Queensland Industry Breakfast 2023
Water plays a fundamental role in our health, culture, environment and economy, but the water sector faces a number of challenges to deliver a sustainable water future.
The 2023 Queensland Industry Breakfast featured a panel of water leaders to discuss pressures, trends and opportunities for the water industry. After a brief welcome from QLD Branch President Margit Connellan, who showcased the exciting program of events the Australian Water Association is hosting for the state this year, Jacobs’s Mary Kanavoutsos ANZ Market Director – Water, took the floor to give the sponsor’s welcome.
Mary opened the breakfast with a call to examine our responsibility and commitment to change, social value and the legacy we in the water industry leave behind for generations to come. She reinforced the importance of sustainable, safe, inclusive and equitable water solutions.
Stuart Wilson, Deputy Executive Director of the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) called out the affordability of water services in comparison to other utilities, and noted forecasted growth in capital expenditure to address aging infrastructure remains a challenge in the face of cybersecurity risks.
Anna Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Unitywater, spoke to concerns around liveability, asking what quality of infrastructure will remain for the community now and into the future. Woven through her keynote was a respect for country and waterways, where she advocated for opportunistic problem solvers who put the customer of tomorrow front of centre in their thinking.
Closing the keynote addresses was Paul Arnold, Chief Executive Officer of Urban Utilities who expressed his excitement about the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead for the water industry. He observed that the water industry is filled with people with great intent who are purpose-driven.
The audience kept all keynote presenters on their toes, fielding questions about supporting regional and remote utilities, artificial intelligence and its role in the future of the water industry and streamlining project planning, especially in light of the upcoming 2023 Olympics.
Thank you to Jacobs for their continued generous sponsorship of the annual breakfast.
Breakfast closed with networking, a chance for attendees in Brisbane, or in the regional hubs in Cairns and Mackay to connect, share and inspire. View the photos of the breakfast.