eFlash #474

eFlash #474

eFlash #474
Date: 12-Mar-2021

In this edition: WSAA Invitation – Industry Update for Smart Linings Project| Summary of Water Skills Forum 2021| International Virtual Trip Digital Utilities 2021 (16-24 March)| Essential Webinar – Postponed to 15 April| Barcaldine Conference – Call for Papers and Sponsors | qldwater Footy Tipping Comp 2021 – Last Chance!| Emerging Contaminants and Biosolids Workshops 22 April

1.WSAA Invitation – Industry Update for Smart Linings Project

Join WSAA and our project partners for an update on the latest research and testing of Cured-in-Place Pipe and Spray Liners (for water mains) and Calcium Aluminate Cements and Geopolymers (for wastewater assets) as well as new sensors developed to provide quality control over 5 short online sessions.

Lining systems: extend asset life, prevent leaks, reduce reinstatement, can be used in AC pipes and reduce impact on customers and the environment.

Additional details including Smart Linings Flyer and detailed agenda.

Please make sure you register – registration links below:



Online Details

Time & Date


Decision Tools & 

Product Standards

Registration Link


Tues 16 Mar 21


CAC and Geopolymer update

& Product Standards

Registration Link


Thurs 18 Mar 21


Code of Practice, Sensors

& Robotics

Registration Link


Wed 24 Mar 21


Code of Practice, Sensors

& Robotics

Registration Link


Fri 26 Mar 21



Using the Decision Tool

Registration Link


Tue 30 Mar 21

For any enquiries please contact James Gardner at james.gardner@wsaa.asn.au.

2. Summary of Water Skills Forum 2021

More than 80 water industry stakeholders participated in the fourth annual Queensland Water Skills Forum on Thursday 4 March, hosted as a hybrid event with most delegates attending in person and the remainder online. The one day event covered a number of key themes that had been identified by Water Skills Partners as their most pressing skilling and workforce priorities, including leadership development, succession planning and future training requirements. Presentations included a keynote address by Josh Rayner, Executive Director of Jobs Queensland, where he described the essential work of the water industry as having received greater prominence over the past year in responding to COVID-19 issues and along with other essential utilities, flagged it as a priority for future workforce planning. This was followed by a summary of current skilling issues in NSW with discussion around opportunities for collaboration with Queensland. 

We heard the findings of recent research into retirement transition processes of a number of water, energy and rail utilities and some case studies where transitions have been successful in providing meaningful work to those stepping back from full time work and to use their knowledge to skill up and mentor trainees. Technology solutions to support remote mentoring and coaching were explored with discussion about how these can be improved to support staff in regional and remote Queensland. There was a case study of wellbeing initiatives from a Victorian water utility and Bundaberg Regional Council shared their learnings from a recent leadership development program.

A panel discussed the Operator Skilling Crisis, with input from forum delegates indicating that 63% of utilities indicating that operators were unable to take leave because they had no one to cover their role and as a result were carrying unmanageable leave balances. Favoured solutions for dealing with the shortage of operators included incentivizing regional collaboration, partnerships between large and small utilities and investment in remote monitoring and support technologies. The panel discussed the declining RTO market for water industry training and a majority of delegates indicated that investment in developing standardized training resources was seen as the most useful investment to stimulate the training market along with getting industry experts involved in training delivery. Panelists and delegates agreed that the most important change that could be made to address the operator crisis and declining training market was for regulars to establish mandatory minimum competency standard for operators.

WIOA presented a demonstration of their new certification portal and Unitywater shared details of the review of their competency training framework and the final presentation of the day was a video of treatment plants that are being explored as potential future operator training sites.

Feedback was invited throughout the day from delegates participating online and those in person about the priorities they would most like to address through the collaboration of the Water Skills Partnership and the common issues identified were:

  • The need for a mandatory minimum competency standard for operators;
  • Tools to support retirement transitions;
  • Addressing the FTE caps within utilities to allow for the recruitment of more trainees; and 
  • Skilling opportunities for future and current leaders.

The Water Skills Partnership will meet in the coming months to discuss the outcomes from the forum and consider collaborative opportunities to support Queensland utilities in addressing these issues. Thank you to all those who provided presentations at the forum and thanks to the program committee of Angela Robinson, Narelle D’Amico, Mike Oakey and Kellie Lister for developing the themes for the forum. Copies of presentations and photos of the event will be made available in the qldwater resource library soon.

3. International Virtual Trip Digital Utilities 2021 (16-24 March)


At Digital Utilities 2021, we're committed to providing delegates with genuine learning opportunities from some of the best and brightest minds across Australia. However, we can also gain important insights from our international counterparts, while exploring different perspectives on industry challenges that are common to utilities the world over.

Taking place from 16-24 March, Digital Utilities consists of four Virtual Conferences over a two-week period and is free to attend for utilities, government and not-for-profits. Register today to gain access to the industry-leading presentations from our international keynote speakers listed below:

  • Shaunna Berendsen – Head of Innovation Engagement at Anglian Water (UK)
  • Lily Stein – Operations Manager at Octopus Energy (UK)
  • Andrew Tucker – Water Efficiency Manager at Thames Water (UK)

Registrations for Digital Utilities 2021 are now openClick Here to Register Now.

4. Essentials Webinar – Postponed to 15 April 

The next webinar in the qldwater Essentials Webinar Series will be held on 15 April 2021 starting at 10:30 am. There will be no March webinar.

The focus will be on THM Management in Drinking Water Networks and will include speakers across the range of water service providers and include a Q&A with the speakers and representatives from regional Queensland and the SEQ THM Strategy Group. David Sheehan from Coliban Water in Victoria has generously offered to act as Chair, so, mark it in your calendars and bring your curly questions on 15 April 2021 10:30 am.

Registrations for this webinar are now open. Click here to register.

5. Barcaldine Conference – Call for Papers and Sponsors

Our Barcaldine Conference is only 10 weeks away being held in Barcaldine on 19/20 May, hosted by Barcaldine Regional Council. 

Early bird registrations will be complimentary again for qldwater members, with a dinner planned on the evening of the 19th. Please contact Naomi (ncarragher@qldwater.com.au) if you are interested in sponsoring this event.

The call is now open for relevant technical and other presentations to fill 20-25 minutes slots.

Presentations from qldwater members or organisations able to co-present with members will always be prioritised. We aim to make the process as easy as possible: you only need to provide us with a brief outline now and a PowerPoint on the day if accepted. Please forward your ideas to dcameron@qldwater.com.au

The event theme will be focussed on service delivery in the West and we hope to be able to showcase some of the activities of the Remote Area Planning and Development Board’s Water and Sewerage Alliance which is supported through QWRAP. 

Thank you to our confirmed sponsors Dial Before You Dig for the Water Connections Tour, George Bourne and Associates Consulting Engineers our Principal Sponsor and Aquatec Maxcon, Royce Water Technologies and Aqualyng our Gold Sponsors.

6. qldwater Footy Tipping Comp 2021 – Last Chance!

This is your last chance to register before the season begins!!

The qldwater NRL and AFL tipping competitions are now open for all employees of qldwater members. 

This year there will be a weekly prize for one person who selects the most winners in either Code. Even average tippers get lucky once during the competition and you can tell your colleagues you are a prize-winner even if (like Rob Fearon) you know nothing about Football. 

Joining is free, simply go to https://www.footytips.com.au/comps/qldwater_Footy_Comp_2021 then:

  1. Click on the green join button, 
  2. Refresh your account or create a new one,
  3. Choose “qldwater Footy Comp 2021” competition with password “qldwater21!
  4. Enter your preferences and start tipping in the NRL and or AFL.

There will be a mid-season mini-comp with a prize for all tippers who score higher than Dave Cameron in the 12th round. The actual prize is to be advised but with the bar set so low*, many winners are projected, and if so it will likely be something like the coveted qldwater polo-shirts.

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Not tipping in any round will give you a default score (the away teams but with a maximum).
  • Each tipper can choose 5 joker rounds for each Code (which doubles your score for that week).
  • One $30 e-voucher will be awarded each week via email. This will be determined by a random draw among the week’s best tippers in both Codes. 
  • One e-voucher for $200 will be awarded for the season winner in each Code after the Grand Final. If two tippers end on the same score then margin scores will determine the ultimate winner. 
  • Only employees of members of qldwater can tip and win prizes. Some qldwater staff participate in the competition but are ineligible for the end of season prize.

* Dave would like to point out that he can’t really remember exactly what happened last year because he’s ineligible for prizes but vaguely recalls finishing on top of the NRL table and second in the AFL (or thereabouts). Just saying.

7. Emerging Contaminants and Biosolids -Workshops 22 April

Following much discussion at the qldwater SWEAP and qCRAC groups we are holding workshops on treating emerging contaminants in biosolids and on analysing PFAS in biosolids on 22 April 2021. More information will follow, but please mark the date in your calendar. A preliminary agenda is as follows:

10am-12:30 Treatment of Biosolids to Remove Contaminants of Emerging Concern

Aim: Understand existing water sector activities and any opportunities

Format: Short presentations followed by moderated group discussion

Topics will include: Treating Biosolids in Northern Queensland, Centre for the Transformation of Australia’s Biosolids Resource, Biosolids Gasification, Thermal Hydrolysis, Modular Thermal Treatment followed by general discussions of opportunities, barriers and needs for future biosolids treatment.

1:30 – 4pm Analysis of PFAS in Biosolids (Jointly with DES)

Aim: Guidance on PFAS analysis of EOW Code

Format: Short presentations followed by moderated group discussion

Topics will include: End of Waste Code for Biosolids, Estimation of PFAS in biosolids, Practical and operational considerations, CRC CARE, National Chemical Working Group update & Qld compliance issues from DES followed by discussion on preferred analysis techniques and development of guidance on methodology and data requirements for EOW Code.

qldwater is a business unit of IPWEAQ

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