eFlash #572

eFlash #572

eFlash #572
Date: 28-Jul-2023

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


Annual Forum: Register Now! | QWRAP Chairs and Coordinators Forum | qldwater Awards | Queensland Wins Water of Origin - Again! | Federal Government Decarbonisation Plans | Network Tariffs (Electricity) for Large Customers


1.Annual Forum - Register Now!

Registrations are slowly but surely trickling in for the 2023 Annual Forum to be held in Toowoomba from 5 to 7 September. 

The site tours on Tuesday, 5 September will include a visit to the upgraded pump station at Perseverance Dam and the Wetalla Wastewater Treatment Plant. Wetalla features an advanced water reclamation facility which is powered by biogas from the city’s nearby landfill – you can read more here. Places are limited for the technical tour so get in quick!

We look forward to welcoming Toowoomba Regional Council’s new Mayor, Cr Geoff McDonald at the Awards dinner on Wednesday, 6 September. Geoff took over the role following the retirement of longstanding Mayor Paul Antonio earlier this month.

Unfortunately, Geoff was not available to do the Opening Address due to a prior commitment, but we are delighted that Cr Dr Rebecca Vonhoff, Chair of the Water and Waste Portfolio has accepted the invitation.

Keep an eye out for more announcements as we continue to develop an interesting line up of speakers, panels and workshops.

Register from this link.

2. QWRAP Chairs and Coordinators Forum

The QWRAP Chairs and Coordinators travelled from all corners across the State to gather at the qldwater Eagle Farm office to attend the Chairs and Coordinators (C&C) Forum on 21 July 2023. 

The C&C Forum was an opportunity for the QWRAP partners; Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water (RDMW), Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) and qldwater to present to the Chairs and Coordinators the: 

  • New Strategic Vision for QWRAP
  • Bidpool funding structure and documentation
  • Service Provision Framework
  • Communications Strategy and Portal
  • Political engagement strategies

Chairs and Coordinators came equipped with their top three issues impacting their Alliance and how QWRAP can assist. The consistent identified themes affecting all Water Alliances included: 

  • Training, attraction and retention of workforce
  • Visibility of industry (socially and politically)
  • Ageing Infrastructure

Other common issues identified included; remoteness, legislative pressures, fit for purpose assets and financial sustainability. QWRAP  enables issues to be addressed collectively, allowing knowledge sharing and providing stronger outcomes for all Alliances resulting in safe, secure and sustainable water and sewerage services across all Queensland communities. 

The meeting was also the first chance for QWRAP stakeholders to meet the new Program Director, David Wiskar, who joined the qldwater team during July and to recognise the important leadership that Linda Roberts has provided to both QWRAP and qldwater over the past twelve months.

David joins the team from Urban Utilities and brings experience from a 30-year career in water utilities, state and local government.

3. Awards Recognise Outstanding Operators

qldwater was proud to sponsor the Young Operator of the Year and Operator of the Year (Civil / Allrounder) at the WIOA QLD Conference this month, as we believe that our people are the biggest asset to our sector. This year we were once again impressed by the quality of nominations, and we thank all those who have taken the time to nominate someone for an award.

The 2023 Young Operator of the Year is Mitchell Gormley from North Burnett Regional Council (NBRC). 

Mitchell has grown to become a much-valued member of the team at NBRC. Mitch completed his traineeship nine months early, showing great drive and aptitude for the role and associated learnings. Read more about Mitch’s achievements here.

The very worthy recipient of the 2023 Queensland Operator of the Year (Civil / Allrounder) Award is John Sebasio, Senior Operator from Veolia Water. 

John embodies so many of the principles and work ethic that set our industry sector apart from others. From demonstrated attention to Occupational Health and Safety and other regulatory responsibilities, initiative and innovation to improve operations, overall customer service focus and continued education and training achievement, John stood out in all elements. Read more about John’s achievements here


4. Queensland Wins Water of Origin - Again! 

Queensland once again claimed the Water of Origin title at the Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA) conference last week, with water from Mackay Regional Council's Nebo Road Water Treatment Plant beating NSW taste test champion Shoal Haven to the title. Mackay took the title in 2022 as well.

The win adds to Mackay's winning streak with water from the Marian Water Treatment Plant taking the Queensland crown in 2019 and 2021 and Nebo Road in 2018 and 2022, the National Ixom Best Tasting Tap Water competition in 2019 and 2020 and winning silver at the 2020 International Water Tasting Competition in Berkeley Springs, USA.

Congratulations to the Mackay Regional Council team and the "unsung heroes" at the Nebo Road treatment plant for their tireless efforts in providing safe, reliable water all year-round.

The 2023 TracWater Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test will take place at our Annual Forum in Toowoomba on Tuesday, 5 September 2023. We understand that Livingstone Regional Council is planning a comeback, so get your samples ready!

5. Federal Government Decarbonisation Plans

On 18 July, Australia’s Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, announced that the government will develop sectoral decarbonisation plans, starting with six key emissions-intensive sectors, aimed at supporting the government’s net zero plan and interim climate targets.

The six sectors are:

  • Electricity and Energy,
  • Industry,
  • the Built Environment,
  • Agriculture and Land,
  • Transport and
  • Resources.

Developing each plan will be a joint effort between the relevant federal Departments and Ministers including Ed Husic for Industry and the Built Environment, Murray Watt and Tanya Plibersek for Agriculture and Land, Madeleine King on Resources and Catherine King on Transport.

The waste sector will be included both in the industry plan and a focus on the circular economy will be a cross-cutting issue for all sectors.  

At this time, details on the scope and timeframes are not available, however, qldwater will keep members up to date on any developments which impact you. 

A copy of the Ministerial speech (which was an address to the Clean Energy Council) is available here.


6. Network Tariffs (Electricity) for Large Customers 

Every five years electricity Distribution Network Service Providers (DNSPs), Ergon Energy Network (Regional Qld) and Energex (South-East Qld) who distribute electricity to your business, are required to submit a Regulatory Proposal to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). The regulatory proposals set out each business’ proposed investment plans, revenue allowances and network tariff structures for the coming five-year period, in this case the period 2025-30.

As part of their work in developing the regulatory proposals they need to engage with their large business customers, specifically on issues relating to network tariffs to obtain their feedback on a range of network tariff issues including: 

  • Time of use windows
  • Two-way tariffs
  • Load control
  • Streamlining of tariffs offered

Ergon networks and Energex will publish their Draft Plans for consultation in September 2023. To ensure you have an opportunity to participate and have your say, there are two Large Customer Forums for Standard Asset Customer (SAC) Large, Connection Asset Customers (CAC) and Individually Connected Customers (ICC). 

Each Forum will be held online, and you are invited to register for one or both depending on the location(s) of your business operations via the links below:

Customers in the Energex distribution area (South-East Qld)

09:00am – 12:00pm on Tuesday 1st August 2023

Customers in the Ergon Energy Network distribution area (Regional Qld)

1:00pm – 4:00pm on Tuesday 1st August 2023

qldwater understands that there are proposals to limit the number of tariffs available to ICC customers amongst other measures. 


  • 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 

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