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.
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 –
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
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
- 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
- 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.
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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