eFlash #587

eFlash #587

eFlash #587
Date: 19-Dec-2023

IN THIS EDITION: Hardship Assistance for Far North Communities | Water Amendment Regulation 2023 | NPR Data for 2022-23 Published | IMPORTANT – EOI to Join IChEMS | Gulf and Mitchell Water Plans Minister’s Performance Assessment Reports | ShapingSEQ 2023 | New Emission Reduction Targets | Climate Change Reports | New Trade Waste Customers for SEQ | Work Social Events and Liability | Resources for Managing Heat Stress | Electricity Prices for Regional Queensland | Consultation on Rural Irrigation Pricing Review Open | Consultation on Safeguard Mechanism Reforms 


1. Hardship Assistance for Far North Communities

Our thoughts are with all our members in the Far North region affected by TC Jasper and qldwater stands ready to help coordinate any assistance required relating to water and sewerage services.

The Federal and Queensland Governments have now activated the jointly-funded Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) for nine Far North councils in response to ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper.

The councils of Cairns, Cook, Douglas, Hopevale and Wujal Wujal have been activated for support to assist with counter disaster operations and the reconstruction of essential public assets, while Yarrabah council can use funding for counter disaster activities also.

Residents in the LGAs of Cairns, Cook, Douglas, Hopevale, Wujal Wujal, Mareeba, Tablelands and Cassowary Coast are eligible for Personal Hardship assistance which include grants of $180 for individuals and up to $900 for a family of five or more to cover the costs of essentials like food, clothing and medicine.

The Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Scheme is also available to eligible homeowners needing to reconnect electricity, gas, water or sewerage.

2. Water Amendment Regulation 2023

The Water Amendment Regulation 2023 (amendment regulation) commenced on 1 December 2023. The amendment regulation makes changes to the Water Regulation 2016 to:

  • establish two unallocated water reserves on North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) for the benefit of the Quandamooka people;
  • declare Southern Downs Regional Council as a bulk water customer to support the Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline project;
  • prescribe new metered entitlement areas to support water management in southwestern Queensland; and
  • make minor and administrative amendments for clarity.

The Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water, the Honourable Glenn Butcher, has released a media statement. The amendment regulation is available on the Queensland Legislation website. It is expected that a reprint of the Water Regulation 2016 will be available soon. An Impact Analysis Statement has also been published in accordance with Queensland Treasury’s Better Regulation Policy.

3. NPR Data for 2022-23 Published

The Bureau of Meteorology announced that Part B (dataset) as received by 3 December 2023 for NPR 2022-23 is now successfully published on the Bureau's official website. 

It is accessible via the NPR page: National performance reports: Water Information: Bureau of Meteorology (bom.gov.au)

Both Part A and Part B (final) for NPR 2022-23 are scheduled for publication on 7 March 2024. 


Expressions of interest have opened to join the Advisory Committee on the Environmental Management of Industrial Chemicals (IChEMS). Appointments are part-time for a term of up to five (5) years. Applications close Wednesday 20 December 2023. 

qldwater is strongly encouraging suitably qualified individuals with knowledge of the urban water sector to apply.  Please tell your friends. 


5. Gulf and Mitchell Water Plans Minister’s Performance Assessment Reports

The Minister’s Performance Assessment Reports for the Gulf and Mitchell Water Plans have been published providing an indication of how well these water plans are meeting their objectives. 

The Performance Report for the Gulf Water Plan confirms the water is being managed sustainably in the Gulf water plan area, however, the report identified a growing demand for water from agriculture and new industries such as the critical minerals sector which is not currently being met in the water plan. In addition, new frameworks around cultural activities have been developed within government that will also need to be accounted for in the plan review.

The Performance Report for the Mitchell Water Plan confirms that, since the last report was released in 2018, the plan and its implementation continue to be effective in advancing the sustainable management of water resources in the Mitchell catchment. 

6. ShapingSEQ 2023

The Queensland Government has now released ShapingSEQ 2023

Delivery of ShapingSEQ 2023 is a key outcome from the 2022 Queensland Housing Summit and will deliver on Queensland’s commitment to the National Housing Accord target and address the National Planning Reform Blueprint. By 2046, South East Queensland is expected to have a population of around six million people, requiring almost 900,000 new homes, and ShapingSEQ 2023 sets the framework to help accommodate for this.

ShapingSEQ 2023 focuses on integrating transport systems, infrastructure and planning approaches. Chapter 4 outlines the role of the utility sectors. 

To assist implementation of ShapingSEQ 2023 there have been amendments made to the Planning Regulation 2017 (Planning Regulation) which occurred on 11 December 2023 through the Planning (SEQ Regulatory Provisions) Amendment Regulation 2023 (Amendment Regulation). 

7. New Emission Reduction Targets

Queensland Government has announced it will legislate a new emissions reduction target of 75% below 2005 levels by 2035. 

8. Climate Change Reports

The Australian Government has released its second annual Climate Change Statement. Related to this the Climate Change Authority has released its annual climate change progress report. While emissions from waterwater treatment get a mention the recommendations are silent on the wastewater sector. 

9. New Trade Waste Customers for SEQ

The Australian and Queensland Governments have announced grants totaling $40 million to support the construction of a new paper pulp recycling facility at Brendale in South East Queensland known as the Australian Recycled Pulp and Paper Project.

10. Work Social Events and Liability

As we approach the festive season, it’s a time to celebrate the year that was with our colleagues at end-of-year parties. But what happens if someone is injured at one of these parties? Could the employer be held liable?

In WorkCover’s latest webinar, guest presenters Kym Cavanagh and Jim Tealby, of Hede Byrne & Hall, take a look at the case law involving injuries that have occurred during work social functions, and analyse when employers may be held liable for those injuries.

11. Resources for Managing Heat Stress

Working in hot temperatures is not only unpleasant, but it can also be fatal.  Heat illness can be induced by a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to:

  • physically demanding jobs that need extended durations of exertion in hot and humid conditions
  • use of personal protective equipment such as full-body protective suits, many layers of clothing, or respiratory protective equipment
  • direct sunlight exposure in outdoor jobs 
  • working in high-humidity areas
  • working in tropical or coastal places with significant humidity due to the surrounding climate.

Employer and managers have a responsibility to control the work environment to ensure the safety and well-being of their workers. Workers should also take their own precautions. Resources are available at Worksafe Queensland


12. Electricity Prices for Regional Queensland

The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) have commenced their review of regulated retail electricity prices (notified prices) to apply in regional Queensland in 2024–25 and have published an interim consultation paper (ICP), which provides information on key issues relevant to setting notified prices. View the project on the website to read the ICP.  Submissions by 19 January 2024.

13. Consultation on Rural Irrigation Pricing Review Open

The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) are reviewing the irrigation pricing practices of Sunwater and Seqwater. The review will recommend irrigation prices to apply for the four-year period from 1 July 2025 to 30 June 2029. They have published the businesses’ pricing proposals on their website and will now start consulting with customers and other stakeholders.  

The QCA plan to hold workshops in late January/early February 2024.

Submissions are due by 29 February 2024. The analysis may be of interest to the urban water sector particularly proposed costs around new billing systems and also information on pricing methodology. 

14. Consultation on Safeguard Mechanism Reforms

Consultation has opened on updates to production variables, emission intensities and international best practice benchmarks under the Safeguard Mechanism. Submissions by 16 January 2024.


  • 25 January 2024 – The Fundamentals of Pumping Specific Energy (Register here)
  • 16 March - Local Government elections
  • 19 April - Water Skills Forum, Parliament House, Brisbane
  • 22-23 August - qldwater Annual Forum
  • 26 October - State Government elections

Back to list

More Reading

Back to list