Since the Labor Party were elected to take charge of the Treasury benches at the Federal level we have experienced a significant change in approach and pace in working with various departments and agencies involved with urban water.
Mostly upside of course, it’s certainly sharpened the pencil within WSAA to build our advocacy on the policy points we provided to all parties before the election.
There is much to look forward to – at least on paper and stated plans. A modernised National Water Initiative (NWI) now close to 20 years old, a rebuild of the National Water Commission to provide oversight of the NWI, an expanded remit of the National Water Grid Authority, a focus on Indigenous Australians and Traditional Owners, their rights, cultural values and the water and sanitation services they receive. To add some spice to the mix we have elections in Victoria and NSW in the next 12 months, and both have new state government water strategies at play and pricing decisions close at hand.
There is plenty of work ahead of us at WSAA and we strongly encourage you to get involved where you can, to make sure the fundamentals are built in the right way and vital topics including; challenges of climate change; all options for water supply security; servicing growth areas; supporting liveability and livelihoods; and leading elements of the circular economy are reflected in all new government plans.
We’ve met Minister Plibersek’s new water advisor and talked through some of these issues and, all going well, Minister Plibersek will be providing a video message for our members meeting next week and then again for the joint AWA and WSAA Voices for the Bush conference in Alice Springs on August 9 and 10. So a good start.
Talking of advocacy and its many forms, some of you may have attended our stream at Ozwater22’ on achieving net zero. This will be a hugely important action for the industry especially with the start of the new carbon reduction targets introduced to Parliament today. We’ve pulled together a short video to highlight our messages on climate change and a snapshot of what our members are progressing to achieve net zero. Take a look, share and provide us with some feedback – we are planning more short videos on water supply security, the circular economy and a few others (topic suggestions are welcome!).