Manufacturing News

Advocate to help Industry tap water opportunities

Australian businesses will have expert assistance to help identify opportunities in the water sector following the appointment of Australia’s first Water Supplier Advocate.

Bob Herbert, a respected industry leader, will be Australia’s first Water Supplier Advocate.

Announcing the appointment, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said that Herbert will champion the sector – finding, refining and promoting opportunities for local industry that may have otherwise been missed.

“The effective management of water is a critical issue for Australia,” Senator Carr said.

“We have a world-class water sector with businesses finding innovative solutions in water conservation, management and distribution.

“Local businesses have proven their ability to manage, manufacture and produce complex water systems that are efficient and cost-effective.

“We anticipate that there will be significant investment by both the public and private sector in water infrastructure and systems in the years ahead. Expenditure on current water infrastructure projects is around $11.7 billion, with another $7 billion planned.

“It is vital we maximise Australian industry involvement, now and in the future, and support local jobs. That is Mr Herbert’s primary brief and one I know he will excel at.”

The Water Supplier Advocate will work closely with stakeholders including waterAUSTRALIA, the Future Manufacturing Industry Innovation Council, the Industry Capability Network (ICN), industry associations and government.

Herbert, current Deputy Chairman of the ICN, has been reportedly involved with industry his entire career. He was previously the chief executive of the Australian Industry Group.

In 2004 he was granted Lifetime Recognition by the Victorian Government and the Manufacturing Industry Consultative Council for exceptional services to the manufacturing industry. In 2005 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia, for services to industry.

The $8.2 million Supplier Advocate Program is part of the Rudd Government’s $19.1 million Australian industry participation package. Through the program, respected industry figures are being chosen to provide leadership for specific sectors.

Supplier Advocates have now been announced for rail, steel, IT, clean technologies and water.

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