Recommendations from senate enquiry into stormwater

The Senate report into Stormwater Management in Australia was tabled earlier this month and contained a list of recommendations summarised below:

  • A national policy framework should be established (a National Stormwater Initiative);
  • An ‘audit of opportunity’ should be undertaken to inform this policy framework and to ensure knowledge is effectively retained to support decision making; This audit should be conducted by an independent expert panel and include government agencies, peak bodies and scientists using community, whole-of-lifecycle and system benefit analysis methodologies;
  • Through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), the Australian Government should work with the states to ensure stormwater benefits are recognised in water policy;
  • The National Stormwater Initiative should develop funding models and financial incentives across all tiers of government; and
  • The stormwater research funding should be restored

In addition to the majority report recommendations, Independent Senator Nick Xenophon commented that the costs associated with poor stormwater management are borne by the nation as a whole, and that other water industry priorities can distort policy settings away from stormwater, leading to inefficient medium and long term investments. Recommendations made by Senator Xenophon included a number of areas where stormwater funding may be sourced to sustain a National Stormwater Initiative and to avoid cost and responsibility shifting, as well as recognising the potential for local and international market opportunities for the stormwater industry.

These recommendations will be of enormous benefit to the stormwater industry if they are adopted and implemented in a truly independent and expert manner. In responding to the report, Stormwater Australia President Andrew Allan recognised the significant opportunity and called on the government to adopt the recommendations without delay (full media release). 

Find our more in the full report