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Program & Networks > Industry Programs > Water Industry Skills Taskforce >
  • WIST

    The Water Industry Skills Taskforce (WIST) was established in 2008 to promote and oversee a nationally coordinated effort to address the skills shortage in the water sector. The WIST was originally led and administered by AWA. In early 2015, qldwater (The Queensland Water Directorate) took over the secretariat function for a period of 12 months. 


    WIST, through the Australian Water Association, has historically overseen a number of key initiatives, including those focussing on careers marketing, industry mentoring and industry. The National Framework for Certification of Drinking Water Operators has recently been the major ongoing focus for the WIST. 


    The Taskforce comprises CEO-level representation from the water industry and related education and government sectors. Current members of the Water Industry Skills Taskforce are: 


    • The Queensland Water Directorate (Dave Cameron) 
    • The Australian Water Association (Jonathan McKeown) 
    • Government Skills Australia (Peter Bernich) 
    • Australian Services Union (John Harris) 
    • GHD (Chris Hertle) 
    • Coliban Water (David Sheehan) 
    • VicWater, Coliban Water (Jeff Rigby) 
    • The Water Services Association of Australia (Adam Lovell, Peter Gee) 
    • The International Water Centre (Mark Pascoe) 
    • The Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (George Wall) 
    • The NSW Water Directorate (Gary Mitchell)

    Latest Update

    On 31 March 2015, WIST resolved to appoint the Queensland Water Directorate (qldwater) as Taskforce Secretariat for a period of 12 months. Dave Cameron, qldwater CEO was elected Chair.


    A revised Terms of Reference for WIST has been approved and is available to view in the documents below.

    Short term priorities for the Taskforce include:


    • Representations to the federal Department of Education and Training to ensure WIST is recognised as the key body representing the water sector under the “New Arrangements for Training Product Development for Australian Industry” and development of a general advocacy platform to government.
    • Finalise as far as possible work to date on the “Operators within Drinking Water Systems Certification Framework” and continue to lobby for its adoption.
    • Act as a champion for our industry and host for Government Skills Australia’s resources and initiatives, with the cessation of Industry Skills Councils.
    • Meet to strategically review other project opportunities.


    WIST intends to issue periodic communications through its members’ networks as its work program develops.

    For more information contact Dave Cameron.


    WIST Terms of Reference (updated May 2015)

    WIST Communique June 2015

    NWC Submission from WIST – December 2013

    WIST Communique – June 2013 

    National Certification Framework Background and Options Paper NWC – Feb 2013
    National Certification Framework Final Report – March 2012

    Proposed National Certification Framework – March 2012

    Water Industry Skills Forum Report – Jan 2013      

    National Water Skills Strategy Business Plan Review – Feb 2012

    AWA National Water Skills Audit Report – 2011

    National Water Skills Business Plan - Oct 2010    

    COAG National Water Skills Strategy - Dec 2009  

    National Water Skills Audit - June 2008