From the CEO
Welcome to the Autumn 2016 edition of Water Matters. Recent months have seen the Victorian water sector and in turn VicWater extremely busy on a number of fronts. Fronts that have led to the development of work and thinking that will place the sector in a terrific position to move forward in a progressive, vibrant and energised way.
DELWP undertook extensive industry engagement as part of the development of the Water for Victoria discussion paper, which articulates how water influences and contributes to Victoria’s broader social fabric, recognising the importance of a healthy environment, a prosperous economy and thriving communities.
In addition to the initial engagement a number of corporation staff have had continued involvement in the community and stakeholder engagement sessions DELWP recently undertook. As well as this, the industry at various levels are actively pursuing activities aligned to and supporting the discussion paper’s priorities areas; to ensure water supply systems are resilient to drought and climate change; that communities are at the centre of decision-making; that diversity in the water sector is promoted and to strengthen the industries understanding of indigenous cultural values and encourage economic participation.
At a different level the sector’s directors have been busy, with a suite of four 2-day training programs delivered between February and April 2016. Around 121 of the 143 directors attended one of the programs, developed in cooperation with DELWP and VicWater. The aim of the training was to provide the sector’s directors with specific water industry information and a strong understanding of the requirements necessary for them to carry out their obligations as a director of a government owned water corporation. Another advantage of the training that should not be undervalued is the cross-industry networks developed through the training.
Another priority for the sector is a commitment to undertake robust evidence based industry-wide analysis of water corporations supply chain networks. This will give management and board’s clarity on where opportunities exist for businesses to leverage efficiencies through industry collaboration.
I would like to thank The Hon. Minister Lisa Neville for agreeing to participate in this year’s dinners with the industry Chairs and Managing Directors. The first of these dinners was held in April and the second will take place at the end of May, with both hosted with thanks to Treasury Corporation Victoria. These dinners are enormously beneficial for the sector, providing an invaluable opportunity for the sector to hear from the Minister but also for The Minister to hear from her government appointed Chairs and water corporation Managing Directors.
In addition to the above work VicWater has been busy delivering a number of events (listed below) for our members. Despite being less than half way through the year VicWater have already held, hosted or facilitated events involving over 500 water corporation staff.
- Water Plan Forum
- Customer and Community Engagement Forum
- Diversity Forum
- OH&S Seminar
- Audit & Risk Committee Chairs discussion
- Finance Conference
The next big event on the VicWater calendar is our Annual Conference which has been themed Global Context: Leveraging Disruption to shape our future. The program is being developed at the moment, thanks to some terrific abstracts that were submitted both from within the sector and from outside the sector. Over the two days the program will investigate how global trends and technology could disrupt society, the economy and the water industry. Past trends indicate that disruptive technologies have an initial slow build then rapid disruptive impact once they hit a critical mass. If this is the case, recent advances in quantum computing, low friction materials, nano technology, autonomous vehicles, smart sensors, big data and cloud services are merely the leading edge of the technology mix that will evolve in the future. In addition to providing new opportunities, global disruptors such as climate change, super bugs, population growth and changing social structures and communication channels both at home and in the workplace will require a changing and dynamic water industry to sustain effective and relevant services to our customers. We are very excited to be offering a program such as this and encourage directors, executives and stakeholders to be part of what is sure to be a very interesting couple of days.
Another priority area where VicWater can support our members is to actively seek to highlight single issues that pose significant regulatory burden to our members. Where the cost of the regulation exceeds the benefit, or where the regulation is not addressing a legitimate issue or risk. The broader subject of reducing red tape has been and still is actively discussed within many groups with thus far little real impact. By moving the focus to specific issues we hope to provide our members with real material changes in those areas and consequently bring about a reduction red tape more broadly.
One such area we have highlighted with The Minister is the requirement under the draft Asset Management Accountability Framework that businesses undertake a formal attestation process to show that they comply with the new standards. The industry is widely known as being highly capable in this area which is supported by the fact that they meet the existing asset management obligations imposed by the ESC. As such the industry will exceed the AMAF requirements but will have to undertake the formal attestation process to do so which places an extra burden on business for no net gain.
Another area being pursued through informal channels is an obscure requirement within the EPAs draft water pricing submission guidance requiring water businesses to conduct an EPA statutory audit (of sewerage systems). This approach has yielded success recently with the EPA agreeing to negotiate changes to its water pricing submission guidance to the ESC. The draft guidance (as circulated to the water industry in early 2016) included a requirement for a statutory audit of sewerage systems. This catch-all obligation would have cost the sector upwards of $500,000 to implement.< PreviousNext >
Danny Ivanoski - 2016 VicWater Emerging Leader Recipient
My name is Danny Ivanoski, my current role at Yarra Valley Water is the Water Planning Manager.
Although I was born in Australia, I did live in a small industrial town in Macedonia between the ages of 2 and 8, this was during the later years of the Yugoslavian Communism era, so I do remember many aspects of the lifestyle back then. The family decided to come back to Australia soon after I finished 3rd grade in Macedonia.
Since then I have mainly lived in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. My wife and I have two kids, 6 year old energetic boy, and a 3 year old extremely caring girl. My interests include travel, sport, namely formula 1, soccer and tennis, entertainment and dining, and just recently I have taken up a passion for boating, which has provided some very interesting adventures over the last 6 months.
I am a Mechanical Engineer, graduated from RMIT University in 2002. Worked in the Automotive industry for 3 years on some fairly sophisticated automation projects during its peak in the early-mid 2000’s. I then moved on to the Aerospace industry where I was managing Asset Management programs for jet engines of some of the most renowned commercial airlines in Australia/NZ. In late 2008 I joined Yarra Valley Water.
Water industry experience – how long you have worked in the industry and any previous experience in the industry?
I have worked at Yarra Valley Water since late 2008, joining the company as the Mechanical and Electrical Contract Manager. Over the last 8 years I have been involved in many activities across the business, implemented several successful strategies, and have contributed in the career development of some great people and emerging talent over the years.
From your perspective what is the top issue affecting you in your current role; and/or your business; and/or the water industry at the moment?
From my perspective, I think the over-arching issue in the industry as a whole is in how do we reinvigorate and generate ‘diversity in thought’ at all levels of the industry, but most importantly at senior leadership. The industry has a proud history with significant advancements in many aspects however in the advent of technology, changes in customer expectations, liveability, and climate change, we need to ensure our future industry leaders are diverse in their thinking, diverse in their approach and collaboration, and diverse in their inspiration. My take on this is that for leadership to succeed and take the industry to the next level, we must consider diversity to be beyond age, gender, ethnic background and so on.
My biggest and proudest professional achievement is being awarded the ‘2016 VicWater Emerging Leader Award’.
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VicWater Annual Conference - SAVE THE DATE
This year’s VicWater Annual Conference will be held on 8 – 9 September 2016 at The Langham in Southbank and has been themed Global Context: Leveraging Disruption to shape our future. Over the two days the program will investigate how global trends and technology could disrupt society, the economy and the water industry.
We are currently undertaking a review of the call for papers that were submitted to build the program which we plan to release in July. Proceedings for the main Conference dinner are taking shape with the following elements secured:
- Aaron Wood will be providing EmCee duties for the evening. Aaron is an Australian environmental activist, MD of Kids teaching Kids and 2012 Telstra Business Award winner.
- The Hon Lisa Neville will be participating in the evening’s proceedings.
- Entertainment will be provided by Barry Morgan from the World of Organs. Click here to view footage from his appearance on Spicks and Specks in 2010.
Biggest Ever Laurie Gleeson Dinner - Buy Tickets Now
Buy Tickets Now!
Tickets are available online for the 2016 Biggest Ever Laurie Gleeson Dinner via the IWA website. This year’s event will again be held at the Medallion Club at Etihad Stadium on Thursday 23 June 2016 to coincide with the June IWA Conference and Men’s Health Week, with all profits to go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. The line up of guest speakers includes MC Tiffany Cherry, Sam Kekovich, Eloise Southby, David Parkin, Dr Bernis Crimmins and Kelly Cartwright.
Partners, industry colleagues, friends and family are invited so we encourage you to share this events details with your networks. This will be a sold out event so CLICK HERE to secure your tables to avoid disappointment!
So who was Laurie? Laurie Gleeson was a founding committee member of Shepparton’s Biggest Ever Blokes Lunch, a fundraising event for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. He was also a past Managing Director of Goulburn Valley Water from 1980 to 2008, Past President and a member of the Executive Council of the IWA, a former Board member of WSAA and long-time supporter of WIOA.
The idea for the Biggest Ever Dinner came from his water industry colleagues who wished to honour his memory and contribution to our community following his passing in January 2015.
Note: Tickets are being sold for tables of 10 or you can also purchase individual tickets.
For further information please contact Lauren Vines who is available Wednesday to Friday via email or Wednesday and Thursday on 9639 8868.
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New MD Appointed at City West Water
David Ryan has been appointed to the position of City West Water Managing Director and will commence his new role as of 14 June 2016.
City West Water’s Chairman, David Middleton, outlined David was appointed to the position by the Board after an extensive and rigorous recruitment process that attracted many high-calibre applicants.
“We were looking for someone who is passionate about workplace culture, innovation, safety and who has a track record in leading large, complex, commercial organisations, Mr Middleton said.
“Our customers are a diverse mix of residential customers and commercial businesses stretching from the CBD to the western suburbs, so it was vital that we found someone who has a proven track record in placing customers at the forefront of their decision-making.
“David is currently the Executive General Manager, Service Delivery at Melbourne Water. We believe his experience, knowledge of the water sector and strong leadership capability will address the challenges facing our business.
“We look forward to working with David to build on the strong foundations already in place at City West Water and to strategically position our business for the future”, Mr Middleton said.
David Ryan stated he was thrilled by the appointment and looked forward to continuing to build on his career and commitment to the water industry.
“I have over 13 years of very diverse experience in the water industry and my current role at Melbourne Water, focused on the day-to-day delivery of valued services to our customers, has placed me in good stead to lead this exciting organisation”, Mr Ryan said.
“City West Water is in one of the fastest growing and most diverse corridors in Melbourne. I welcome both the challenges and opportunities this brings”, he said.< PreviousNext >
Women in Water Leadership Program
The Peter Cullen Trust has opened the call for applications for a new Leadership Program – called Women in Water-Leadership.
This will run in addition to the Science-to-Policy Leadership Program which the Trust runs each year.
The program has been developed at the request of the Victorian Government to optimise the state’s management of water resources and to strengthen gender equality in the workplace.
Only 1 in 20 senior leaders in water in Victoria are women. We aim to enhance diversity in Victoria’s leadership teams.
All applicants for this program will be put forward by their employers or sponsors. Organisations likely to submit candidates include government departments, academic institutions, water authorities and corporations, catchment management authorities and the EPA. Consultants may also apply.
Cost? (just for this year)
As a bonus, the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning is providing a $3000 subsidy for those who are eligible. The Trust is providing a similar subsidy. Therefore the cost for each sponsored participant is only $14,900 + GST.
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DELWP / VicWater - Director Development Program
Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DELWP), together with VicWater have facilitated four 2 day programs during February, March and April 2016.
The purpose of the program was to provide existing, new and returning Directors an insight and update on issues affecting the Victorian water sector, as well as providing the opportunity to network with other Directors from different water boards.
There was an excellent line of presenters covering off a range of topics relevant to the industry, and addressing the obligations and requirements of a director of a water corporation. It was a good reminder for directors on the importance of ensuring high standards of public sector governance is maintained.
DELWP and VicWater acknowledge the wealth of knowledge and experience that the directors bring to the industry, so these programs were about listening and assisting rather than telling.
All Chairs and Directors were encouraged to attend one of the programs, which was consistent with Minister Neville’s letter of appointment.
The program included the following presentations:
- Overview of the Water Sector – Tony Wright, CEO, VicWater
- Water for Victoria – Kate Houghton, Deputy Secretary, Water and Catchments, DELWP, Anthony Carbines, MP, State Member for Ivanhoe and Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Sara Harbidge, Director, DELWP and Scott Hamilton, Executive Director, DELWP
- Murray-Darling Basin – Linda Christesen, Acting Director, Intergovernmental & Strategic Projects, DELWP
- Climate Change – John Thwaites, Chair, Climate Works and Chair, Melbourne Water and Kate Wood, Executive Director, DELWP
- Innovation – Andrew Cairns, Chair, Coliban Water
- Economic Update – Bill Whitford and Mark Tracey, Managing Director and Senior Economist, Treasury Corporation Victoria
- Directors’ Fiduciary Responsibilities – Alastair Macphee, Special Counsel, DLA Piper Australia
- Customers, Cynthia Gebert, Ombudsman, EWOV and Jo Benvenuti, Director, Gippsland Water
- Finance and Financial Sustainability – Hugh Gleeson, Director, Melbourne Water and Russell Walker, Director, Western Water
- Public Sector Governance – Des Pearson, Former Auditor General, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office and Joy Patton, Director Enquiries and Investigations, Victorian Ombudsman
- Strategy – Jeremy Johnson, Chair, Central Highlands Water
- Pricing – Ron Ben David, Chairperson, ESC
- Asset Management – Therese Ryan, Chair, Gippsland Water
- Emergency Response – Craig Lapsley, Commissioner, Emergency Management Victoria
- Gender Equity and Diversity – Kathryn Anderson, Deputy Secretary, DELWP
- Community Engagement – Pat McCafferty, Managing Director, Yarra Valley Water
- IBAC – Alistair Maclean, CEO, IBAC
The attendance and level of engagement was outstanding, as was the feedback from the attendees.
We would like to thank everyone who supported and contributed to the programs, making them the success that they were.
We look forward to working collaboratively again with DELWP and providing the support required making it a high performing sector.
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VicWater OH&S Seminar
The Annual VicWater OH&S Seminar was held at the Metropole Hotel in Fitzroy on the 19th and 20th of April and was MC’d by Judd Boeker of East Gippsland Water and Chair of the OH&S Steering Group. The event was attended by around 25 people on both days and participants agreed that it was very informative and instructive.
Peter Gee of WSAA outlined the features of the new national OH&S Benchmarking system which is expected to be operational by June of this year. It was agreed that there are some benefits in keeping the VicWater OH&S Benchmarking system in operation until at least the end of this year.
WorkSafe Victoria presented on a number of issues and in particular on the international harmonised signage for chemicals and bullying in the workplace.
Mick Clewes of North East Water and Peter Kesson of Goulburn Valley Water jointly ran a workshop session on best practice training methodologies and practices.
The second day began with a presentation by Barry Coburn of City West Water on the Mates in Construction suicide prevention strategy. The Seminar concluded with a number of short presentations by members on “lessons learned”.< PreviousNext >
Dams Working Group Meeting Bright
North East Water hosted a meeting of the Dams Working Group at Bright on 6 April. The meeting was well-attended with a number of issues discussed.
The Seismology Contract with ES&S is up for renewal and discussion was held around the quality of service to be expected during the next contract period and the methodology for sharing costs across the industry. The proposed increase in costs is around 4.1% with the total cost increasing from $272k to $320k.
A major item for discussion was the 3rd Annual 2 Day Dams Seminar, sponsored by DELWP. The proposed date for the Seminar is 14 and 15 September with the location to be determined.
The Working Group also nominated Aida Baharestani of North East Water to join the Dams Steering Group which will undertake the planning for the Seminar.< PreviousNext >
The Importance of Water for Community Liveability
To understand the importance of water, you only need to look back to the ‘Millennium Drought’ that crippled Victoria between 1997 and 2009. Or you could choose to go further back, much further back, thousands of years into human history. Credible theories from academics suggest that leading civilizations of their time, including Bronze Age empires in Greece, Egypt and Mesopotamia, as well as the prosperous Indus Valley civilization, in what is now Pakistan and Northern India, all have one thing in common: they were probably brought undone by epic droughts.
Scientists say those droughts lasted hundreds of years, dismantling entire empires, so the scale is immense, but anybody living in Victoria over the past two decades appreciates how precious a commodity is water.
In fact, the huge drought of 1997-2009 changed dramatically how Victorian government, business and residents now manage the state’s water supply.
As a Federal Government Productivity Commission report declared in 2011, water must be treated differently to other utilities such as gas, electricity or telecommunications because it is literally ‘essential for life’. The health of Melbourne, as a major city, is intrinsically connected to water. The ability of the city’s industry to thrive and expand needs an uninterrupted water supply. Outside the metropolis, the need for agriculture to access water is obvious. Community facilities and social life can wither and die without water, and that has been proven to have a substantial impact, economically as well as physically.
During the most urgent water restrictions of the Millennium Drought, when water could no longer be allocated for maintaining community infrastructure such as sports fields, some estimates costed the damage to ‘welfare in the community’ of no longer having such communal outdoor recreation facilities as between $400 million and $1500 million. Now consider the potential financial cost of water restrictions to individual households or businesses or, for that matter, the medical bills of Victorians who hurt their back lugging buckets of water from their shower to their dying flowerbeds. A major drought cripples a metropolis like Melbourne and a State like Victoria, on every level.
From hygiene to hydration to food crops to grassy fields to the leaves on trees: water is the link that keeps society going. Just as efficient sewerage systems with sufficient capacity are essential for a modern city to function effectively and safely.
Yarra Valley Water has always maintained a long-term view of Melbourne’s water needs and our role in supplying this most precious commodity. We are an enthusiastic signatory to the United Nations’ Global Compact and we are currently investigating how we can align our business planning more closely with the Sustainable Development Goals, which outline a global framework for priorities, aspirations and benchmarks to progress environmentally friendly, sustainable development, and ensuring our employees feel committed and engaged in creating a better world.
Locally, our organisation has collaborated in planning for the city’s water future, towards 2060 and beyond. We are aware that Melbourne’s residents, who use two thirds of our supply, community organisations and local businesses cannot afford to endure the level of water restrictions demanded by the Millennium Drought.
The good news is that we’re confident we have many of the answers.
A major shift in thinking among the water industry has been to divide water into categories, known as ‘fit for purpose’. In the past, business water needs, sprinklers on sporting grounds, fire-fighting water, the water that filled every toilet cistern and the drinking water in every tap in every house came from the same fresh, pure water source, direct from our potentially over-stretched dams. But this does not have to be the case and increasingly is not. Integrated water cycle management now includes the harnessing of the city’s sewage and storm waters, previously regarded as unclean and removed from the city as quickly and discreetly as possible.
However, with the appropriate level of treatment, these rich resources can be harnessed for the myriad of water needs that do not require the sheer purity of Melbourne’s drinking water. Given it is estimated that the city generates around 540 GL a year of excess water through stormwater runoff alone, the benefits of capturing and reusing that water is obvious.
These realisations have driven the continuing evolution of the city’s water supply, with investment on all levels, from household rainwater tanks to transfer pipelines, and major new stormwater and sewerage infrastructure that is dedicated to rehabilitating and reusing these waters, rather than flushing it away. The state’s business community has bought in, dramatically dropping the overall use of water for industry (reducing usage from 138 GL (Gigalitres) in 2000/01 to 89 GL in 2010/11) and getting smarter. As an example, the proliferation of commercial car washes across the city could not have survived the drought or beyond had they not crafted a way to use recycled waste water/non-drinking water.
Yarra Valley Water is committed to providing our water services within the carrying capacity of nature. And we are committed to helping create better places for people to live. We have committed to supplying recycled water to around 100,000 homes or approximately 200,000 people in the northern growth area.
Victoria’s desalination plant is operational and ready to transform salt water to combat future climate change effects or major droughts, while Melbourne’s metropolitan water utilities are innovating to reduce or eliminate reliance on dams for the water needs of the city’s community spaces. Good things are being done across the city. South East Water’s Aquarevo project is Australia’s most water efficient large-scale housing development. It aims to cut household demand for mains drinking water by 70 per cent through greater use of recycled and rainwater. Across town, City West Water is currently spearheading the Greening the West initiative which amongst other things looks at new approaches to maximise sustainable water supplies to establish and maintain green space, increasing the liveability of our city.
Projects such as these are all around us, transforming Melbourne from a city reliant on its dams and making us a city that intelligently preserves drinking water while maximising the use of all the other forms of potential water. Our business community has worked with Yarra Valley Water to dramatically change the way it uses water, as well as which water it taps into, and the entire city can be confident of a healthy, rich future, from lush sports grounds and community resources to kitchen taps that deliver the pure drinking water we love.
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Effective reporting – ‘investing in technology'
Executive Reporting Project
In order to better understand how Goulburn Murray Water (GMW) is performing in regards to key performance metrics across the business, the Managing Director tasked the Chief Information Officer to initiate an Executive Reporting Project as a new enhancement phase of the organisation’s Enterprise Information Management (EIM) system.
The project is half way through and has ticked a core objective of demonstrating that the “unreachable” goal of consolidating, simplifying, centralising and then automating current reporting assets throughout the organisation is achievable.
The second core objective achieved has ensured the project is holistic to the business in that the solution provides a top-down approach from the Executive team through to Operational levels. By determining and then delivering on standardised key performance indicators, the implementation phases have contributed to improving corporate performance management and driving cultural change from the top down through adherence and achievement of meeting these agreed metrics.
Thirdly the solution delivered is easy to use. It has an intuitive self-service drill-down capability, utilising effective data visualisation methods for efficient decision making purposes. Minimal to no training is required for end-users. The new configuration has replaced existing inconsistent and time-consuming reporting efforts and now delivers real-time/near real-time data analysis through a single source of truth, “one-stop-shop” access to reports.
Water Management System Alarm Management
Goulburn Murray Water operates the 2nd largest Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) network in the world (the US Defence is the biggest) but with this comes a lot of alarms, around 30 million per year. Effectively managing these alarms has been a huge challenge for the business.
The limitation that the business was struggling with was the ability to effectively report and analyse these alarms. There was no business intelligence capability available to staff, supervisors or management. The Information Technology team were faced with solving a big data problem.
A project was initiated and implemented through the Enterprise Information Management (EIM) system which now provides GMW visibility of both active alarms within the 6 irrigation areas as well as tools to view historical data. This solution has allowed the business to be proactive in managing alarms. Supervisors now have visibility to question their staff as to why alarms haven’t been resolved. Engineers can now link alarms to asset performance and incorporate in whole of life modelling. Area Managers can now use the information for improved daily and weekly maintenance planning. Construction Managers can utilise the data for capital improvement justification. Purely by improved access, visibility and insight more and more uses are being identified, explored and implemented every day.
Historically GMW could only run a cumbersome report once a month and by then most of the information was unable to be actioned. But now, the business has an evolving beast of data that they can actually analyse, integrate and exploit in real-time, through a single source of truth “one-stop-shop” access solution.
In less than 3 months it went from a basic paper based monthly report to being displayed on 6 x 42 inch screens in the 24/7 office 24 hours per day . . . and the requests to build more solutions are still growing, just like the data is.< PreviousNext >
Drought Response – Swipe Card Stand Pipes
As a result of the extended dry period, those farmers in the Wimmera who rely on catchment dams for their stock and domestic water were basically without water.
In response to the situation, the Victorian Government provided funding in December 2015 for a number of drought response projects, which included Electronic Swipe Card Stand Pipes (ESCSP) in GWMWater’s region.
The funding of $420,000 was provided to supply and install 14 ESCSPs in strategic locations across the region to provide farmers with access to water 24/7 for carting purposes. A trial ESCSP had been installed 6 months previously in the Landsborough area and the success of this experience enabled the efficient roll-out of the additional ESCSPs at a known cost. The first 6 ESCSPs were operational within 6 weeks of the funding announcement.
The new ESCSPs replaced existing ‘manual’ Stand Pipes. Many of the old stand pipes had OH&S issues such as ‘Top Fill‘ connections. They also relied on the water carter to record the date and consumption at the nearby corner store or honesty box. This system was problematic with records and subsequent billing poorly accounted for.
The new ESCSPs allow 24 hour access to water carting in the drought affected rural areas that are not connected to existing water supply systems.
Each customer is provided with an Electronic Swipe Card. When they swipe the reader on the front of the electrical cabinet, the system recognises the customer. The customer can then start and stop the water flow with the push button controls on the front of the electrical cabinet which controls the actuated valve.
The water meter records the consumption in kilolitres and transfers the information into the data logger which is located in the electrical cabinet. This information is then sent via a modem over the NextG Mobile Phone Network to the CHS Group, a local Horsham Electrical Contractor, who designed the control system and constructed the Swipe Card Stand Pipe sites on behalf of GWMWater. The information is logged on their database and then sent to GWMWater for billing and water consumption recording.
The CHS Group has an ongoing contract with GWMWater for the collection and transferal of water consumption information, as well as servicing and maintenance of the ESCSP.
The water charge to the customer is currently $2.28/kL in accordance with GWMWater’s standard charges approved by the Essential Services Commission.
As of early May 2016, there had been 17,000 kL of water go through the ESCSPs.
Each ESCSP assembly has two outlets:
- Standard DN80 Male Camlok for rural customers.
(Connected to an actuated valve, control system and billing system).
- DN63 CFA Male Fitting.
(This fitting is connected to a manual valve which has a padlock that has had the key issued to the relevant CFA personnel for emergency use).
The initial roll-out of the ESCSPs was in the following townships: Great Western, Willaura, Lake Bolac, Stawell, Ararat, Westmere, Wickliffe, Elmhurst, Streatham, Apsley, Kaniva, Moyston, StArnaud and Pomonal.
The system has been well received by rural customers, with the operation of the new ESCSPs found to be extremely reliable.
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Pressure sewer partnership knocks up double century
South East Water, in partnership with South Gippsland Water, recently completed installation of the 200th in-ground pressure sewer pump unit as part of the ground-breaking Poowong, Loch and Nyora Sewer Scheme.
In an industry-first collaboration, the two water authorities are working together to connect more than 370 properties across the three South Gippsland townships to a reticulated pressure sewer system, tackling the growing public health and environmental problems caused by failing septic systems.
Under the partnership, South Gippsland Water is responsible for the overall funding, as well as defining the scope and project requirements, and managing community and customer engagement. South East Water is responsible for network design & construction, and managing connections to the scheme.
Through the collaboration, South Gippsland Water is able to deliver a much needed piece of infrastructure to its customers ahead of time and at significantly less cost than a traditional gravity sewer network.
The sewer scheme involves the installation of a pressure sewer pump in a small storage tank at each house, which connect to a reticulated network. Central to the design is a remote control telemetry system, called OneBox, designed and developed by South East Water, which manages property connections on a real time basis, regulating flows of waste into the network to optimise capacity.
Its ability to smooth peak flows means that pipes across the network can be much smaller, and aided by horizontal directional drilling, the need for expensive and large scale excavation is eliminated. The number of pumping stations required to transport the waste-water to South East Water’s Lang Lang Recycling Plant is also reduced.
The project builds on a number of successful pressure sewer projects delivered by South East Water, including the Peninsula ECO, which aims to connect more than 16,500 properties when completed.
South Gippsland Water Managing Director, Philippe du Plessis commented today, “South East Water is perfectly positioned to offer specialist services that support sewerage solutions for regional communities. Leveraging off their pressure sewer expertise has allowed South Gippsland Water to deliver a sewerage network on an accelerated construction timeline and at reduced cost”.
“South East Water is pleased to partner with South Gippsland Water in delivering a significant and positive environmental outcome for the region,” said Kevin Hutchings, South East Water Managing Director.
“This innovative partnership demonstrates the importance of collaboration in tackling today’s infrastructure challenges, and the value that working together creates for our customers.”< PreviousNext >
Renewable Wind Energy to Power Portland Treatment Plants
Portland’s credentials as a renewable energy centre are to be boosted further, with an innovative project to be constructed at the city’s water reclamation plant.
Wannon Water Chair Jacinta Ermacora announced the water corporation will construct a $2.4 million wind generator and produce its own renewable energy to power Portland’s energy-intensive water and sewage treatment facilities.
Ms Ermacora said the Portland Renewable Energy Project will help deliver reductions in customer water bills, improve Wannon Water’s environmental performance and, it is believed, make Portland the first city in Australia to achieve net-zero emissions from on-site renewable power generation for its water and sewerage systems.
“This exciting project is consistent with Wannon Water’s commitment to business excellence and customer value, and will further enhance Portland’s reputation as a renewable energy hub,” she said.
“The project involves constructing a wind generator at our water reclamation plant site and connecting it directly to the water and sewage treatment facilities near the coast south of Portland to power both sites.
“This will significantly reduce our energy costs, with the savings passed on to customers.
“Using the best technology available, this project will provide a net-zero emissions energy supply for Portland’s treatment plants, and reduce Wannon Water’s overall greenhouse gas emissions by a further 8% per year on top of the 23% reduction already achieved since 2006/07.
“Portland, with its world-class wind resources, is the ideal location for producing wind energy, and one generator will provide enough power to operate both Wannon Water treatment plants.”
Once operational, the wind generator will produce more than 2GWh of renewable energy a year, but will be smaller than other generators already installed along Portland’s coast.
In planning for this project, Wannon Water consulted with neighbouring property owners, with the majority expressing their support for the concept and a clear preference for the generator to be located behind the existing water reclamation plant.
Wannon Water is currently finalising design and contractual arrangements and expects works to start on site later this year. Completion is scheduled for mid-2017, pending supplier delivery.
“Wannon Water prides itself on demonstrating leadership in innovation, water supply security and implementing ideas to support future growth and regional prosperity,” Ms Ermacora said.
“The Portland Renewable Energy Project is an excellent example of how that innovative thinking can deliver multiple benefits for our customers, the environment and the communities we serve.”
The $2.4 million project also results in Wannon Water exceeding $30 million in infrastructure investment in Portland over recent years, resulting in 60-70 construction jobs.
Further information about this project is available by calling 1300 926 666.
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Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant Celebrates 25-Year Milestone
The current Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant at Epsom began treating Bendigo’s wastewater 25 years ago when a bigger and better plant was needed to meet the needs of the city’s growing population and new environmental regulations.
The plant was planned when the Bendigo Water Board was still in existence, the water authority before Coliban Water was established.
At the time a biological nutrient removal (BNR) process called Modified UCT had been developed by the University of Cape Town for the removal of phosphorus.
BNR involves using naturally occurring bacteria, often referred to as ‘bugs’, to consume the excess nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus. The bugs are then removed as sludge, which after further treatment can be reused as biosolids.
BNR is more cost effective and environmentally friendly than using chemicals to remove nutrients.
The project’s Chief Engineer was Neil Burns, who still works for Coliban Water as its Community Infrastructure Development Specialist.
Mr Burns said: ““We could see the process was working successfully at plants where it had been retro-fitted but we wanted to conduct our own tests.
“We worked with staff and students from the Bendigo College of Advanced Education (now La Trobe University) to set up a pilot plant, which produced good results.
“It was decided our new Epsom plant would have BNR treatment tanks which made it one of the first purpose-built BNR plant in Australia,” said Mr Burns.
Construction work started in 1990 and the plant commenced operation in May 1991. It was officially opened on 26 July 1991 by the Labor Minister for Conservation and Environment, the Hon Steve Crabb MP.
“When the plant commenced operation in May 1991, Bendigo’s population was around 62,000 and there were 25,000 connections to our sewer network.
“Bendigo’s population is now around 108,000 and there are almost 43,000 connections, as well as an increase in local industries and commercial customers,” said Mr Burns.
The new BNR plant was also capable of treating wastewater to a higher standard to bring it in line with new environmental regulations at the time.
“Some of the water treated at the Epsom plant can be discharged into Bendigo Creek under license from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“The new plant met the new EPA regulations at the time, removing the harmful nutrients which could destroy flora and fauna and cause algal growths,” said Mr Burns.
The plant has had further developments in its 25 years to improve the treatment process.
In 2003, a tertiary plant was added to treat the water to Class B for irrigation for non-food crops, some livestock drinking and in road construction.
In 2007, during the Millennium Drought, the Recycled Water Factory was built along with a 14.5 kilometre pipeline from the plant to the Spring Gully Reservoir.
This enabled recycled water to be used for public gardens, sporting facilities and irrigation in the Bendigo area, and by some new residential developments for toilet flushing and watering gardens.
Coliban Water can also supply recycled water to its rural customers along its Ascot, Axe Creek and Cockatoo Hill channels, and supplies two standpipes in the Bendigo area.
A project is nearing completion at the plant to replace the original submersible mixers in the BNR treatment tanks.
Diving specialists were used to replace the mixers as the tanks are in constant use so taking the plant offline to empty the tanks was not an option.
The new mixers are more reliable and energy efficient and will enable the plant to continue to treat on average around 19 million litres of wastewater per day.
As well as an increase in the amount of wastewater treated, there has been an increase in the rubbish that needs to be collected and taken to landfill.
Everything from false teeth to mobile phones have ended up at the end of the sewer network, and recently flushable wet wipes have been causing blockages, jammed pumps and increased clean up costs and landfill.
When the Epsom plant was built 25 years ago the major issue was the biological removal of phosphorous from wastewater, with the principal source being soaps and detergents.
The industry responded with phosphate-free soaps and detergents. Hopefully a long-term solution can be found to the flushable wipes issue.
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South East Water Celebrates 21 years by Looking Forward
South East Water is celebrating its 21st birthday with a retrospective look at how the Victorian water authority has strived to meet the needs of customers over the years, and how this has prepared it for the challenges of the future.
From today, South East Water will open its archives each Friday on social media, and share flashbacks, anecdotes and industry milestones to mark 21 years since its formation following the break-up of Melbourne Water into wholesale and retail businesses.
Celebrating 21 Years will look at the significant changes undergone by the water industry since the early nineties, and South East Water’s role in driving improvements to the water and sewer services we take for granted today.
“Over the last two decades, South East Water has built up a rich and colourful history, characterised by a deep commitment to customer service, and a passion for innovation and progress in the way we deliver our water and sewerage services,” said South East Water Managing Director Kevin Hutchings.
“As we design and build water networks to tackle the future challenges of population growth, climate change and consumer affordability, innovation will play an even more important role, while the customer will remain at the centre of everything we do.”
South East Water was the first Victorian utility to deliver recycled water to residents when it connected the Hunt Club and Sandhurst Club estates in 2007. Today there are more than 18,000 recycled water connections across the South East Water region.
The utility also became the first Melbourne water company to launch an internet site in 1996, which was used to educate customers on water efficiency.
“The aspect of our business that’s changed the most over our 21 years is technology – but we’ve never used it just for the sake of it. Behind everything, there’s always been cost or service benefits to our customers.
“Our focus on the customer, combined with our technical and engineering expertise, has helped to innovate and deliver projects like Peninsula Eco, one of the largest pressure sewer projects in the world. More than 16,500 homes can now connect to a reticulated network that eliminates septic tanks, which are a major source of pollution on the environmentally sensitive southern end of the Mornington Peninsula.”
Mr Hutchings said that over the years the utility has also pioneered the use of digital technology to better inform and engage with customers. In addition to its industry-first web presence, innovations include SMS alerts during unplanned outages, a mobile app enabling the reporting of faults and payment of bills, and a real-time map of faults and emergencies across the region.
“We’re committed to providing water and sewerage services that our customers value. That means responding to their changing needs and expectations, but being ready to shape the future of the water industry.
“Technology is emerging that will deliver enormous benefits to our industry, through greater flexibility and cost savings for customers, increased asset utilisation for water authorities, and a reduced impact on the environment.
“At South East Water, we’re excited about those opportunities, and looking forward to delivering even more value for customers over the next 21 years.”
Celebrating 21 Years will run every Friday via South East Water’s Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn presences. You can follow the campaign by following South East Water across these platforms or by following the hashtags #happy21 and #comingofage.
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Rural Pipeline Intelligence Project
GWMWater provides water and waste water services to a population of approximately 72,000 people across a geographic region covering 62,000 square kilometres, which is about 30% of Victoria. This area is similar in size to Tasmania and covers 13 municipalities either fully or partially.
Providing urban water and wastewater services is one of GWMWater’s main activities, delivering approximately 10,000 ML per annum of water to 31,000 urban customers in 71 towns.
In addition to this, we provide water for Stock and Domestic purposes to more than 9,000 rural customers who have approximately 13,600 rural meters connecting them to the Wimmera Mallee and Northern Mallee Pipelines.
The Rural Pipeline Intelligence Project involved the roll out of electronic devices for remote meter reading to those 13,600 rural meters.
The devices allow readings to be transmitted electronically to our Horsham Office for billing and operational purposes. These devices have been installed as part of the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Project.
The information collected by the devices can be accessed electronically by customers using a mobile phone, a computer or other device. This information will include details of water usage and water allowances, giving customers greater knowledge of their water use patterns and providing more flexibility with water trading. Water leaks may also be able to be detected early.
This project will provide GWMWater with valuable information enabling us to operate the pipeline more efficiently through reduced meter reading and pumping costs.
So do the devices work? Absolutely! One example is …
A very happy customer experienced first-hand how the device worked by detecting a water leak of around 300 litres per day on their property.
The graph shows the customer’s constant water usage since 24 May 2015, which alerted our staff of a possible water leak. The customer was sure there was no leak. The customer later went away on a holiday and their water usage was still high. The customer did a site inspection and found they did in fact have a water leak!< PreviousNext >
Bureau of Meteorology Update
National Water Account 2015 Released
Vital data supports smarter management of water resources
Management of Australia’s water resources can rely on hard facts thanks to the Bureau of Meteorology’s latest National Water Account, released in April.
The National Water Account applies the rigour and principles of financial accounting to water and gives us the hard facts.
Information provided for each Account includes:
- Water stores and flows;
- Water rights, use and trade;
- Water extracted and managed for economic, social, cultural and environmental benefit.
The accounts for each region are prepared by the Bureau of Meteorology with collaborators including State and Territory governments and water agencies.
Ten regions are covered by The National Water Account. The latest accounts for all ten will be progressively released over the coming months. The regions cover up to 80 per cent of Australia’s total water use and give detailed insight into Australia’s water situation for the previous financial year.
Simplifying streamflow reporting
A new web visualisation tool from the Bureau of Meteorology makes this task much easier. Regional Water Information provides annual and monthly information on water resource condition, availability and use at various spatial scales, compared to historical conditions.
With 11 topics including rainfall, evapotranspiration, soil moisture, runoff, streamflow, groundwater and water use, and 31 analysis types across various areas—in total over 350 datasets can be accessed.
The maps below showing streamflow patterns were generated in just a few simple steps with Regional Water Information.
You can get statistics on the streamflow monitoring sites in each category for a given timeframe (April 2015) and area, as shown below.
You can also break it down according to flow categories.
Check out Regional Water Information at www.bom.gov.au/water/rwi to explore the full range of information and download data for use in your own analyses.
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Biosolids breakthrough cuts storage costs and boosts fertilizer quality
The Victorian EPA has given approval to South East Water to reduce the minimum drying and storage period for biosolids at two of its treatment plants, opening up major cost savings while improving the nutrient value of its biosolids-based fertilizer product.
The reduction in storage time from three years to one year is expected to deliver tens of thousands of dollars in annual cost savings, and free up 20,000 square metres of storage, enabling the utility to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population.
The move will also increase the nutrient value of biosolids fertilisers used by local farmers, with beneficial elements such as nitrogen, phosphorus and organic carbon present in significantly higher levels compared with product stored for three years.
South East Water produces around 3000 dry tonnes of biosolids per annum, and in line with its commitment to 100 per cent beneficial reuse, operates treatment processes that convert the sludge into biosolids-based fertiliser, which farmers then use to improve soil quality and structure.
EPA regulations require that specific steps are taken to ensure potentially harmful pathogens such as E. coli, salmonella and enteric viruses are not allowed to contaminate the end product.
Late last year South East Water completed a rigorous 12-month testing program at its Boneo and Somers treatment plants, and submitted research to the EPA that demonstrated it could achieve the same microbial safety levels after one-year of stockpiling, compared with the mandated three-year requirement.
“We expect sludge volumes to triple in the next three decades, yet our treatment plants have a finite space for stockpiling biosolids,” said Rex Dusting, Infrastructure General Manager at South East Water.
“The three-year storage requirement meant that sooner or later we will run out of space, and that would require significant capital expenditure unless we found a way to do things differently,” he said.
South East Water scientists initially examined existing research commissioned by the Victorian Smart Water Fund , before setting out on a with a one-year project of its own, based on testing at Somers and Boneo. During the research period, the reduction in E. coli, salmonella and enteric viruses was found to meet and exceed the EPA log reduction requirements, so South East Water submitted the research for peer review and further examination.
Its treatment process was validated and formalised in a quality management system certified to the HACCP food safety standard, and in December, South East Water was granted approval by the EPA for one-year stockpiling of sludge at Boneo and Somers while maintaining the highest quality grade of biosolids (Treatment Grade T1).
“This is a significant breakthrough in how we manage and treat solid waste at South East Water,” said Mr Dusting. “It shows how high quality research and development can drive important change in our industry, and deliver greater efficiency and better environmental outcomes.”
Local farmers will be able to take advantage of better quality biosolids fertilisers, and in larger quantities, while for South East Water annual cost savings at the two treatment plants will run into the tens of thousands.
Not only is the need to regularly turn stockpiles using heavy equipment significantly less, and the cost of weed control and stockpile segregation dramatically reduced, but the change to process will free up almost 20,000 square metres of storage. This will enable South East Water to cope with the expected growth in sludge in the years ahead, without the need to construct new stockpile areas or acquire new buffer zones.
South East Water is now seeking approval to reduce stockpile durations at its Pakenham plant and is also examining longer-term opportunities to reduce the one-year requirement to a matter of months, unlocking further savings in operating and capital expenditure across the organisation.< PreviousNext >
Case study – Aurora waste to energy projects gets underway
Yarra Valley Water, Victoria’s largest water utility, is constructing a Waste to Energy facility. The purpose built facility will provide an environmentally friendly disposal solution for commercial organic waste. The Waste to Energy facility sits next to an existing sewage treatment plant in Aurora and is expected to generate enough biogas to run both sites with any surplus energy to be exported to the electricity grid.
Yarra Valley Water Managing Director, Pat McCafferty, said similar facilities have been successfully used throughout the world, including Europe and the United States but extensive research was needed to determine whether it would work in the Australian market.
“This ground-breaking facility has the potential to change the way we use and value our assets in the Australian water industry. Instead of treating the organics as waste, we’re treating it as a product with value that can be reused to create and capture methane gas resulting in significant environmental and cost benefits. As well as helping to keep organics out of landfill we are also helping to make recycling commercial organic waste easier and more affordable for businesses,” said Mr McCafferty.
As part of Yarra Valley Water’s commitment to contribute to the health and wellbeing of current and future generations, the Waste to Energy facility will divert organic waste from landfill. The site will have the capacity to process up to 33,000 tonnes of organic waste each year, or approximately 100 tonnes per day, offering an affordable alternative to organic waste disposal at landfill.
The organic waste will be fed into an anaerobic digester (sealed vessel) where it is converted into methane or “biogas” in the absence of oxygen. The process captures the methane before it hits the environment and turns it into renewable energy. Renewable energy produced at the facility ensures that Yarra Valley Water’s and Victoria’s reliance on coal fired electricity is reduced.
Yarra Valley Water, Manager Waste to Energy Services, Damien Bassett, said that construction commenced in October of 2015 and commissioning would begin later this year, with full operation commencing in around April 2017. The construction phase has created jobs for 18 people, and there will be four new staff ongoing operating the plant following its completion.
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Pressure sewer technology puts holiday favourite back on point
A tiny piece of technology invented in Melbourne by South East Water, is making a huge impact on the foreshore community of Point Leo on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.
Point Leo may be tiny (there’s only 109 houses), but it’s renowned for its surf beach and foreshore amenities, which include a boat club, surf club, picnic and barbeque facilities and a large camping ground. As one of the closest surf beaches to Melbourne, it’s a hugely popular recreation destination, with more than 100,000 day visits each year.
Yet Point Leo was starting to smell – literally. Septic tanks were failing to keep up with visitor numbers and the small organisations dotting the foreshore faced significant financial challenges in installing and maintaining new treatment systems. Some quotes exceeded half a million dollars. Future-proofing was proving prohibitive.
Community leaders and foreshore organisations appealed to South East Water, the area’s local water utility, for help.
“Septic systems aren’t designed to cope with thousands of people. Failing septic tanks can contaminate local waterways and groundwater, affecting environmental and public health,” says Charlie Littlefair, General Manager Asset Creation at South East Water.
“Point Leo was scheduled to be sewered under our Backlog Program – but in 20 years’ time. In this case we knew we had to help sooner given the deterioration of the septic systems and the related impact on the environment and local community groups. After all, we now had the technology to make sewering the Point Leo foreshore viable both financially and environmentally.”
That technology is OneBox®, a game-changing ‘intelligent’ device that’s revolutionising the management of pressure sewage systems.
Developed by South East Water, OneBox® connects to a holding tank that sits below ground on individual properties (it doesn’t require a drainage perimeter, unlike septic waste systems which can occupy more than 160 square meters of land).
In traditional sewer systems, household waste and greywater are sent into the larger network as soon as someone flushes a toilet or takes the plug out of a bath – meaning that sewers need to be large enough to cope with maximum peaks for times when everyone may flush or shower (such as 8 am). Plus, in the case of Point Leo, to cope with months of the year when visitor numbers significantly swell.
With OneBox®, waste water is stored in a property’s holding tank and only released when its OneBox® has ‘spoken’ to all of the others and determined that the system can handle the additional load.
In essence, it evens out system flows so that there are no peaks. Without peaks, the diameter of sewer pipes can be smaller. For Point Leo, it meant that a five kilometre pipeline could be built (comprising a mix of 50 – 90 mm polyethylene pipe) using low-impact directional drilling – with minimal impact on residents and the environment.
Point Leo residents have expressed shock at how little disruption there has been in constructing the pipeline and pump station – and that there’s no open trenches. The project is due for completion in June 2016, only eight months after building started in November 2015.
The capital savings were significant. With the application of OneBox®, Mr Littlefair says that the overall cost of the project was reduced by more than a third.
“The cost savings offered by OneBox® meant that sewering the area could be realised in such a small town – 20 years in advance. Now, 60 per cent of Point Leo will have the ability to connect if they want.
“It just goes to show how this technology has the potential to not only revolutionise communities traditionally reliant on septic tanks, but the way water and sewer corporations plan, design and operate sewer schemes – especially with unique challenges like this one. We’re very excited about the future of OneBox®.”
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Vision Super - The Federal Budget 2016: What it means for your super and your retirement
As expected, a number of key superannuation changes were announced in this year’s Federal Budget.
Unsurprisingly, superannuation has yet again been used as a pot of money to solve some of the budget issues. The Budget papers show the Government has wound back $4.5 billion in super tax concessions, with only $1.5 billion being re-invested back into the super system and not all of this will flow to lower income earners.
Snapshot of super changes
- New $1.6 million cap on benefits you can transfer into retirement phase
- New concessional contribution cap of $25,000 for all
- Lowering of the high income earner additional 15% contributions tax threshold to $250,000
- New lifetime non-concessional cap of $500,000
- More people able to claim super tax deduction on voluntary contributions
You can download our fact sheet which outlines all the key changes.
The fact sheet also contains links to consumer fact sheets released by the Government covering each area.
The proposed changes have different starting dates; some are effective immediately with some retrospectively while most are scheduled to commence 1 July 2017.
Please remember we are here to help. If you are concerned about the changes, we encourage you to speak to a Vision Super Financial Planner.
For assistance please contact Vision Super on 03 9911 3222 or 1300 300 820 if you’re calling from a regional area.< PreviousNext >
TechnologyOne accelerates momentum of Asset Management solution, following acquisition of Jeff Roorda & Associates
TechnologyOne (ASX: TNE) is quickly emerging as a leading enterprise asset management provider, signing a number of new customers for its Strategic Asset Management solution since acquiring Jeff Roorda & Associates (JRA).
In the few months since the 2 October acquisition, the software provider has inked deals with Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and New Plymouth District Council in New Zealand, Armidale, Auburn and Tamworth Councils in New South Wales and Shire of Campaspe in Victoria.
The acquisition of JRA was timely for TechnologyOne’s local government customers, with the New South Wales’ recent Fit for the Future reform prompting councils to look more closely at how they manage their assets, in order to meet service levels and remain financially sustainable.
“TechnologyOne’s acquisition of Jeff Roorda & Associates was the major deciding factor in Tamworth choosing TechnologyOne’s Strategic Asset Management (SAM) solution,” said Tamworth Regional Council Manager, Business Systems and Solutions Chris Weber.
“We were looking at a few providers, with the others being ‘best of breed’ alternatives. As an existing TechnologyOne customer, we believed the knowledge and experience that JRA brings to the table with their SAM solution as part of a wider enterprise solution would have a superior outcome for TRC.
“We will now have a single asset register and are working towards integration into the operational work management system, which means day-to-day asset management processes will automatically assist in improving our SAM processes. This would have been more difficult to achieve with the other solutions.”
The in-depth knowledge and industry IP that TechnologyOne acquired with JRA was the final decision maker in choosing TechnologyOne, Mr Weber added.
“The work Jeff and his team produce is seen as an industry standard. Jeff has more than 20 years of data that Tamworth can use to benchmark across our asset classes, while we go through the process of gathering and updating our own data.”
Mr Weber said the use of TechnologyOne’s SAM solution will enable the council to gain a clearer view of $1.34 billion worth of assets, improve asset governance and manage assets across their lifecycle.
“Previously, the way we managed our assets long term was inconsistent across different asset classes,” he said.
“SAM will equip us for better decision making, with a more consistent view of what assets we have, what condition they are in, what budget allocation we have for maintaining them and what options we can provide the community based on funding levels.
“Only with this integrated approach to strategic asset management can we fully understand how we can maintain our service levels for our assets into the future, and remain financially sustainable while doing so.”
TechnologyOne’s Group General Manager for local government and asset intensive industries Peter Suchting, said the acquisition of JRA has enabled TechnologyOne to improve upon its existing software offering, particularly for customers like Tamworth Regional Council, who had already invested in its Asset Management software.
“Councils need to understand the current health of their assets, what their service level targets are, how they will fund them and how to deal with any funding gaps,” Mr Suchting said.
“In this way, decisions about where and when to spend money are based on long-term, community driven outcomes rather than short term goals. This is why our existing and new customers are welcoming the inclusion of JRA’s Strategic Asset Management solution as part of our Enterprise Asset Management software.
“We’re now better positioned to deliver on our power of one promise and take complete accountability for our customers’ long term success.”
TechnologyOne’s Executive Chairman Adrian Di Marco added: “TechnologyOne is not an acquisition driven business, preferring organic growth because of the significant cost, time, effort and management distraction that accompanies an acquisition.
“Having said this, there are times when acquisitions makes sense, such as when the opportunity arises to acquire Intellectual Property (IP) that allows us to extend our enterprise footprint into new areas that we do not currently support, and which would take an inordinate amount of time, money and risk for us to develop ourselves.
“This acquisition puts our enterprise solution ahead of the market, making us the only enterprise solution provider with the depth and breadth that we offer.”
TechnologyOne (ASX:TNE) is Australia’s largest enterprise software company and one of Australia’s top 200 ASX-listed companies, with offices across six countries. We create solutions that transform business and make life simple for our customers. We do this by providing powerful, deeply integrated enterprise software that is incredibly easy to use. Over 1,000 leading corporations, government departments and statutory authorities are powered by our software.
We participate in only eight key markets: government, local government, financial services, education, health and community services, asset intensive industries, project intensive industries and corporates. For these markets we develop, market, sell, implement, support and run our preconfigured solutions, which reduce time, cost and risk for our customers.
For 28 years, we have been providing our customers enterprise software that evolves and adapts to new and emerging technologies, allowing them to focus on their business and not technology. Today, our software is available on the TechnologyOne Cloud and across smart mobile devices.
For further information please visit: TechnologyOneCorp.com
Contact the TechnologyOne Melbourne office on (03) 9526 4300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further.
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Tenderlink - Digital Audit Trails Taking the “Allegedly” out of Procurement
Procurement professionals often bristle at the mention of bribery scandals. We’d like to think such events impossible, what with regulation and governance as integral to the procurement process as the submission documents and tender notices themselves.
Yet the recent, explosive revelations from Australian journalists regarding Unaoil – a story that has reverberated around the globe – shows just how corruptible the world is (allegedly). For those unaware of the revelations, according to a cache of emails obtained and analysed by Fairfax and the Huffington Post, Unaoil – which the newspapers claim essentially positions itself between western governments and oil-producing countries – (allegedly) “systematically corrupted the global oil industry” by (allegedly) bribing officials in oil-producing nations to help their clients win government-funded projects. The (allegedly) corrupt officials might then (allegedly) leak inside information, or (allegedly) rig a tender committee… or ensure a contract is awarded without a competitive tender. Allegedly, of course.
Being global in scale, this (alleged) situation is something much larger than the typical Australian procurement professional may face in their normal course of business. The scandal involved a world-wide network of offshore accounts, kickbacks on kickbacks, and a lot of smoke and mirrors hiding the true nature of already-shady dealings. But at its core is a set of organisations (allegedly) seeking to benefit outside of the regulations that are in place to ensure that such business is conducted in an ethical manner.
Given that some of the allegations relate to corrupt tender processes, this exposé has certainly piqued our interest. Although hard to admit, perhaps we are all a little naïve in this respect. We all want to believe that procurement professionals would act ethically without the need for governance and regulations, and from the many conversations we have with those at the coal-face, the vast majority do.
Yet governance and regulations must remain as a safeguard, particularly where expenditure of the public purse is involved. But in a busy working environment, it can prove challenging to keep all the boxes ticked, especially when reliant on manual systems which through their heavy dependence on people, increase the risk of manipulation.
Luckily, digital procurement systems remove much of the burden, while also creating an impartial record of events. Perhaps that’s why procurement professionals are increasingly conducting their activities within the digital domain, deploying specialised e-procurement toolsets.
These toolsets not only automate the burdensome tasks of the manual process, but, by design, they also create digital audit trails, which can come in handy if the process comes under scrutiny.
In the online world, it’s easy to record buyer and supplier interactions. Questions and responses can be posted in the online forum and stored, audit trails are created as to who downloaded documents, and submissions to electronic tender boxes are timestamped. These records are easily retrievable proof points and almost impossible to manipulate.
Yes, some people may continue to work unethically, and claim selective amnesia when their methods come under scrutiny – often answering a question of the process with the simple “I do not recall”. But the digital procurement process doesn’t allow for that wiggle room. If those under the spotlight can’t recall, the audit trail will.
Rob Cook, Marketing Manager, TenderLink
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Smartfleet - How Smartfleet reduced a client’s fleet costs by 25%
As fleet managers know all too well, managing an organisation’s vehicles and assets requires doing more with tighter budgets. Going it alone can cost tens of thousands more than it needs to, as a leading higher education client discovered when they implemented Smartfleet Australia’s management system.
“Our client was spending close to $100,000 per month on fleet costs,” explains Duncan Ward from Smartfleet. “We worked closely with them to ensure accurate cost reporting and then implemented the Smartfleet tools to reduce manual processes, improve controls and reduce costs. Over two years, we achieved a 25% reduction on their fleet costs, which was a great result.
“We’ve identified six key areas where fleet costs can blow out and hurt the budget. The mechanisms we’ve developed give fleet managers greater control over costs and deliver efficiencies throughout the fleet management process.”
As Duncan explains, a combination of industry-leading innovation and outstanding customer service gives Smartfleet its edge. “We don’t see ourselves as an organisation with a fixed offering. We’re always looking for smart ways to help clients manage their fleets with greater efficiency. And when they realise we’ve removed the headache of manual processing, even better!”
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PG Energy - Wholesale Energy Purchasing - Delivers BIG SAVINGS to Water Industry
Electricity is one of the major costs for water businesses – a cost commonly perceived as a permanent burden on the bottom line. Short of reducing production, most CFOs assume there is little they can do to reduce energy spend.
But thanks to PG Energy – Australia’s only wholesale energy market facilitator – water businesses across the country are saving as much as 30% on energy costs.
According to CEO, David Evans, PG Energy has devised a unique model that allows organisations to purchase energy direct from the wholesale market, bypassing their retailers altogether.
‘Traditionally, water organisations purchase electricity from energy retailers via fixed rate contracts. But because these retailers purchase electricity at variable rates, their customers are often financially disadvantaged, particularly when wholesale prices are low,’ Mr Evans said.
With the ever increasing rise in costly fixed rate agreements, many businesses are now choosing to purchase energy direct from the wholesale market. And PG Energy is the company that’s making this possible – with its end-to-end solution that includes automated, remotely-controlled load management and notification systems.
‘Our sophisticated technology and communication systems are providing real returns for our clients. Put simply, we’re able to keeps sites informed of market price events which allows them to shed and increase their loads at the right times,’ explained Mr Evans.
To learn more about how PG Energy can help your water business save, visit pgenergy.com.au/save to download your free guide – How to Save With Wholesale Energy Purchasing.
1300 08 06 08
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