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Now’s the Time: Water Leaders Aligned on Safety

People’s safety and well being is a key duty of care for all leaders in our water industry. QWater’23 brought together the executives of Queensland’s biggest water companies to discuss the strategies and plans for the future, and acknowledged that people are our key assets.

There was a number of highlights this year on the QWater Program, and whilst the last session of day two – The Great Debate, suggested the water sector doesn’t need a better value proposition, it may be because of the leadership we have steering the helm at a number of the biggest water companies in Queensland.

The first session on day two saw Glenn Stockton, CEO of Sunwater, Chris Bullock, Executive Leader Infrastructure Solutions of Urban Utilities, Melissa Williams, General Manager People, Culture and Safety at Seqwater and Kenan Hibberd,  Executive Manager People & Corporate Services, at Unity Water, join Natalie Muir to address the topic of Critical Safety Risks of Capital Works over the Next Decade. With many companies dealing with major infrastructure programs over the next 10 years, discussion focused on doing more for less, focusing on technology, thinking differently and being transformational in what we do.

Partnerships with contractors was also a strong theme, particularly being willing to invest in technology being implemented by them, with a strong emphasis on using data to identify high potential risk, and computer models to plan construction and maintenance activities to simulate the work and risk. The Panel all agreed the challenges are not unique and the opportunities to solve can be done collectively, acknowledging that there is a big network not just within the water sector sharing knowledge but across other industries.

With a strong underlying theme of great leadership being core to the safety of our workers, there was also discussion on the Employee Value Proposition, and that the employee’s requirements are changing, more workers are looking for roles that provide a purpose. This aligned with a growing social conscious, where the community do not necessarily see value in the $ anymore, they are want sustainable, community focused outcomes, combined with efficiency, will ensure we are employing the superstars of the future.

When asked to sum up what the future holds the following words were used to describe it:

  • Excitement
  • Opportunity
  • Impactful
  • Challenge
  • Optimistic
  • Innovation
  • Confidence
  • Now’s the Time