eFlash #568

eFlash #568

eFlash #568
Date: 26-May-2023

Information for Water Industry Managers and Practitioners in the Queensland Water Industry

(Issue #568 - 26 May 2023) 


 Message from Interim CEO |  Water Connections Tour | Skills Forum Registrations Now Open | ANZ Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality | Swimlocal WebReports: New Functionality |  Recycled Water Workshop | EOIs Open for Growing Regions Fund


1. Message from Interim CEO

This week is my last in the interim CEO role after nearly 8 months. It has certainly been challenging at times with several new recruits and critical team members on leave. However, with the support of the team, our SPG and members, the ship has been steadied and we are ready to welcome our new CEO, Dr Georgina Davis.

I would like to acknowledge the qldwater team who I have come to know and deeply respect, each one of you offering support and assistance, both personally and professionally. The sense of a cohesive team has continued to be strong even with all the change, and we have continued to deliver core services and maintain the reputation of qldwater built over the past 20 years.

To our members and partners, thank you for your ongoing support and understanding during this turbulent time. There is much work to be done with a collective ‘we’ approach being essential.

Congratulations also to the qldwater team for successfully delivering another Water Connections Tour (more details below). The tour highlighted the significant challenges facing the urban water industry across Queensland and left us with a resounding message about the risks associated with lack of capacity and capability, along with the pressure on teams to manage assets under resourced.

We will delve a bit deeper into the resource challenges at the upcoming Skills Forum which is fast approaching on 8 June – more details below. Attendees are invited to join us for an informal meet and greet with the new CEO at the close of the event.

The following day, Friday 9 June, our next SPG meeting will occur and we have a jam-packed agenda. We encourage SPG members to join us face to face in Brisbane for both events and also the opportunity to meet our new CEO Dr Georgina Davis.

Finally, I am continually amazed at the water industry’s strength of collaboration and support. Let's keep raising the profile of this essential industry! With the challenges being faced there are also enormous opportunities to deeply listen, think differently and break down barriers for change.

2. Water Connections Tour 2023 Done and Dusted 

The qldwater team enjoyed driving delegates from the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water, Queensland Health, Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, Department of Environment and Science and Local Government Association of Queensland across eight Council areas in the Central Queensland region to gain a perspective on the issues and challenges facing regional water service providers.

The annual five-day intensive tour of water and sewerage treatment plant infrastructure in remote and regional Councils provide an opportunity to share up to date technical and policy information and to explore and understand issues facing small and remote communities.

The tour itinerary included visits to treatment plants, meetings with key staff and elected representatives and local hospitality in the South Burnett, North Burnett, Cherbourg, Fraser Coast, Woorabinda, Gladstone and Bundaberg Council areas.

Over the course of the week we clocked over 2,000km across beautiful landscapes, passing through Kabi Kabi, Wakka Wakka, Butchulla, Auburn Harkwood, Iman, Wulli Wulli, Wadja, Kanolu, Bidjara, Barada, Bailai, Gurang, Gooreng Gooreng and Taribelang Bunda country, and we pay our respects to the First Nations people and recognise the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities.

qldwater will prepare a tour report to capture the obstacles and opportunities for sustainable service provision in the regions, and will follow up on any technical issues raised over the course of the week.

To see where we've been in the past, check out the interactive story map

3. Skills Forum Registrations Now Open 

The Queensland Water Skills Partnership is hosting its annual Water Skills Forum on Thursday 8 June 2023.

The theme for the event is Hi Vis; raising the profile of the Urban Water sector.

As an industry we are largely invisible unless something goes wrong. The Forum will explore opportunities for the sector to not only increase its visibility to the wider community and stakeholders, but also to increase visibility within – whether from an Employee Value Proposition perspective or a skills and training planning viewpoint.

We’ll also seek to increase the visibility of the importance of mental health and wellbeing across our workforce.

Following five successful forums, the 2023 forum will provide an opportunity for Water and Sewerage Managers, Human Resources and Learning and Development professionals to hear presentations from water industry and other workforce experts and Government stakeholders.

Please register online now to join us at our Eagle Farm location. While we prefer in-person attendance, we understand the restraints on our members from further afield who will be able to link into the sessions virtually. Water Skills Partners receive three free registrations (in-person/virtual) per organisation to participate in the Forum, with registration also available for $60 plus GST for qldwater members who are not Water Skills Partners and $160 plus GST for non-members.

A big thanks to Principal Events Sponsor TRILITY and Gold Sponsor Simmonds & Bristow.

Some sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please contact Neil at skills@qldwater.com.au if you are interested in sponsoring this event.

4. ANZ Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality – draft default guideline values including PFOS open for public review 

The Australian Government has published three draft toxicant guidelines under the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality 2018 (ANZG 2018) for a public review period of 3 months.

The draft default guideline values (DGV) for review are:

  • Copper in marine water 
  • Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in fresh water 
  • Picloram (a herbicide) in fresh water 

One of the issues that was of concern with the release of the Draft PFAS NEMP 3.0 last year was the possibility that end-of-pipe (EOP) concentrations of PFAS discharged to water may need to meet the DGV for ecosystem protection at the 99% level (recommended for even moderately disturbed systems due to the persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic nature of PFAS compounds).

At the time of the release of the Draft NEMP 3.0, the DGV for PFOS in freshwater (and by extension the interim marine DGV) for 99%, 95%, 90% and 80% species protection were, 0.00023 µg/L, 0.13 µg/L, 2 µg/L and 31 µg/L, respectively.

The draft DGV for PFOS that have been released for the 99%, 95%, 90% and 80% species protection are 0.0091 µg/L, 0.48 µg/L, 2.7 µg/L and 17 µg/L, respectively. This represents a substantial increase compared with those published in the PFAS NEMP 3.0, except for the 80% species protection level.

The draft toxicant guidelines and associated documents, can be accessed at the following link: https://www.waterquality.gov.au/anz-guidelines/guideline-values/default/draft-dgvs#draft-default-guideline-values

Information on how to make a submission can be found here:  Submission on draft toxicant default guideline value (waterquality.gov.au)

Submissions close on 17 August 2023.

5. Swimlocal WebReports: new functionality 

Swimlocal WebReports can now ‘publish’ a graph, table, and/or dashboard that can then be viewed by anyone via a web link or embedded within your organisation’s own website for public access. As an example, Council will be able to put live ‘water use data’ up on your websites and allow anyone to view it without having to use passwords or logins.

A quick example is available here.

Some other new WebReports features include: 

  • Automated production of Council’s DWQMP E. coli report (exactly matches the E. coli table required for Council’s DWQMP Annual Report) 
  • Summary reports can choose to summarise to site level or to all sites (total), i.e., role up to scheme level. 
  • In addition to colours, you can choose different line styles (solid, dotted, dashed) and line thicknesses for graphs. 
  • Each parameter plotted can have up to four limit lines/bands with configurable line styles. 
  • Can set a chart 'title' and 'caption'. 
  • Can display a trendline for indicators (with configurable line style and colour). 

If you would like any information on the qldwater swimlocal data management tool or WebReports please contact David Scheltinga to discuss.


6. Recycled Water Workshop

The Water Supply Regulation team is conducting a Recycled Water workshop in Brisbane and via TEAMS on Thursday 22nd June.

The agenda includes an overview of the legislation and regulation that applies to recycled water as well as providing examples of recycled water schemes from service providers. The first half of the workshop will focus on recycled water generally and the second part will explain requirements associated with developing and implementing a Recycled Water Management Plan.

This event will be conducted face to face and via TEAMS so please indicate your preference in the registration form and advise RDMW if you change your preference for catering purposes.

You can register by clicking on this link.

Please forward this invitation to any other relevant people within your organisation, noting that registrations close on 14th June.

If you have any queries regarding this event, please email drinkingwater.reporting@rdmw.qld.gov.au or call (07) 3199 4856 to discuss.

7. Expressions of Interest open for the Growing Regions Fund

The Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communication and the Arts Growing Regions Program guidelines are now available for eligible applicants to start preparing expressions of interest.

The Growing Regions Program provides grants of between $500,000 and $15 million to local government entities and not-for-profit organisations, for capital works projects that deliver community and economic infrastructure projects across regional and rural Australia.

The program is open competitive with grants awarded on a merit basis.

There will be a two-stage application process. Under Stage One, applicants will be required to submit Expressions of Interest which will be assessed to ensure projects meet eligibility requirements, project readiness and program suitability, and are aligned with regional priorities for the area.

Expressions of Interest that are assessed as meeting requirements and approved to proceed will be invited to submit a full application (Stage Two).

Round 1 will open for expressions of interest on 5 July 2023, with $300 million available to support capital works projects for community and economic infrastructure across regional and rural areas.

More information is available here.


  •  8 June - Water Skills Forum, Eagle Farm, Brisbane 
  • 19-20 July - WIOA Queensland Conference, USQ, Sunshine Coast  
  • 15 August  - AWA North Queensland Conference, Townsville 
  • 5-7 September - Annual Forum, Toowoomba 
  • 13 September - NSW Water Directorate Annual Forum, Sydney
  • 6 October - qldwater Regional Conference, Mackay
  • 9-10 November - AWA QWater, Brisbane 

Kind Regards,


qldwater is a business unit of IPWEAQ

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