Sydney Water Corporation Operating Licence under review

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) is seeking feedback on potential changes to the Sydney Water Corporation Operating Licence.

The current licence, which will be replaced from 1 July 2019, sets the terms under which Sydney Water must provide water and sewerage services for the Sydney, Blue Mountains and Illawarra regions. It sets the quality and performance standards Sydney Water must comply with including water quality, water conservation, assets, environment and customer rights.

IPART Chair Dr Peter Boxall said stakeholder views are being sought on a number of potential improvements to increase the transparency of Sydney Water’s operations and reduce duplication of regulatory functions with agencies such as NSW Health and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

“IPART is looking at ways to improve our regulation of Sydney Water and the licence’s effectiveness” Dr Boxall said.

“That means a detailed review of areas such as licence authorisation, water conservation, supply services and performance standards, organisational systems management, customer and stakeholder relations, and performance monitoring and reporting. We are also reviewing ways to reduce barriers to entry for licensees, including recycled water providers, under the Water Industry Competition Act 2006.”

“Our focus is on setting regulation at the right level to ensure that health, environmental, customer and business objectives are met without inappropriately increasing the burden and cost of regulation which must ultimately be paid for by customers.”

IPART is inviting written submissions from Sydney Water, its customers and consumers, licensees under the Water Industry Competition Act 2006, relevant government regulators and agencies, local councils and community, industry and environment groups on the Issues Paper released today.

Sydney Water’s submission is due earlier, by 6 August 2018, to allow other stakeholders to consider Sydney Water’s views when preparing their own submissions, which are due by 20 August 2018.

IPART will consider stakeholder submissions, and use cost-benefit analysis, to assess potential changes before releasing a draft licence package for further consultation in December 2018. This will be followed by a public workshop in February 2019.

Final recommendations for an amended licence package will be made to the Minister in April 2019. The Issues Paper is available at IPART’s website .