qldwater Blog

eFlash #565

eFlash #565
Date: 31-Mar-2023

In this edition: EPOLA Bill Passed | New SEQ Code Website Launched | Water Training Website Upgrade | AWA Technical Event Bundaberg Wrap | Drinking Water Quality Management Plan Guideline Workshop | Fee Free TAFE Welding Course

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

(Issue #565 - 31 March 2023)


1. EPOLA Bill Passed 

The Queensland Government this week passed the Environmental Protection and Other Legislation Amendment (EPOLA) bill, providing greater certainty for the community and industry, including a change that would give the regulator power to end an EIS process where a proposal is clearly unacceptable and would be unlikely to gain approvals or contravenes laws, as is. 

It introduces an ‘early no’ step in the EIS process so that community and project proponents know early in the piece that a project will not receive approvals as proposed, saving industry and the regulator time and money. 

Under the legislation, public notification must now occur for any major amendments to environmental authorities for resource-sector projects to make sure local communities are aware and can have their say. 

The Bill was drafted following consultation with conservation groups, industry, the agriculture sector and through the committee process of parliament. During consultation with stakeholders, it was found that in some instances EISs upwards of 10 years old were being relied upon for project proposals, often with outdated information. The EPOLA Act modernises the framework so that EISs remain current for three years, at which point proponents can apply to extend the period. 

A loophole has also been closed that will ensure legislation achieves its intent of holding responsible directors and officers to account for environmental harm. The amendments will give effect to the original intent by ensuring that the relevant provision recognises both when an offence occurs and when an act leading to the offence happened. 

Additionally, it provides a provision for Department of Environment regulation officers to have the ability to use body-worn cameras and drones. These provisions will commence following the finalisation of additional policy work.  

The new legislation also strengthens end of life provisions for resource projects, with measures to assist the transition to new Progressive Rehabilitation and Closure Plans as well as extending timeframes for estimated rehabilitated cost decisions. 

We acknowledge the advocacy work completed by qldwater and its members with some good wins for our industry.

2. New SEQ Code Website launched

On Monday 27 March a new website for the South East Queensland Water Supply and Sewerage Design and Construction Code (known as the SEQ Code) was launched.  

The SEQ Code, which is administered by qldwater on behalf of the five SEQ water service providers, provides the technical standards for the design and construction process for new retail water and sewerage assets across South East Queensland. The SEQ Code prevails over any provisions within the Councils’ planning schemes that relate to water supply and sewerage services infrastructure outcomes in SEQ. 

The new site supersedes a site that was established in 2012 in compliance with the Chapter 4A of the SEQ Water (Distribution and Retail Restructuring) Act 2009, and provides a means to communicate updates to the public about changes to the various Codes and the approved Infrastructure Products and Materials.

3. Water Training Website Upgrade

It is wonderful to see the constant notifications of completions of the Aqua and Brown Card training courses every day as our members and contractors take the time to learn more about their roles and responsibilities when working on or near water, wastewater and recycled water assets. We see a constant stream of 10 to 20 completions most days which is fantastic! 

In 2022, qldwater and the NSW Water Directorate commenced discussions to upgrade the online training platform at watertraining.com.au to Moodle Workplace, a new version of Moodle that provides better handling of enrolments, automating workflows, and a multi-tenancy feature which allows different organisations to have their own login, branding, dashboard and learning on a single learning platform. Learning can be for a particular tenant or created once and shared across many tenants.  

The upgrade was completed this week and work is underway to set up separate tenancies for NSW and South Australia to host courses relevant to each state.  

Next cab off the rank for our online training course materials will be the Green Card, which provides a general overview of environmental requirements for water and sewerage service providers. Topics in the course include:  

  • Terminology and Key Definitions 
  • Environmental legislation, risks and contaminants, 
  • Incident awareness and preparedness, 
  • Environmentally relevant activities, 
  • Recycled water and biosolids, and
  • Your Key Responsibilities

We have also started working on a Water Quality Training course and have a few other ideas lined up, so watch this space. If you have any ideas for future courses, please email us at skills@qldwater.com.au – this platform is built by our industry for our industry, and we welcome your feedback. 

4. AWA Technical Event, Bundaberg 

Well done to the Australian Water Association (AWA) team, in partnership with Bundaberg Regional Council, for successfully hosting their first live-streamed Queensland Regional Technical Event in Bundaberg on 16th March.  

Attendees participated in person and online to hear about regional approaches to integrated water management from using stormwater for passive irrigation to liveability benefits from water quality offset approaches. The technical session concluded with a thought-provoking panel discussion facilitated by Janice Wilson and featuring qldwater interim CEO Linda Roberts discussing the essential role of water service providers in the liveability of regional communities.  

In person attendees were spoilt with a tour of Belle Eden Waterway Naturalisation project which transformed a concrete drain to a naturalised creek, establishing habitat for wildlife and a useable recreation space for residents. We are looking forward to the next AWA event! 


5. Drinking Water Quality Management Plan Guideline Workshop, Barcaldine

The Water Supply Regulation team is conducting a workshop at Barcaldine on Wednesday 3 May 2023. 

The agenda includes an update from Water Supply Regulation and an overview of changes to the Guideline for the Preparation, Review and Audit of DWQMPs (the DWQMP Guideline). Queensland Health and other service providers will also deliver presentations about operational issues relevant to the area. 

The draft Agenda includes presentations on incident preparedness, changes to the updated DWQMP and what this means, water sampling and testing, drinking water service annual reports, a water policy update and more. The final agenda will be shared closer to the date. This will be a face-to-face event only and you can register by clicking on this link. 

Registrations close on 26 April. Please email drinkingwater.reporting@rdmw.qld.gov.au or call Rose Saunders on (07) 3199 4856 for more information.  

6. Fee Free HDPE Welding Course

TAFE QLD is offering a fee free HDPE welding course for Queensland residents. There are no prerequisites, but it’s for a limited time only with three workshop dates set as follows:

11 and 12 April 

17 and 18 April 

29 and 30 May 

The HDPE welding courses have been popular with Councils and Water Operators, utilising a range of welding machines, combined with the latest technology and industry developments to ensure you gain the most relevant and quality experience. The nationally recognised course will help you become equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to begin a successful career in poly welding with training in certified units of competency for:  

  • Join Polyethylene Plastic Pipelines using Butt Welding (PMBWELD301E) 
  • Join Polyethylene Plastic Pipelines using Electrofusion Welding (PMBWELD302E) 

The course duration is two days and benefits include:  

  • Learn to identify relevant materials required for welding and installation 
  • Learn how to calculate the appropriate welding parameters to be used 
  • Learn how to best maintain and calibrate welding equipment 
  • Learn to perform a solid weld using the butt and electrofusion welding technique 
  • Learn to assess the quality of welded joints 

To register your interest, please email Client.Solutions@tafeqld.edu.au


  • 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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