Policy Update – October 2023

Water operators training project

The member survey to identify the training gaps and needs of the water sector was sent out in mid-September with a submission date of 22 September. The results from the completed surveys will be considered at the October working group meeting. Following our September meeting with WaterRA the Project Manager of its Technical Competency Benchmarking Project will attend our next working group meeting to discuss how these projects complement each other. A meeting was also held with Melbourne Water to discuss the project.

Carbon Offsets Project

MAG/Aurecon has finalised the reports from the work on Carbon Procurement Strategy; reviewing the partnership models for project delivery: and a market scan of the key players involved in the Environmental Plantings / Plantation Forestry sector.

Preparations are now underway with MAG/Aurecon to begin preparing the Request for Information.

Meetings have been held with the following groups to update and brief them on the project; DEECA Water & Catchments group, BushBank, the Department of Transport & Planning (to discuss the govt landholding policy), and ZEW (to discuss legal structures).

Victorian Water Sector Recycled Products Database Project

A RFQ has been developed in consultation with DEECA’s Water & Catchments Group to identify a consultant to undertake the following work:

  • Information gathering and development of sustainable products database (including alignment with the MRWA portal);
  • Analysis of material flows and carbon emissions in the water sector and research into sustainable product markets; and
  • Recommend sustainable procurement indicators and future data attributes.

RFQ submissions close on Friday 13 October and it is expected that this work will commence in November.

Other Activities

  • Met with the ESC to discuss emerging issues.
  • Attended a meeting with Water Stewardship Asia Pacific to discuss its Water Stewards Verification and On Product Labelling programs as well as its new DigitalWater online platform.
  • Attended an EPA/DEECA briefing on the new Recycled Water for the Environment policy.
  • Communicated with WorkSafe Victoria regarding the need to brief the Minister for Worksafe about the process to request the Commonwealth Government to undertake a Regulatory Impact Assessment for the proposed new Workplace Exposure Limits for hydrogen sulphide and chlorine.
  • Attended the 2023 VicWater Annual Conference.