Thank you for providing your feedback on stormwater drainage
IPART is considering whether to continue to include charges for stormwater services within the prices we set for the council’s water services, delivered as part of its role as a Water Supply Authority. Alternatively, stormwater services could be funded from within the council’s general local government income. If stormwater services were all delivered by the council as part of its local government role, we are also considering how the council would be funded for providing stormwater services from local government funds,
On 22 October 2021, we released an Information Paper on stormwater drainage on which we sought feedback to consider in making our draft decisions. Feedback closed on 15 November 2021.
Thank you to everyone who responded to our Information Paper. We received 269 survey responses and 1 written stakeholder submission. We also received a submission from Central Coast Council.
Community feedback is very valuable to us. We will consider all feedback made through submissions, survey responses, and at our recent public hearing as a key input in making our decisions.
We are reviewing the council’s costs, for which we have engaged expert advice. We will do further investigation and analysis, before releasing our Draft Report in March 2022.
We will also seek feedback and comments on our Draft Report and will hold a second public hearing in April 2022 for the community to present their views.
We will consider all views when making final decisions for the Central Coast Council’s water prices to apply from 1 July 2022.
IPART currently sets prices for stormwater services
Stormwater activities include managing and maintaining the infrastructure that collects the rainwater from roads, parks and private land. It also includes improving the water quality of rivers, lagoons and beaches, and undertaking flood planning and mitigation.
In the past, IPART has set maximum prices for stormwater services supplied by Central Coast Council as a Water Supply Authority. Central Coast Council currently levies an annual stormwater drainage charge on household and business customers in the declared drainage area within the council’s boundaries.
From 1 July 2022, the council has proposed additional stormwater drainage costs and to shift more costs from its general fund (which are paid for through your local government rates), to its Water Supply Authority, for which we set prices.
We think stormwater services should ideally be funded through local government rates.
Our preliminary decision is that the council’s stormwater drainage services should be funded through local government rates and not through the stormwater drainage charges we set for the council as a Water Supply Authority. This would ensure that customers don’t potentially pay twice for stormwater services.
We also think funding stormwater charges through local government rates is more appropriate because stormwater services are more like a community service rather than a private service provided to specific customers. Stormwater drainage services protect the whole community from flooding and inundation, with benefits to the natural environment. Everyone in the community benefits from stormwater drainage services.
Most people who responded agreed stormwater services should be funded through local government rates
Do you think that stormwater services should be paid for through the council’s local government rates instead of through charges levied by the council as a Water Supply Authority?
Source: IPART analysis
Many of you thought that by paying through local government rates, this would avoid paying for stormwater services potentially twice. Most also considered stormwater services to be a community service rather than a water supply service.
However, people were evenly split on when this change should happen
If stormwater services were to change to be funded through local government rates, when would you want this change to occur:
Source: IPART analysis
About half of you preferred the change to happen as soon as possible. People who wanted stormwater drainage to be funded by local government rates generally wanted the change to occur as soon as possible. Those who disagreed preferred this to happen in a few years, either during the determination or sometime after.
Many people expressed concerns about affordability and the impact of the change on the local government rates they pay. Many were also concerned about the transparency of costs and prices, and council’s management.
Responses suggested that many considered that the stormwater services they receive are inadequate or inexistent and were against paying a stormwater charge and higher prices.
We will release our Draft Report in March 2022
We value and will consider all feedback received on our Information Paper on stormwater drainage in making our draft decisions on stormwater for this review. We will publish our Draft Report in March 2022 and invite the community to provide feedback and comment on our draft decisions. We will also hold a public hearing in April 2022 which will provide another opportunity for you to have your say.