17 FEBRUARY 2011
The 2011 year has commenced with natural disasters in both Queensland and Victoria. At the time Cyclone Yasi was threatening Queensland and beyond and the floodwaters were causing havoc in western Victoria, I was in the USA as part of the G’Day USA Water Series of events. It was an odd position to be in for delegates to suggest that Australia’s climate is predominantly dry for major urban centres and that we have been through periods of severe flooding before only to return to harsh drought conditions. Our thoughts and best wishes are with those affected by these natural disasters and for the agencies working hard to restore life back to normal.
The G’Day USA mission proved successful for most companies taking part. Australia’s success in managing water scarcity and implementing infrastructure projects to drought proof our major centres has been of interest to US policy makers and water authorities for a few years, thanks in large part to Austrade’s efforts through programs such as G’Day USA. On this occasion, companies were also introduced to contacts and opportunities that would probably have not been accessible without the events organised for the mission and the senior people who were invited to them. Our national and state water managers laid the foundations for the mission by so impressively presenting their own experiences.
So there appear to be some serious opportunities in the USA for Australian companies and, together with Austrade, the Water Supplier Advocate and the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science and Research, as well as state government reps and key industry players, waterAUSTRALIA is addressing the next steps in establishing our competitive credentials in the US market. More on this in subsequent updates.
While on the subject of overseas missions, waterAUSTRALIA is intending to take part in Singapore International Water Week (4-8 July 2011). Interested companies are asked to contact us. I am keen to establish a business matching forum, where both Singaporean and Australian companies can meet, understand their respective capabilities and ambitions and begin the collaborative process. Whether this can be arranged will depend in part on the interest of the Australian industry.
Through events such as G’Day USA, waterAUSTRALIA is demonstrating the value of subscription to an increasing number of companies. Of course, we would like as many companies as possible to become subscribers – the more funds we have the greater the services we can provide. You can get information on how to subscribe by following the links at left.
As some companies may be aware, ICN is building a portal through which inquiries can be run against the company capability and project opportunities databases. Work is nearing completion and the portal should be available shortly. waterAUSTRALIA will provide a link to the portal from this site when completed.
Apart from following up on the G’Day USA opportunities, waterAUSTRALIA, together with the Bob Herbert, the Water Supplier Advocate, will be following up on our initial discussions with WSAA to address areas of mutual interest between the urban utilities and the water industry and continuing with the merger discussions we are holding with South Australia’s Water Industry Alliance. More information on all these initiatives will be provided when available.
Les Targ (CEO)