George Wall chairs Industry Reference Committee

George Wall from Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA) was elected chair of the Water Industry Reference Committee on for the Australian Industry Standards.

The Water Industry Reference Committee has been assigned responsibility for the NWP National Water Training Package which provides the only nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications for occupations involved in water industry operations (generalist, treatment, networks, source, irrigation, hydrographic survey, trade waste), treatment (drinking water, wastewater) and irrigation.

Australia’s Best Tasting Tap Water

Congratulations to the operators of the Marian WTP in Mackay who have been acknowledged as the Ixom 2019 Australia,s Best Tasting Tap Water competition. The voting was very close but the sample representing Queensland from the Mackay Regional Council came out just ahead of the other state champions.

The title was awarded at the 3 Peaks Festival in Dunkeld the home of the 2018 titleholder Wannon Water who hosted the national final.

The members of the public were asked to try each blind sample of water from the separate schemes and note the different tastes present in the tap water

In one of the closest competitions ever staged, the Mackay sample came up trumps over the entries from NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania to win the award.

The Wannon Water sample will now go on to represent Australia at the International Water Taste Test conducted in Berkley Springs, USA in February 2020.  We encourage all water businesses to enter their respective State competitions in 2019, and we look forward to adding even more States to next year’s national competition.

WIOA Talks Webinars

WIOA Talks (webinars) provide members from all over the country the opportunity to get together to hear the latest updates and share knowledge and experiences – and all from the comfort of their own desk!

In 2019, a total of 6 webinars were delivered covering a wide range of general interest and technical topics. The information presented was sourced from industry experts, many of whom are WIOA members, all with the intention of providing access to the latest information to Members.

The WIOA Talks provide an opportunity for collaboration with other water industry organisations and aim to inform members across Australia and internationally. Over 320 individuals participated in the webinars in 2018 and the feedback has been positive, advising that the content has generally been beneficial

Using the Adobe Connect web conferencing software, WIOA Talks provide members with another way to access information using an immersive online meeting experience. WIOA will continue to provide access to high-quality information online again in 2020. If you have suggestions for future webinar topics or have the information you would like to present at a future webinar, please contact the WIOA office.

2,901 attend WIOA conferences

In 2019, WIOA conducted operationally focused conference and exhibitions in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria. A total of 2,901 individuals attended from all states in Australia as well as a from overseas participated in the technical sessions or the exhibitions.

WIOA conferences provide a forum for water industry operational employees to come together and discuss issues, share experiences, learn about the latest product and technology developments, and network with their peers.

WIOA once again conducted a successful Water Industry Safety Event (WISE) in Melbourne focusing on the health and safety of the water industry.

The 2020 schedule will see our events take place in Tamworth, Toowoomba, Murray Bridge and Bendigo.

Increase in Membership

Our membership had a small increase during 2019 to 4,288 indicating strong support and acceptance of why the association exists.

We trust that all existing members will continue to spread the word about the benefits of membership to others in the operational side of the water industry and assist us to promote and grow the leading association working for operational employees.

68,924 Web Hits

The WIOA website is critical for the association to be able to provide current information to our members and stakeholders. We have plans to further develop the content and functionality of the site during 2020 to include access to a members portal which will allow members to keep their details up to date.

During 2019 the WIOA websites received a total of 68,924 entrances. The number of users accessing content through mobile or tablet devices was 28% of all traffic.

Our presence in social media channels also increased during 2019 with WIOA communicating with members via Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and providing more content on the WIOA YouTube channel. Across all the social media sites, there was an increase of users of 29%.

Our Linked In presence reached 1,781 followers which equates to a 38% increase in followers over the previous year.

WIOA is investigating additional ways our online presence can be more effective for members and to provide content that is valued by our members.

Operators recognised around Australia

The Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA) recognised many operational employees for demonstrating excellence in their field in 2019.

Awards included:

  • Operator of the Year
  • Yong Operator of the Year
  • Networks/Civil/All Rounder Operator of the Year
  • Best Tasting Tap Water Competition winners
  • Main Tapping Competition winners
  • Kwatye Cultural Recognition Award
  • PASS Award

$12,000 donated to charity

In 2019, WIOA conducted raffles at our conference and exhibitions in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria as well as a number of charity days in Cairns, Port Macquarie, Yandina and Sunbury.

Through these efforts WIOA raised $12,000 that was donated to charities chosen by our conference hosts and winners of events such as the mains tapping competitions.

Some of the charities that received our support included:

  • WaterAid
  • Buy a Bale – Drought Relief
  • McGrath Foundation
  • Beyond Blue
  • Mareeba Mayor’s Xmas Appeal