By R N (Bob) Herbert AM

As the Australian Government’s Water Supplier Advocate, I have been appointed by the Minister for Industry and Innovation to promote capable and competitive Australian firms and increase their ability to win more work in the water sector.

In partnership with waterAUSTRALIA, I am leading Water Industry Capability Teams. There are over 320 members in these Teams, working together to market their offerings and increase their access to customers through targeted showcasing, trade shows and international water missions.

Under the Australian Water Supplier Compact agreement, I am also working with waterAUSTRALIA, the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) and the Industry Capability Network (ICN) to address barriers and increase suppliers’ access to opportunities in the urban water sector. Initiatives under the Compact are already underway including showcases of energy efficient and sustainable solutions to the water utilities to help them address some of their most pressing challenges and, in-turn provide valuable opportunities for capable Australian firms.

Turning to the international market, water missions to the US and Singapore over 2011 and 2012 have generated over 210 million in new leads. As a result of this success, I will be working closely with Austrade and waterAUSTRALIA to lead a trade mission of Australian water suppliers to China in June this year to promote how Australian innovation can help solve China’s water management challenges.

There is no better time to take advantage of the wide range of initiatives in place to support Australian industry. I encourage all Australian firms to be involved and have a say in the future direction of the water sector.

For more information about the Capability Team’s members, click here.

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