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Hervey Bay explores Regional Resourcefulness

The Queensland Branch held its second ever Regional Technical Event, this time in Hervey Bay with a panel of speakers exploring how to make the most out of available resources and assets. Facilitator Janice Wilson shares her reflections of the event.

Providing safe, reliable and efficient water and wastewater services is a core pillar for the water industry, specifically the regions. As competition for talent intensifies during a national skills shortage, the focus is on balancing growth with prudent management of resources and assets - making the most of what is available. 

The 2024 AWA Queensland Regional Technical Event, generously hosted by Fraser Coast Regional Council in Hervey Bay, featured a panel of speakers from across the water sector to share their strategies and contributions to explore the theme of 'Regional Resourcefulness: Making the Most Out of What You've Got.’ Trevor Dean, Executive Manager Engineering & Technical Services, Water & Waste Services opened the event with a call to action to consider ‘making the impossible possible’, encouraging creative systems thinking. Facilitator and AWA Queensland Regional Liaison, Janice Wilson, welcomed guests, including two past recipients of the AWA Queensland Regional Service Award, Narelle D’Amico (2023) and Steve Tansley (2017).

Megan Kraft from Stantec presented the Fraser Coast Water Grid, highlighting that flexible and diverse water systems are the most resilient. She highlighted the importance of engagement with operations and maintenance staff, tapping into local knowledge to identify the optimal solution.

Bal Krishna from Bundaberg Regional Council presented options to optimise disinfection by-product formation, taking the audience into a deep data dive and operational trial to showcase how to manage trends in water quality.

Garry Henderson from Dreamtime Technologies stepped us through a pilot project for ammonia recovery at the Aubinvillle Sewage Treatment Plant. The pilot project looks to recover resources within our existing systems as a response to changing external market drivers.

The audience kept all keynote presenters on their toes, fielding questions about opportunities for strategic partnerships, emerging trends in the water industry and specifically in the regions. This was followed by a site visit to the Pulgul Sewage Treatment Plant, Hebblewhite Reuse Farm and Aubinville Sewage Treatment Plant.

Thank you to Fraser Coast Regional Council for the generosity in hosting this event, and to all in attendance. These regional technical events provide opportunities within the regions to connect, share and inspire.