You may have seen in recent editions of Stormcast, that both Stormwater Queensland and Stormwater NSW issued comprehensive submissions to Stormwater Australia, on behalf of our members, regarding the Stormwater Quality Improvement Device Evaluation Protocol (SQIDEP) (QLD submission, NSW Submission). The aim of these submissions was not to develop a perfect protocol but rather, to ensure it meets minimum standards which will provide confidence that SQIDEP verifications are based upon rigorous science, including the sound testing of ‘devices’ and decision are guided by clear, transparent and independent governance. Of course not every point in our submissions needs to be addressed in order to meet this aim, however, the majority of points will be critical.
While it is disappointing to see Stormwater Australia press ahead at this stage with verification under the current protocol and without published advice on what such verifications would be worth under a future, robust protocol, we are equally encouraged to see a significant section of the industry sharing our views. Recently, we attended a meeting with other major industry groups including some of the country’s biggest regulators to discuss many of our shared views and plan a way forward for SQIDEP.
We agreed that we all want a working protocol which we can defend in the future. Apart from Stormwater Queensland and Stormwater NSW, the group also included Stormwater Victoria, Healthy Land and Water, Melbourne Water, WaterNSW and a major local council. Other local regulators also expressing interest but could not attend. Collectively, this group asked our facilitator to write to Stormwater Australia and request a meeting with the Stormwater Australia Board to discuss next steps. We will keep you posted on progress in future versions of Stormcast.