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Two new important developments for water utilities

Friday, 14 December, 2018

There are changes to council requirements to declare service areas, as well as new mandatory cyber security reporting.

Mandatory reporting of cyber security

In response to a Queensland Audit Office report recommendation, the Queensland Government has now incorporated cyber security elements in both the Drinking Water Quality Management Plan (DWQMP) guideline and the Definitions Guide for Performance Reporting.

Feedback from Qldwater, LGAQ, industry experts and service providers helped formulate these changes which are now on the web.

  • DWQMP Guideline – changes are on pages 23, 25 and 31 where cyber security is to be considered and included as a potential whole of system hazardous event/s in your risk assessment. Water quality-related cyber security events must be incorporated into your DWQMP incident and emergency processes.  
  • Definitions Guide for Performance Reporting – a new series (series 6) has been included for cyber security key performance indicators.

What will councils need to do?

From 1 January 2019 any new amendments to your DWQMP will need to address the above mentioned cyber security requirements  Future DWQMP reviews will also need to include cyber security.
New KPIs will apply for the financial year 1/7/19 to 30/6/20 and will be reported in the 1 October 2020 Performance Reporting. New report requirement notices will be issued in June 2019.

Proposed amendments to declaration of water utility service areas 
There are more amendments in the pipeline. Councils are being asked to comment on the draft of the Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 that will amend the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 (Water Supply Act) and the South East Queensland Water (Distribution and Retail Restructuring) Act 2009.
The intent of the amendments is to require local governments to formally declare their service areas for retail water services or sewerage services in their local government area.
Local governments will still be required to publish a notice about the declaration and a map of service area. They will also be required to provide a copy of the declaration to the regulator. 
Service providers for water and/or sewerage services already have powers to declare ‘service areas’ for retail water and sewerage services. If a local government does not already have a declared service area before commencement of the Act, then a transitional provision will give local governments 12 months to comply with this requirement. 
SEQ amendments

The amendments do not alter the existing service area framework for the distributor-retailers however for these service providers and the withdrawn councils, the amendments will show that their service area is taken to be their connection area under their water netserv plan. 

It will also be made clear that only the relevant distributor-retailer or withdrawn council can supply retail water or sewerage services in their connection area.

Please provide feedback you have on these proposed amendments as soon as possible, but no later than COB 31 January 2018.

Contact: Arron Hieatt
Lead - Water and Sewerage Infrastructure



Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006


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