Policy Update – December 2023

Water operators training project

During November we had two meetings with the Victorian Skills Authority and the Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions to discuss the proposed Water Training Academy and how it aligns with State government policies and the potential for grant funding.

The next working group meeting is on 7 December at Greater Western Water’s Melton Recycled Water Plant. The meeting will include a tour of GWW’s training facility, a presentation from WaterRA on its Operator Competency Benchmarking Project as well as further developing the proposal for the training academy.

Carbon Offsets Project

During November workshops were held to:

  • discuss the issues/questions that need to be answered prior to MAG/Aurecon undertaking the market sounding;
  • work through the implications that different ACCU generation strategies would have on the project’s land requirements and its ability to meet the sector’s ACCU demand;
  • explain the process, timings and responsibilities associated with ACCU generating projects; and
  • get an understanding of the information that water corporations will require to be able to decide whether to participate in the collective delivery vehicle.

The market sounding process has recently been completed and its findings are currently being considered.

A meeting was help with the Department of Transport and Planning to discuss how the government’s landholding policy would apply to the project.

A written update on the project was provided for the Victorian CMA Climate Change forum meeting.

Victorian Water Sector Recycled Products Database Project

Aurecon has commenced work on this project and has already prepared a draft list of sustainable products from sources such as the MRWA Portal and Sustainability Victoria’s Buy Recycled Directory.

An initial meeting has been held with the MRWA Portal Committee with a workshop to be held in December to ensure the draft database aligns with the current portal requirements.

A request has been made to all water corporations to provide information on any analyses of material flows and carbon emissions they have undertaken as well as any research into sustainable product markets.

The project is due to be finished by the end of May 2024.

Other Activities

Attended the following meetings/events:

  • WSAA’s High Potential Incidents Forum
  • One Basin CRC’s Innovations in water management: the future of the Murray-Darling Basin Forum
  • WaterRA’s Operator Competency Benchmarking Project Research Outcomes presentation
  • Respect Victoria’s Walk Against Family Violence
  • WSAA’s Home Fire Sprinklers discussion
  • AgVic discussion on new land use planning reforms for intensive animal industries
  • DEECA’s OT and Cybersecurity presentation