qldwater Blog

eFlash #447

eFlash #447
Date: 28-Aug-2020

In this edition: qldwater Productivity Commission Submission| Federal Critical Infrastructure Changes| Power BI Report for Members’ KPI Data| Update of Reef 2050 Plan| Atherton Conference 2020 – Program now available!| Next Essentials Webinar| Did you know!| Trivia gift!

1. qldwater Productivity Commission Submission

The qldwater National Water Reform submission based on the released Issues Paper is available here.

While it’s impossible to capture all of the issues of significance to our members, we have attempted to include everything relevant raised over the last couple of years through events including workshops, reference group meetings and project activities. Some of the content was foreshadowed at the Essentials Webinar on 27 July.

Thanks to all who contacted us to provide direct feedback.

The Commission is expected to release a draft report later in the year, and there will be an opportunity following that to provide further feedback on recommendations. Should you have a burning issue to raise or further feedback to make on the submission in the interim, please contact dcameron@qldwater.com.au or rfearon@qldwater.com.au.

2. Federal Critical Infrastructure Changes

qldwater received a notification last week that the Federal Department of Home Affairs was opening consultation on changes to the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act. A consultation paper is available here.

In keeping with current consultation timeframe trends, submissions are due by 16 September.

We attended a water industry-specific information session yesterday and it would appear that the department is open to feedback. qldwater intends to participate with the Water Services Association of Australia and Water Services Sector Group along with other water directorates in a joint industry submission and has commenced collecting data to support that. We understand the LGAQ also intends to submit.

The consultation paper and materials presented yesterday include a broad range of ideas designed to improve Australia’s response to cyber-security threats. Some are impractical, but the department has indicated that “nothing is set in stone” and it will consider feedback.

It is difficult to distil the many themes into potential impacts for Queensland Water Service Providers at this point. It is clear that:

    • There is likely to be emergency powers established which will allow the Federal Government to intervene in the event of a cyber attack, and all councils will be captured.
    • There is likely to be an expansion of scope to mean more large Service Providers are captured under the Act requirements and an expansion of those requirements. At the moment, a 50,000 water or sewerage connections threshold is being proposed (current requirements are for service providers with >100,000 connections. The logic for this is being tested by the collected Associations – it is clear that Home Affairs is trying to ensure that utilities with responsibility for supplying key services to other critical installations, e.g. power stations and defence facilities.

There is another water sector workshop scheduled for 1 September (link), should you be interested in finding out more in the interim.

3. Power BI Report for Members’ KPI Data

Each year Queensland water and sewerage service providers are required to provide a data for a broad range of KPIs to various state and commonwealth government agencies. All council owned water and sewerage businesses in 2019 reported their data using SWIMlocal or the SWIM Annual Data Web Portal.

Each year this publicly available data is used by qldwater to prepare an annual benchmarking report, which compares the reported KPIs for a selection of indicators to provide a comparison of the relative performance of service providers across a range of areas such as customer service, pricing, water and sewage treatment and financial performance.

While the data that is used to generate the report is technically publicly available it is not readily available to view in a format that is accessible to members. qldwater is developing a tool using Power BI that can be used to display individual council reported KPIs and some derived measures based on reported KPIs. The report, which contains data for the past five financial years for each service provider (where data is publicly available) is being made available to members through the qldwater website.

As the tool is still under development, we are seeking feedback from members on the report and its content.

To access the report, you must be logged in to the qldwater website as a member, and then you can access the page from the Member Resources menu under Industry Benchmarking.

Feedback should be sent to lreeves@qldwater.com.au

4. Update of Reef 2050 Plan

The Australian and Queensland governments have collaborated on producing the five-yearly update of the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan. The updated Plan includes a greater emphasis on climate change and its impact on the Reef. It seeks to empower communities to take stronger action to protect the Reef and to increase reflection on and inclusion of Traditional Owner aspirations. The Plan also addresses local and regional pressures over which people have direct control: land based run-off, coastal development and direct human use of the Reef.

The draft updated Reef 2050 Plan is open for public consultation until Wednesday 30 September 2020. Details on how you can provide feedback are available at https://haveyoursay.awe.gov.au/reef-2050-plan. For more information, email officeoftheGBR@des.qld.gov.au

5. Atherton Conference 2020 – Program now available!

With only six weeks until the Atherton Conference, registrations will be opening next week. To see who will be presenting at this year’s conference, please click here.

COVID-19 has cramped everyone’s style but we are determined to try to run one more event before 2020’s out and at this stage it will be hosted by the champs at Atherton by Tablelands Regional Council on 8 October. 

qldwater conferences are an informal opportunity for networking, updates on what’s impacting Queensland’s water and sewerage service providers, and technical presentations

To maintain social distancing requirements, there will be a cap on the number of in-person registrants, so you’ll have to get in early once registrations open. 

Thank you to our confirmed sponsors in Dial Before You Dig for the Water Connections Tour, and Gold sponsors Royce Water Technologies and Aquatec Maxcon. Other opportunities are still available, contact ncarragher@qldwater.com.au if you’re interested. 

6. Next Essentials Webinar 

The next 90 minute session will be held on 17 September 2020 – the link to register will be available in next week’s eFlash. There are some changes coming to introduce a charging mechanism for non-members, there will be no impact for existing qldwater members or affiliates.

We have three speakers covering a diversity of topics:

Johanna Johnston (Logan City Council)

The Logan gasification demonstration plant

  • Johanna provides an update on the progress of the project at the Loganholme Wastewater Treatment Plant where Logan City Council is building a demonstration gasification plant for the processing of biosolids to recover energy and produce a biochar product.

Chris Adam (Strategic Asset Management) 

SHOW ME THE MONEY!!… Options for demonstrating sustainability in a water business

  • Chris provides some insights for the industry from a recent study commissioned by qldwater.

Mark Herrman (City of Gold Coast)

Long Term Recycled Water Release Program – constructing marine crossings on the GC 

  • Mark will talk about a major pipeline project drilling under the Broadwater and the Nerang River to provide a pipeline to a seaway release point.

7. Did you know!

Did you know you can read qldwater’s major submissions to State and Federal Government Agencies written on behalf of the Queensland Urban Water Industry at: https://www.qldwater.com.au/ReviewDocuments. Have a look now!

8. Trivia gift!

For eFlash readers, a gift question for the Trivia competition to be held on 10 September as part of the Sigura Taste Test.

Q: In which year were credit card chips created?

A: 1986 – created in France


qldwater is a business unit of IPWEAQ

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