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Program & Networks > Industry Programs > Water Industry Skills Taskforce >
  • The Water Industry Skills Taskforce (WIST), led by AWA, was established to promote and oversee a nationally coordinated effort to address the skills shortage in the water sector. It is the intention of the Taskforce to work collaboratively with Government initiatives to reduce the impact of the water skills shortage, through an appropriate combination of Government and Industry actions and strategies.

    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:


      • Jonathan McKeown (Australian Water Association)  
      •  Adam Lovell (Water Services Association of Australia)  
      • TBC (Thiess Services)   
      •  Anne Barker (City West Water)
      • Justin Foley (National Water Commission) 
      • TBC (Federal Govt representation)  
      •  Peter Bernich (Government Skills Australia)    
      •  Mark Pascoe (International WaterCentre)
      • TBC (Irrigation Australia)
      • Chris Hertle (GHD)
      • George Wall (WIOA)
      • Dave Cameron (Qldwater)


    Recent News

    Following the development of a Proposed National Certification Framework for operators within Drinking Water Treatment Systems, The National Water Commission presented back to industry, via the WIST, two implementation options; a mandatory and an industry-led approach.

    In May 2013, the Commission convened a workshop with industry stakeholders to further discuss implementation options, and the outcomes from this workshop were presented to the WIST in June 2013 meeting. WIST discussed the recommendations at length and despite acknowledging the difficulties of moving forward without Australian Government seed funding for implementation of a mandatory approach which has always been industries preference, supported maintaining momentum for this important water industry initiative via an industry-led approach.

    WIST members agreed that:


    • The Framework will be industry-led (at least to begin with)
    • Close collaboration between state and territory regulators and water businesses will be crucial to the Framework’s success
    • Although the Framework highlights the need for fit-for-purpose training in units of competency, strategies for implementation may vary across jurisdictions
    • WIST would take the lead by assuming the role of Framework Owner on an interim basis in order to maintain momentum
    • Recognising the work already underway in Victoria, WIST would authorize pilots to test the implementation of the Framework in NSW and QLD.
    • The AWA would coordinate the Pilot in NSW and the Qld Water Directorate in Qld. 
    • The Qld Pilot is already underway and the NSW Pilot will commence in early 2014.


    WIST Submission to National Water Commission Urban Futures

    As well as agreeing to support the implementation of the Framework by authorizing Pilots, the WIST is committed to ongoing advocacy aimed at achieving a mandatory Certification scheme. To this end, in Dec 2013 in consultation with WIST members, AWA prepared a submission highlighting the need for a mandatory approach to the National Certification Framework. The paper can be accessed in the Downloads below.



    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      

    Charter Water Industry Skills Taskforce – July 2012  

    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