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IPART is reviewing the way it regulates water businesses. We are reviewing how we set prices, and licence conditions, for the ‘monopoly’ businesses that we regulate ‑ Sydney Water, Hunter Water, Central Coast Council, Essential Water, WaterNSW, the Sydney Desalination Plant (SDP) and the Water Administration Ministerial Corporation (WAMC).

These water businesses are monopoly providers of an essential service that affects millions of NSW households. IPART’s regulatory framework encourages the water businesses to meet the needs of their customers and the community, and ensures that they are accountable for these outcomes.

We have released our third Discussion Paper, which puts forward proposed improvements to our framework to encourage innovation among the water businesses. It proposes to begin grading the business’s proposals against the framework of Customer focus, Cost efficiency and Credibility (our ‘3Cs’ principles), in order to:

  1. Motivate all businesses to submit proposals which focus on maximising long-term value to customers
  2. Tailor the design of the regulatory framework to the maturity, sophistication and innovation shown by the business
  3. Streamline the regulatory review process.

The paper also outlines our proposals for longer determination periods and improvements to the expenditure review process.

We will be holding a workshop on Tuesday 21st September to consult with stakeholders on the proposed reforms presented in this third discussion paper. Please register your interest here to receive more information.

We have also collected submissions on our first two Discussion Papers, which had our preliminary views about how our framework could be improved to lift the performance of the water sector and better focus on customers, and these are available on the website. 

It has been a number of years since we have reviewed our approach.  This is an opportunity to identify improvements to our processes, review method and stakeholder engagement consistent with our objectives of:




Key contact
Anthony Rush
02 9113 7790