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What’s your water story, Lisa Welsh?

Lisa is the Manager Commercial and Customer Direction at Seqwater. She has worked in rural and metro water businesses for the last 15 years, both in the public and private sector. Originally from NSW, three years ago she and her family swapped the chaos of Sydney for the promise of a backyard pool in Bris-Vegas.

What drew you into the water industry? 
I started in the water industry on a secondment from NSW Treasury to the newly formed State Water Corporation (now WaterNSW) during the Millennium drought. I remember one day enthusiastically explaining the merits of full-cost recovery water pricing to a cotton farmer. He calmly explained to me that it was his farm that created all the jobs and paid all the taxes, so perhaps I should be paying him instead. I was hooked and have worked in economic regulation and customer engagement within water businesses ever since.

Who or what do you draw inspiration from?
I am hugely inspired by the Victoria Essential Services Commission’s “PRIMO” water reforms. They have turned years of complex economic regulation on its head and replaced it with customer interests and business accountability. It’s a huge step forward and one we can all learn from.

Lisa and family

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have a young family so my spare time involves trips to the park, kids sport, housework and BBQs around the pool with friends and family.

If you were a breed of dog, which would you be and why?
Anything that is friendly and yaps far too much!

What do you believe is currently the greatest challenge for your part of the water industry?
We are privileged to have governments that are willing to invest in new water infrastructure. Choosing the infrastructure that will generate the greatest benefits to all, rather than just select interest groups, requires rigorous analysis and disciplined decision making processes. I hope history will find that we were successful.

How do you consider your organisation benefits from most by being a corporate member of the Australian Water Association?
The AWA is the gateway to the many talented and highly skilled water professionals we have in Australia. The more we are able to share our ideas, challenges and solutions, the more we can contribute to our own organisation’s goals.

What messages would you like to give to your colleagues in the Queensland water sector?
Actually, I’d rather ask them — what are the barriers to us working together to meet our common challenges, and how can the AWA help overcome them?

The QLD Source Editorial committee is always thinking about how to better engage with our broader membership. Do you have a diverse background or experience you would like to share? <a href="mailto:qldbranch@awa.asn.au">Do let us know</a> if you would like to tell us your water story…