Water security and sustainability

Water security and sustainability

Sep 25
CEDA brings together senior stakeholders from the water sector to examine security and sustainability amid prolonged drought, ageing infrastructure, and enhanced consumer expectations. 


Dr Jim Bentley, Chief Executive Officer - Water, NSW Department of Planning, Industry, and Environment
Sally Armstrong, Head of Customer Direction and Experience, Sydney Water
Terri Benson, Managing Director, South East Water
Kevin Werksman, Global Water Markets Leader, Aurecon

Event overview

Water is a critical service – its provisioning and supply underpins economic, environmental and regional development. The industry is a $13 billion revenue market employing over 16,000 people across the country.

Yet amid prolonged drought, Australia’s ability to manage the effects of climate change, ageing infrastructure and the impacts of population growth on water security – the fragility of the water system is exposed.

Led by senior government stakeholders, join CEDA’s audience as we examine:

  • Policy priorities and initiatives that best address water security, growth and liveability;
  • Implications of drought and what this means for water providers;
  • Economic and regulatory challenges that threaten the water system's resilience; and
  • Best practice community engagement that provides social licence to invest in infrastructure and services that deliver optimal economic and environmental outcomes.

Event presentations

Dr Jim Bentley, NSW Department of Planning, Industry, and Environment MP3

Moderated discussion MP3

Delegate handout PDF

Meet the keynote speaker

Dr Jim Bentley
Chief Executive Officer - Water, NSW Department of Planning, Industry, and Environment

Jim Bentley has 25 years’ leadership experience in the infrastructure sector.  Having started his career with Thames Water in the UK, he progressed to be Regional Director for their Middle East business, based in Istanbul.  During his time in Turkey he led the company’s response to a major earthquake which killed 15000 people in the city where he was responsible for the water supply system and oversaw business in Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Having returned to the UK in 2002 Jim became Chairman and CEO of Thames Water’s 500 employee Spanish business trading in a number of European countries.  After 12 years Jim left the Thames Group and shortly afterwards spent 10 years in New Zealand, undertaking roles including CEO of Auckland City’s water utility, Director of the Centre for Infrastructure Research at the University of Auckland and CEO of infrastructure consultancy firm Synergine Group. Jim moved to Australia in 2016 and spent three years as Managing Director of the State-Owned Corporation, Hunter Water and has recently been appointed CEO – Water for the NSW Government.

Meet the speakers

Sally Armstrong
Head of Customer Direction and Experience, Sydney Water

Sally is a creative and outcome focussed leader with more than 20 years’ experience in designing and delivering programs that improve outcomes for customers and communities. She joined Sydney Water in 2006 to lead the Award winning Every Drop Counts Business Program during the millennium drought. Since that time she has held numerous positions spanning long term planning, operations and customer service. This experience gives her a unique understanding of the water industry and the challenges of our growing cities.  Sally loves harnessing the collective power of people to re-imagine what’s possible and deliver solutions that are designed from a human perspective. Sally currently lead’s the Customer Direction and Experience Team at Sydney Water, their role is to reimagine and transform the way the business thinks about and interacts with its customers.

Terri Benson
Managing Director, South East Water

Ms Benson was appointed Managing Director of South East Water on 29 May 2017 and is a director of Iota Services Pty Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of South East Water. Ms Benson is a Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, a director of Water Services Association of Australia, a director of The Centre for New Energy Technologies, an advisory board member with Birdon and a board member with Zero Emissions Water. A highly experienced chief executive officer, she has held a range of both executive and non-executive director roles in the government utility and private infrastructure sectors. She is a former CEO of Seqwater, a wholesale water utility in south-east Queensland, a former Managing Director of Essential Energy and a former Chair of the Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW. Ms Benson was the Managing Director of Birdon, a diversified engineering and services business providing innovative solutions to the military and marine industries with operations across Australia, USA and Europe.

Meet the chair

Kevin Werksman
Global Water Markets Leader, Aurecon

Kevin Werksman is Aurecon’s Global Water Markets Leader, overseeing a team that is building and delivering water smart and water sensitive cities strategies across the world. He provides leadership to the engineering, design, and advisory company’s water market teams, helping Aurecon build presence and strategic advice capabilities across the group in Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Kevin has worked in the water industry for 20 years in Australia, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea and South East Asia.  His role covers a wide scope of challenges and services in the rapidly evolving industry, including water security, and resilient and water smart cities and regions.

Supported by CEDA members

Major sponsors

Public event advice – Coronavirus

At CEDA we are proud to regularly convene and engage speakers and audiences as an essential element of our efforts to broaden discussion and debate of the most important policy issues facing Australia. In doing so, our first priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our guests and staff.

CEDA remains true to its purpose of providing platforms to inform and promote debate of critical issues and driving policy solutions and are continuing critical discussions for Australia’s economic, social and environmental development through a digital events program including exclusive livestreams, podcasts and video, as well as our virtual Trustee roundtable discussions.

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