WaterNSW is backing a recommendation from NSW’s competition watchdog to lower water costs for irrigators.
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) recommended the state-owned WaterNSW corporation pass on operational cost savings to rural bulk water customers, in its pricing proposal for the 2017-21 period.
WaterNSW’s has accepted the watchdog’s recommendation in its submission to the proposal.
IPART said under its proposal, the cost of WaterNSW’s services would be 11 per cent lower than in the 2016-17 period.
WaterNSW had made the savings possible “by reducing our revenue requirement paid for by customers by 11pc, by eliminating duplication, realigning resources and utilising technology to work smarter,” WaterNSW chief executive David Harris said.
Up to 60 Department of Primary Industries staff were slated for redundancies this year as the government’s water division workers move into the new state-owned entity amongst other reforms to remove duplication and inefficiencies in services, including monitoring and compliance checks.
WaterNSW said it had responded to feedback from customer service committees and recommended a tariffs include a high variable component for water charges. The pricing determination covers Murray Darling Basin valleys and the Fish River, North Coast, Hunter and South Coast.
New prices will take effect in July 2017. The public and stakeholder groups can make submissions to IPART’s proposal until October 2016 and public hearings will be held later in that month. Visit ipart.nsw.gov.au