qldwater Blog

eFlash #564

eFlash #564
Date: 17-Mar-2023

In this edition: Welcome Jane Standfast | Cross Government Urban Water Committee (CGUWC) | Water Connections Tour | Operator Awards - it's time to acknowledge your good workers! | Closing the Gap Funding 

Information for Water Industry Managers and Practitioners in the Queensland Water Industry

(Issue #564 - 17 March 2023)


1. Welcome Jane Standfast 

The qldwater team welcomed a new member this week with Jane Standfast starting as Events and Membership Officer. Jane brings to the table many years of corporate experience in events, corporate relations and marketing and we know that our members, sponsors and other stakeholders will be in good hands with Jane at the helm. Jane can be contacted on (07) 3632 6850 or by email at jstandfast@qldwater.com.au

2. Cross Government Urban Water Committee Meeting (CGUWC)  

Linda Roberts and Neil Holmes represented qldwater at a meeting of the newly formed Cross Government Urban Water Committee on Friday 10 March 2023. The meetings will occur quarterly and contain two parts; the first part is for QG participants only and in the second part, industry sector stakeholders are invited.

The role of the committee is to provide water sector representatives the opportunity to discuss, inform and collaborate on local government water and sewerage service-related issues, priorities and projects. Attendees were from RDMW, qldwater, Engineers Australia, LGAQ, DES, DSDILGP, DESBT and Queensland Health. One of the main elements of discussion was training and current pain points with regard to capability and capacity.  

3. Water Connections Tour 

Planning is well underway for the 2023 Water Connections Tour which will run from 15 to 19 May visiting Kingaroy, Cherbourg, Mundubbera, Biloela, Woorabinda, Gladstone, Childers, Woodgate and Maryborough.

Along with representatives from RDMW, DES, QTC and Health, qldwater is excited to take our whole team on the road this year to ensure our new staff have an opportunity to connect with our members in the region. If you are keen to learn more about SWIM, the Water Skills Partnership, SWEAP or any of our other programs, please reach out so the appropriate team member can line up a cup of tea to provide an update on how we can assist. 

4. Operator Awards – it’s time to acknowledge your good workers! 

qldwater in conjunction with the Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA), is proud to once again sponsor the Young Operator of the Year and Operator of the Year (Civil / All Rounder) Awards to recognise the outstanding operational performance of Queensland water industry employees. The 2023 winners will be announced at the 47th WIOA Queensland Water Industry Operations Conference & Exhibition to be held at the University of Southern Queensland – USQ Stadium in Sippy Downs on 19 & 20 July 2023. 

WIOA is currently working on the backlog of previous Young Operator of the Year Award winners who have not been able to claim their prizes with COVID disrupting the last few years’ professional development tours to NZ. Planning for the next tour is now underway with Ben Haddock and Exavier Evile set to join the tour group. 

This is a fantastic opportunity for young operators to broaden their horizons, and we urge all supervisors to consider nominating staff that go above and beyond the call of duty. 

Nominees for both these awards should be employed by a qldwater full member or Water Skills Partnership member organisation.  

Nominees for the Young Operator should be responsible for operating community water and wastewater treatment plants or industrial water or wastewater plants, operation and maintenance or construction of water and wastewater reticulation networks etc. Nominees must be under the age of 30 years and have been employed in the water industry for four years or less.  

Nominees for the Operator of the Year (Civil/All-Rounder) should be responsible for the operation and maintenance or construction of water and wastewater reticulation networks.  

Winners of these awards will receive a perpetual trophy for his or her organisation to keep for 12 months, a personal trophy to keep permanently and a sponsored professional development trip.  

Judging will be conducted by senior staff of qldwater and the Chair of the Strategic Priorities Group (SPG) and in consultation with the CEO of WIOA.  

To read more about the awards and download the nomination forms, follow this link.


5. Closing the Gap Funding 

The Australian Government is Closing the Gap on access to safe and reliable water for First Nations communities by committing $150 million to deliver crucial water security projects in regional and remote First Nations communities. 

The targeted funding will be delivered across four years through the National Water Grid Fund (NWGF) to support First Nations water infrastructure and provide safe and reliable water for remote and regional Indigenous communities. 

This announcement comes as part of the Australian Government’s release of the Closing the Gap Implementation Plan, and is a clear, concrete commitment towards improving life outcomes for First Nations peoples including essential town water supplies to support liveability in First Nations communities. 

More broadly, investing in water infrastructure that provides safe, secure and reliable water has significant health, wellbeing and economic outcomes for First Nations people also contributing to Closing the Gap outcomes 1 and 8. 

Proposals for funding through the National Water Grid Fund must be brought forward by state and territory governments and are considered on merit against the eligibility criteria and principles for investment outlined in the National Water Grid Investment Framework.  


  • 10-12 May - Ozwater ’23, International Convention Centre, Sydney 
  • 15–19 May - Water Connections Tour, CQ Region 
  • 8 June - Water Skills Forum, Eagle Farm, Brisbane 
  • 19-20 July - WIOA Queensland Conference, USQ, Sunshine Coast  
  • 15 August  - AWA North Queensland Conference, Townsville 
  • 5-7 September - Annual Forum, Toowoomba 
  • 13 September - NSW Water Directorate Annual Forum, Sydney
  • October (date TBC) - qldwater Regional Conference, Mackay
  • 9-10 November - AWA QWater, Brisbane 

Kind Regards,


qldwater is a business unit of IPWEAQ

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