eFlash #586

eFlash #586

eFlash #586
Date: 29-Nov-2023


Advocacy on Telco Act Ramped Up | Inside Water features Georgina Davis | New IPWEA-QNT Board Announced | Water Security Assessment for Central Queensland | Parliamentary Report into Scrap Metal Released | Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality (ANZG) | Consultation on draft Southern and Darling Downs Regional Water Assessment | Planning and Other Legislation (Make Developers Pay) Amendment Bill 2023 | Consultation on End of Waste Code


Advocacy on Telco Act Ramped Up

Over a number of years, the water industry has had challenges with the way telecommunication providers are “piggy backing” their infrastructure on critical water assets.  Telco infrastructure have created drinking water risk for our communities and worker safety risk for staff in the industry.

Following the issue being raised by water service providers and a number of QWRAP Regions over the past three months, qldwater CEO Georgina Davis has been actively working on this matter with State and Federal regulators.

Last week, we had a very productive meeting with the Department of Infrastructure who are eager to work with the industry to examine the issues and challenges that water service providers are experiencing.

As part of building a body of evidence, to support the changes that our industry is recommending, it is very important that our industry register any issues and complaints formally with the telco regulator.

As such, we are looking to hear from any water service providers that are experiencing difficulties in this area and want to help them to lodge the issues with ACMA. (The ACMA Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Complaint Form can be downloaded here).

Any water service providers with concerns in this area are encouraged to reach out to Georgina directly.

qldwater members can access a range of documents relating to Telcos on water infrastructure from this page.

Inside Water features article on Georgina

The latest edition of Inside Water magazine features an interview with Georgina Davis as the new CEO for qldwater read it here.

New IPWEA-QNT Board Announced

The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia, Queensland Northern Territory (IPWEA-QNT) announced the results of the 2023 Board Election with the following members to be declared elected at the Annual General Meeting on 13 December 2023. 

  • President Sean Rice (Managing Director of Proterra Group) 
  • Vice-President Jo O’Brien (Tonkin Engineering) 
  • South-East Queensland Branch President Sandra Burke (GHD) 
  • South-West Queensland Branch President Jason Dallinger (TMR Qld) 
  • Central Queensland Branch President Adam Doherty (Dileigh Consulting) 
  • North Queensland Branch President Hari Boppudi (Flinders Shire Council) 
  • Northern Territory Branch President Pero Peric (Centreline Traffic) 
  • At-large Director Shelley Burchett (Ink and Think) 
  • At-large Director Craig Young (Somerset Regional Council) 
  • At-large Director Haider Yousif (Toowoomba Regional Council) 

Other News

Water Security Assessment for Central Queensland

The Queensland Government has secured $4.5 million from the National Water Grid Fund for a new Central Queensland Regional Water Assessment (CQ RWA). This forms part of the $11.5 million Queensland has secured from the Commonwealth for collaborative strategic planning work across Queensland. 

The regional water assessment will look at infrastructure and non-infrastructure options in Central Queensland to unlock more water to meet future demand, building on major water infrastructure investment including the $568.9 million Rookwood Weir project which reached construction completion last week, the Fitzroy to Gladstone Pipeline and Mount Morgan Pipeline projects which are currently underway. 

The CQ RWA is part of the water infrastructure planning program being carried out across the state, with assessments also being undertaken for the Atherton Tablelands, Southern and Darling Downs, Bundaberg and Burnett, and the Burdekin region.

Where detailed business cases or other studies have been completed or are underway, the CQ RWA will seek to incorporate information from those projects, including the outcomes of the Dawson Valley Water Supply Scheme and the Nogoa Mackenzie Options Analysis processes funded by the National Water Grid Fund.

In addition to the RWA, work continues on the Detailed Business Case for a desalination plant in Gladstone, to supply water to the green hydrogen industry.

As part of the assessment a working group comprising key water users and other stakeholders will be set up, to provide strategic guidance and ensure continued engagement with Central Queenslanders.

Parliamentary Report into Scrap Metal Released

The Department of Transport released a Parliamentary Report on the Transport and Resources Committee's inquiry into scrap metal theft.

qldwater's submission to the inquiry got a few mentions, highlighting the impact and costs that metal theft crimes have on our members. In particular, qldwater members reported a significant and growing number of thefts of metal components and infrastructure including the removal of electrical components and renewable energy technologies.

Damage to our critical infrastructure from the removal of metals and components may lead to water treatment and supply breaches which risks community safety; as well as posing a direct electrocution risk to water network personnel. The urban water sector also services homes with ‘life support’ functions where water is an essential input of ongoing home medical treatments (such as haemodialysis). Smaller and regional councils in particular struggle with the costs (and supply chain issues) associated with the repurchase of stolen components and many do not have readily available access to skilled workers to repair and refit impacted infrastructure; while such thefts may impact the larger utilities compliance to the SCI Act (The Commonwealth Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018).

Read the report here

Current Consultations

Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality (ANZG) 

New or updated guidelines are being developed under the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality 2018 (ANZG 2018).

The ANZG team released the DRAFT water quality guidelinesfor review and comment. 

There are now three DRAFT toxicant guidelines open for public review and comment (refer closing dates below).

  • NEW - Fluoride in fresh water (submission closing date: 10 March 2024)
  • Copper in fresh water (submission closing date: 20 December 2023)
  • Ammonia in fresh water (submission closing date: 20 December 2023)

Consultation on draft Southern and Darling Downs Regional Water Assessment

After significant consultation with local government, industry and peak body representatives and analysis from experts, the draft Southern and Darling Downs Regional Water Assessment is open for public consultation, with the community encouraged to have their say on future regional water projects.

The draft assessment sets out how existing infrastructure, new infrastructure and non-infrastructure solutions can help maximise water supply and drive economic growth in the Southern and Darling Downs.

A list of options on how to improve water security in the Southern and Darling Downs community is being presented to the community for feedback. The draft Regional Water Assessment has identified future options to be explored to unlock more water in the region, including:

  • Developing an on-farm dam evaporation saving initiative for the Granite Belt region.
  • Expanding the use of non-potable recycled water networks in Chinchilla, Inglewood, Warwick and Wetalla, subject to the support of relevant local Councils.
  • Continuing to explore the Granite Belt Irrigation Project, including further geotechnical investigations, confirmation of water availability, pipeline alignment and design development.
  • Commencing a Detailed Business Case for the Warwick to Stanthorpe Pipeline, subject to outcomes of the project development work for the Granite Belt Irrigation Project.
  • Undertaking a detailed assessment of the Glebe Weir Offstream Storage and pipeline augmentation, subject to conditions.
  • Collaborating with the New South Wales Government on ways to optimise water availability in the Border Rivers area.

The Southern and Darling Downs Regional Water Assessment area covers the Toowoomba, Southern Downs, Goondiwindi regional council areas and extends across parts of the Western Downs Regional Council, including Dalby and Chinchilla. 

The assessment is being jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments. Australian Government funding is provided through the National Water Grid Fund.

Public consultation details are available on the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water website.

Public consultation will run from November 16 to December 14. 

Planning and Other Legislation (Make Developers Pay) Amendment Bill 2023 

The objective of the Bill is to give local governments the flexibility to charge developers for trunk infrastructure according to the cost of delivering that infrastructure. 

Submissions close: 13 December 2023 at 4pm. qldwater will be making a submission, please contact Georgina at gdavis@qldwater.com.au to provide input.

Consultation on End of Waste Code

The Queensland Government Department of Environment and Science invites submissions about whether there is any particular waste for which an End of Waste (EOW) code should be prepared under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011. Submissions are invited to ensure that resources are targeted towards the development of EOW codes for which there is strong industry demand.

If a waste is approved as a resource under the EOW framework, it is no longer considered a waste under section 8AA of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011. However, if the resource is not used in accordance with the EOW code, it is deemed to be a waste. More information on the EOW framework and a list of approved EOW codes is available on the Queensland Government website.

An example of an EOW code is the Biosolids EOW code, which states that biosolid waste generated from sewage treatment plants becomes a resource in accordance with the requirements and/or conditions of the EOW code.

To make a submission, complete the ‘Submission for proposed end of waste code submission form’ by 5pm on Wednesday 31 January 2024.

For more information, email RRS.Consultation@des.qld.gov.au.

Upcoming Events

  • 8 December - SPG Meeting, Eagle Farm
  • 19 April 2024 - Annual Water Skills Forum, Parliament House Brisbane

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