Water Journal : Water Journal December 2011
regular features conference reviews Water: Future Directions and its 2011 Biennial Assessment. He spoke also about future reform priorities for the urban water sector which included, but were not limited to, clarifying the sector's objectives, reviewing the effectiveness and flexibility of regulation, improving the focus on the customer and fostering community engagement, and stimulating the development of more liveable cities. The next session dealt with the private sector. Two speakers, Roch Cheroux, CEO of Degrémont, and Eamonn Kelly, General Manager Water, Thiess Services, discussed the role the private sector could play in future water markets in Australia. Roch's presentation reflected on his experience in Chile, where he was involved in taking a formerly government-owned utility through to privatisation and the benefits that delivered to consumers. Eamonn discussed how to foster innovation without encountering undue risk. In particular he stressed a continued focus on safety, the development of shared objectives, clear governance arrangements and the sharing of risks and rewards. At the end of the pre-lunch session, AWA and its project partner, Deloitte, released the State of the Water Sector Survey final report, which is subtitled The View from the Top. This report took highlights from the quantitative analysis released at the 2010 Summit, and expanded on the results through qualitative analysis of issues based on interviews with water sector leaders carried out over the past 12 months. This produced some results that at times reinforced accepted wisdom and at other times challenged it, but at all times it makes interesting reading. The report is complemented by state- based analyses of the qualitative data emerging from the Survey. These reports are all available for free download from the AWA website: www.awa.asn.au under the News & Advocacy tab. The after-lunch session dealt with the challenges of climate change. The first speaker was Professor Robert Hill, Adjunct Professor in Sustainability, US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney and Chairman of the Australian Carbon Trust, who spoke with great passion of the threat of uncontrolled climate change, the need to develop adaptation strategies (despite his earlier resistance to this approach, which, while Minister for the Environment, he felt represented a form of capitulation) and some of the opportunities. Professor Hill's speech was followed by a practical example of responses to climate change delivered by Sarah Dinning, Group General Manager, Corporate Development, Sydney Catchment Authority (SCA) and Noni Shanon, Special Counsel, Norton Rose Australia, who has been advising the Authority. This presentation dealt with the SCA's proposals to explore opportunities to participate in carbon offsets through an eligible carbon farming initiative, based on land owned and managed by the SCA. The 3rd National Water Leadership Summit will take place in Canberra in early November, 2012. Minister Tony Burke gave an overview of the Government's position regarding rural water management. Governor Christine Todd Whitman spoke of global challenges in water management.
Water Journal April 2012
Water Journal November 2011