eFlash #589

eFlash #589

eFlash #589
Date: 30-Jan-2024

IN THIS EDITION: 2024 Water Skills Forum – REGISTRATIONS NOW OPEN | Essentials Webinar: Arc Flash Risks, Causes and Management | Fundamentals of Pumping Specific Energy Recording Available | QWRAP HR/IR Project | Changes to Departments of Government | Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality (ANZG)  - release for comment 


1. 2024 Water Skills Forum – REGISTRATIONS NOW OPEN

The Queensland Water Skills Partnership is hosting its annual Water Skills Forum on Friday 19 April 2024 with the theme: The Urban Water Workforce - Recognition & Resilience. 

Over the past twelve months, significant progress has been made across a range of workforce and training initiatives. This Forum showcases some of those initiatives from a range of organisations and outlines several new workforce and training initiatives designed by the sector for the sector.

Following six successful forums, the 2024 forum will provide an opportunity for Water and Sewerage Managers, Human Resources and Learning and Development professionals to hear presentations from water industry and other workforce experts and Government stakeholders.

Please register now to join us at Queensland Parliament House, and contact Neil at skills@qldwater.com.au if you are interested in sponsoring this event.

2. Essentials Webinar: Arc Flash Risks, Causes and Management

Between 2013 and 2018 there were 32 incidents involving an arc flash in Queensland. Of these, 20 resulted in serious injuries requiring hospitalisation.

Arc flash or arc faults arise when current flows through the air between phase conductors or between phase conductors and neutral or ground. Put simply, an arc fault could be described as an unexpected, violent, electrical short circuit in the air that produces an arc and associated by-products.  

With aging electrical assets and interference of electrical switchboards by third parties (e.g. telecommunication contractors), the risks associated with arc flash across urban water sector assets are increasing, so this is an important topic for qldwater members.

In this webinar Michael Gibson from Queensland’s Electrical Safety Office will provide information and insights on the risks, causes and management of arc flash. As the Director of Field Services, Michael's key focus is on the promotion of education and training on all matters relating to electrical safety. He supports this through the development and delivery of evidence-based compliance and engagement programs which focuses on ESO’s priority areas. 

Register here.

3. Fundamentals of Pumping Specific Energy

A recording of the Fundamentals of Pumping Specific Energy Webinar held on Thursday, 25 January is now available on our website

4. QWRAP HR/IR Project

Work is continuing on a QWRAP HR\IR Project which aims to share case studies and ideas from QWRAP Councils about HR/IR strategies that they are using to attract and retain water operators and other technical staff. Draft case study material will be reviewed by a project reference group of HR professionals from across the QWRAP family during February.

A key output from this project will be the development of position description templates for both treatment and network streams based around the Local Government awards, covering positions from apprentice through to Level 9. qldwater is working actively with Elle Ackland, Manager Workforce & Industrial Relations at LGAQ, to ensure that this work feeds into future reviews of award descriptions.

These templates will also assist QWRAP Councils to create a level of consistency in the way that modern operator requirements are reflected in position descriptions.


5. Changes to Departments of Government

With the restructure of government functions (referred to as machinery of government changes) on 18 December 2023, some of the Departments of the State Government have changed names. Those relevant to our members are listed below:

  • Department of Employment, Small Business and Training reverted back to the old name, removing Youth Justice from the portfolio
  • Department of Energy and Public Works is now Department of Energy and Climate
  • Department of Environment and Science is now the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation
  • Department of Housing is now the Department of Housing, Local Government, Planning and Public Works
  • Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning is now the Department of State Development and Infrastructure


6. Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality (ANZG)  - release for comment  

Updated guidelines are being developed under the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality 2018 (ANZG 2018). The ANZG team has advised release of the following DRAFT water quality guidelines for review and comment. Draft materials and submission forms are available from links provided: 

DRAFT Primary industries

  • irrigation and general water use water quality guidelines (submission closing date: 12 April 2024): Provides guidance and default guideline values for irrigation water in Australia and New Zealand. Includes guidance on biological parameters, salinity and sodicity, inorganic contaminants (specific ions, including heavy metals and nutrients), organic contaminants (pesticides) and radiological characteristics of irrigation water.
  • livestock drinking water guidelines (submission closing date: 10 March 2024): Provides guidance and default guideline values for livestock drinking water in Australia and New Zealand (sheep, cattle, horses, pigs and poultry). Includes biological, chemical and radiological characteristics that may affect animal health, and supporting  technical and background information.

DRAFT Aquatic ecosystem toxicants 

FINALISED aquatic ecosystem toxicants

Aquatic ecosystem guidelines for Picloram in freshwater have been finalised and are now available on the ANZG website (following earlier public release).


  • 8 February – IPWEA-QNT 2024 President’s Breakfast
  • 21 February - AWA Queensland Industry Breakfast 2024, Victoria Park, Brisbane
  • 29 February - Essentials Webinar: Arc Flash
  • 5-6 March – IPWEA-QNT SEQ/SWQ Branch Conference, Toowoomba
  • 16 March – Local Government Elections
  • 19 April – Water Skills Forum, Parliament House, Brisbane
  • 23-24 April – IPWEA-QNT Asset Management Symposium
  • 13-17 May – Water Connections Tour
  • 30-31 July - AWA North Queensland Conference, Hamilton Island
  • 21 August – QWRAP Chairs and Coordinators Forum
  • 22-23 August - qldwater Annual Forum
  • 26 October - State Government elections

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