In This Issue



   - A Look Ahead



Stormwater Conference Review

-  Jack’s Review



Tax Time

-  Claimable Items



Wrap Up

   - See You Next Month



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Hi Readers! Can you believe we’re halfway through the year already!? Our monthly newsletter has been providing you with all things stormwater for two and a half years now and throughout this time we’ve discussed a number of different topics.  Are there any topics or particular items that you would like covered in future editions? Please let us know by replying to this email with any feedback or topic requests.  


In this month’s issue of Keep Things Flowing, Jack reviews the Stormwater Australia Water Quality Conference he attended earlier this month and we review possible tax deductions for the upcoming end of financial year. 



Stormwater Australia Conference Review

I had the pleasure of attending the open panel discussion session on the Stormwater Quality Improvement Devices Evaluation Protocol (SQIDEP) held this month. SQIDEP is a document currently being drafted by Stormwater Australia, with a primary focus on setting up standard testing and evaluation processes for proprietary stormwater quality improvement devices.


Photograph 1 – Conference Presentation


The panel consisted of Andrew Allan (Stormwater Australia president), Charles Kelly (Humes/Holcim) and Jack Mullaly (Healthy Waterways). The audience consisted of a good mix of local government agencies, manufacturers and consultants working in the South-East Queensland region.


Many interesting points were raised throughout the session. One intriguing discussion focused on whether the preparation of such a protocol was ‘too little, too late’. With some local governments favouring ‘offset contribution schemes’ in place of implementing stormwater treatment devices, some argued that SQIDEP is money not well spent in a diminishing market. Another discussion focused on whether traditional ‘green’ stormwater treatment devices such as bio-retention basins, should be required to undergo the same protocol which SQIDEP is seeking to promote. Some also argued whether adopting a national protocol like SQIDEP was practical, or whether standard testing and evaluation processes should be determined by each local council.


Indeed, there is a lack of ‘level playing field’ when it comes to the testing and evaluation of stormwater quality improvement devices. It is currently up to each manufacturer to ‘sell’ their product to individual councils, in the hope that the product would be accepted and subsequently recommended by consultants. SQIDEP is a good starting point to level out the playing field, however whether such a national protocol would take off and receive nation-wide acceptance remains to be seen


Tax Time

June has come and gone, which means it’s time to forage for those faded receipts inside your shoe box and sort out your tax returns. The ATO’s website has listed some occupation-specific deductions you can claim for your work-related expenses. Some common work-related deductions for engineers (and potentially architects, town planners etc.) are listed below:


- Work-related daily travel expenses: travels between your work and meeting places and/or sites are generally deductable. Travelling from home to site then onto work is also deductable, however travels between home and work are generally private (with exceptions).


- Overnight and overseas travel: fares, accommodations, meals and incidental expenses for work (e.g. site visits) are generally deductable. This includes attending industry-related seminars interstate or overseas (attendance fees are also deductable). Course fees and tutorial fees for work-related training (e.g. software package courses) are also generally deductable.


- Union fees and subscriptions to associations: membership fees to Engineers Australia and Professionals Australia (amongst others) are generally deductable. Fees incurred for application to qualified status (e.g. CPEng) are generally deductable.


- Protective clothing, uniforms and laundry: safety equipment, protective clothing and uniforms are generally deductable. The costs for laundry and dry-cleaning uniforms and protective clothing are also deductable.


Make sure you are able to supplement evidence for the above deductions (e.g. receipts). The above is of an informative nature; see the ATO website for more details or seek professional advice from your tax agent.


HECS/HELP Repayments: A reminder to everyone who has a HECS or HELP debt, the government currently offers a 5% discount on upfront debt repayments (more than $500). This is a great opportunity to take advantage of this saving as the discount will be abolished from January 2017. For more information please visit the ATO website. 



Wrap Up

We hope you enjoyed this edition of Keep Things Flowing. Feedback on articles presented is always welcomed and for further information on any of the articles presented please don’t hesitate to contact our office.


As always, Keep Things Flowing!


The Storm Team


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