eFlash #600

eFlash #600

eFlash #600
Date: 21-Jun-2024


Annual Forum – Registrations Now Open!

Registrations are now open for the 2024 Annual Forum with the theme “Managing the (Infrastructure) Risk Curve”. 

The event will be hosted at the qldwater offices at Eagle Farm.

Attendees this year will be able to select from two site tours on Thursday 22 August including:

  • Phoenix Power Recycling to see Queensland’s most advanced composting facility which is accepting water treatment byproducts (specifically alum sludge) followed by Stapylton Resource Recover Centre to see the leachate treatment facility which has been designed to also manage PFAS; or
  • Unitywater’s Wamuran Irrigation Scheme and Recycled Water Treatment Plant and Moodlu Quarry.

The awards dinner on 22 August and the TracWater sponsored Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test will be held at Waters Edge, Portside.

Day 2 will be hosted at the qldwater offices at Eagle Farm with a range of interesting presentations and workshops on the day.

TracWater Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test

Have you selected your top drop for the 2024 BOTB Qld Water Taste Test? With local councils running their own taste tests to select their winning samples, the competition is set to be fierce this year.

The taste test will take place as part of the qldwater Annual Forum on 22 August. Water samples can be mailed to our offices prior to the event or brought along on the day.

qldwater Awards – Nominations close soon

Each year, qldwater sponsors the Young Operator of the Year and the Operator of the Year (Civil) Awards as part of the Water Industry Operations Association of Australia (WIOA) Queensland Conference. If you haven’t made a submission to acknowledge a team member yet, please take a moment to reflect on what winning such an award could mean for a young operator and how it may improve your team morale. 

The forms are easy to complete and qldwater staff stand by to assist – so get to it and nominate someone today. Download the forms here.

Previously sponsored by the AWA, the Queensland Water Industry Operator of the Year Award 2024 will now be managed in-house by WIOA. Complete the Nomination Form here. The nomination form will take approximately 15 – 20 minutes to complete. If you have any queries, please contact info@wioa.org.au.

The 2024 winners will be announced at the WIOA Queensland Water Industry Operations Conference & Exhibition to be held at the University of Sunshine Coast – USQ Stadium in Sippy Downs on 24 & 25 July 2024.


Important Update: Landfill Levy Update on Drinking Water Treatment Residues

Some waste types are automatically exempt from the levy through the Waste Act. As such, an application for these types of wastes is not required. This includes other waste prescribed by regulation.

The following waste is exempt from the waste levy under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Regulation 2011:

alum sludge or other residuals produced as a result of a drinking water treatment process (until the end of 30 June 2024).

To ensure that the levy exemption continues on alum sludge, a Bill will be presented to the Queensland Parliament on 27 June to extend the levy exemption period for a further five years. 

We will provide an update to members once the Bill passes. 

New Environmental Laws Passed

The Environmental Protection (Powers and Penalties) and Other Legislation Amendment (‘EPOLA Powers and Penalties’) Bill 2024 was passed by Parliament on 11 June 2024. The Bill received assent, commencing the EPOLA (Powers and Penalties) Act 2024 on 18 June 2024.

The new EP Act includes additional principles (polluter pays, proportionality, primacy of prevention and the precautionary principle), amendments to the definitions of ‘serious environmental harm’ and ‘material environmental harm’ and new procedures for reporting environmental nuisance.

Other changes include a new offence for contravention of the general environmental duty, a new duty to restore and changes to the duty to notify.

To view a copy of the EPOLA (Powers and Penalties) Act 2024 and explanatory notes, please visit the Queensland Legislation website.

Water Supply Regulator Updates

Performance reports (KPIs) submission – for financial year 2023-2024

Queensland Government Key Performance Indicators (QG KPIs) are due to be submitted no later than COB 1 October 2024. Most service providers will report these to the Queensland Water Supply Regulator (regulator) using the Statewide Water Information Management (SWIM) System. For those not using SWIM the department’s performance reporting template can be obtained by emailing drinkingwater.reporting@rdmw.qld.gov.au or your WSR contact officer. Under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008, penalties apply for late submissions.

Annual reports submission – for financial year 2023-2024

The Drinking Water Service Annual Report (previously Drinking Water Quality Annual Report) can be submitted any time after the end of financial year but is due by no later than COB 17 December 2024. Please refer to the guideline and recent legislation amendments, be aware that, under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008, penalties apply for late submissions.

LGAQ Vote for Local Campaign

Following the release of a Cost Shifting Report asking for a fairer deal for Queensland communities, the LGAQ has launched a campaign calling on the major parties to ensure that local government services including critical water and sewerage infrastructure can continue to be safe and sustainable.

The LGAQ will survey major parties vying to lead the State, asking them to back a set of election priorities and creating a report card to rate major parties on their responses.

One of the election priorities is for better local infrastructure, asking for a guaranteed $100m per year for Works for Queensland and $50m per year for SEQ infrastructure, indexed by CPI and to reintroduce a subsidy program, such as the former Water and Sewerage Program (WASP), to maintain ageing infrastructure and a dedicated capital infrastructure program to provide safe, sustainable service levels and address necessary upgrades and renewals.

QCA Final Determination – Regulated Retail Electricity Prices for Regional Queensland

The Queensland Competition Authority has released their final determinations of regulated retail electricity prices and the solar feed-in tariff for regional Queensland that will apply from 1 July 2024.  

The annual bill for typical small business customers will decrease (for example those on Tariff 20) but will increase for typical large business customers (T44 for example). All water service providers need to ensure that they are on the best tariff and to safeguard that other factors of the bill are correct.  Factors to consider include daily service fees, meter charges and tariff design/type.  

Queensland Budget Update

The Queensland Government Budget included more than $1.1 billion investment in water initiatives, including funding for the following projects of interest to our members:

  • $32 million over four years for the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) Water Security Program, subject to matching federal funding to cap free flowing bores.
  • $115 million for water and sewerage, housing and road projects across Queensland through the next round of the Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program.
  • $13 million for planning work for the Somerset Dam Improvement Project.

Ride for Research on Rare Ovarian Cancer (ROC)

Michael Dalton from Livingstone Regional Council is doing a good thing for a great cause: he has committed to raise money for Rare Ovarian Cancer Incorporated by completing a 500km bike ride over 5 days with some serious climbs including Mt Buffalo with 20km at 5-8% gradient around Bright in Victoria’s Alpine country.

The ride will be undertaken from 14 – 18 October along with other rides as part of ROC Inc’s quest to support researchers at the Hudson Institute of Midecial Research in Melbourne to find out more about rare ovarian cancer.

Please donate if you can.


BIOCHAR Draft Final End of Waste Code

The Department of Environment, Science and Innovation (DESI) has released a final draft of the Biochar End of Waste Code incorporating a range of adjustments based on the extensive feedback received.  

The draft code and a comparison of changes made to code since the consultation draft can be downloaded here.  

If you have any further concerns on the draft final code, please advise Isha Sharma by 28 June 2024.  Isha.Sharma@des.qld.gov.au

Importantly, the department would also like to advise that amongst the submissions received, some submissions proposed additional uses for biochar. While the draft code has incorporated additional uses where the submission was accompanied with supporting information, some proposed new uses have not been included at this stage due to a lack of sufficient supporting information. With that said, the department hopes to be able to finalise the code as soon as possible. The department is open to amending the code at any time in the future if sufficient supporting information is received indicating the additional uses can be added.

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

New or updated water quality guidelines are being developed under the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality 2018 (ANZG 2018). As a reminder, anyone can subscribe for ANZG updates direct from the ANZG team.

The ANZG team has advised that the following draft aquatic ecosystem water quality guidelines are available for public review (details on making a submission are in the links provided):

Additionally, an independent review has been undertaken into the ANZG water quality program. The Stage 1 review of the ANZG program has been completed and released for information (progress, future directions etc).


24 July - WIOA QLD Gala Awards Dinner

24-25 July - WIOA QLD Conference

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

21-22 November - Emerging Contaminants Workshop

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