Water Journal : Water Journal June 2015
15 Industry News June 2015 water Water recycling and its growing importance as a sustainable way of providing water supply in regional New South Wales is another popular topic. The Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence will update attendees about the latest developments in promoting direct potable reuse, both in Australia and internationally. Delegates will also learn about and discuss the newly released Office of Water guidelines for water recycling in regional New South Wales and new economic assessment tools for recycling proposals. The conference agenda will continue the ongoing discussion about institutional and regulatory arrangement for local water utilities in regional New South Wales, this time in the context of the NSW Government’s Fit for the Future initiative. Speakers such as Kerry Schott, former Managing Director of Sydney Water, and Adam Lovell, Executive Director of the Water Services Association of Australia, will look at the future of water utilities, while councils from CENTROC and the Lower Macquarie Water Utilities Alliance will demonstrate how they continue to strengthen regional approaches. In addition, to the main themes, speeches will address issues such as the impact on water supplies of coal seam gas activities, interaction between private water services and local water utilities, trialling health-based targets and implementation of quality management systems for drinking water. The Hon Niall Blair MLC, Minister for Primary Industries and Minister for Lands and Water, has also been invited to outline the NSW Government’s policy priorities in relation to water. More than 200 delegates from NSW and interstate are expected to attend the event, including councillors and general managers, water managers and professionals, policy makers from government agencies and key industry stakeholders. The LGNSW Water Management Conference is a joint initiative between Local Government NSW, Wingecarribee Shire Council and Destination Southern Highlights. Registrations are now open and can be booked at lgnsw.org.au/waterconference. SAVING DOLLARS WITH A TEAM APPROACH Consultants David Downie, former head of the Office of Water in Victoria, and Melbourne lawyer and water governance facilitator, Ruxandra Lazaresc, have joined forces with Paul Bayly, infrastructure specialist with Australian/NZ corporate advisory firm Cranleigh, to help prepare a seminal report on the delivery of water services in New Zealand. The report, A Business Case for Water Services, calls for three councils to transfer their water and wastewater assets into a jointly owned, not-for-profit council-controlled organisation, and is currently being examined in a public consultation process. The report applies to the management of water services in the Waikato region of New Zealand. For the first time Hamilton City Council, Waikato District Council and Waipa District Council have come together to assess water management. The report was co- funded by the councils. “A new solely dedicated water organisation will be far more efficient and, if recommendations are implemented, NZ$468 million could be saved over 28 years,” Mr Bayly said. The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development, which aims to facilitate world‐class infrastructure for New Zealanders, has backed Cranleigh’s recommendations and New Zealand industry experts have described the report as seminal for the management and delivery of water services in New Zealand. Independent water infrastructure consultant, David Downie, provided peer review and international experience to the project, while water lawyer and consultant, Ruxandra Lazarescu, examined the governance aspects of each model up for consideration and facilitated a governance workshop together with Mr Bayly and the project team. Ms Lazarescu said: “Water is such a precious resource that a team approach is going to be crucial. Waikato Is a powerful example of how local councils can work together with the aim of saving money, improving water quality and services and conserving water. “When Paul, David and myself first considered joining forces, we recognised that the challenges to the delivery of water services are multi-faceted and developing any solution will involve a combination of skill sets. We see governance as a key element of any water service delivery model, and consider that water is very much a local affair. Our role is to bring in best practice expertise and on the ground experience and support the local operators to develop a solution that is right for them.” David Downie added that while the Australian story of water reform is compelling and provides useful lessons for other jurisdictions: “Water is so complex that each jurisdiction must go through its own process of developing a local solution that best meets its needs. It’s not a case of one‐size-fits-all.” Please go to www.waterstudywaikato.org.nz/technical‐reports for more information. WATER AUTHORITIES JOIN FORCES TO HOST BIGGEST EVER DINNER Victoria’s 19 water authorities joined forces recently to host the Biggest Ever Dinner to raise funds for the Australian Prostate Cancer Foundation. The event included guest speakers Sam Kekovich, Terry Daniher, Eloise Southby, Dr Bernie Crimmins and David Parkin. Organising Chair and MD of Western Water, Neil Brennan, said the event was held in honour of water industry stalwart Laurie Gleeson OAM, who passed away from prostate cancer in January this year. “Laurie was Managing Director of Goulburn Valley Water for 28 years and was highly regarded as an innovative industry leader. He championed the annual Biggest Ever Blokes lunch in Shepparton to raise funds for prostate cancer, so it is a fitting tribute to him to hold this event.” Around 500 water industry colleagues, suppliers, contractors and consultants attended the dinner at Etihad Stadium on 25 June. EcoCatlyst was a major sponsor of the event, with Premium sponsorship from Vision Super and Goulburn Valley Water, and Support sponsorship from Integrity Governance, Coliban Water and Marsden Jacobs & Associates.
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