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G’Day USA Water forum showcases Australian capabilities

Austrade media release

15 January 2010

Australian expertise in water conservation, management, policy and product development will be the focus of a water forum being held today as part of G’Day USA: Australia Week.

Austrade’s Regional Director for the Americas, Grame Barty, said the Austrade organised event brings together over 20 twenty leading Australian and US policy makers and industry leaders; and will showcase products from 10 Australian companies.

"There are many similarities in water management issues being faced by Australia and the United States, and there is growing recognition in the US of Australian leadership and capability in water management and sustainability, Mr Barty said.

"We have been overwhelmed by the level of interest from local companies keen to attend this forum.

"The event builds on the initiatives already conducted across America which have highlighted Australia’s world-class expertise and capability in water policy, research, innovation and services," Mr Barty said.

The panel (see speaker list below) discussions will address issues related to water scarcity relevant to Australia and the US and will consider possible methods and policies to respond to these challenges.

The participating companies exhibiting their products at the conference are:  NSW-based Atlantis, EPAR and Star War Solutions; ACT-based EWATER CRC; Victorian-based Planet Footprint and Rubicon and South Australian-based Ballen Filters, Optimatics and Windesal.

Austrade’s Los Angeles-based Senior Trade Commissioner, Sally-Ann Watts, said the presentations and interactive dialogue will create an unprecedented forum for collaboration and exchange of ideas with the aim of finding innovative solutions for water sustainability and management.

"The high profile guest speakers include prominent US water experts Brad Udall from the University of Colorado and Timothy Brick, Chairman Southern Californian Metropolitan Water District – who provides advice to Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and other state and federal officials," Ms Watts said.

"Both US experts have first-hand knowledge of Australian expertise and capabilities, having participated in Austrade’s US water delegation which toured Australia in November last year.

"This demonstrates the significant amount of liaison and cooperation between Australia and the United States.

"There are tremendous opportunities for Australia, with Australian companies already supplying the United States market with a wide array of high quality products and services including smart water sensors, grey water recycling systems, dual flush toilets and water optimization software," she said.

The United States continues to be a valuable market for Australian businesses looking to expand internationally. In 2008-2009 the US was Australia’s third largest trading partner with two-way trade valued at $53.1 billion.

Austrade has a network devoted to the US market, providing extensive support for Australian exporters and assisting US companies to invest into Australia.

G’Day USA: Australia Week runs from 9 - 22 January and is produced by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Austrade, Tourism Australia and Qantas Airways. In addition to the founding partners, Australia Week is supported by the State Governments of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia and around 33 sponsors.

Panel Members

Ken Matthews - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, National Water Commission, Australia
Professor Dave Griggs - Director, Monash Sustainability Institute, Australia
Brad Udall - Director, Western Water Assessment of the University of Colorado, USA
Tim Brick - Chairman, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, USA
Anthony Pratt - Executive, Chairman Visy, Australia
Deb Kerr - NRM Manager, National Farmer's Federation, Australia
Anne Howe - CEO, South Australian Water Corporation, Australia
Dan Spiller - Director of Communications and External Relations, Queensland Water Commission

For more information on events being held, visit www.australia-week.com

ENDS

Media contact

Sarkis Khoury, Senior Media Adviser, Ph: 02-9390-2118, M: 0414 401 072

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