eFlash #538

eFlash #538

eFlash #538
Date: 09-Jun-2022

In this edition: Important SWIM News| Water Skills Forum 2022 – Wrap| QWMN Forum Series: Series 1 – 14 June| New Minister for Water Announced| Gympie Regional Conference – Registrations Now Open!

1. Important SWIM News

Annual water and sewerage data reporting for 2021/22: well it is coming up to that time of year again when annual water and sewage data is collated by Water Service Providers across the State and sent to BoM, NPR, ABS and the Qld Govt. Later this month qldwater will be sending your SWIM representative information regarding accessing and using the SWIM system. If you have had staff changes and the SWIM reporting person from last year is no long working in this position please contact qldwater at swim@qldwater.com.au so we can help set up new contact details so important information can be supplied to your organisation.

The SWIM system will be opened for reporting on July 1.

The data is due on October 4 this year. All data is mandatory and required under legislation – PINS can be imposed for late or missing Qld Govt KPI data.

SWIM training: as there has been no changes to the annual indicators requested for the last 2 years, qldwater is not planning on holding any ‘in person’ specific SWIM training sessions this year. We are more than happy to organise online or in-person meetings with anyone who wishes to do this. So, if you would like to do some SWIM training, please let David know (contact details below) and we will work out something for you.

Additionally, SWIM training videos are available from the qldwater website: https://qldwater.com.au/SWIM_Help

If you have any questions about SWIM please contact David Scheltinga (dscheltinga@qldwater.com.au).

2. Water Skills Forum 2022 - Wrap

The 2022 Water Skills Forum brought together 100 participants from across Australia, both in person and online, to share experiences of the challenges and opportunities in securing a sustainable workforce to provide an essential service to all Queensland communities.

The event followed the lifecycle of a water industry worker, starting with an update from the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment providing an overview of the programs and opportunities available at a Federal level.

Toni Veronese from Cairns Regional Council led the discussions in the first panel session, providing an overview of their success story in attracting trainees to the industry in the Far North Queensland region with the support of Jobs Queensland. Tia Golding, Bundaberg’s first female trainee, made her debut on stage to share the story of her journey into the industry, and Annabel Hofstee from Urban Utilities provided a different perspective as someone with lots of industry experience providing mentoring to young women with an interest in the sector through the UniqYou program. Thanks also to Joe Galea from Burdekin Shire Council for sharing his experiences at various Councils over the years.

Moving on to the Graduate Employment panel, Alan Kleinschmidt provided an excellent overview of the current state and the future needs for graduates in the South West Queensland region. Alan was followed by recent graduates Deni Estivill and Keely Perry, leaving no doubt that the future is in good hands. Thanks to Kathryn Turner from Urban Utilities for sharing her experiences in working with Keely through the Career Tracker Program.

Anna Whelan from Townsville City Council kicked off the Research / Postgraduate panel discussions, sharing the pros and cons of taking on PhD students to solve some of their challenges. One of her students, Kezia Drane, shared her experiences from a student perspective, while Dr Shaneel Chandra provided a researcher’s view of university partnerships with industry to solve wicked problems.

Making a bit of a jump to retirement, Alan Carragher shared his experience working on a Transition to Retirement model that provided a great outcome for both him and his employer, City of Gold Coast.

One of the highlights of the day was a presentation by Grant Powell from Goulburn Valley Water who created much envy in the room when he showed off the excellent set up they’ve created at the Greater Western Water Training Academy.

The Attraction Hack provided some great ideas for the sector to target non-traditional market segments, using “personas” developed for the occasion. Participants split into groups to brainstorm clever slogans and other campaign ideas for six different personas. The winning slogans were “Exit FIFO for the WIFO” targeting mining workers looking for more family time, and “Without Water We Are Dead” with a play on Deadly, for a First Nations persona. We received some positive feedback about the hack and will keep playing around with the idea at future events – who knows, we may end up with a couple of great targeted campaigns to find the right workers for our sector!

The event ended with a very positive Q&A session with the DG of the DRDMW. While the day covered many different job roles and stages of the career life cycle, the concerns raised by industry were almost exclusively related to critical shortages of essential services staff including operators. 

We are currently uploading all the recordings and presentations to our website, and will share the link next week.

3. QWMN Forum Series: Series 1 – 14 June

The Queensland Water Modelling Network 3CP have developed a bit of a reputation for doing things a little differently and the 2022 Forum Series should not disappoint! This year, they are showcasing the work and expertise of the professional community, through two online sessions and two regional Queensland field trips. In the first of the series, Tuesday 14 June, 9:00 to 14:30 - Online, they will dive in to explore current industry trends in trust, uncertainty, communication and trending model application such as gamification and digital twins.

For their state government friends, this event brings to you, cross-cutting water management and modelling sector topics, spotlighting the role of modelling tools for the process of decision making in water, land, catchment and urban design. Plus! as always, the opportunity to connect with the broader network, through presentations, an interactive workshop, case studies, and space to share your own experiences. The online even will explore:

  • issues of trust and acceptability of science and modelling information
  • dealing with data variability, issues of uncertainty for decisions makers
  • what do stakeholders on the ground want from water and other models?
  • an interactive communication workshop on how to best build a story on water model and its application
  • case study applications of expanding the use and role that water model tools can provide
  • an open chat line keeping the conversation alive!

Join presenters, including Georgine Roodenrys, Ryan Turner, Ken Anthony, Paul McDonald, Abel ImmarajWendy Merritt  Joseph Guillaume, and Bec Barnett (Relative Creative), among others, in bringing this event to life.

Please share this eventamong your broader, interested community and friends of the QWMN. Registration and all event details are here https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/qwmn-forum-online-doing-things-differently-tickets-336070364507

4. New Minister for Water Announced

(With thanks to WSAA from which this article is adapted)

The new Prime Minister, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP announced his ministry which includes the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP as Minister for Environment and Water.

It is good news that water has been retained on the front bench and not moved to an outer ministry portfolio.

Senator Jenny McAllister was sworn as a Parliamentary Secretary for Environment and Water and also for Climate Change and Energy. At the ceremony the Prime Minister announced the Senator will be known as the Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy, however will also hold the parliamentary secretary responsibility for energy and water.

There are other portfolios that are relevant for the urban water industry including climate change, infrastructure and cyber security. Cyber security has been elevated to a standalone ministry.

Plan to Future Proof Australia's Water Resources
Key points: establish National Water Commission; renew the National Water Initiative.

Urban rivers and catchments
Key points: $200m to create wetlands to slow water and filter stormwater, citizen science projects, removing cement walls and naturalising creek beds.

5. Gympie Regional Conference – Registrations Now Open!

qldwater is excited to announceregistrations are now open for our Gympie Regional Conference, kindly hosted by Gympie Regional Council on the 13th & 14th July.

There will be a site tour taking place on Wednesday 13th July in the afternoon. The site tour will be themed around Gympie floods including management and recovery. In conjunction with the Wide Bay Burnett Urban Water Alliance, we are aiming to sponsor the attendance of a number of current university students with potential interest in the water sector, with a specific session at the event devoted to careers.

 Following the site tour there will be a network dinner taking place at The Bunker Smokehouse & Bar at 6pm.

The full day conference will take place on Thursday 14th July at The Pavilion Conferences & Reception

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.

 Due to the floods earlier in the year, accommodation could be a challenge due the number of contractors currently assisting with repairs in the area 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, Taggle and Xylem for supporting our upcoming conference.

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

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