eFlash #593

eFlash #593

eFlash #593
Date: 20-Mar-2024


NPR report released

The National Performance Report (NPR) 2022-23: Urban water utilities has been published on the Bureau of Meteorology’s website

This report provides a comprehensive assessment, comparison and benchmarking of the performance of water and wastewater service provider’s management and service provision to communities across Australia.

Last call to register for the Essentials Webinar on NPR Reporting Changes

Time is running out to register for our next Essentials Webinar this Thursday, 21 March at 10.00 am where our SWIM Manager, David Scheltinga, will step you through the upcoming NPR Reporting changes and how it will affect your annual reporting requirements.

The changes relate to Water Service Provider’s annual water and sewerage reporting requirements for >10,000 connection WSPs, but importantly to <10,000 connection WSPs who will have to report to the NPR for the first time in 2025 and need to start collecting data from 1 July 2024.

Register here.

Recordings of past webinars available now

For those who couldn't make it to our Essentials Webinars on Arc Flash risks, causes and management and the Land use safety planning for Chlorine Gas facilities, the recordings are now available on our website.

A big thanks to the presenters for taking the time to share this important information with our members.

We would also like to acknowledge Tim Stewart from Unitywater who kindly shared their Working Around Switchboards Matrix - a link to the document is available from the Arc Flash webpage .

Water Skills Forum 2024 - Register now!

The Queensland Water Skills Partnership is hosting its annual Water Skills Forum on Friday 19 April 2024 at Parliament House in Brisbane. The theme for 2024 is The Urban Water Workforce - Recognition & Resilience.

The new Skills Minister, The Honourable Lance McCallum will open the Forum and launch several of the projects that qldwater have been working on.

We have locked in presentations on interesting topics including:

  • work we’ve been doing with LGAQ to develop an HR/IR Toolkit, including template position descriptions aligned to classification levels in the Queensland Local Government Industry (Stream B) Award,
  • Central Highland Regional Council's attraction and retention campaign and the the importance of the link between HR and the Water Team,
  • Far North Queensland Water Alliance's workforce strategy being delivered in partnership with Queensland Treasury Corporation,
  • an update on the new BuildSkills Australia Jobs & Skills Council,
  • an update on our proposed new Water Skills Passport project and a new suite of courses to be launched on the day, and
  • Griffith University's iKnow weKnow project to create a transformative community water and energy toolbox for Indigenous communities.

For more information and toregister, click here

2025-29 Irrigation price review, stakeholder submissions published

The QCA has now received 22 stakeholder submissions on Seqwater's and Sunwater's pricing proposals (available on their website).

Interestingly for urban water customers of Sunwater, several submissions did not support the proposed recovery of renewals and refurbishment expenditure via a Regulated Asset Base (RAB) methodology and associated tax allowance.  Further submissions also expressed concern over the extraordinarily high cost of the renewal of the billing system (proposed capital expenditure of $38.6 million to replace Sunwater’s water accounting and billing system with an estimated annual operating cost of $1.7 million).  The QCA report is due to the government by 30 June 2024. 

QLD Indigenous Local Government Drinking Water Symposium

Queensland Health and Torres Shire Council is hosting a 2.5 day symposium on Thursday Island for water operators and their line managers to participate in training sessions, network with other water operators, industry and government agencies, and tour Torres Shire Council’s water supply scheme. 

Indigenous Council operators are encouraged to present on the work they perform or other water operator topics of interest with 3 x YETI ESKYS AWARDED TO BEST COUNCIL OPERATOR PRESENTATIONS.

Indigenous Councils will be contacted with further information in the coming weeks. For more information please contact Chris Blake 0447 065 112 or Lachlan McCulloch 0459 845 955 or email eh.cairns@health.qld.gov.au

International WaterCentre Webinar

On Tuesday 26 March from 12:00 to 13:30pm AEST, the International WaterCentre will host a webinar on experiences to co-design and engage First Nations knowledge and management practices into land and water projects. The webinar will include a case study on the St George wetland restoration project led by #BecBarnett form Relative Creative with other partners.

Register here.

Regulatory Update

The Environmental Protection (Powers and Penalties) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 was introduced into Queensland Parliament on 13 February 2024. The Bill implements the Government’s response to the review of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) undertaken by retired Judge Richard Jones and Barrister Susan Hedge in 2022. (Independent Review of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) Report: Independent review into the adequacy of existing powers and penalties).

The Bill and explanatory notes can be viewed online.


Gulf Plan Open

The Gulf water plan review has commenced, with an initial round of public consultation open until 17 July 2024. The water plan review will identify the best ways to allocate and manage water within the Gulf water plan catchments, as well as look at ways to unlock more water for agriculture and critical minerals.

In December 2023 the Gulf Water Plan Performance Assessment Report  found the water plan was largely effective in advancing sustainable water resource management, however it did not support growth in irrigated agriculture and in the emerging minerals industry.  The Plan review process will consider new climate modelling, which may indicate that more water could be available in the water plan area. 

Consultations open on Australia’s proposed new Nature Positive laws and the National Climate Adaptation Plan

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) has opened consultations on new Nature Positive laws. The Federal Government released the Nature Positive Plan in 2022 as a blueprint for reassessing federal environmental laws and replacing the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act). There are several proposed reforms under development, including National Environmental Standards, the creation of an independent federal Environment Protection Agency, and a 'world-first' Nature Repair Market.

Submissions close 30 March 2024.


  • 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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