Stormwater Australia has welcomed recommendations made in a new stormwater industry report by the Australian Senate Inquiry.
The Inquiry examined stormwater recycling, re-use and flood mitigation projects, the likely effects of climate change, and the policy and funding barriers to realising the economic and environmental benefits of stormwater management.
Stormwater Australia said this report has the potential to move the Australian Stormwater Industry into new and exciting waters.
The report recognises there are significant opportunities for a national approach to the industry, but the current fragmented and disparate approaches to the industry are barriers to change.
South Australian Senator, Nick Xenophon, has also put his support behind the report and called on the Federal Government to establish a National Stormwater Initiative and explore with state government’s new funding models to put stormwater on a secure national footing.
“A national stormwater policy agenda is a no-brainer in responding to the challenges of water security, flood control and climate change,” Mr Xenophon said.
“Historically, state and federal governments had largely neglected stormwater management, seeing it as the ‘poor cousin’ of water supply and sanitation which generated huge revenues from households. Local governments were often forced to fund projects as best they could.”
Stormwater Australia National President, Andrew Allan, also supports the idea of a National Stormwater Initiative and stormwater audit.
Mr Allan said, “A successful future for stormwater management very much lies in the opportunities presented by technology development, innovation and initiating integrated approaches to water and catchment planning.”
Stormwater Australia said they will play an active role in encouraging the government to adopt the Senate recommendations.
“We need to get on with the job of unlocking the considerable value and opportunities stormwater presents to Australia’s economic growth through increased employment and economic opportunities,” Mr Allan said.