From the CEO
Welcome to the Autumn 2015 edition of Water Matters. As we move into a new season, the Victorian water industry also moves into a new season, in terms of delivering and addressing a number of new priority areas. As the CEO of VicWater I am excited about how we can and will support the industry to meet these emerging priorities.
Government announcement to review all board positions (excluding MDs) this year – The industry support the government’s objective to build boards that have the best people with the right skills. To that end VicWater have been involved in discussions with government representatives to ensure that due consideration is given to the skills required by directors as part of this year’s review process. This includes encouraging conversations to occur with Chairs to get their views on the skills required in individual water boards.
Plumbing Industry Accreditation Training – The industry value and support the need for adequate and appropriate professional development for plumbers. On behalf of the industry VicWater has raised concerns with DELWP around a need for an improvement in the way plumbing industry skills are maintained and upgraded to meet the changing demands of customers and technology. We look forward to working with industry representatives and relevant stakeholders in this space, seeking to achieve a strong outcome for the industry and in turn the community.
Victorian water industry procurement project – With an objective of pursuing efficiencies, the industry is seeking to quantify and leverage appropriate procurement and sourcing opportunities within the sector. VicWater are facilitating this project on behalf of the industry and the next step is to appoint a Procurement Project Director who will work with the industry to develop a category specific procurement and sourcing strategy.
ESC Economic model review – The ESC have released a consultation paper outlining their proposal to review their approach to water pricing over the next 18 months. The review will consider the most effective incentives to achieve long term cost and price efficiency whilst sustaining appropriate service to customers. Submissions for this paper close 12 June and VicWater is facilitating an industry response to the paper.
State Environmental Protection Policies (Waters of Victoria) – SEPP (WoV) review – A VicWater reference group, made up of member representatives will be part of a formal consultation process to contribute to DELWPs SEPP (Wov) review process.
Recycled water plumbing inspections – The industry will continue to work to implement the new responsibilities that have come out of the updated Guidelines for Dual Pipe Water Recycling Schemes – Health and Environmental Risk Management. As part of this ongoing work VicWater has negotiated an amendment to water corporations HEMPs which provides further clarity on the transition process.
Asbestos Regulation Review – The industry, along with WorkSafe, WSAA, VicWater and government representatives have undertaken significant consultation on pipe cracking technology. This engagement is as a result of the release of the WorkSafe guideline on work practices in relation to asbestos cement pipes. VicWater developed an industry submission conveying the industry issues around the use and effectiveness of the technology, the cost implications if it were no longer allowed and asking for evidence based decision making to be used around the inclusion/exclusion of the technology. The next step for water corporations that wish to continue to use pipe cracking is to seek an exemption from the regulations from WorkSafe.
There are also a number of VicWater matters that I would like to update you on.
Nathan Epp, the winner of the 2015 VicWater Leadership Development Award has left Australia and started with Scottish on 18 May. Nathan will be part of the team responsible for managing the shutdown and cleaning of Scottish Water’s on site digester at Deerdykes and will also be part of the team managing the construction of Scottish Water’s first Wastewater Innovation Centre at Boness. In early September Nathan’s trip takes him to Abu Dhabi where he is touring a number of terrific local water projects in the region. Nathan will then return to Melbourne by the 10th September, just in time to present at the VicWater Annual Conference, to share his learnings from his trip with the broader industry.
The 2015 Finance Conference which is an important part of our annual calendar of events is being held on 28 and 29 May 2015. This year’s program includes presentations on the latest water sector innovations and the challenges of decision making in relation to efficiency. It also features thought provoking case studies from Sydney, New Zealand and even New York.
VicWater’s next major event is the 2015 VicWater Annual Conference, which will be held 10 – 11 September at The Langham in Southbank. This year is VicWater’s 20th year of service to the industry and we will be celebrating that fact at the main conference dinner. We have a formal MC for the evening; Arron Wood, who is a leading sustainable business expert and sought-after commentator on television and radio. Arron is also currently a board member of the Port Phillip and Westernport CMA and Sustainability Victoria. Entertaining us at the dinner will be Vinh Giang, who was my personal stand-out from the 2014 Finance Conference. Vinh has a wonderful way of weaving profound messages into what is part magic show and part an insightful presentation about challenging business status quos. More information will be sent in coming months on the conference program.
Finally, in closing, I would like to remind you of a very worthwhile event coming up on 25 June, The Biggest Ever (Laurie Gleeson) Dinner. This dinner is being run to promote men’s health week, pay tribute to a water industry stalwart and to raise much needed funds for prostate cancer research. Please show your support for this worthy event by booking a table, donating merchandise for the charity auction or providing sponsorship.
< PreviousNext >
2015 Innovation Conference
On 16 March 2015 VicWater held the second biennial Innovation Conference. The Innovation Conference is unlike anything else on the water industry calendar, in that it provides an opportunity for the water industry to share their innovative new systems, processes and gadgets among an audience of their peers.
Sponsorship by Vision Super and NAB allowed VicWater to make the event free of charge for members.
NAB hosted the event in the ‘Arena’, the conference hall in their new Docklands building. The venue easily accommodated the 150 water corporation delegates and also provided an array of breakout spaces for presenters and delegates to mingle after their presentations to exchange ideas and contact details. A number of delegates were also able to attend a demonstration of the NAB Social Media Command Centre. A YouTube clip on the command centre in operation is here.
There were 23 presentations which were divided up into six topic streams: Culture and people, energy and system optimisation, intelligent systems, water and wastewater, customers and engagement, and pipes and assets.
All the presentations are available on the VicWater website however, you must be logged into the member’s area to be able to view these.
In addition to the 23 presentations, WSAA arranged and facilitated a Panel session of water corporation Managing Directors who reflected on how to create and maintain a culture of innovation and continual improvement.< PreviousNext >
The Annual VicWater OH&S Seminar was held on 24-25 March at the Best Western Airport Hotel in Attwood (Melbourne).
Most VicWater member organisations attended the Seminar with 25 participants each day. Key themes for the Seminar were Regulatory Compliance and Mental Health.
Key presentations were:
- Halil Ahmet, Principal Occupational Hygienist with WorkSafe presented on Licences for the removal of asbestos and the current Review of the Victorian OH&S Regulations. In regard to the Review of the Regulations, Halil undertook to discuss within WorkSafe whether VicWater representatives could be included on the reference groups for the asbestos and confined space entry areas.
- Peter Gee of WSAA presented on the WSAA OH&S Benchmarking pilot project. This project will nationalise the collection of OH&S statistics across participating organisations. (VicWater initiated a similar OH&S Benchmarking Project over ten years ago).
- Jorgen Gullestrup, CEO of Mates in Construction presented on his organisation’s methodology in attempting to reduce the risk of suicide among construction industry workers. Kent Weightman of South East Water had previously received training from Mates in Construction while working in QLD and brought the organisation to the Steering Group’s attention.
- Stu Wilder from the Western Districts Health Service in Hamilton presented on identifying mental health issues such as anxiety and depression in the workforce.
- Other presentations included Melbourne Water’s OH&S Leadership Program and a presentation on Dial Before You Dig
Wannon Water Appoints New Managing Director
The Board of Wannon Water is very pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Jeffers as the new Managing Director of Wannon Water.
Andrew is currently the General Manager Strategy & Innovation at Wannon Water and will commence his new role on 20 July 2015.
Wannon Water Chairman John Vogels said the Board was delighted to appoint Andrew to the position after an extensive and rigorous recruitment process that attracted many high-calibre applicants.
“Andrew has more than 20 years’ experience in the water industry, including 15 years in senior management roles at Wannon Water,” Mr Vogels said.
“He has previously had responsibility for Retail & Corporate Services, Service Delivery and Strategy & Innovation.
“The Board was unanimous in its decision to appoint Andrew and we look forward to working with him as we tackle the various challenges and opportunities in the years to come.”
Andrew will succeed Grant Green in the Managing Director’s position, with Grant advising the Board earlier this year that he would resign from Wannon Water after 10 years as Managing Director.
“Under Grant’s leadership Wannon Water has a proud record of achievement in providing secure, reliable water and sewerage services to customers across its service area and servicing regional growth,” Mr Vogels said.
“On behalf of the Board, I take this opportunity to acknowledge Grant’s outstanding contribution to Wannon Water and the Victorian water industry and wish him and his family the very best in the years to come.”< PreviousNext >
Yarra Valley Water wins National Infrastructure Award
Yarra Valley Water has been named winner of a national award for an innovative project in partnership with IBM which has improved services to customers.
Yarra Valley Water took out the SMART INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT AWARD for its IBM Maximo Asset Management Project and SPSS Analytics Pilot. The prestigious National Infrastructure Awards, which recognise excellence in the delivery of major projects, were held in Sydney on 25 March 2015, hosted by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia.
Managing Director Pat McCafferty was thrilled with the national recognition for the project which will contribute towards improving the management of $4 billion worth of water and sewerage infrastructure.
“The sophisticated analytics and asset management software from IBM has helped us to have a comprehensive view of all of our assets, which are used to deliver essential water and sewerage services to over 1.7 million people and 50,000 businesses throughout Melbourne.
“The new system has helped us to collect, combine and analyse data from across our asset portfolio. Having access to more accurate and detailed information about the network allows us to further improve our customer service.
“We can now also improve the existing asset lifecycle, ensuring downtime and maintenance costs are reduced, as well as minimising disruption to the community in the provision of vital services. This means that resources and funds are being used where they are needed most for the benefit of our customers” said Mr McCafferty.
When talking about the awards IPA Chief Executive, Brendan Lyon said that the strong field of winners shows the expertise across Australia’s public and private infrastructure sectors, with a range of projects that showcase new solutions to old problems.
Mr Lyon added that “The Smart Infrastructure project of 2015 is IBM’s work for Yarra Valley Water, which shows how technology can contribute to superior service outcomes.”< PreviousNext >
Macquarie perch to benefit from salvaged bushfire timber
Stock piled wood salvaged from the December 2014 Creighton’s Creek fires has been trucked to three sites on the Hughes Creek upstream of Avenel to improve habitat for endangered Macquarie perch.
Project Manager Christine Glassford from the Goulburn Broken CMA said the focus of the project was to re-establish depth and shelter in the creek by placing the salvaged timber in three pools to encourage scouring of the bed.
“Several truck and trailer loads of salvaged timber from the Creighton’s Creek fires have been taken to three degraded habitat pools suitable for endangered Macquarie perch,” Ms Glassford said.
“The aim is to reinstate depth within the pools and provide shelter to sustain populations of Macquarie perch, and to increase the resilience of the Macquarie perch population in the Creek.
“Sand has been deposited in these pools over the years and has reduced the depth and habitat quality for Macquarie perch and other aquatic species. The large wood will be placed strategically to encourage the movement of some sand to deepen the pools and provide shelter.”
Scientists from the Arthur Rylah Institute (ARI) undertook fish surveys in the Hughes Creek just before Easter and found Macquarie perch at each of the three pools, although ARI Applied Aquatic Ecology Scientist Joanne Kearns suggests the perch presently exist in sub-optimal habitat.
“Some sites where Macquarie perch were found can be considered sub-optimal, so further depth and structural enhancements will be very beneficial,” Ms Kearns said. “The wood will also lead to an increase in the variety and number of macro-invertebrate (aquatic bugs) on which the perch can feed.”
Ms Kearns said the results of the fish surveys in the Hughes Creek were encouraging, with numbers of Blackfish and Macquarie perch in the ‘gorge section’ of the creek being the highest seen for many years. “It was particularly pleasing to find several young-of-year fish, which have hatched from eggs spawned during spring last year and many one year old fish in this section,” She said.
A number of sites were surveyed between Avenel and the Goulburn River, but no Macquarie perch were found.
For more information on the Hughes Creek Project contact Christine Glassford at the Yea office of the Goulburn Broken CMA on 5797 4400.< PreviousNext >
Western Water’s H2O Café helps customers Choose Tap
Western Water is taking a new approach to customer engagement, offering what we do best – a healthy, refreshing glass of tap water.
The H2O Café has been a big hit at events across the Western Water region, giving customers a chance to sit and relax with a chilled glass of water in a café-style environment.
The initiative also gives Western Water an opportunity to promote campaigns such as Choose Tap, which encourages people to save money and waste by swapping bottled water for tap water.
“It’s a chance to engage with our customers in a more relaxed atmosphere,” Western Water’s Managing Director, Neil Brennan, says.
“Especially on a hot day, people are more than happy to sit down and enjoy a cool glass of water, and while they are there we can chat to them about anything from our capital works projects to how to claim a concession on their bill.”
Western Water has taken the marquee to popular community events including the Macedon Ranges Sustainability Festival in Woodend and Sunfest in Sunbury.< PreviousNext >
Let’s send in Z-Boat instead
A shiny yellow boat that looks like the ultimate remote control toy is actually a potential lifesaver, detective and a money spinner.
The Z-Boat is operated by Goulburn-Murray Water and has been adapted for use in narrow and shallow waterways.
It was shown off at the Victorian Water Industry innovation conference in Melbourne in March and is attracting a lot of interest from across the country.
GMW’s survey service manager Glenn Collins said the boat had eliminated the age-old practice of having workers wade through channels, in water up to chest high, to measure and record the build-up of silt.
‘‘You were putting people in harm’s way,’’ he said. ‘‘It was also uncomfortable spending a day standing in mud.’’
The solution was to adapt technology already commonly used in ports and on open water.
The boat is fitted with sonar equipment which produces accurate data on channel depth, which is sent via bluetooth to a laptop being monitored on the bank.
Mr Collins said silt was the enemy of the modernised irrigation system, which relied on accurate flows.
‘‘When you get silt, the next thing that comes along is weed and then more silt build-up,’’ he said.
Accurate measurements saved on the cost of disposing of silt and the unit was also earning revenue through contracting work.
Mr Collins said two GPS cameras on the craft produced high quality images to pinpoint erosion and even illegal water diversions.
‘‘It is economic, efficient and safe,’’ he said.
Mr Collins said GMW had had some inquiries about using or developing similar craft following the conference.
‘‘It was brilliant, we had a lot of interest in it,’’ Mr Collins said.
Courtesy Darren Linton, Shepparton News< PreviousNext >
Colac water reclamation plant upgrade
Bulk earthworks to create two new lagoons at the Colac water reclamation plant have been completed.
The two 12 million litre lagoons are part of a major upgrade to increase the capacity of the existing water reclamation plant.
The plant, which currently treats six million litres of sewage a day, was commissioned almost a decade ago and requires upgrading to meet growth.
Work is now underway on internal and external pipe work for each lagoon, a new pump station and associated sewer mains and stormwater drainage. Eventually, both lagoons will also have covers installed.
The project is scheduled for completion in the second half of 2015.< PreviousNext >
EPA licence amendment for Heywood
Wannon Water’s submission for an amendment to its Amalgamated Licence has been granted by the EPA to provide a permanent solution to retaining treated effluent at the Heywood water reclamation plant during periods of wet weather.
The Licence amendment allows Wannon Water to conditionally discharge reclaimed water to the Fitzroy River, rather than continuing to make application for temporary wet weather discharges.
The amendment was granted by the EPA after Wannon Water submitted a detailed study which showed that the discharge of reclaimed water to the Fitzroy River has a negligible impact on the receiving environment during periods of high river flow. The submission included the results of a two-year river impact study and feedback from the community consultation undertaken.
The Heywood water reclamation plant winter storage was constructed in 1997 with a winter storage capacity of 85ML, which was extended to 120ML in 2001. A further 200ML of reclaimed water has been discharged into the Fitzroy River annually for some years via temporary wet weather discharges approved through the EPA.
Wannon Water applied for a permanent licence amendment as this was the most cost effective and environmentally sound solution. Expending $6 million on a capital upgrade of the winter storage lagoon and land irrigation capacity was demonstrated to be the least cost effective option.< PreviousNext >
Lower Goulburn River Bank Condition Monitoring Commences
Researchers have commenced a program to monitor bank erosion along the lower Goulburn River.
The monitoring program is funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian Environmental Water Holders for five years and aims to assess whether there is any influence from environmental flow deliveries on rates of bank erosion.
Dr Geoff Vietz from Streamology, who are conducting the monitoring, said the information collected from the program will help determine if environmental flow deliveries contribute to bank erosion by accelerating natural rates of erosion, and if so how they might be modified to reduce their impact.
“Bank erosion is a dynamic and natural process that helps to create a diverse range of physical habitats for native vegetation, fish and bugs,” Mr Vietz said. “However, accelerated rates of bank erosion can have an impact on water quality and result in the loss of valuable riparian and agricultural land.”
A total of 200 erosion pins have been inserted into the bank at four locations along the lower Goulburn River between Murchison and the Murray River. The erosion pins are remeasured up to 6 times a year to quantify rates of bank recession. Qualitative visual assessments of bank erosion are also made to determine the main mechanisms of erosion.
Simon Casanelia from the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority said the CMA is hopeful the results of the monitoring program will identify opportunities for further refinement of the planning and delivery of environmental water.
“Currently, the height of environmental deliveries down the Goulburn River are varied and their rate of rise and fall are controlled to reduce their potential impact on bank erosion,” Mr Casanelia said.
“The Goulburn Broken CMA is delivering environmental water down the lower Goulburn River to promote the growth and establishment of bank vegetation, which will help reduce the potential for erosion.
“The loss of bank vegetation through over grazing, drought and floods has weakened the ability of the river bank to resist the erosive forces of high flows.”
The river bank condition monitoring is part of a broader monitoring program funded by the Commonwealth and State Governments that is also evaluating the impact of environmental water deliveries on native fish, instream metabolism, riparian vegetation and macro-invertebrates along the lower Goulburn River.
The Victorian Environmental Water Holder prioritises environmental water releases in the Goulburn River as part of its Seasonal Watering Plan 2014-15 , which aims to improve river and wetland health across the State.
For further information please contact Simon Casanelia at the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority on 5822 7700.< PreviousNext >
Arrowhead in GMW’s firing line
Three-hundred and thirty kilometres of Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) channels will be drained and sprayed with the herbicide Arsenal Xpress to control weed arrowhead during the irrigation off-season (May 15 to August 15).
“Arrowhead is one of the most troublesome aquatic weeds in our irrigation distribution system,” GMW General Manager Customer Operations Charlotte Bartrum-Terrill said.
“It affects water flow, promotes silting and causes problems with the automated regulators, which all affect water delivery to customers.”
GMW is the the first Victorian water authority to use Arsenal Xpress to treat arrowhead, although the herbicide has been used in other states.
Previously GMW has sprayed arrowhead during the irrigation season, however, due to changes in water delivery methods this approach is no longer as effective.
“Arrowhead has an extensive root network, making it tolerant to herbicides like Weedmaster Duo (glyphosate) that are applied only to its leaves,” Ms Bartrum-Terrill said.“During trials over the past 12 months we have found that Arsenal Xpress provides excellent control of arrowhead because it acts on all parts of the plant.”
The herbicide will be applied to weeds in the drained channels from May 15 and then left to absorb for several weeks. The channels will then be refilled from August 1.
GMW has contacted all customers along the channels to be treated to inform them of the spraying program and reminded them to make sure they have an alternate water supply between May 15 and August 15 as it’s important they do not access water for stock and domestic use, irrigating or any other purpose at any time during this period.
Customers welcome the spraying program.
“The herbicide has proved to be effective when used in other irrigation areas,” Murray Valley Water Services Committee Chair Jason Andrews said. “As a dairy farmer, it’s important that my flow rates are consistent and reliable. Arrowhead affects flow and delivery so it’s terrific that GMW has looked at a new and better way to get on top of this weed.”
The weed spraying program is part of GMW’s broader winter works program.
Each year during the irrigation off-season GMW drains channels so it can carry out important works, such as weed control, channel maintenance, infrastructure repairs and replacement to ensure the efficient delivery of water to customers during the irrigation period.< PreviousNext >
Mt Macedon Wastewater Project Launched
Western Water has tackled challenging circumstances to bring an innovative sewerage solution to a unique Victorian town.
Mt Macedon is a small, historic town in the heights of the Macedon Ranges, known for its extravagant private gardens and beautiful environment. It is a close neighbour of the famous Hanging Rock, immortalised in the film Picnic at Hanging Rock.
The $1.7 Mt Macedon Wastewater project has given the town its first safe, modern sewerage system, replacing ageing septic systems that had been posing a risk to community health and the environment.
“Building a traditional reticulated sewerage system in the very hilly terrain of Mt Macedon would have been prohibitively expensive, so we needed to come up with another solution,” Western Water’s Managing Director, Neil Brennan, says.
Several possibilities were considered and evaluated and a final decision made in collaboration with a community working group.
“The system now in place for 33 properties is a pressure pump system, which transfers wastewater off-site for treatment,” Mr Brennan says.
“These systems are an effective solution for difficult terrain and only require minimal excavation and disruption to customers.”
Phase two, which is continuing, will upgrade ageing septic systems at high-risk properties to further protect community health and the environment.
The project is being delivered under a partnership between Western Water and Macedon Ranges Shire Council, with additional funding from landowner contributions. The Victorian Government committed the majority of funding under its Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Schemes program.
“This project will bring major benefits to the local community and help businesses cater to residents, as well as the large number of visitors who flock to the area every year,” Mr Brennan says.< PreviousNext >
National Water Account 2014
The Bureau of Meteorology has released another instalment of its annual National Water Account. The latest set of regional reports reveal:
- Increased production of desalinated water in 2013–14 allowed Adelaide to reduce its dependence on other water sources, with overall supply volumes remaining similar to 2012–13.
- The Melbourne region conserved water in local storages in 2013–14 by sourcing more water from the Thomson Reservoir—more than five times the volume sourced in 2012–13.
- Runoff to Sydney’s water storages was 54% lower than in 2012–13, and the overall storage volume decreased from 98% to 83% of capacity. However, desalinated water was not used to supplement supplies, as the trigger point of 80% was not reached.
- South East Queensland water storages reduced to 89% of capacity, after being near full in June 2013, due to much lower rainfall during 2013–14. Surface water and groundwater abstractions increased to compensate for below‑average rainfall and streamflows.
Reports for the Adelaide, Melbourne, South East Queensland and Sydney regions join those for Canberra, Daly, Ord and Perth and are available online.
The Murray–Darling Basin report will be published mid-year.
The National Water Account provides detailed insight into Australia’s water resources at the national and regional scale for the previous financial year for nine nationally significant water use regions.
It discloses information about water stores and flows, water rights and water use. It reports on the volumes of water traded, extracted and managed for economic, social, cultural and environmental benefit.
The reporting regions are home to more than 80 per cent of Australia’s population and more than 70-80 per cent of Australia’s total annual water consumption.
The National Water Account is prepared by the Bureau in partnership with many collaborators, including State and Territory governments, agencies, water utilities and other water agencies.
The Bureau is committed to the continuous improvement of the National Water Account and welcomes all feedback.
This year, improvements have been made to the structure of the region accounts, to provide better visualisation of the region’s water flows, assets and liabilities. It contains less text, and more schematics and graphs, with some of the underlying data available as downloadable files.< PreviousNext >
Hargraves Institute - 123 Innovate® Collaboration Cards - For teams
This workshop will assist you develop new insights and ideas and guide you along the innovation process to successful outcomes.
The cards are not only visually inspiring with real photographs but highly interactive with lessons to be learnt.
123 Innovate, a skills training course that teaches an innovation process as a simple structured way to deliver new opportunities and resolve issues. Combining the traditional innovation steps; INSIGHT, IDEAS and ACTION with the practical application of SEEING, THINKING and DOING, 123 Innovate guides individuals and teams to deliver value to their organisation.
Date: Monday 15 June 2015, 08:30am – 04:30pm
Location: Melbourne Water, 990 La Trobe Street, Docklands
Vision Super – $3.5 billion still missing in Victoria
Victorians are still missing a staggering $3.5 billion in lost superannuation, according to the ATO. Last year around 677,000 super fund members went in search of their missing funds and found an average of two super accounts each. These individual accounts each held an average of $3,700 (for women) and $4,700 (for men)*, making the search very worthwhile.
If you would like to help your employees find their own lost super funds and create better financial outcomes for their retirement, Vision Super offers an Open Day facility to get them on their way. The events are easy to set up and administer, all you need to do is provide the venue and tell your employees – Vision Super does the rest.
Open Days are useful for people of all working ages and provide a mix of free seminars and one-to-one sessions with financial advisors to help your staff:
- Find their lost super
- Save money on fees by consolidating their old super accounts into one fund
- Review their investment choices, to make sure they are investing at the level of risk right for them
- Understand the importance of making sure their insurance is up to date
- Plan effectively for retirement
- Make the most of their Centrelink and Seniors’ entitlements where applicable.
You can choose to hold the Open Day as an employee-only event, or open it up to the public as a community event.
For more information about how to set up an Open Day please call your dedicated Account Manager on 1300 304 947 or email our Business Growth Co-ordinator, Gayle Douglas at email@example.com
*All data provided by the ATO, April 2015.
< PreviousNext >
TechnologyOne - Water Organisations turn to TechnologyOne for Asset Management
TechnologyOne’s holistic Asset Management solution is supporting water organisations in Australia to transform their business and improve decision making.
Leading organisations using TechnologyOne Asset Management as a core component of an integrated enterprise solution include Townsville Water and Waste (as part of Townsville City Council) and Seqwater in Queensland, Mid Coast Water in New South Wales and numerous regional and rural councils that manage water.
“We have certainly improved our knowledge of asset deterioration through our collection of data from maintenance activities in TechnologyOne. This has enabled us to understand the impact on asset degradation failure rates and better understand the actual condition of our assets,” said Director of Townsville Water and Waste Keith Parsons.
“We’re currently spending over $5 million a year on reactive maintenance for water reticulation mains and service connections, and we expect to see a marked reduction in that, through a better understanding of the failure modes and where they are occurring in the network.”
Townsville Water and Waste replaced its incumbent system with TechnologyOne Asset Management, implementing it as part of a wider enterprise solution. “We are really seeing benefits of working with a single vendor for all our core enterprise systems, including Financials, Asset Management and Supply Chain. Our users like the consistent look and feel of an enterprise solution. It also simplifies training, and information flows across the system, allowing us to reduce double handling and workarounds.
“We’ll be making a recommendation to Council soon about next year’s budget, and we’ll be seeking some additional funding to increase our water mains and water service renewal budget,” Mr Parsons said. “Those recommendations are going to be based on real data and evidence we’ve collected through changed business processes and staff engagement. This has all been enabled by the TechnologyOne solution.”
While TechnologyOne has supported Townsville Water in driving improvements, Mr Parsons said the key drivers for change are its people. “As we continue to improve our asset data, our goal is to move towards more advanced asset management and predictive modelling strategies, to facilitate better decision making,” he said. “To do that, we will need to continue to work in partnership with TechnologyOne to develop the way we use the products. Implementing the TechnologyOne solution is only the start of our business transformation – the benefits will really come from our staff being passionate about driving improvements, by embracing new technologies and business processes.”
TechnologyOne Executive Chairman Adrian Di Marco said Townsville Water and Waste is a great example of an organisation that has benefited from the TechnologyOne enterprise vision.
“We are challenging and regularly winning business against established best of breed market players in key markets including local government, water and infrastructure,” Mr Di Marco said.
“We’ve invested substantially in Asset Management, knowing full well that asset intensive organisations can realise significant benefits through more sophisticated, holistic asset management.”
< PreviousNext >
Procurement Australia - Celebrates 30 Years in Business
Procurement Australia, in which a number of water boards are shareholders, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
One of Australia’s largest national procurement groups, Procurement Australia’s membership now consists of non-tax paying entities including water corporations, local governments, public libraries, cemetery trusts, universities and TAFEs, and not for profit and charitable institutions.
Created by government for government 30 years ago in 1985, and originally known as Municipal Area Purchasing Scheme (MAPS), Procurement Australia was founded by City of Melbourne and 14 other inner city metropolitan local governments.
In celebrating this milestone, Procurement Australia’s CEO, Joe Arena, said “Our primary purpose of aggregating purchasing contracts and managing tenders for common use goods on behalf of our members has not changed in 30 years.
“We exist to add value to our members’ and suppliers’ bottom lines by generating savings and improving buying and contracting processes.
“What has changed most, though,” he said, “is the fact that we are now spread nationally and boast a membership of around 700 – a sign of the success we have had in achieving our goals.”
Currently, Victorian water utilities are making the most of electricity contracts negotiated and secured by Procurement Australia, delivering significant savings.
Arena said “On the suppliers’ side, things have also changed substantially as we no longer just work with Victorian businesses but have many diverse suppliers from national and international tier one companies through to exciting and innovative SMEs.
“Our goal is always to seek innovative solutions, attain best value and create collaborative purchasing arrangements and we like to celebrate success, acknowledging suppliers and other achievers through our annual peer and membership-adjudicated Procurement Australia Awards,” he added.
In 1985, Procurement Australia’s first office was set up in a banana shed next to fruit and vegetable wholesalers at Melbourne’s Victoria Markets.
In 2013/14, the group’s turnover reached over $13.9 million and it announced its best profit and dividend to members, suitably capping three decades of business.
Arena said, “These past 30 years have seen a remarkable amount of change and development but perhaps none as exciting as Procurement Australia’s 2013/14 record profit.
“So, it’s with great thanks to our members and Victoria’s water utilities that I welcome the next 30 years,” he said.
Procurement Australia is an ISO 9001 accredited organisation and its financial statements are audited by the Victorian Auditor General (VAGO).
From public lighting to IT products, heavy plant equipment to mowing and turfcare, and recruitment to bulk fuel, Procurement Australia has the flexibility and expertise to provide procurement solutions for a diverse range of common use goods and services.< PreviousNext >
TenderLink - Widening the Net for Greater Options Is Now a Necessity
While it’s early in the year and anything can happen in the next eight months, it appears that Victoria’s Water and Sewage boom – for lack of a better term – is on the wane.
The table below shows the number of Water and Sewage-related notices published to Australasian e-procurement company TenderLink’s suppliers through its tender notification system, sorted by state and year. In the past four years the trend in Victoria has been akin to an EKG reading – up one year, down the next. But at least the median line has been somewhat steady:
Given historical trends, it’d be reasonable to expect that this year would be another ‘up year’. But the early numbers are in, suggesting that a consecutive down period is on the cards for the first time in the current five-year period:
When comparing year-on-year first quarters, the fact that notice numbers are up cumulatively across the country suggests that work at a national level is still plentiful. But Victoria is down and given first quarter publishing rates, is on pace to publish just 164 tenders this year – by far the lowest of the five years and a far cry from the boom year in 2013, when the state led the country in terms of Water and Sewage notices.
Granted, these figures merely reflect the number of notices advertised per state, rather than the size of the projects – so they may actually represent a greater total value than in years prior. Regardless, it still shows a decline which, in simple terms, means there are fewer opportunities overall. It’s clear that, while an overflow of available work exists elsewhere, the Victorian well is drying up. For many local water companies, this means that crossing the border, or several borders, is becoming increasingly critical to their bottom line.
With the hunt for work now heading inter-state, many of these companies are looking to tender notification services to ensure they have streamlined access to opportunities published across the country. For example, TenderLink monitors over 425 of its own e-Procurement partners and over 3,600 external sources daily to distribute tender notices to a huge supplier base across the country, regardless of state. Using notification services such as TenderLink’s ensures that supply companies gain visibility over a larger market.
Councils and government bodies are already casting the net as widely as possible to a larger list of suppliers to ensure competitive tender responses. And rightly so. They’re after the best outcomes, often obtained through increased choice. It’s only prudent that supply companies do the same.< PreviousNext >