Dams Safety NSW Board Meeting No 5 - 24 March 2020
Location: Remote via Microsoft Teams
Time 9.30am to 2.30pm
Invitees - Ross Carter (Chair), Alex Fisher (Deputy Chair), Eric de Rooy, Shane McGrath, Rob O'Neill, John Stacpoole, Chris Salkovic, Peter Skehan (Secretariat), Margaret Hynes (Capability Manager), Peter Boyd (Governance & Assurance Manager), Asim Chohan (Operations Manager),
Minutes: Peter Skehan
Approved: 28 April 2020
|Item||Decision and Action|
Welcome - Ross Carter, Chair DSNSW
The Chair acknowledged the traditional owners and welcomed all in attendance
.The Chair welcomed Asim Chohan, the new Operations Manager of Dams Safety NSW (DSNSW)
Conflicts of Interest - Ross Carter, Chair, DSNSW
Minutes and actions from previous meeting - Ross Carter
Minutes and actions from the previous meeting were accepted.
It was agreed that the Major Occurrence Response Plan be added to agenda for the May meeting.
Deferred until next meeting.
CEO Update - Chris Salkovic, CEO DSNSW
The CEO provided his monthly update which included:
● Budget update
● Current risks and issues
● Overview of his attendance at Resource Regulator Workshop on 5/3/20
● Feedback from his presentation to the Water Directorate Executive Committee on 12/3/20
● Intention to reduce mining notification areas around dam sites owned by Water NSW
● New starters at Dams Safety
● Update of the reforms to Government Water sector
● No changes in the use of key delegations (Level 1 – 2)
● Future meeting items
The Members discussed the need to ensure that there aren't any gaps in the regulation and control of mining near dams. DSNSW’s role in that process must be clearly defined.
Alex Fisher highlighted the challenges that the current COVID-19 pandemic presents for the DSNSW workplan. Particularly the risks that it poses for future operational and stakeholder engagement plans.
The Chair emphasised the need to establish a good baseline idea of ‘business as usual’ for DSNSW in the current climate with an extra layer that considers all potential scenarios/risks within the coming months.
The members expressed the importance of the former DSC members as a crucial stakeholder group. Ways in which ex members of DSC could be involved during guideline development should be considered.
The Members proposed that former Chairs of the DSC, Sam Banzi and Brian Cooper, be present at a future meeting to ‘close out’ DSC functions and assist in the identification of key issues and risks within the Dams Safety sector.
Strategic plan on a page - Margaret Hynes, Capability Manager, DSNSW
Margaret Hynes presented three template options for the Strategic Plan on a Page.
The members voted in favour of concept B and agreed to review behaviours at a future meeting.
Alex Fisher requested that ‘achieve’ replace ‘plan’ in the aspirational measure.
It was agreed that, following the graphic design work, the Minister would be briefed with options of a joint letter or a media release prior to the plan being published on the website
Works program / FTE requirements - Margaret Hynes, Capability Manager, DSNSW
Margaret Hynes presented the Works Program.
Members advised that a greater emphasis was needed on the next 3-6 months (in particular, how we will undertake and resource engagement activities in the current climate and better understand the maturity levels of dam owners).
The Members discussed the need to ensure the logical support of resources and budget; and that a financial resource comparison between DSNSW and other relevant regulators would be useful.
They also advised that action plans for dams above the safety threshold and an incident reporting guideline needed to be included in the Program
Performance Development Plan – CEO Chris Salkovic
The CEO presented his draft Performance and Development Plan (PDP).
Members provided feedback and requested that professional development be added to the PDP. The CEO advised that he has been consulting with an executive coach and will continue to work with them on his development, including on a development plan.
Guideline process (O&M and Mining update) - Peter Boyd, Governance and Assurance Manager, DSNSW
Peter Boyd presented the Guideline Process and updated the Members on the status of the: Operations and Maintenance (O&M) plans, Mining near dams, Emergency plans, Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) and So Far as is Reasonably Practicable (SFAIRP) Guidelines.
Members suggested that several additional steps be added to the process to provide assurance:
Alex Fisher expressed the need for DSNSW to develop a roadmap to demonstrate how each guideline is linked with the legislative requirements.
Charter and code of conduct - Ross Carter
The members endorsed both the Charter and Code of Conduct.
Defining dams for declaration purposes - Peter Boyd, Governance and Assurance Manager, DSNSW
Peter Boyd presented the definition of dams for declaration purposes.
Members agreed that ‘intention’ is a key element when defining a dam.
The status of weirs, retarding basins and tailings dams was discussed as were off-river storage structures and turkey nest dams.
Members agreed on the definition presented by Peter Boyd; however, further work is required regarding off-river storage and turkey nest dams. A key interim message was developed that states ‘If the dam is currently declared, expect it to stay declared’
Update Dams above the safety threshold - Peter Boyd, Governance and Assurance Manager, DSNSW
Peter Boyd presented the traffic light system for dams above the safety threshold.
A discussion ensued over the traffic light system. Members advised that some of the information wasn’t relevant for this application and requested a couple of additional items be added.
Members enquired about when we would fully understand the risk profile of the dams. Peter Boyd advised that DSNSW would be undertaking compliance maturity assessments with dam owners during transitional consultations.
Members queried the "Public Interest" rating for Warragamba Dam and requested staff investigate, and if necessary, update the rating.
Risk Management Strategy - Chris Salkovic, Chief Executive Officer, DSNSW
The CEO presented the Risk Management Strategy.
Members advised that the Strategy needed to be externally focused and risks to public safety and environmental health needed to be included.
The CEO presented the draft Risk Register. Following a discussion, it was agreed that further work needs to be done on the register.
Members endorsed the draft Risk Management Strategy with the caveat that further risk elements are to be incorporated into the document.
Delegation Assurance Plan - Peter Boyd, Governance and Assurance Manager, DSNSW
Peter Boyd presented the Delegation Assurance Plan (specifically focusing on financial and operational delegations).
The Members urged the need to ensure that people who have delegations are appropriately trained and understand the levels of delegation.
The Chair requested that a dashboard reporting on the use of operational delegations be developed.
General Business - Ross Carter, Chair
The CEO requested that frequency of meetings be moved to every 6 weeks. Members agreed that at the April meeting go ahead as scheduled and the frequency be revisited during this meeting.
The members undertook a discussion of the risk that the COVID-19 pandemic poses for the operations of DSNSW. It was agreed that, as a high hazard regulator, DSNSW is an essential service and that a slowdown in the delivery of its services could pose a major risk to the safety of NSW Dams
Next meeting: 28/04/2020 Remote