ALDE has put forward a proposal in relation to the revision of the minimum experience levels for sewer and water  construction auditing with the goal being to provide individuals with an opportunity to progressively gain competencies while learning on the job.

  • Many auditing tasks do not require the same level of expertise currently mandated, therefore by adjusting the minimum experience levels, resources can be better allocated, focusing on the areas that genuinely demand higher expertise.
  • Easing the minimum experience requirements enables individuals to gain hands-on experience more readily, fostering a continuous learning curve, which will produce auditors who are more adept and knowledgeable over time, positively impacting the overall quality of auditing services.
  • Maintaining an adequate number of accredited auditors in the industry. Many individuals aspire to advance from construction roles to project management positions, leading to a scarcity of experienced auditors. Allowing for a more accessible path to auditing will attract new talent and mitigate the shortage of skilled professionals.

In conjunction with 12d, ALDE will be introducing industry specific training for the land development industry in 2024.

The Self Paced Online Training Course will combine the theory behind the Land Development process, with the application of 12d Model for road and stormwater design tasks, tailored to Victorian requirements.

The course will make use of 12d Solution’s Self-Paced Online Training (SPOT) platform, through the Civil & Surveying Institute.

Kim Dinh, Chair of the ALDE Education Subcommittee & Cameron Lowe of 12d recently introduced the program to our members at the July member forum. View Presentation here

BETA testing of the program will commence very shortly and the training course is set to be rolled out towards the start of 2024.


The Water Industry Liaison Committee (WILC) has stakeholders represented from water authorities in the metro and regional areas, and industry associations (ALDE, Civil Contractors Federation (CCF), UDIA, ACSV and contractors that undertake significant capital works for the water authorities.)

ALDE raised the following for discussions at WILC:

Lowest acceptable tender for reimbursement 
  • Reimbursement for sewer works is being based on the lowest priced tender, even though the Contractor does not have capacity to commence work in a suitable timeframe.
  • Cost difference can be significant and due to budget constraints, the lowest conforming tender must be appointed.
  • Significant delays can be attributed to this which have an impact on the project and extra eduction time.
  • The MRWAs expectation with ALDE members is to deliver assets to the highest level of quality and safety but reimbursement is to the lowest possible price, with a claim that this is because their hands are tied with respect to tendering.
  • Current tender assessments undertaken by water companies is purely on price, without consideration of capability, capacity, safety, timeliness, contractor history & experience, relationships (eg. with head works contractor or Council), personnel, or tendency for variations.
Requirement for minimum of five (5) years’ experience for construction auditors, ALDE put forward a number of options for consideration which included;
  • An auditor having all the necessary qualifications and evidence of 12months mentoring from a suitably qualified auditor to be provisionally approved.
  • Full accreditation could require a further 2 years of experience post provisional approval.
  • The company would still be required to have at least 1 fully accredited auditor so that the more complex issues can be resolved.

Melbourne Retail Water Authories (MRWA) have launched a Safety page and are seeking feedback on the content.

If you would like to contribute, please direct any feedback to our executive officer Karen Leoncelli.


Yarra Valley Water (YVW) has news for the land development industry in relation to an Eduction Review, Redeye Cad Drawings and the move to GDA 2020.

Yarra Valley Water Eduction Review

YVW is undertaking an eduction review along similar lines to Greater Western Water due to the following:

  • significant time taken in discussing feasibility of eduction sites
  • eduction is taking longer than anticipated
  • issues in forecasting risk profiles
  • eduction occurring near occupied houses which can result in customer complaints.

Redeye CAD drawings 

YVW has recognised issues in relation to CAD drawing requirements for development works and are currently working through with the Redeye administrators to address them accordingly. ALDE will be providing feedback on the drawing standards for YVW.

If you would like to contribute to the ALDE response, please get in touch with our executive officer, Karen Leoncelli.

Yarra Valley Water GDA2020 update: 

Yarra Valley Water has moved its spatial GIS data from GDA94 to GDA2020. While consultants can still submit as-constructed data in GDA94, they prefer for all data to be supplied in GDA2020 from now on.

A combined communication from all Melbourne water retailers will be provided to the land development industry shortly and will allow consultants time to shift in work practices from GDA94 to GDA2020.

ALDE recently held the UDWAG meeting with Melbourne Water(MW) and provide the following updates for our members:

 Project-Based Issues 

Melbourne Water have implemented a new customer service team and escalation process to improve turnaround times on queries.

  • The primary submission or request for documentation is still through their online portal:
  • If you already have an MWA number, then emailing with the relevant MWA number in the subject line is still the best way to communicate in an ongoing manner with your relevant officer at Melbourne Water. 
  • The hotline 131 722 is now recommended for any follow-up, query or escalation. The new phone-based service team will work as a triage service that looks to support you immediately or escalate the concern up through the required team for you.

MW are using this dedicated hotline to gauge their overall level of service and this is being closely monitored for performance. Over the past couple of months, Melbourne Water have used this process to reduce escalation call back times down from 20 days to 4 (and they are looking to further improve  on this figure month to month). All April 2023 service tickets are now closed.

The hotline’s dedicated service officer will have full access to the file for every project and can easily confirm if a document is received, who the project has been assigned to and provide a follow up for you. An escalation process can also be used if you have concerns. 

  • Best practice will be to contact 131 722 for all queries going forward instead of established relationships so all enquiries and follow ups can be appropriately recorded, timed and assigned. 
  • If it’s a broader industry issue, then this can be raised via ALDE and the UDWAG meetings which are MW industry meetings with ALDE. Everything raised and discussed at these meetings is noted and followed up with actions where required and any outcomes or changes from these matters can be communicated to all members of the land development engineering community.
  • Melbourne Water are seeking feedback from consultants through this ongoing survey. This will be monitored monthly to assess service levels.

Melbourne Water Statutory Developer Services Leadership Team 

Melbourne Water has transformed the model of Statutory Developer Services (now Urban Planning and Development) and has brought in significant new skills and experience. View more details about the team and their experience in this Melbourne Water newsletter.

Flood safety and people safety in terms of risk – registered engineers and interpretation of the act 

Applications assessed by the Statutory Developer Services team are required to comply with the relevant legislative framework and supporting decision guidelines, at the discretion of Melbourne Water in its capacity as the floodplain management authority.

Key decision makers within our Statutory teams are empowered to exercise discretion in limited circumstances where evidence-based data allows. Reviews of Melbourne Water decisions can be done via VCAT, the Building Appeals Board or other relevant appeal bodies.

Historically, MW would have allowed matters to be resolved post permit and work through this with developers/ consultants, but this approach is not viable with the risk profile associated with interim works for unresolved sequencing of development.

As a regulator, Melbourne Water is required by legislation to assess applications against specific policies within the Victorian Planning System.

Urban Development & Planning Newsletter

MW released their Urban Development & Planning Newsletter with news on driving Performance Outcomes & their KPIs, new Interim Guidelines for Sea Level Rise, the Maribyrnong Flood Review & Enquiry & more. Read it here

The ALDE Safety & Environment Subcommittee has prepared the following update in relation to On Site Rock Crushing to our members. 

Melbourne is currently in the middle of a significant pipeline of construction project lead by Victoria’s “Big Build” infrastructure projects. Plants, quarries and cartage companies are providing priority service to high profile government projects which has resulted in increased competition in the private sector for the remaining local suppliers.

Infrastructure Australia’s December 2022 Market Capacity Report cautioned of an emerging capacity risk in Melbourne’s local markets where quarry closures are preceding the opening of greenfield sites. Producers themselves note that approvals for new quarries and or extensions of consents at existing facilities are very difficult, taking up to 10 years in some cases.

Due to such extended timelines, there is currently a real risk of a quarry ‘gap’ occurring in Melbourne’s supply chain. As a result, recycling virgin rock is becoming more popular on land development sites in Melbourne’s north and west. The decision to introduce rock crushing capabilities into a land development site is something that requires careful consideration to the site-specific risk and opportunities.

The ALDE Safety & Environment Subcommittee has highlighted some things to consider in relation to recycling virgin rock on land development sites: 

Advantages of on site rock crushing
  • Eliminating or reducing tipping fees and disposal costs 
  • Reducing demand and reliance on quarries 
  • Reducing transportation costs 
  • Lowering aggregate material cost 
  • Lowering traffic impact and reduced energy costs 
Disadvantages of on site rock crushing
  • Dust and other environmental concerns 
  • Requires a large space to stockpile and crush away from residents and other significant areas. 
  • Rock can only be graded to Class 3 without a pug mill. 
  • Sites selling and transporting crushed rock externally may be considered by some Councils as acting as a quarry. Additional permits may be required to do this legally. 
  • Crushing plants introduce significant OH&S concerns not normally present on subdivision sites. 
  • Contractual risks such as when rock is produced faster than it is able to be crushed and it needs to be removed from site when it was assumed to be crushed on site. 

ALDE has been consulting with the Melbourne Retail Water Agencies (MRWA) on a practical way to adopt the requirements of the Victorian Professional Engineers Registration Act 2019 (PER Act) into their submissions.

The MRWA made changes to the design drawing templates in response to the new legislation.

The Professional Engineers Registration Act 2019 & Land Development Engineers

The requirement for a civil and structural engineer to be registered in Victoria came into effect on October 2022.

Engineering Professionals must register with the Business Licencing Authority if they wish to continue legally providing Professional Engineering Services unless they are working under the guidance of a registered engineer or working only within a prescriptive standard.

MRWA supports the Victorian Government’s initiative to recognise the importance of engineers through a statewide registration process and considers the preparation of sewer and drainage documents as Professional Engineering Services.

Read the complete MRWA position here

Changes to MRWA designs due to the Professional Engineers Registration Act

MRWA proposes changes to the ‘Title Blocks’  MRWA design drawing templates to clearly identify the Registered Engineer involved in the process and abide by the PER legislation.

The MRWA design drawing template now includes: 
1. Registered Professional Engineer’s name and registration number
2. Sign-off on each design revision by the Registered Professional Engineer (instead of the authoriser).

MRWA Title Block Template Change Professional Registered Engineers April 2023
MRWA Title Block Template Change Example Professional Registered Engineers April 2023

The 100 Series water and sewer design standards drawing examples (PDF and AutoCAD files) have been amended on the MRWA portal website and are ready for use on projects.

All designs submitted from 1 July 2023 will be expected to adopt the new template and show the Professional Registered Engineer on the drawings.
The MRWA will be checking this requirement is being met on design submissions and after 1 July 2023 will not accept designs that do not include these changes.

Notification of changes to the ARCUS accreditation system will be advised in the near future.

View Sample Plans

Should you have any questions or wish to discuss these requirements further please contact
the relevant water retailer representatives:
 Ryan Leon ( ) – Yarra Valley Water
 Bruce Johnson ( ) – South East Water
 Nick Rhoden ( ) – Greater Western Water

Greater Western Water (GWW) has successfully switched its geographic system map base to GDA2020 (Geocentric Datum of Australia 2020).

The change, which took place on 19th of February, ensures the alignment of the locations of building developments on GWW’s asset maps. The initiative is being led by Land Victoria and all Victorian water corporations are required to make the switch.

This project forms part of GWW’s program of work, aimed at transforming the way GWW captures, uses, manages and shares spatial information about its assets.

Supporting partners through the switch

GWW’s project team is on stand-by to provide any additional support its partners and contractors may need. GWW will support the submission of as-contracted plans in GDA94 to allow business partners to transition to GDA2020.

Please ensure all as-constructed plans submitted clearly state datum.

Find out more or get in touch

Visit the Land Victoria website to find out more about GDA2020.

If you have any questions, please contact the GWW project team on

The Local Government Infrastructure Design Association (LGIDA) has considered the matter of Registered Victorian Professional Engineers and has decided that it is currently up to each individual Council to determine their individual requirements. It is likely that a future edition of the Infrastructure Design Manual (IDM) will formally review the checklists that will incorporate the ability for Councils to have Registered Professional Engineers (RPEs) sign-offs where appropriate. 

Most Councils will be requiring sign-offs to be undertaken by RPEs who are able to verify, when checking plans and/or documentation, RPE independence from specific developments; and are in a position to meet any reasonable specific requirements of the individual member Council. 

Melbourne Water (MW) and ALDE meet on a regular basis to discuss the needs of the land development industry and our membership made up of consultants and suppliers.  The following outlines some of the discussion from our recent Urban Development Water Advisory Group (UDWAG) Technical meeting (keeping in mind the current caretaker period limits what can be discussed and agreed). 

 DELWP Guidelines for Development in Flood Affected Areas 

There is a discrepancy between the DELWP Flood Guidelines and the Melbourne Water LDM regarding the VxD values accepted.  Melbourne Water has provided feedback to DELWP on the difference and asked for clarification and an update of the Guidelines to reflect that.  While the Guidelines are being reviewed by DELWP, Melbourne Water have indicated that the DELWP Guidelines are the most recent and most up to date document.  They should therefore be the primary source of guidance.  Where these guidelines and expectations are difficult to meet on a project, direct negotiation with Melbourne Water is recommended. 

Melbourne Water response times 

Melbourne Water are looking for opportunities to streamline their processes and shorten their response times.  They are going to release further communication around this in the near future however we have some preliminary advice. 

If the development project lends itself to a change in the drainage scheme, its best to start discussion with Melbourne Water ahead of the permit process to negotiate the best outcome. 

Melbourne Water recommend the following steps: 

  1. Apply for pre-dev advice using the online portal
  2. Once received, if the scheme and advice presented needs to vary (ie you have a more innovative solution, the scheme has an error, other valid reason) then you should request a Pre-Development Meeting with MW.  To do this email with the MWA number from the pre-dev advice email asking for a Pre-Development Meeting.  MW have indicated that a meeting should occur within 2 weeks from the requested date. Due to the high volume of work, all meetings will be via Teams or Zoom.
  3. During the meeting you can highlight your concerns with the scheme and discuss an alternative solution (or two). MW will outline what reports/costings/justification they will need in order to change the scheme as proposed.  
  4. The reports can then be developed and prepared for submission.  Given the complexity of most projects of this nature, the pre-dev MWA number may expire and a new MWA number may be required upon submission.  Always reference the pre-development advice number in the new submission to tie the two activities together. 
  5. MW will then review the application ahead of the permit based 

 Project Escalation inside Melbourne Water 

Another great tip highlighted in the meeting was that all email signatures at Melbourne Water include an escalation manager.  Whilst we always encourage direct discussion with the assigned officer at Melbourne Water, if you feel the need to escalate your concern, now you can easily see the person you need to speak to next.  Remember email addresses at Melbourne water are 

A workshop focused on Unconscious Bias, facilitated by Warwick Cavell of Profitable Conversations was held Thursday 20th October by the Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee. You can access the presentation here 

 ALDE and its members are committed to creating a more inclusive and diverse industry and enabling a sustainable and equitable business landscape where people feel pride and belonging. The event provided awareness to help identifying biases within our own thinking, to assist in breaking down unconscious patterns. 

 The Diversity Council Australia Inclusion@Work Index showed the incredible impact that inclusion can have on people and culture, showing that workers in inclusive teams are: 

  • 4 times less likely to leave their job in the next 12 months 
  • 10 times more likely to be very satisfied 
  • 4 times less likely to feel work has a negative or very negative impact on their mental health. 
  • 5 times less likely to experience discrimination and/or harassment 
  • 11 times more likely to be highly effective than those in non-inclusive teams 
  • 10 times more likely to be innovative 
  • 6 times more likely to provide excellent customer service 
  • 4 times more likely to work extra hard 

  Diversity Council Australia also provides infographic of the state of inclusion in the Australian workforce here 

The ALDE Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee has an LGBTQIA+ information sheet for our members.

The ALDE Safety and Environment Subcommittee is pleased to release the 2022/23 Safety Booklet.  

This booklet is a safety guide for engineers and visitors to sites where land development works are in progress.
It is an introduction to onsite safety for engineers and site visitors who are not familiar with land development and is also designed as a refresher or reference guide for those who may have substantial experience in land development.

Land development sites can pose serious risks, with potential hazards created by deep trenches or holes and slippery surfaces that can cause serious injury or even death. These sites are typically of a large scale and contain powerful vehicles and equipment.

You can access the new ALDE Safety Booklet here

Thanks to all our member consultancies who supported the publication of the ALDE Safety Booklet:

Cossill Webley, KLM Spatial, Peak/Colliers, PGA, DCE, Millar Merrigan, Reeds Consulting, SPIIRE, SMEC, Taylors, Urban Design & Management, Creo, GHD, BPD, Calibre, Tomkinsons, Precinct, Beveridge Williams. 



South East Water has advised that they will be transitioning to GDA 2020 in October 2022.

As per their statement:

“The transition from Map Grid of Australia 1994 (MGA94) to (Geocentric Datum of Australia 2020) GDA2020 is in full swing across Australia as demonstrated by;

– In October 2017 GDA2020 was formally defined as the national datum for Australia
– Victorian cadastral surveys (with limited exceptions) must adopt GDA2020
– The Victorian Digital Asset Strategy nominated GDA2020 as the datum for the management of spatial information

How South East Water is managing the change 
At South East Water, to keep our spatial information consistent, we’re migrating our internally managed spatial systems from a datum of MGA94 to GDA2020 in October 2022.
To best support transition to GDA2020 we’ll accept spatial data and asset information on both MGA94 and GDA2020 datums. Our preference is that data be supplied on GDA2020.
Supporting specifications and standards will continue to be revised into the future to reflect this transition from MGA94 to GDA2020.
“As GDA2020 is now our official datum, the transition to GDA2020 is something every organisation needs to make. At South East Water we’re doing so at a time reflecting the requirements of our many stakeholders,” said Manager Asset Information System, Heath McMahon.

The future of MGA94
At the moment we haven’t made a decision on how long we’ll still accept data provided on MGA94 but we’ll give the industry as much notice as possible when we do decide. In the short term we’ll continue to accept data on MGA94.

Need to get in touch?
If you have any questions or need more information, you can contact Heath on

The 28th edition of the ALDE Annual General Meeting was held on Tuesday 6th September attended by General Members at the Wine House in Southbank.

It was a great opportunity to reflect on our achievements for the year in the various areas of interest based on the work of both the Executive Committee and the organisations’ themed Subcommittees.

Full board nominations and positions will be published shortly.

Ways in which ALDE have served our members in 2021/22 are; 

To further work to our mission of “representing the voice of our consultancy members, to raise the profile of our profession and guide the technical standards.”

You can view a copy of the Annual Report to Members here

A transcript of the speech on the night by President Sehon Pellew can be viewed here

To enquire about renewing or starting a membership, please contact our Executive Officer Karen Leoncelli.