POLICY UPDATE

JUNE 2024

Carbon Offsets Project

The documents that will be released to the Carbon market for the Expression of Interest (EOI) process are currently being finalised. The EOI will be released to the Carbon market in mid-June.

A draft Term Sheet for the proposed Special Purpose Vehicle has been prepared. The working group for this stream of work will begin meeting in June to discuss and finalise the Term Sheet/Member’s Agreement.

An update briefing on the project was provided to the CMA Climate Change Forum.

As a reminder you can keep up to date on what is happening in the Carbon market via MAG/Aurecon’s monthly report which is available on https://www.marketadvisory.com.au/carbon-monthly.

Workforce Readiness Project

The May working group meeting included presentations from the Qld Water Directorate and NSW Water Directorate.

The business case for the proposed Victorian Water Industry Training Academy continues to be developed.

Next steps for this project include:

Holding a round table with training providers to gauge their interest in being involved in the project and how they could support the development of the academy; and

A further survey of members to gather more detailed information required for the business case.

Victorian Water Sector Recycled Products Database Project

Aurecon has now finalised the report and draft database for this project.

The outputs of this project will be circulated by DEECA via its Water Sector Circular Economy and Energy Working Group.

Other Activities

Attended the following meetings/events:

  • Met with Infrastructure Victoria on the update of its 30-year strategy.
  • PIPA Australia’s update on its sustainability initiatives and reporting
  • Held several meetings with water corporations to discuss the pending review of the Safe Drinking Water Regulations and the Department of Health’s proposed review process. An initial position paper has been provided to DH to help inform the development of its discussion paper.
  • WSAA’s High Potential Incident Forum.
  • Office of TAFE Co-ordination and Delivery webinar about its role and functions.
  • Water Conservancy’s Victorian water efficiency workshop.
  • Women in Water Director’s Network seminar – Preventing sexual harassment: From compliance to cultural change.
  • One Basin CRC’s listening session: Co-designing a project to ‘Decarbonise the Basin’s irrigation regions’.
  • Presentation from AECOM on its Scope 3 emissions calculation tool.
  • EPA Water Sector Consultation Group meeting.

VICWATER UPDATE

The VicWater Update is a monthly publication developed to ensure the sector is kept updated on the projects we are undertaking on their behalf. It provides a platform to promote visibility of things that are happening within the water sector including water sector events and announcements.

During the first week of each month, a condensed version of the newsletter is emailed to registered subscribers. Articles are also posted in the News area of our website.

If you are not receiving your email copy, you can subscribe for the next available issue.

Would you like to contribute an article? Contact Lauren on lauren.vines@vicwater.org.au

MAY 2024

Workforce Readiness Project

The April working group meeting continued developing the DTF Investment Management Standard for the project. This meeting focussed on articulating the benefits needed to be delivered to solve the problem statements that were defined at the previous workshop.

A meeting was held with Chisholm TAFE to discuss if they had any interest in being involved in the project. The results of last year’s survey were provided to them, and they are currently considering their potential involvement in the project.

Notification was received from DJSIR that our Expression of Interest for funding under the Skills Solutions Partnerships Funding program was unsuccessful.

Carbon Offsets Project

Three working group meetings were held during April to assist MAG/Aurecon to develop the range of documents required for the Expression of Interest (EOI) process. Aurecon/MAG are currently the preparing the documents and it is expected that the EOI will be released to the Carbon market in June.

A meeting was held between MAG/Aurecon and Allens to get an understanding of the types of activities that the SPV might need to undertake.

An update briefing on the project was provided to DTF’s Commercial Division.

MAG/Aurecon has advised that it produces a monthly report on the Carbon market which is available to members. See the following for details:

Navigating the Evolving Carbon Market: Stay Informed, Stay Ahead!

The global carbon market is continuously evolving, presenting both challenges and opportunities. With ongoing policy changes, fluctuations in supply and demand, and a growing number of participants, it can be daunting to navigate this dynamic landscape. Whether you’re involved in the supply or demand side of the market, staying informed with current market intelligence is crucial for success.

Access industry insights:

  • The Carbon Monthly Report is the culmination of decades of industry expertise, compiled by Market Advisory Group’s dedicated analytics team in collaboration with leading subject matter experts. Covering key aspects of the Australian and International carbon market, from trading intricacies to policy influences, the report offers comprehensive insights.
  • As a bonus, subscribers gain exclusive access to industry insights via our accompanying podcast series, offering additional depth and perspective on key topics.

What’s in the report?

Each month readers can expect analysis and market commentary on:

  • Australian carbon markets – including analysis on spot market dynamics, demand, supply and price forecasts which are continually refined to reflect evolving policies and market conditions.
  • International markets – major global carbon schemes such as Verra and Gold Standard, compliance markets which include EUAs and UKAs
  • Policy updates – the lates on climate and carbon policy updates for both domestic and international markets
  • Moreover, each report features a ‘Deep Dive’ into a specific carbon market topic. Previous deep dives have tackled topics such as Human Induced Regeneration, soil carbon rejuvenation, Savanna Burning practices, and the implications of FullCAM and carbon sequestration changes.

To learn more please open https://www.marketadvisory.com.au/carbon-monthly.

If you have any questions regarding this report please contact carbonmarkets@aurecongroup.com.

Victorian Water Sector Recycled Products Database Project

In mid-April Aurecon provided the steering committee with the draft of the final project report. Aurecon is now finalising the report based on the steering committee’s feedback.

The project will be finished by the end of May 2024.

Other Activities

Attended the following meetings/events:

  • ESC’s Markets and consumers, efficiency and fairness conference.
  • Met with IBAC to discuss the findings of the water sector workshop it held in February
  • Held several meetings with water corporations to discuss the pending review of the Safe Drinking Water Regulations and the Department of Health’s proposed review process
  • Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water webinar about developing a new National Water Agreement
  • Provided a submission to Recycling Victoria’s consultation paper on the Victorian Recycling Infrastructure Plan
  • Attended a meeting with Agriculture Victoria discussing feedback on its Order Approving Purification Standards for Biosolids and Recycled Water

APRIL 2024

Workforce Readiness Project

The project working group has had its first meeting to begin finalising what the function of the Training Academy will be and then designing the best operating model for the Academy. In this first meeting we used DTF’s Investment Management Standard to clearly define the problem/issue that the sector is looking to address with the proposed Training Academy.

A meeting was help with DJSIR and the VSA to discuss the Skills Solutions Partnerships Funding program that is being managed by DJSIR and its relevance to the project. Subsequently an Expression of Interest for funding was submitted to this program.

Carbon Offsets Project

Fifteen of our 18-member water corporations have advised that they wish to continue participating in the project. Following receipt of this advice VicWater engaged Aurecon/MAG to undertake the EOI component of the project and Allens to undertake the legal component.

A working group has been formed to assist with the development of the EOI with 4 workshops scheduled to occur through April.

Work on the legal component of the project will commence in April.

Other Activities

Attended the following meetings/events:

  • BuildSkills Australia Roundtables – these looked at the challenges facing the built environment sector and the possible actions to deal with those challenges.
  • Recycling Victoria provided an update on the Circular Economy Risk, Consequence and Contingency plan discussed the Responsible Entity supporting collateral and a proposed Responsible Entity Risk, Consequence and Contingency plan template.
  • EPA Emerging contaminants in recycled water project crop sampling workshop.
  • Metro Water Authorities – Quarterly Environmental Catch Up.
  • Department of Health Water Regulation team.
  • Department of Health Safe Drinking Water Regulation Review team.
  • Provided an update on the Carbon offsets project to the Greenhouse Gas & Energy SIG.
  • DEECA’s update on its recycled water education and engagement project.
  • Carbon Market Institute presentation on its newly launched third-party Carbon farming contracts.

MARCH 2024

Workforce Readiness Project

At the February VicWater MDs Forum the MDS acknowledged the risks posed by the current training gaps identified by the VicWater working group and endorsed the working group to continue investigating the creation of a Victorian Water Industry Training Academy.

Over the next four months the working group will be finalising what the function of the Academy will be and then designing the best operating model for the Academy.

Carbon Offsets Project

The Proof-of-Concept phase of this project is now complete with a briefing paper on this phase of the project having been presented at the February VicWater MDs forum.

The proposed next phase of the project will be the Build Phase. Our member water corporations have until 8 March to advise if they wish to continue participating in the project. The Build Phase will include undertaking an Expression of Interest for the sector’s required Carbon offsets as well as preparing the legal documents for the Special Purpose Vehicle that will be required to undertake the procurement of the offsets.

Victorian Water Sector Recycled Products Database Project

Aurecon has now finalised the recycled products database. In future this database will be able to be incorporated into the existing MRWA Portal.

Work is continuing on the review of existing material flow analyses and carbon emissions documentation to identify priority activities that use sustainable products.

The Water Expert Workshop held in February also helped identify the major recycled/sustainable products used in the water sector. The products identified through these two processes will inform a market sounding with suppliers.

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

Other Activities

Attended the following meetings/events:

  • Environmental Sensitivity Map presentation by SEW and Alluvium;
  • Water Industry Procurement Working Group meeting;
  • Consultation session on EPA’s Statement of Strategic Intent on Climate Change;
  • Gas Substitution Roadmap update;
  • Water Sector Circular Economy & Energy Working Group meeting;
  • Met with staff from the Dept of Transport and Planning to discuss the development of Victoria’s Housing Statement;
  • EPA Water Sector Consultation Group Meeting;
  • Catch-up with the ESC;
  • The Director Development Forum.
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