We hope you can join us at Ozwater for the WSAA and AWA Policy Stream on Wednesday 8 May 2019. Sessions will include Water for Heath and Wellbeing, Water for Growth and Working Towards the Sustainable Development Goals - meeting Goal 6 in indigenous communities.

Session 1: Water for health and well being

10.45am – 12.15pm 
In the realm of public policy debates, there has never been a more important time to achieve the right balance between transport, water, energy and waste infrastructure and services in the urban environment as all Australian cities and many regional centres start planning for unprecedented growth.

This session will start by establishing the case for water centric urban form and the benefits it can deliver. While investing in urban water to create liveable cities delivers ongoing benefits to people’s health, there has not been proof - until now. Landmark work by Frontier Economics for WSAA quantifies the health benefits to the community from investing in water to create liveable cities. Other work by the Greater Sydney Commission and various other state government agencies have demonstrated wider economic benefits of new approaches to integrated water cycle management.

As well as an overview of that work we will hear case studies from water utilities on their liveability efforts and the associated health and social outcomes. There will also be a question and answer time with the Panel.

Presenters and panellists:

  • Rod Simpson, Environment Commissioner, Greater Sydney Commission
  • Tracey Slatter, Managing Director, Barwon Water
  • Hannah Pexton, Manager Land and Collaborative Planning, Melbourne Water
  • Mike Woolston, Economist, Frontier Economics

Facilitators: Stuart Wilson, Deputy Executive Director, WSAA and Greg Ryan, Manager Utility Excellence, WSAA.

Session 2: Water for growth

1.15pm – 3.15pm 
The health and environment benefits to the community from investing in water to ensure our growing cities are liveable are becoming clear and the evidence is growing. This session will look at moving from in-principle acceptance of these benefits to on-ground action and ask:

  • What is impacting our ability to get projects off the ground that will provide long term health and liveability benefits?
  • What does the customer want and who pays?
  • What is the role of developers?
  • What are the new innovative partnerships that are needed and how will they work?

Tackling the growth conundrum, in this session we'll take a look at what institutional, regulatory, planning and pricing arrangements will be needed for the future to deliver liveable and resilient cities and communities. Importantly we will also hear about the view of the customer and research around their willingness to pay for liveability. The session will be based around a panel and include a question and answer session and world café style table discussions.


  • Dr Jane Doolan, Commissioner, Productivity Commission
  • Jim Bentley, Managing Director, Hunter Water
  • Louise Dudley, Chief Executive Officer, Queensland Urban Utilities
  • Rachel Dapiran, Executive Director Planning, Infrastructure & Technical, Victorian Planning Authority 

Facilitators: Stuart Wilson, Deputy Executive Director, WSAA and Ben Furmage, Chief Operating and Finance Officer, CRC for Water Sensitive Cities

Session 3: Working towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - meeting Goal 6 in indigenous communities

4.00pm – 5.30pm 
The UN Sustainable Development Goals are a blueprint for a better future. In the delivery of Goal 6 (clean water and sanitation) one challenge is the provision of water and wastewater services to remote indigenous communities.

University of Queensland, together with Institute for Sustainable Futures and Griffith University has just completed work for WSAA that outlines the challenges and needs for improved and sustainable water and sewerage service outcomes for these communities. This session will also cover the development of Reconciliation Action Plans by Yarra Valley Water and case studies in working with Traditional Owners and community groups to create opportunities and two-way capacity building. In addition we will hear about plans in Western Australia for Water Corporation to take on provision of services to three indigenous communities. There is also great work being done overseas through WaterAid that links closely to the challenges in remote and indigenous communities.

Presenters and panellists: 

  • Pat McCafferty, Managing Director, Yarra Valley Water
  • Pat Donovan, Chief Executive Officer, Water Corporation
  • Nina Braid, Aboriginal Partnerships & Business Development Manager, Yarra Valley Water
  • Dr Nina Hall, Lecturer, University of Queensland, Dr Kumi Abeysuriya, Institute for Sustainable Futures and Melissa Jackson, Griffith University
  • Rosie Wheen, Chief Executive, WaterAid

Facilitator: Stuart Wilson, Deputy Executive Director, WSAA

WSAA will also be facilitating a workshop on Industry collaboration to increase innovation for pipe rehabilitation on Tuesday 7 May from 4.00-5.30pm and a session with KPMG on the customer of the future in the urban water industry on the same day as part of Stream 6 (engaging and working with customers). This presentation will include a deep dive into The Customer of the Future Paper was released last year and helps answer questions like:

  • Who will our future customers be?
  • What trends and disruptors are we seeing across the country?
  • What will that mean for the water sector?

The presentation will identify focus areas and potential actions for water utilities to explore to prepare for changes in the future.   

Ozwater'19 will be held in Melbourne from the 7-9 May 2019. For more information visit the Ozwater website.

2 May 2019

Laura Jaquest

Laura Jaquest

Communications Advisor