eFlash #502

eFlash #502

eFlash #502
Date: 03-Sep-2021

In this edition: Release of the Final Report into National Water Reform 2020| 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan

1. Release of the Final Report into National Water Reform 2020

The Australian Government has published the most recent Productivity Commission report into National Water Reform which considers feedback provided on the consultation draft released earlier in the year.

With the proximity of the qldwater Annual Forum it may take some time for us to review and summarise key points of interest, but for those particularly keen to get in early it is now available. Note that there is a digest of sorts (Findings, recommendations and renewal advice) as well as a number of specific supporting papers of relevance to Queensland service providers and stakeholders available at the above link – including F. Urban Water Services and G. Urban Water Services: regional and remote communities.

2. 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan

(Thanks to WSAA for the borrowed summary) 

2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan:Reforms to meet Australia’s future infrastructure needs

The Plan is described as a practical and actionable roadmap for infrastructure reform. Key themes are:

  • Change and uncertainty - Re-thinking Australia’s infrastructure to deal with the current environment of change, uncertainty and risk
  • Moment in digitalisation – Harnessing technology and innovation in infrastructure to drive new industries
  • Unlocking the potential of every place – Embracing the unique challenges and opportunities afforded by Australia’s diverse geography
  • Minimum service levels – Responding to the vastness of Australia while supporting quality of life for all Australians
  • Delivering public value – Ensuring our infrastructure industry is delivering value for money
  • Customer empowerment through data – Using data to change the way infrastructure is delivered in Australia

The Plan is available here. The Infrastructure Australia media release is here. The WSAA response is here.

The two key recommendations relating to water are below. Both have a number of sub-recommendations.

6.1 Recommendation - Secure long-term water supply for urban, rural, environmental and cultural users by developing a national approach to water security, including independent national ownership.

6.2 Recommendation - Value water in communities by prioritising a whole-of-water-cycle management approach and applying fit-for-purpose, fit-for-place and fit-for-people approaches.

The Water Chapter includes key messages around the value of water and its role in liveable cities, healthy environments and as a key economic enabler. It also has a theme around new approaches in water infrastructure to cope with the pressures of climate change and population growth, including moving beyond climate-dependent water sources and accelerating progress towards better integrating water management.

WSAA has been involved as a key stakeholder in the development of the Water Chapter. Many of its advocacy themes and priorities are reflected in the Chapter and its recommendations.

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