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Introducing Paul Arnold

Paul Arnold

Paul joined Urban Utilities as Chief Executive Officer on 1 September 2022. He has over 30 years’ experience in the resources and energy sectors, spanning operations, project development and execution, stakeholder relations, Indigenous engagement, business development, and strategy.   

What drew you into the water industry?

Through my 30 years in the natural resources sector, I’ve been passionate about the protection, repair and enhancement of the environment and country. What drew me to the water industry, and specifically to Urban Utilities, was its unwavering commitment to service and environmental leadership. Currently, we’re working towards achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2032, just in time for the first ‘climate positive’ Olympic and Paralympic Games to be hosted in Brisbane. It’s undoubtedly one of the most exciting times to be part of the SEQ water industry. 

Who or what do you draw inspiration from?

I am endlessly inspired by what our people can achieve. Regardless of their role, be it a contact centre operator, field worker, treatment plant operator or engineer, the people I meet and work with every day at Urban Utilities are personally dedicated to do the best for our customers, the environment, and our communities. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

For me, joining family and new friends on the golf course is a wonderful way to compete, relax and connect to nature. Whilst that pastime is more about avoiding water, our region offers ample opportunity to enjoy the water, from our dams and rivers to our world-class beaches. Having enjoyed boating, and catching fish and mud crabs, it reminds me that we all have a role to play in protecting and enhancing our waterways to support the health and liveability of our communities as they grow and evolve for future generations. 

If you were a breed of dog, which would you be and why?

A breed that is fiercely loyal, dedicated and hard-working, but also enjoys a little downtime.

What do you believe is currently the greatest challenge for your part of the water industry?

In South East Queensland, we’re living with an increasingly variable climate and rapid population growth, which, together, are putting pressure on our drinking water supplies. Urban Utilities is planning well ahead to ensure we have diverse mix of water sources to meet the needs of our customers and communities well into the future, whatever the weather. 

How do you consider your organisation benefits from most by being a corporate member of the Australian Water Association?

Since joining Urban Utilities, I’ve discovered that one of the defining features of this sector is its collaborative nature and collective desire to drive a sustainable water future. As an AWA member, Urban Utilities derives real value from being able to share with, and learn from, other AWA members all over the country. As always, we’re looking forward to knowledge-sharing, celebrating achievements, and making new connections at Ozwater’23.

What messages would you like to give to your colleagues in the Queensland water sector?

As a sector, we’re facing some pretty fundamental short- and long-term challenges, brought about by climate change and rapid growth, as we manage an ageing asset base.  Now more than ever, we need to collaborate and build our collective skills and knowledge so we’re best placed to achieve a resilient, secure and affordable water future for all Queenslanders.