eFlash #578

eFlash #578

eFlash #578
Date: 21-Sep-2023


National Performance Report (NPR) Update | qldwater Submissions and Advocacy | Water Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 Passed | Review of Queensland's Environmental Protection Laws | Energy Queensland Draft Plans Now Out | Local Government (Councillor Conduct) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 | WaterAid Walk for Water | WIOA FNQ Charity Bowls & Interest Day | Other Key Dates 


1. National Performance Report (NPR) update

BoM have finalised the new 2023 NPR Handbook and reporting memo for the 2024-25 reporting period. However, as we are currently in the final stages of Annual Water and Sewerage reporting, and to avoid any confusion or distraction, qldwater and RDMW will hold off sending any information now and will provide it in mid-October.

For those with the time/want/need/desire to look at it, it has been published here: Publications: About: Water Information: Bureau of Meteorology (bom.gov.au)

Alongside the handbook is a release note explaining:

  • changes to performance indictors from the previous 2018 handbook 
  • timing of changes to data collection and reporting on the performance indicators

There are also guidance memos providing information for both >10,000 and <10,000 connection entities for the 2024-25 reporting period.

Additional information is available on the Bureau's NPR updates web page.

A copy of the information is also available from the qldwater SWIM Help & Information website.

There will be more information and training sessions offered in the coming months. But we will let everyone get through the 2022-23 reporting period first.

If you have any questions in relation NPR reporting in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact David Scheltinga or Blair Robertson.

2. qldwater Submissions and Advocacy

One new submission have been added to our website since the last eFlash. 

qldwater Submission to Parliamentary Inquiry into Metal Theft: qldwater Submission to the Transport and Resources Committee reporting a significant and growing number of thefts of metal components and infrastructure from water and wastewater treatment facilities mostly linked to the removal of electrical components and infrastructure and, more recently, renewable energy technologies (solar photovoltaic panels and inverters). qldwater welcomes the inquiry into the matter as the direct risks to community safety, worker safety and the increasing financial burden to the urban water sector (and our customers) must be addressed.


3. Water Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 passed

Queensland Parliament passed the Water Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 (the Bill) on Thursday 14 September 2023. The Bill will become an Act of Parliament once it receives Royal Assent from the Governor – this is anticipated by the end of September. 

The Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water, the Honourable Glenn Butcher, has released a media statement.

The main objectives of the Bill are to:

  • amend the Water Act 2000 (Water Act) to establish a regulatory framework to support implementation of Queensland’s strengthened non-urban water measurement policy
  • ensure our regulatory frameworks for managing Queensland’s urban and rural water resources remain fit for purpose and operate efficiently and effectively
  • make minor administrative and operational amendments to the Water Act, Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 and the South-East Queensland Water (Distribution and Retail Restructuring) Act 2009.

Changes to legislation will generally take effect on commencement. Provisions relating to strengthened water measurement will take effect at a later date via proclamation to align with proposed Water Regulation amendments. 

Further information is available on the Queensland Parliament website. Please note that the Bill is located in the '2022' section. 


4. Review of Queensland’s Environmental Protection Laws

Queenslanders are being urged to have their say on proposed changes to the state’s environment laws which are designed to better protect communities while allowing industry and business across Queensland to operate.

Ongoing odour nuisance issues in the Swanbank industrial area initiated, in part, a review of the Environmental Protection Act 1994, which found that while the Act generally has the tools to prevent environmental harm from occurring and enabled compliance to be enforced, there were areas identified where the powers could be enhanced, including relating to nuisance concerns.

The review made 18 recommendations, all of which were supported or supported in-principle by the Queensland Government. In-line with the recommendations made, the government is proposing reforms to make it easier to proactively manage environmental risks while removing barriers that may delay a regulatory response in the event of environmental harm, particularly where residential and industrial areas are co-located.

This includes by placing greater emphasis on human health, wellbeing, and safety within the legislation, as well as clarifying what constitutes an environmental nuisance and serious environmental harm.

Additionally, the reforms introduce a new offence for anyone that fails to meet their general environmental duty, which requires people and industry carrying out activities that cause, or are likely to cause, harm (including nuisance) to others or to the environment to proactively manage the risks.

Detailed information on the independent review into the adequacy of powers and penalties available under the Environmental Protection Act 1994, including the review’s final report and the Queensland Government’s response, is available here.

Written submissions should be emailed to EPAct.Policy@des.qld.gov.au by 10 November 2023.

5. Local Government (Councillor Conduct) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023

On 13 September 2023, the Hon Dr Steven Miles MP, Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympic and Paralympic Games Infrastructure introduced the Local Government (Councillor Conduct) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 into the Queensland Parliament.

The purpose of the Bill is to implement the Queensland Government’s policy in relation to certain recommendations of the State Development and Regional Industries Committee in its Report No. 28 of the 57th Parliament ‘Inquiry into the Independent Assessor and councillor conduct complaints system’. Specifically, the Bill aims to: 

  • make further changes to the councillor conduct complaints system, including limiting the system’s application in relation to former councillors to those persons suspected of corrupt conduct
  • further clarify and enhance the councillor conflict of interest requirements
  • modernise local government advertising requirements
  • provide a discretion to the Electoral Commission of Queensland in relation to the recovery of local government election costs
  • make consequential amendments resulting from the change of classification for Moreton Bay Regional Council to Moreton Bay City Council
  • provide appropriate transitional arrangements for commencement of the improved councillor conduct complaints system
  • make a minor amendment to the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane Act 2016 to facilitate the redevelopment of the QWB precinct by inserting a new process for creating freehold grants in respect of identified Queen’s Wharf development parcels, which avoids the need for subordinate legislation.

Submissions close at 12pm on 3 October 2023 and can be made online or via email.

6. Energy Queensland Draft Plans Now Out

Energy Queensland has released their 2025-30 Draft Plans for both the Energex and Ergon Energy Network businesses. The Draft Plans for both distribution networks can be viewed on the Talking Energy website.

These plans form the basis of the 2025-2023 regulatory determination period including levels of new investment and ongoing CAPEX and OPEX. Their finalisation will impact the tariffs you can access based on your customer type, and ultimately the price you pay for electricity.  

Your perspectives are critical to ‘truth’ the Ergon Energy Network and Energex Regulatory Proposals that will be provided to the Australian Energy Regulator in January 2024. 

Consultation on both the Ergon Energy Network and Energex 2025-30 Draft Plans is open until 5pm, Friday 13 October 2023.


7. WaterAid Walk for Water

Want to get fit while raising money for a good cause? Sign up for WaterAid’s Walk for Water and walk, run or ride from 2 to 6 October. 

By taking part in Walk for Water, you’ll be helping people around the world access clean water close to home, in their schools, and at their healthcare facilities. Last year alone, WaterAid helped over 1.6 million people access clean water at their healthcare facility through direct work in communities, and even more through our advocacy and policy work around the world.

qldwater have registered a team – if you prefer to sponsor us to walk on your behalf, follow this link.

For more information and to sign up, follow this link

8. WIOA FNQ Charity Bowls & Interest Day

The WIOA Queensland Advisory Group will be holding an Operations Interest Day which will include an optional TRILITY Bowls for Charity networking opportunity on Friday 13 October 2023, to be held at the West Cairns Bowls Club. 

Previous events have proved to be a great day and well-received by all in attendance and we are hoping to make the 2023 day a greater success. 

WIOA members and their guests are invited to enjoy this networking opportunity and a relaxed game of bowls while raising money for charities in the FNQ region. 

Click here for more information and to register. 

9. Other Key Dates 

  • 5 October - AWA QLD Water Awards
  • 10-12 October - IPWEA-QNT Annual Conference
  • 13 October - WIOA FNQ Operators Interest Day and Charity Bowls
  • 18 October - WBBUWA Operator Forum
  • 9-10 November - AWA QWater, Brisbane 
  • 24 November - Mackay Operator Forum

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