New program benefits water industry

09 January 2018

Wannon Water has successfully backed an inaugural statewide development program that will have benefits for the business, its employees and customers.

The Network Operators’ Development Program (NODP) aims to identify, mentor and develop future leaders across the Victorian water industry’s network operations and maintenance field.

 National Operator Development Program

Wannon Water civil maintenance team leader Andrew Povey, left, discusses the benefits of the Network Operators’ Development Program with civil maintenance manager Mick Mahoney.

Wannon Water civil maintenance team leader Andrew Povey, who is based in Hamilton, was one of 13 operators from water corporations across the state who completed the first NODP. Network operators are responsible for ensuring the water and sewerage systems run efficiently to deliver high quality services to customers. This includes responding to bursts, flushing mains and scheduled maintenance activities.   Mr Povey said he improved his leadership skills, developed new networks, accessed new technologies and enjoyed a greater awareness of the water industry.

“Everyone who participated was a winner and we’ll be the better industry for it,” Mr Povey said.

The program was established by an advisory committee of water industry representatives, including Wannon Water civil maintenance manager Mick Mahoney. It had the full support of the Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA).

The annual program offers seven monthly workshops at different venues across the state with topics including leadership, water quality, water reticulation systems, wastewater collection systems, pumps and pumping systems and asset management. It concludes at the annual WIOA conference in Bendigo in September with the Network Operator of the Year Award providing $3000 towards professional development.

Mr Mahoney said there are multiple benefits for operators including increased knowledge and skills, networking opportunities, reward and recognition, improved workplace performance and ideas.

“There are also benefits for businesses such as increased operator commitment to corporation goals and values, exposure to new concepts, potential innovation, better service for customers and improved employee satisfaction.

“I’m proud to have been part of developing this new program. It’s helping our employees recognise they’re involved in a really special profession,” Mr Mahoney said.

Warrnambool civil maintenance operator Josh Scoble has been selected as Wannon Water’s 2018 participant.