Dams Safety NSW Board Meeting No 28
10 October 2022
Location: Orange Ex-Service’s Club, 231 Anson Street, Orange, NSW 2800
Time: 9:30am - 1:00pm
Attendees: Ross Carter (Chair), Alex Fisher (Deputy Chair), Shane McGrath (attended online), Rob O’Neill, Julie Garland McLellan, Chris Salkovic, Margaret Hynes, Jason Porter, Peter Boyd, Muhammed Akber, Jacqui Page (secretariat)
Declarations of interest: No conflicts of interest were identified for this meeting.
|Item||Discussion and actions|
1.1 Appointed members only
1.2 Acknowledgement of country and welcome
1.3 Previous minutes and actions
Minutes accepted with no amendments.
Strategy/StakeholderMatters for Decision
2.1 Annual Report
Dams Safety NSW Annual Report 2021-2022, approved by members for publication.
2.2 Strategic risk deep dive – Dams Safety NSW does not have the capacity/capability to achieve outcomes.
Members reviewed the strategic risk for currency and coverage, and the measures to address the risk.
Members agreed that dialogue should commence with the acting CEO of NSW Water Sector in relation to the interrelated issues of budget certainty and recruitment. The Chair and CEO should progress a simple MoU with the Department to provide increased certainty and stability in this regard. Members also discussed the importance of recruiting new employees into vacant positions.
2.3 Risks and benefits of options for increasing confidence and accessibility of competent persons.
An options paper was presented by Management. Members noted that DSNSW would closely monitor the issue of confidence and accessibility of competent persons but that at this early stage there was insufficient data to indicate any problems.Members noted and supported the CEO in pursuing potential options in a wider forum with other Dams Safety regulators, ANCOLD and other industry associations.
Guidance information on competent persons was also discussed with some minor improvements suggested.
Action: 20221010-01: CEO of Dams Safety to report back on discussion from the Regulators workshop in October, relating to assessing the competency of competent persons.
Action: 20221010-02: Management to expand information in the consultant section of website for requirements of competent persons to assist dam owners.
2.4 Warragamba Dam safety program - continuation of discussion from 6 September meeting.
Continuation of discussion on proposed safety upgrade program.
Action: 20221010-03: Chair and CEO in consultation with members, to develop next steps for DSNSW regarding the Warragamba Dam Safety Program.
Matters for Discussion
3.1 Safety Threshold for Severity of Damage and Loss
A discussion paper was presented outlining the concept of creating a safety threshold to account for consequences of environment, infrastructure, health, and social impacts from dam failure. It was agreed the levels of severity of damage and loss used in the consequence category assessment methodology could be used to establish the risk ratings and safety thresholds, and that the concept involving three levels of safety threshold appeared sound.
Members requested Management to prepare a development plan that incorporated consultation with industry experts and other regulators to refine the concept, with broader stakeholder consultation to then inform a final DSNSW position.
Action: 20221010-04: Management to present a plan for further development of the Safety Threshold for Severity of Damage and Loss concept to Infrastructure, Environmental, Health and Social impacts.
Matters for Decision
4.1 Dams to be declared/de-declared
Members agreed to revoke dam declarations for the following three dams, based on further technical assessment of their consequence categories:
Members discussed the need to agree a minimum level for Population at Risk (PAR) and Potential Loss of Life (PLL) to be used in dam declaration consideration.
Action: 20221010-05: Management to recommend a minimum level of PAR and PLL when declaring dams.
Matters for Noting
4.2 CEO Report
CEO presented report and content was discussed or noted.
Action: 20221010-06: CEO to arrange a presentation to members from the Town Water Risk Reduction Program.
4.3 FY23 Operations PlanCEO presented a comprehensive summary of planned operational activity for FY23.
4.4 New reporting dashboardCEO presented first quarter (July to September) strategic and operational indicators. Commentary on strategic objectives will accompany second quarter report to presented at first meeting of 2023.
Dams Safety NSW will sponsor members who desire to attend the ANCOLD conference.
Discussion undertaken on the use of third-party board management software.
Action: 20221010-07: Management to explore board management software for recording and distributing meeting information.
6.1 Review actions taken
6.2 Meeting evaluation by Rob O'Neill
Ross Carter and Alex Fisher will be ending their tenure with Dams Safety NSW on 31 October 2022. Members and the CEO thanked them both for their professionalism and valuable guidance as Dams Safety NSW’s inaugural Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson.6.3 Next meeting – Next meeting to be face-to-face on 29 November 2022, Sydney CBD.