eFlash #533

eFlash #533

eFlash #533
Date: 05-May-2022

In this edition: Rob Fearon is moving on| Update to Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Management of Close Contacts Direction| Trade Visitors to Ozwater’22| 2022 National Construction Code Seminars – Register Now| Port Douglas Regional Conference – Register Now| Water Skills Forum 2022 – Register Now| Ride for Research – Rare Ovarian Cancer (ROC) Update| Viridis Positions Available – Experienced and Qualified Trainers| RESCHEDULED Fundamentals Webinar – Register Now

1. Rob Fearon is moving on 

After 16 years I have elected to move to a new role within the water sector and will be leaving the qldwater family on 23rd May. This was not an easy decision as I really enjoy the work we do here and the strong relationships with our members, partners and other stakeholders. I’ll miss many of the projects and people I have worked with over the years, particularly the ongoing initiatives like QWRAP, SWEAP and QCRAC. I have committed to assist Dave and the team in crafting more, memorable yet slightly awkward acronyms in future whenever there is a need.

Thank you to all who have provided the advice, support, and good humour that I have found to be crucial and generously provided across our sector. I am grateful to past and present Strategic Priorities Group members and all the water industry champions (you know who you are) who have supported me personally and the Directorate more broadly. I owe a debt of thanks to key partners in state agencies as well as LGAQ, WSAA, AWA and the NSW Water Directorate, and in particular to the staff at qldwater. The team here (past and present) has been the engine room of our success and the reason I have enjoyed the role for so long across such a broad array of industry initiatives. Dave Cameron deserves particular thanks for providing strong and balanced leadership, always supporting our team members and encouraging novel and interesting activities to support our members.

While I will miss many of the programs and tasks here, I am not actually going all that far. I am joining the City and Regional Futures team at Urban Utilities and looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of this new position. I’m sure I’ll be in contact with many of you through this new role and also look forward to maintaining links with qldwater whenever possible. Sadly, my leaving will not even mean the demise of the smirk-worthy title ‘Director Innovation Partnerships’. We have already employed a new ‘Manager Innovation Partnerships’ (to replace Ryan Cosgrove) and are in the process of seeking additional staff to lead other tasks. There will be a little bit of re-shuffling of priorities across the organisation, but it is apparent that my fears that it will take at least five people to replace me are largely unfounded.

I don’t think my personal struggle with LinkedIn is likely to improve anytime soon, but I hope to catch up with many in my last few weeks and otherwise likely will be in touch and asking new annoying questions from June. Until then – thanks for a great 16 years! 

2. Update to Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Management of Close Contacts Direction

While most are likely aware of this information from Queensland Health, it has a significant impact on service provider operations and is reproduced here to close the loop on close contact management.

From 6pm on Thursday, 28 April the Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 7) was updated to remove the requirement for close contacts to quarantine, provided they do not have any symptoms of COVID-19. The changes to the direction are consistent with the announcements by the Minister on 22 April 2022.

New Queensland Health Guidelines for Close Contacts in Queensland support the Direction by outlining for symptomatic and non-symptomatic close contacts the requirements and recommendations in relation to:

  • staying at home
  • additional protections to limit transmission if a close contact leaves their home for any reason, including mask wearing
  • notifying an employer, school or other educational setting before returning
  • COVID-19 testing.

The Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 7) makes the following changes:

  • requires close contacts to wear face masks and to follow the Guidelines for Close Contacts in Queensland for 7 days from the day the diagnosed person undertakes the COVID-19 positive test
  • restricts access by close contact to vulnerable or high-risk settings
  • removes quarantine requirements for non-symptomatic close contacts
  • removes mandatory testing requirements for non-symptomatic close contacts – note that testing remains recommended for close contacts as described in the Guidelines for Close Contacts in Queensland
  • provides operators at vulnerable or high risk settings with the ability to approve entry of diagnosed cases and close contacts in exceptional and compassionate circumstances, where conditions in the direction are met (these conditions align with conditions generally attaching to individual exemptions approved by a Deputy CHO)
  • allows for early departure from the Queensland Regional Accommodation Centre for an isolating or quarantining person in order to use government arranged transport during the seventh day of isolation or quarantine
  • clarifies that accommodation for isolation or quarantine includes a cabin on a cruise liner
  • clarifies that home Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) should not be used to test children under the age of two years
  • includes students as workers at vulnerable facilities for the purpose of close contact restrictions
  • includes volunteers engaged by a vulnerable facility as workers for the purpose of close contact restrictions
  • allows diagnosed persons to travel by endorsed transport provider when permitted to leave the isolation premises, e.g. for safety reasons.

The Public Health Direction specifies the mandatory and minimum requirements that apply to individuals who have received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and their close contacts. Individuals may choose to adopt greater infection control measures, and nothing in this direction prevents an employer, organisation or industry from implementing additional infection control measures through protocols, policies or local guidelines.

Complementary technical amendments have been made to the following directions to :

Existing class exemptions will also be updated to reflect the changes.

The focus of the Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 7) and associated Guidelines for Close Contacts in Queensland is that any close contacts who develop symptoms during the 7 days stay at home until symptoms fully resolve. This is the key public health measure needed to minimise the potential spread from symptomatic close contacts and has been the messaging throughout the pandemic response: ‘if you are unwell, stay home’.

More information about Queensland’s Public Health Directions, including questions and answers can be found on the Queensland Health website.

3. Trade Visitors to Ozwater’22

Ozwater’22 is coming to Brisbane next week and if you’re not attending as a delegate, you are encouraged to register as a trade visitor.

Visiting the trade exhibition is free and will give you an opportunity to visit more than 200 exhibitors showcasing the latest developments and innovations in water products and services. The exhibition will be open from 10-12 May at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Grab your team together and register for your free pass at: https://www.ozwater.org/trade-visitor/

4. 2022 National Construction Code Seminars – Register Now

For the first time in a decade, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) is hosting dedicated Plumbing Code of Australia seminars nationally in partnership with local jurisdictions from July to September 2022.

 The sessions are free of charge and will support your understanding of the key changes for when the 2022 edition of the National Construction Code is adopted on 1 September 2022.

 Key experts will provide you with information and advice on topics such as lead free plumbing products, water services, on-site wastewater management, and quantification of performance requirements.

 You can register to attend the following seminars or webinar, which we are delivering in partnership with the ABCB:

10 August 2022 – Gold Coast

11 August 2022 – Brisbane

13 September 2022 – webinar.

For more information about the seminars visit the ABCB website.

5. Port Douglas Regional Conference – Register Now!

Only two weeks left until our conference. Registrations will be closing Wednesday 11th May

Register now so you don’t miss out!

Our Port Douglas Regional Conference is to be held in Port Douglas, kindly hosted by Douglas Shire Council on the 23rd & 24th May.

There will be a site tour taking place on Monday 23rd May in the early afternoon. Places are limited for the site tour so make sure you get in quickly to secure your spot!

Following the site tour there will be a network dinner taking place at the Hemingway’s Brewery Port Douglas at 6pm.

The full day conference will take place on Tuesday 24th May at the Port Douglas Community Hall.

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

To see the draft program for the conference, please visit our event website.

There is a Carnivale taking place in Port Douglas over the weekend of the 21st & 22nd of May. Accommodation could be a challenge so please arrange your accommodation as soon as possible.

Thank you to our sponsors Grenof, WAGNERS, GanDen, Royce Water Technology, Simmonds & Bristow, Endress+Hauser, McBerns and Taggle for supporting our upcoming conference.

Please contact Naomi Carragher if you are interested in sponsoring this event.

6. Water Skills Forum 2022 – Register Now

Only two weeks left to register for the upcoming Water Skills Forum with registrations closing on Wednesday 18th May.

Register now to secure your spot!

Our Water Skills Forum will be held at our Eagle Farm office on Thursday 2nd June 2022.

The forum will still proceed as a hybrid event so virtual registrations are available; however, we encourage you to attend the forum in person if you are able.

 Graham Fraine, the Director General of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water, has agreed to attend the last session to discuss industry skilling challenges and potential solutions.

 The Forum will explore the Lifecycle of a Water Industry Worker, with three half-hour panel sessions exploring possible career paths, from ways to gain interest through pre-vocational opportunities to traineeships, graduate employment and industry co-investment models to entice postgraduate industry research. It also includes a session on a successful transition to retirement model.

 The event will also include an “Attraction Hack” for a bit of fun but with a serious intent – to give us useful ideas to build awareness of the great opportunities in our industry. It’s your big chance to get creative and think outside the box.

Thank you to our sponsors TAFE Queensland and Simmonds and Bristow for their support of the upcoming forum.

 Whether you can attend in person at our office in Eagle Farm or online, we look forward to welcoming you to the Water Skills Partnership signature annual event.

Please contact Naomi Carragher if you are interested in sponsoring this event.

7. Ride for Research – Rare Ovarian Cancer (ROC)

We would like to wish long term supporter of the Queensland Water Directorate, Michael Dalton, all the best as he heads off to start his ride from Canberra to Melbourne to raise money for Rare Ovarian Cancer Research.

 The 9 day, 900 kilometre ride is not to be underestimated! You can support Michael by donating from the link below.


If you would like to support Michael, the link to Mchael’s fundraising page is below.


All donations over two dollars ($2) are tax deductible.

We wish Michael all the best on his journey.

8. Viridis Positions Available – Experienced and Qualified Trainers

Viridis has partnered with an RTO and is preparing to deliver a Certificate III in Water Industry Operations (NWP302019) as well as individual units of competency to help operators maintain relevant skills and registrations.

 In order to provide this training in NSW and Qld Viridis is looking for additional experienced and qualified trainers. This role provides the opportunity to pass on Water Industry knowledge to the next generation of water operators. It would suit a senior water operations professional looking for an opportunity to transition out of the workforce or an experienced operator passionate about training

If you are interested in this role, please either head over to our ad on SEEK or feel free to email us at careers@viridis.net.au. Please feel free to forward this email to anyone that you think may be interested.

9. Fundamentals Webinar – Register Here

Register now for our RESCHEDULED Fundamentals Webinar on Tuesday, 31st May, 10am-11am, AEST with the topic ‘Lagoon Management’, presented by Kathryn Turner, Urban Utilities.

More sessions will be hosted in 2022, keep an eye on our Upcoming Events page for details.

Recordings of all previous webinars are available to download on the qldwater website. Please contact webinar@qldwater.com.au with any queries about previous or future webinars or to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

Back to list