March 15, 2017
As Chair of the Water Industry Alliance I get to talk to a lot of people involved in many different areas of the water industry. I’m proud to be involved in an industry group that is so dynamic, so positive, so innovative, and has so much to give the State in the future.
The culture that stands out to me the most is that we are solutions driven people; seeking answers through research, product development, technologies and collaboration.
Our ability to take our solutions driven approach, and find ways to push through any barriers standing between us and our sector’s success is where we now need to focus.
The Water Industry Alliance has just presented the South Australian government with its vision and plan to ensure that we maintain and grow this vibrant industry.
The Water Accelerator Plan details the opportunities that could be realised if the South Australian water industry was supported to grow, and the practical actions that need to be put in place to achieve this. Importantly, it also sets out how the WIA can help to facilitate this growth and opportunities within the sector.
As our economy transforms and builds on its strengths arising from its manufacturing workforce, advanced technology, top quality research institutions, exemplary food and wine production, and high quality of life it’s creating a raft of opportunities for all of us.
The water sector has already been identified by the State Government as a sector with the potential to leverage, grow, and make a far greater contribution to the economy. We must always remember that we are in a special place in the scheme of things. While some industry sectors could be viewed as being ‘stand-alone’ with no influence on other parts of the economy, we’re just the opposite.
We are an enabler. What we do enables growth in agriculture, growth in mining, and the development of strong communities. They can’t thrive without water security and that give us opportunities.
This is the kind of leveraging we must be conscious of as we grow our business in SA, Australia, and overseas - and it’s strongly represented in the Plan we’ve put to Government.
I am very pleased that so many WIA members take part in Government-led trade missions to China, India and elsewhere; and that so many are active in developing overseas contacts and business as they develop their own long-term strategy.
For decades we’ve been known as the driest state in the driest continent; now we’re shaking off the negative connotations of that label and turning it around into a massive positive. We’re taking our innovations in managing those dry conditions to the world, helping emerging nations overcome their own problems with water scarcity and quality.
As a state I believe we’re very good at it and we’re now telling the world about our water expertise, and starting to reap the results.
I want to see your business grow and thrive; I want to see you do even better than you are now in SA, nationally and internationally. And I want to see South Australian R&D and innovation take its rightful place at the front of the pack in solving the world’s water problems.
I want to see our sector as a whole reflect the same winning attributes I see in so many people in their daily work – a focus on problem solving, on doing a job well, and on developing positive relationships.
I want to ensure that we are not only recognised for our expertise, but for our attitude towards finding solutions, and the collaborative and supportive culture that is the strength of our water industry.
That’s my vision, I hope you share it, and on behalf of the WIA we look forward to communicating good news and successes with you on a regular basis via this new initiative.
Water Industry Alliance