Submission to Report on Secure and Sustainable Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Services for Non-Metropolitan NSW Alternative formats available on request to PIAC - Contact PIAC
In 2007 the NSW Government commissioned The Hon Ian Armstrong and Dr Colin Gellatly to conduct an independent inquiry into the provision of water and sewerage services in non-metropolitan NSW. In December 2008 they handed down the Report of the Independent Inquiry into Secure and Sustainable Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Services for Non-Metropolitan NSW. The Report recommends the aggregation of local water utilities and proposes changes to their organisational structures and regulatory and pricing frameworks.In its submission on the Report, PIAC acknowledges the need for reform of local water utilities but submits that changes must be in the best interests of non-metropolitan customers and communities. To this end, PIAC urges the NSW Government to aggregate water utilities only following significant compliance failures or where there is agreement from the local utilities. PIAC also submits that the profit motive be divorced from the provision of water and sewerage services. It is further suggested that water utilities be required to hold licences and that, in the transition to this new regulatory regime, the NSW Government assists utilities to realise their licence obligations. Finally, PIAC contends that affordability must be a key consideration of price determinations and be supported by an adequate state-wide pensioner rebate scheme and mandatory hardship programs.