eFlash #576

eFlash #576

eFlash #576
Date: 31-Aug-2023


Postponement of Information Session: Workplace Exposure Standards for H2S and other chemicals |  Annual Forum: Last Chance to Register! | TracWater Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test | Plastic Micro-Beads Ban for Queensland | FOGO for SEQ Receives Funding | Positive Duties Under the Sex Discrimination Act | UK Space Agency Backs Projects to Address Water Pollution | Inquiry Into Scrap Metal Theft | Queensland Mental Health Week | Other Key Dates 


1. Postponement of Information Session: Workplace Exposure Standards for H2S and other chemicals

qldwater would like to advise that the session Workplace Exposure Standards for H2S and other chemicals: What to measure and how, that was scheduled to run tomorrow, 31st August from 10:00am to 12:00pm, have been postponed until 13 September from 10:00am to 12:00pm.

If you have registered to attend the session ‘in person’, please advise Jane Standfast if you are still able to attend in person for the new date or would prefer to change to online attendance.

2. Annual Forum: Last Chance to Register!

The 2023 Queensland Water Directorate (qldwater) Annual Forum will take place in Toowoomba from 5 to 7 September. The presentations and workshops will be at Clifford Park - Home of the Toowoomba Turf Club with a Welcome Cocktail Function and Gala Awards Dinner being held at the Burke and Wills Hotel.

The theme for the event is 20/20 Vision: Raising the visibility of the urban water industry, in conjunction with the Directorate’s 20th anniversary celebrations. The program will cover a wide range of topics including:

•A keynote address by William Speirs from Urban Utilities on a long-term strategy in our age of uncertainty;

•A panel session with past Young Operator of the Year and Operator of the Year (Civil/All rounder) award winners including Ben Haddock, Shannon Thomas, Ben Pennell, Sarah Walton and Jason Vade;

•Managing capital delivery and water security risks and outcomes in a regional context by Wayne Middleton, Australian Water Business Leader at Arup;

•An update on the new BuildSkills Australia JSC by incoming CEO Brett Schimming;

•Different perspectives on the award-winning Water Industry Worker program with Kathryn Turner, Stuart Boyd, David Bristow and Dinesha Emmery;

•An introduction to and interactive session with the Queensland Government’s Statewide Risk Assessment Project with Steph Hogan and Daniel Harris;

•Local Government Water Business Innovation – the Pathway to Net Zero through the $1.5 Billion Pumped Hydro Project by Jaek Passier from Toowoomba Regional Council;

•A vision for QWRAP driving water industry reform by Scott Mason, Central Queensland QWRAP Coordinator; and

•Climate Change and its impact on water security across Queensland by David Wiskar.

The event also includes two site tours, the TracWater Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test, an Awards Dinner, qldwater program updates and more. 

The agenda for the day can be found here. Registrations will close on Friday, 1 September. 

3. TracWater Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test

Entries are pouring in for the TracWater Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test - what will it take to knock Mackay Regional Council off their perch after winning in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022?

Entries to date include Livingstone Shire Council, Central Highlands Regional Council, Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council, North Burnett Regional Council, Southern Downs Regional Council, Toowoomba Regional Council and Goondiwindi Regional Council.

We can't wait to taste all these samples from such a wide variety of water sources across our beautiful State.

For those who have entered, please drop two litres of drinking water for each scheme entered to Level 1, 6 Eagleview Place, Eagle Farm by COB Friday, 1 September or at the Burke & Wills Hotel, Toowoomba before midday on Tuesday, 5 September. Please submit samples in a container which clearly identifies the name of the water provider and the system/scheme it presents.  


4. Plastic Micro-Beads Ban for Queensland

The Queensland Government has announced a ban on a range of single use plastic items from 1 September 2023 including: 

•cotton buds with plastic stems

•expanded polystyrene loose packaging

•releasing helium balloons into the air, and

•plastic microbeads in rinseable personal care and cleaning products.

For more information about the bans click here.

5. FOGO for SEQ Receives Funding

The Growing the Recovery of Organic Waste via Food Organic Garden Organic (South East Queensland) (GROW FOGO SEQ) fund has been introduced to provide support to South East Queensland councils to implement or expand kerbside food organic and garden organic collection services.

Organic waste makes up around half of what Queenslanders throw away each week in their red lid kerbside bin. Diverting organic material from landfill presents many environmental and economic benefits, from significantly reducing landfill methane emissions to generating valuable new products such as compost.

More information about the fund can be found here.

6. Positive Duties Under the Sex Discrimination Act

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has recently published its guidelines to help employers and persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) comply with the new positive duty to eliminate sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, in effect since December 2022. 

The guidelines have been published ahead of the AHRC’s new enforcement and investigative powers, which commence on 12 December 2023 and allow the AHRC to investigate employers/PCBUs expected of non-compliance with the positive duty requirements (their duty to take ‘reasonable and proportionate measures’ to eliminate unlawful conduct).

The guidelines provide practical guidance to employers to eliminate workplace sex discrimination, provide information on how employers can satisfy their obligations and set out seven expectations of organisations and companies to satisfy the positive duty.

7. UK Space Agency Backs Projects to Address Water Pollution 

Work is about to start on a series of innovative climate services that use the unique vantage point of space to provide businesses and other organisations with information about environmental risks and how to mitigate them. 

Ten new projects will use Earth observation tools, satellite tracking and data on population demographics, supported by Artificial Intelligence (AI), to produce forecasts and models that can be used by sectors ranging from agriculture and energy, to water and insurance. 

Projects include understanding the effects of global temperatures on crucial local watercourses; using multiple data sources to provide a catchment-wide view for freshwater management; and pollution to an automated groundwater-level forecasting system to boost climate change resilience through improved coverage of flood and drought management systems.

For more information click here.


8. Inquiry Into Scrap Metal Theft

On 24 August 2023 the Legislative Assembly agreed to a motion that the Transport and Resources Committee inquire into and report on scrap metal theft.  

The Transport and Resources Committee (the Committee) will be making inquiry into and report to the Legislative Assembly by 24 November 2023 on scrap metal theft in Queensland and in doing so consider: 

1.the types of metal at risk of being stolen and resold as scrap, taking into consideration copper, precious, and other metals, and vehicle parts;

2.how the scrap metal market operates, including the supply chain and payment methods;

3.the prevalence of scrap metal theft in Queensland; 

4.the direct and indirect impacts of scrap metal theft on Queenslanders, such as costs, disruption, and essential service delivery;

5.direct and indirect risks to worker and community safety, as well as other risks such as environmental harm;

6.the effectiveness of the existing Queensland laws and approach in preventing, investigating and prosecuting scrap metal theft in Queensland;

7.a recommended contemporary legislative, regulatory and enforcement framework for deterring, detecting and disrupting scrap metal theft which is informed by national and international approaches and experiences; and

8.other non-regulatory measures, such as information sharing, education and public awareness raising, and technology solutions, which may assist in reducing the prevalence and impact of scrap metal theft in Queensland.

The committee invites submissions on any aspect of the inquiry, from all interested parties. Guidelines for making a submission to a parliamentary committee are available here: Guide to making a submission. 

The closing date for written submissions is Friday, 22 September 2023 at 4:00pm.

qldwater is eager to hear from any members who have experienced metal theft - please contact Georgina Davis if you have a story to share. 


9. Queensland Mental Health Week

Queensland Mental Health Week runs from 7 – 15 October 2023.

While building a mentally healthy workplace makes good business sense, addressing psychological health and safety risks is also a legislative requirement.

Throughout Queensland Mental Health Week, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) are delivering a number of events including a Breakfast Seminar at Victoria Park, and four livestreams featuring notable speakers and experts in how to address psychosocial workplace hazards and other areas of mental health that impact businesses.

Take the opportunity to engage and contribute to Mental Health Week by attending the events below: 

•Monday 9 October – Livestream event: Addressing workplace bullying with Professor Michelle Tuckey

•Tuesday 10 October - World Mental Health Day Breakfast Seminar

•Wednesday 11 October – Livestream event: Navigating work and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after trauma with former first-responder Daryl Elliot Green

•Thursday 12 October – Livestream event: The power of perspective of redressing sexual harassment culture with Dr Skye Saunders.

10. Other Key Dates 

  • 5-7 September - Annual Forum, Toowoomba 
  • 15 September - NSW Water Directorate Annual Forum, Sydney
  • 5 October - AWA QLD Water Awards
  • 9-10 November - AWA QWater, Brisbane 

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