IPART has sought feedback on its draft decisions on the prices that the Central Coast Council as a Water Supply Authority (CCC Water) can charge its customers for water, wastewater and other related services from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2026.
We will publish this feedback on our website soon and will consider all comments made through survey responses, submissions, and at our public hearings before releasing our Final Report in May 2022.
Our draft decisions recognise the need to invest in quality water services in the Central Coast. It is critical that our draft prices are accompanied by improvements to CCC Water’s performance and accountability for that performance.
We have carefully balanced customer concerns about price increases with the need to ensure CCC Water has enough funding to improve its delivery and network operations and maintain its assets.
Draft prices from 1 July 2022 would be higher than current prices
Under the draft prices, the combined yearly bill for a typical household would increase by around $200 on 1 July 2022. The yearly bill would then increase by around $49 per year, before inflation, until 2025-26.
Our draft decisions on prices would increase typical household bills, but not by as much as CCC Water proposed. Customers have told us that price and bill increases may cause affordability concerns in the community. We have phased in the price increases over the next 4 years to give customers more time to manage the impact.
Please see our fact sheet on our draft prices and bills to see how our draft prices compare with CCC Water’s proposal. We have also developed a bill calculator to help customers estimate their future bills under IPART’s draft prices from 1 July 2022.
CCC Water should be more accountable for its performance to customers
We have found price increases are necessary to allow CCC Water to invest in improving its delivery and network operations, maintaining its assets, and improving its performance over time.
In addition, IPART considers it is crucial CCC Water is kept accountable and is transparent about how it spends the money and how it would improve its services to the community.
We intend to recommend CCC Water regularly reports on its performance to the community. We expect CCC Water to consult with the community to develop a set of performance measures that reflect the community’s preferences. We also provided some examples CCC Water could consider in the Draft Report for the community to provide feedback on.
In addition, IPART intends to recommend the Minister gives us a referral to investigate and report on CCC Water’s performance and progress in 2 years.
Stormwater costs should move to the local government fund by 1 July 2026
Under the draft prices, stormwater bills would increase by around 17% on 1 July 2022 and then by inflation until 2025-26. This means a typical customer living in a house or apartment would pay an additional $19 or $14 respectively on 1 July 2022 when compared with their current bill. Customers can use the bill calculator to estimate their future bills under our draft prices.
We have set the draft stormwater prices below the levels proposed by CCC Water. We have decided customers should not pay for the proposed additional costs such as flood planning and stormwater quality management. Rather, we have decided these additional costs should be transferred back and continue to be funded from local government rates.
We intend this pricing review will be the last time we set stormwater prices. We consider all costs for stormwater services should be fully funded by local government rates from 1 July 2026. In our view, these services provide benefits to the whole community – not just specific customers. Therefore, these services should be funded through local government rates like other services that benefit the whole community.
Have your say
On Tuesday 5 April 2022, we held a second online public hearing for our CCC Water price review. The public hearing was for the public to have their say and ask questions to IPART about our draft decisions, and contribute to our workshop about how CCC Water can improve its performance and accountability to the community. We thank all participants for getting involved and providing us with useful input to consider in making our final decisions.
Please visit our public hearing page to see the agenda, complete presentation slides, links to the video recordings and transcripts.
We also encouraged the council and CCC Water, customers, the community, and other interested parties to have their say on our Draft Report via our Have Your Say survey and/or submissions by 14 April 2022. We thank all those who completed the survey and/or made submissions to our review.
IPART will consider all comments made through survey responses, submissions, and at the public hearing before releasing a Final Report in May 2022.
For media enquiries, please contact Adrian Flood by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 0427 105 865.