Since 2004, qldwater has hosted a five day intensive tour visiting remote and regional councils. The event’s primary focus is on touring water, sewerage and treatment plant infrastructure and helping to plan future water infrastructure and management needs within each council region. Over the past ten years, qldwater has conducted almost 100 visits to member councils throughout the program.
The aim of the tour is to provide valuable face-to-face opportunities for remote and regional Service Providers to gain access to up-to-date technical and policy information from water specialists and government representatives. Seeking opportunities for regional collaboration amongst service providers is another desired outcome.
The tour also provides first-hand opportunities for tour participants to explore and understand issues facing remote and regional communities. Past participants have used the opportunity to discuss current issues and ongoing directions for the industry. The tour delegation usually includes representatives from the Departments of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Environment and Science, Health, Local Government Association of Queensland and Queensland Water Directorate.
We would like to thank our ongoing Water Connections Tour Sponsor, Dial Before You Dig, who have made the tour possible each year since 2011.
Councils in the South West corner of Queensland played host to the fourteenth annual Water Connections Tour when representatives from the water industry and state government visit remote communities to foster a better understanding of challenges and opportunities in providing water and sewerage services.
Starting in Cunnamulla on 13 May, the group of 15 visited the South West Queensland shires of Murweh, Paroo, Bulloo and Quilpie before finishing with a joint forum in Charleville on Friday, 17 May.
The 2018 Water Connections Tour started in Normanton on 14 May, criss-crossing the North West Queensland shires of Carpentaria, Mornington, Burke, Doomadgee and Mount Isa before finishing in Cloncurry on Friday, 18 May.
Central Queensland communities from Bundaberg to Livingstone played host to the twelfth annual Queensland Water Directorate’s Water Connections Tour. Starting in Bundaberg on 8 May 2017, the group visited the Central Queensland shires of North Burnett, Banana, Central Highlands, Woorabinda, Rockhampton and Livingstone before finishing in Gladstone on Friday, 12 May.
In 2016, the Water Connections Tour delegation visited North Queensland including Hinchinbrook Shire Council, Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council, Townsville City Council, Burdekin Shire Council, Whitsunday Regional Council and Mackay Regional Council. The “tourists” included representatives from qldwater, LGAQ, Departments of Energy and Water Supply, Environment and Heritage Protection, and Health, along with Townsville City Council.
With a wide diversity in the places visited, a lot of different matters were discussed. There was significant interest in regional collaboration, water security, compliance (especially environmental) and skilling and capacity. Several Councillors raised fluoridation, which had clearly been prominent around election time for their communities.
In 2015, the Water Connections Tour delegation headed to Far North Queensland where they visited 9 councils and met many more members at the NQ Conference and Taste Test which was held in Cairns on Friday 8 May.
The itinerary included stops in Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council, Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire Council, Cook Shire Council, Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council and Douglas Shire Council (Mossman) Tablelands Regional Council (Atherton), Mareeba Shire Council (Mareeba) and a meeting with Torres Strait Island Regional Council in Cairns.
In 2014 the Water Connections Tour was a road trip around South West Queensland, stopping in Dalby, Roma, St George and Goondiwindi, finishing in Warwick with a mini-conference and the SWQ semi final of the Best of the Best Water Taste Test.
The 2013 Tour visited Mount Isa, Cloncurry, McKinlay, Richmond, Flinders, Charters Towers and finishing with the North Queensland Mini-Conference and Regional Taste Test in Townsville.
In 2012 the Water Connections Week headed back to North Queensland, starting and ending with conferences and regional taste tests in Longreach and Bowen, with trips to Croydon, Etheridge (Georgetown and Forsayth), Cooktown, Wujal Wujal, Innisfail and Ayr in between.
This year representatives from DERM, Queensland Health, SEWPaC and DEEDI joined Rob Fearon, Dave Cameron, Michael Lever (along with Bruce Gardiner and Alex Ung from Cairns for the Wujal Wujal and Cooktown legs). Michael Lever was able to offer a number of options in smaller areas to improve treatment processes and other technical and policy issues were able to be addressed.
In 2011 we went wild in the West, visiting Maranoa, Roma, Jundah, Bedourie, Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Mornington Island, Karumba and Normanton. Each site visited saw representations by senior council staff and in most instances, mayors and or Councillors. Typically this involved a meeting for an hour or so where the visitors listened to their water and sewerage issues, followed by a technical tour of treatment facilities.
The charter flight was oversubscribed with senior representatives from the National Water Commission and Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Queensland Departments of Environment and Resource Management and Health and usual technical experts to provide advice on plant operation.
qldwater’s annual Water and Sewage Treatment Plant Tour took place in May 2010, where a team of water and sewerage experts and engineers visited Charleville, Quilpie, Blackall, Longreach, Winton, Aramac, Emerald and Gayndah.
The tour group included two General Managers from DERM, a DIP Fluoride Representative and provided councils with updates on a range of relevant programs. A site inspection of Water and Sewage Treatment Plants was undertaken and a confidential report issued to all councils involved.