eFlash #457

eFlash #457

eFlash #457
Date: 04-Nov-2020

In this edition: Queensland Government Election| Regulatory Pricing Principles for the Water Sector| The Great Debate – Live Stream Available to All 12 November 2020| Essentials Webinar| Did you know!

1.Queensland Government Election 

Now that the election result is known, qldwater will start to focus on advocacy to the “new” government. There will be some churn in ministerial appointments (and likely key departmental staff over time). Dr Anthony Lynham, Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy did not contest the election. 

The ALP released its 2019 policy platform following its state conference. At 116 pages it is an extensive document with significantly more than could not be delivered in any term of government.

There are many references to water throughout - in relation to privatisation, sustainable integrated management, new development, recognition of cultural values, energy efficiency and marine water quality, particularly in relation to the reef. There is a specific section (from 5.79) devoted to catchment based water plans, protection of water systems, pricing, water sensitive urban design, climate resilience and preferences for future water sourcing. 

The policy (6.31) includes a statement to introduce fluoridation state-wide, improve environmental health, water supply and sewerage provision in aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities. 

(7.125) specifically notes “Local government utilities such as water supply, sewerage, waste management and transport should not be privatised or contracted out. Local government water retail and distribution should continue to be wholly operated by local government and owned by the people.” (7.146) expands on this. 

(7.153) states “Labor will continue to provide an adequate level of funding to assist local authorities to perform their functions, particularly in the area of capital works for water, sewerage, drainage and roadworks projects and major sporting and recreational facilities.” There are further funding statements, primarily focussed on water security. (9.21) refers to the fundamental importance of “clean water” for regional and rural communities. 

(9.6) onwards specifically addresses a range of water supply issues. 

The only notable media attention on water issues leading into the election was the announcement of an expert panel to review the Bradfield inland irrigation scheme, however a commitment to continue to fund Works for Queensland ($600M over 6 years), no asset sales and a few other funding announcements of broader interest to local government have been made in recent weeks. 

While delivery of all of these policies is an impossible task for any government, the Platform likely provides a hint as to what might be reflected in new government priorities and a starting point for discussion. We will endeavour to publish more information on key appointments and developments as they are known. 

2.Regulatory Pricing Principles for the Water Sector 

The Queensland Competition Authority has released a draft statement of regulatory pricing principles for the water sector and requesting stakeholder comment. 

Interested parties and stakeholders are invited to comment on the draft statement by 23 December 2020. You can view the statement here

At this stage qldwater is not planning to submit, but that will change if there is member interest in consolidated response. Please contact dcameron@qldwater.com.au if that is the case.

3. The Great Debate – Live Stream Available to All 12 November 2020

As most of you may be aware, next week IPWEAQ will be hosting the ‘The Great Debate’.

Watch Josh Flanders (St George Project Services), Moira Zeilinga (Clear Idea) and Dr Rob Fearon (qldwater) take on Seren McKenzie (Southern Downs Regional Council), Trevor Dean (Fraser Coast Regional Council) and Maddy Stahlhut (GHD) argue that "Engineers are introverts and are disconnected from the world around them". 

Tune in to support your fellow colleagues and see who has what it takes to win the crown.

· Cost: Complimentary
· When: Thursday 12 November
· Time: 3:30pm - 4:15pm

Register via the The Great Debate registration page to confirm your attendance.

Any queries regarding the debate, please don't hesitate to contact Monica Robertson.

4. Next Essentials Webinar

Our next Essentials Webinar (#16) will be held on Thursday 26 November at 10am… note this one is a week later than normal to avoid a conflict with the AWA Queensland Conference.

Our esteemed presenters are: 

  • Luke Sawtell(Urban Utilities, Water Services Sector Group) – the Trusted Information Sharing Network (TISN) Mutual Aid Guidelines
  •  Sen Vigneswaran(Townsville City Council) – TigerNix Asset Failure Predictive Analytics
  •  Jeanette Harold(Fraser Coast Regional Council) – Lagoon pH licence amendments

Hope you can join us, please register here

5. Did you know!

qldwater is the Secretariat for the Water Industry Operator Certification Taskforce (WIOCT) that oversees updates to the Water Industry Operator Certification Framework: Drinking Water, Wastewater, Recycled Water 2018. Operator Certification provides assurance to regulators and communities that Operators have the knowledge, skills, competence and experience to perform their roles to ensure the provision of safe drinking water and management of their environmental responsibilities. Contact Carlie Sargent on 07 3636 6853 or csargent@qldwater.com.au to find out more. 

qldwater is a business unit of IPWEAQ 

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