Policy Update -August 2023

Water operations training project

The working group is currently finalising the member survey to identify the training gaps and needs of the water sector. The survey will be sent out in mid-August and the results will be used to develop a training program that will be presented to the MDs in November 2023. Once the survey has been sent out the working group will take the opportunity to explore options for what an expanded training program could look like.

Carbon Offsets Project

MAG/Aurecon has been engaged to help us work towards the ‘proof of concept’ phase. The first part of this work has involved a workshop to re-affirm and align our Carbon procurement objectives and identify and assess the key risks inherent to designing and implementing a Carbon Procurement Strategy. The next stage of the work includes a review of the available partnership models for project delivery and a market scan of the key players involved in the Environmental Plantings / Plantation Forestry sector.

Practical guidance documents to support the implementation of EPA revised guideline for water recycling

Utilising the feedback provided in the member workshop Water Futures has finalised the draft User Site Management Plan, audit guidance and Health and Environment Management Plan. These draft documents as well as a proposed 'deemed to supply’ solution for Class B and C schemes (which is an approach EPA uses in other areas) will now be tested with EPA to ensure they are compliant with current recycled water requirements. Once EPA has endorsed these documents they will be made available to all members.

Victorian Water Sector Recycled Products Database Project

VicWater in partnership with DEECA is undertaking a project to help build the evidence base required to facilitate the uptake of sustainable materials in the water sector and reduce barriers associated with a lack of information to progress the transition of a circular economy. This project will support the delivery of the action ‘Understand and improve sustainable procurement within water corporations and catchment management authorities’ within in the 2022-23 Water Sector Circular Economy Action Plan.

Other Activities

A meeting was held with WorkSafe Victoria, several of our members and WSAA to discuss the sector’s concerns around Safe Work Australia’s proposed new workplace exposure limits for hydrogen sulphide and chlorine. WorkSafe Victoria is now following up on whether a Regulatory Impact Assessment is going to be undertaken and has also requested a copy of the WSAA submission that had previously been provided to Safe Work Australia on this topic.

Organised a pre-briefing for the Catchment Protection Group on DEECA’s review of the Victorian Waterway Management Strategy.

Other meetings that were attended include:

  • Water corporation / home fire sprinklers forum
  • Review of Ministerial Guidelines for planning permit applications in open, potable water supply catchment areas