Policy Update – February 2024

Water operators training project

This project has been renamed as the Victorian Water Industry Workforce Readiness Project. In December the working group met at Greater Western Water’s Training Academy in Melton. At this meeting the group had presentations from WaterRA on its Operator Competency Benchmarking Project, and NSW Department of Planning and Environment on its training and competency assessment project. The group also worked through the survey results and outlined next steps for the project.

In December a presentation on the project was provided to the Victorian Skills Authority’s Public Safety, Public Sector, Corrections, Water and Local Government Industry Advisory Group. In January a briefing on the project was also provided to DoH, ESC, EPA and DEECA.

A briefing paper has been prepared for the February VicWater MDs forum seeking endorsement to proceed to phase two of the project.

Carbon Offsets Project

The Proof-of-Concept phase of this project is now complete and MAG/Aurecon has provided the following three reports:

  • Partnership Structure Review – this provided an explanation of how different businesses operate within the carbon market and the potential business partner and land access models that could be available to the sector;
  • Market Scan – this included an evaluation of market players in the Environmental Planting (EP) and Plantation Forestry (PF) sector with a focus on Victoria, to understand their capabilities and experience with respect to partnerships and technology integration, environmental impact and biodiversity co-benefits, and community and stakeholder engagement; and
  • Market Sounding and RFI Guidance – this report contained insights into the Carbo market and the challenges/opportunities that the water sector faces in entering that market.

An update on the project was provided to DTF in December.

A briefing paper on the Proof-of-Concept Phase has been prepared for consideration at the February VicWater MDs forum and makes recommendations for taking the project forward.

Victorian Water Sector Recycled Products Database Project

In December Aurecon provided a draft database recycled products to the Steering Committee for comment. Work is now commencing the next stage of the project which involves a review of existing material flow analyses and carbon emissions documentation to identify priority activities that use sustainable products.

In early February Aurecon’s Circular Economy Team will facilitate an online Water Expert Workshop on recycled products and materials in water infrastructure.

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

Other Activities

In early January the new guidance documents for recycled water Health and Environment Management Plans, User Site Management Plans and audit guidance were finalised and distributed to all stakeholders. If you would like a copy of these guidance documents, please contact Stuart Craven (stuart.craven@vicwater.org.au).

Attended the following meetings/events:

  • Met with VicTrack to discuss their proposed amendment to licencing arrangements for authorities with assets crossing railways or rail reserves.