July 1, 2020                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               MR 0720-2

The incoming standard for domestic wastewater treatment systems will send small businesses in Queensland to the wall and hand a $1 billion market to big, old technology players, according to the National On-site Provider’s Association.

NOPA, which represents a growing sector of the wastewater industry known as ‘passive’ systems, says the new standard from Standards Australia – AS1546.3:2017 – will cost hundreds of jobs nationally, as well as generating unnecessary expenses for thousands of Australian households and undermining innovation in this important sector.

“The result of this flawed standard will be local, small operators shedding jobs overnight.” says NOPA President Chris Taylor.

“It seems counter-intuitive, during this time of economic hardship, that Standards Australia, mandated by federal and state governments, would actively undermine the small business sector in this way, wipe jobs off the map, destroy a growing industry, add costs to household budgets, and ignore cost effective and sustainable technology.”

The standard is scheduled to be referenced in most states from January 1, 2021.

NOPA claims various benchmarks in the standard have been designed to serve larger, established wastewater treatment providers which use older technology.

For instance, the standard inexplicably requires a domestic testing regime that is well outside international benchmarks, is suited more to commercial installments and, costs as much as $100,000.

Added Mr. Taylor, “Small businesses are suffering enough in this pandemic. They certainly don’t have a hundred grand in their back pockets for testing to an effluent quality that isn’t required anywhere else in the world.”

NOPA argues that the incoming standard should be shelved and the existing standard be continued.

“The new regulation will concentrate the industry on a select number of big old companies as family-run businesses collapse, reducing competition and increasing the cost to the consumer.” says Mr Taylor.

Further information please contact James Rose 0427 419 415

NOPA is a not for profit Association established to provide the wastewater industry with an Association, a voice and a forum for the provision of high quality, cost effective on-site design, effluent treatment, installation and discharge to the environment.

Our children should always be able to play safely in our rivers, our streams and their own back yards.