The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) and the Queensland Water Directorate (qldwater) along with the Department of Energy and Water Supply have been encouraging regional collaboration among service providers through the Queensland Water Regional Alliance Program (QWRAP) since September 2011. Funding the operation of the Program has been achieved through financial contributions and staff resources provided by all stakeholders.
The current work of the groups is to determine the risks and benefits of different collaboration models, and to initiate arrangements for transitioning to a new regional model for water and sewerage services. The pilot programs include 21 of the 77 local governments in Queensland, which cover 43% of the State’s area and 46% of the State’s population outside of Southeast Queensland. These regional councils manage over $2 billion in water and waste water assets. The successful transition of the Outback Water Regional Alliance from a QWRAP pilot group in July 2014, along with an increase in collaborative activities in the groups that have not yet completed their QWRAP analysis, is evidence that the Program does indeed have merit and the potential to positively affect service providers throughout the State.