt, moss and what I suspect was bat droppings.”


To counteract any problems regarding access, a tailor-made scaffold system was commissioned to allow two teams to work simultaneously.


Mucking about on houseboats

Over the last seven years WFAANZ member Andrew Booth from All About Window Tinting has tinted over 30 houseboats. With huge floor to ceiling windows and significant exposure to the elements, these floating homes are subject to extreme temperature swings, making them prime candidates for window film.


Andrew comments, “Houseboat owners experience three things that make them desperate for a window treatment solution - heat gain in summer, glare off the water and limited privacy, with people often seeing straight through their boat. In this way, window film and houseboats are a perfect match.


“The other added benefit is that window film gives the older boats a complete facelift, when they get the look of new windows at a fraction of the cost.”


In Lake Eildon this December, Andrew installed 15% low reflectivity film to fix the problem of heat and privacy on a houseboat called Arcadia. It took two tinters one full day to complete the job. Andrew says there are over 1,000 houseboats moored on Lake Eildon, some with price tags that would make a Sydney property owner blush.


Andrew adds, “The issue you face when tinting a houseboat is access to the glass itself. The walls actually butt against the glass in certain places, and there’s often fixed bedding, cabinetry and furniture to work around. It can be extremely fiddly, but the results are outstanding”.

National Construction Code 2019

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has announced a 12 month transition period at the introduction of the 2019 National Construction Code for the energy efficiency provisions in Volumes One and Two. The new NCC 2019 provisions can be used, or you can continue to use the NCC 2016 provisions until 1 May 2020. Click here to read more about NCC 2019.

Another hot one

The Bureau of Meteorology climate outlook for December 2018 to February 2019, issued 29 November 2018, predicts warmer than average days and nights are likely for almost all of Australia from December to February.


Tinters react to new VLT laws

For years WFAANZ has sought parity between aftermarket film regulations and those governing privacy glass in vehicles. The new 20% allowance for rear and back windows in passenger vehicles gets us closer, but the change hasn’t been without teething problems.


Here, WFAANZ talks to auto tinters to get their take on how the new regulation affect their business. We spoke to Nicola Fraser, Universal Tint, NSW; Toni Taylor, Tint a Car Bundaberg, QLD; and Christian Burness, Solabloc, SA.


All three tinters said there were no negatives at all as a result of the new laws. They also agreed their customers fell into one of two categories - those happy to have darker in the rear, and those dead against a ‘two tone’ look. The split was about 80/20, with 80% of customers going 20%/35% and 20% opting for 35% on all windows.


What was your initial reaction when you heard the VLT allowance for rear windows had changed?

Nicola: I was happy when all States came on board, so people’s windows were legal even if they moved interstate. It means we can match the privacy glass for the dealerships, while giving customers the UV protection of the film. It gives us more scope when selling film.


Toni: I consider it a positive thing, because a lot of people didn’t understand why they couldn’t get dark windows like they see on new vehicles. It’s also great that it’s now a uniform rule across the country.


Christian: I didn’t believe it at first to be honest, I only believed it once I received the info bulletin from WFAANZ. It’s a positive for industry, for sure. It makes it easier for us to keep up with the privacy glass, now I can match to privacy glass a lot easier. It also makes the discussion with the customer easier as we have more flexibility with VLT.



In your experience, do car owners know about it?

Nicola: No, we have to tell them. A lot of customers don’t even know what privacy glass is. People don’t understand what the laws are.


Toni: We have to explain it to them every time.


Christian: I’d say its 50/50. Some customers know the law has been changed and they want to get the 20% and 35% on their new car, or they want us to remove the old film and install new darkest legal film.


The other half are completely oblivious to the new law.



Has there been confusion or derision from customers as to why they can’t get 20% everywhere?

Nicola: If it was legal people would do 20% everywhere, that’s why we go to great lengths to explain the laws to them. At first, people don’t understand why there are two different limits, but most of them get it once it’s explained to them.


I find that people with young kids are more likely to jump at the chance to have darker in the back, to protect their kids from UV.


The one constant frustration we face is the question why they can’t have clear film over privacy glass that’s already at or darker than 20% or 35%. We explain this is the case because there’s a chance the film, even optically clear film, could darken over time. Even after this explanation I get the feeling most people would still prefer to install clear film for its UV benefits.  


Toni: There’s usually no confusion once the laws are explained, people get the safety aspect. We have a diagram in the showroom that really helps, it shows exactly what can go where on their vehicle. One observation I’ve made, and this is a generalisation, is that the older generation are more likely to opt for uniform 35%, and the younger customers are happy getting 20% in the back.


Christian: There’s confusion at first, but we explain that if you go too dark and the police can’t see you, it’s an issue. I ride a motorbike, so I also explain the importance of being able to get eye contact with the driver. About 80% of our customers vie for the 20% rear 35% front as most people want darkest legal.



Has it affected the way you use and order film?

Nicola: Yes, we order different stock now. We go through more 20%.


Toni: While we now have to order and stock 20% film, we are using less of the 35% so it balances out.


Christian: 75% of our film stock used to be 35%, now it’s more like 30% of our stock is 35% and rest is everything else.



Have you changed any of your sales materials?

Nicola: We changed the website.


Toni: Since the changes we had a diagram done, because people would look at me blankly when I started talking about rears and front wind ups. The diagram plus film samples give people a better understanding of the products and results.


Christian: We use a heat box to demonstrate how the films work, so we didn’t have to change our materials.



Note from the editor: thanks to all the tinters who participated in the interviews. They revealed the importance of that initial conversation between the customer and the tint business. In 2019 WFAANZ will produce a fact sheet for members that explains why the laws are in place and the repercussions of illegal film, which you can display or refer to during these conversations. 



Lead generation

What happens when WFAANZ gets an enquiry? Are all leads passed onto the distributors?

Whenever a customer interested in film contacts WFAANZ, we direct them to our online member directory and advise they speak with a local WFAANZ member. That’s an installer member, not a film distributor.


Technical enquiries are handled by WFAANZ, and are sent with WFAANZ President Ally Cronan’s email signature. This ensures that no one brand is associated with WFAANZ at any time.


In certain cases, tricky questions are emailed to the entire executive committee (made of associate and distributor members) for comment. The replies are collated and again sent via Ally Cronan’s generic email account, which has no alignment with any one company or brand.


WFAANZ does not exist to promote brands of film. That’s part of our constitution. All distributor members accept this and are happy to see business leads sent straight to tinters with a current WFAANZ membership. 


Got the goods

What defines a goods vehicle, as they’re allowed 0% VLT in most states?

The Vehicle and Traffic Act 1999, as the principle legislation to the Vehicle and Traffic (Vehicle Standards) Regulations 2014, defines “goods” as any object, material, or substance and includes an animal or bird. 


Each of the State and Territory regulations refer to a ‘motor vehicle designed primarily for the carriage of goods’.  A vehicle constructed for both the carriage of persons and the carriage of goods shall be considered to be primarily for the carriage of goods if the number of seating positions times 68 kg is less than 50 percent of the difference between the ‘Gross Vehicle Mass‘ and the ‘Unladen Mass‘.  This is the Australian Design Rules (ADR) determination.


As part of compliance with ADR’s, a vehicle’s category is identified on the identification plate (also known as a compliance plate). A goods vehicle is categorised as either NA1, NA2, NB1 or NB2.


New site for the new year

The big marketing news for WFAANZ is the planned launch of our new website. We’ve taken on your comments and designed a completely new platform that’s cleaner, easier to navigate, and better at delivering the information users need.


We know from website analytics that people use the WFAANZ website to find tinters they can trust, information about regulations and for inspiration and advice. We’ve applied these learnings to ensure this information can be accessed easily and confidently.


The new site will be launched in 2019, with the same web address. If you’re not a current WFAANZ member now’s the time to consider joining. Joining now at a pro rata rate means you’ll be part of this massive industry launch. For more information contact Deb at


Member materials

WFAANZ creates a series of information sheets for our members, to help their day to day business. For example, our drying time fact sheet about can be uploaded to your website, a technical bulletin about VLT laws can be used when explaining the laws to your customers, or the SMWS template can help streamline your reporting responsibilities.


The most recent is a technical bulletin regarding the Tasmanian VLT law change for rear windows in passenger vehicles. This and more can be found in the member’s only area of the website. Contact for login details if you've forgotten them.

Surge in popularity of VLT cards

Do you know about our VLT cards? They’re business card sized materials that enable the user to quickly check if a window is darker or lighter than 35% VLT. WFAANZ has just printed more after a surge in popularity of the cards, with police departments and car consumer goods stores making bulk orders. Members get a discounted rate. Download the order form here.


Tinter wanted

Full or part time tinter needed in well-established business in Murray Bridge, South Australia. Experience in auto and flat glass essential. Pay to be negotiated. Hours from 8am to 5pm weekdays, and occasional Saturdays if able. Tools provided. Equal opportunity employer. For more information please contact Polly Gibbs, or 08 8531 0277.

New AWA Executive Director and CEO

On 1 January 2019, Clinton Skeoch will start as the Executive Director and CEO of the recently incorporated AWA-AGGA Ltd.


Previously the National Market Development and Supply Chain Manager at Boral Timber, Clinton was responsible for the optimisation and distribution planning of eight integrated production sites and seven warehouses across Australia. He was also responsible for the product and market development strategy for Boral Timber’s hardwood business.


We look forward to working with him in the future. 


Farewell Tracey Gramlick

When I heard the news CEO and Executive Director of the Australian Window Association, Tracey Gramlick, was leaving the association, I was shocked. An intrinsic part of the AWA’s DNA, Tracey has led her team with passion, knowledge, diplomacy and tirelessness. I’ve had the honour of working alongside her during the eleven years I’ve been with WFAANZ. I’m incredibly grateful for that time, watching her in action has been an inspiration.


Tracey has worked behind the scenes in her many appointments on industry boards and advisory committees to represent the interests of the window film industry. This was often in face of opposition from other industry stakeholders. For this, and a host of other reasons, she’ll be greatly missed.


Shutting up shop

The WFAANZ secretariat will be closed from lunchtime Friday, 21 December, reopening Monday, 7 January 2019. The marketing department will be closed from Friday, 14 December to Tuesday, 5 February 2019. 

WFAANZ welcomes these new members to the association

Keen to join the tint team?
Installers wanting to join WFAANZ can contact us here for more info about what's involved, or download the application form. 

Happy merry jolly tinters

From all of us here at WFAANZ, a merry Christmas and happy new year to you all. Each year I say it and each year I mean it – ours is a brilliant and vital industry bursting with colourful characters that are a pleasure to work with. I don’t even mind you naysayers out there, you keep me on my toes. Stay safe everyone, looking forward to an action-packed 2019.  


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