Productivity Commission National Water Reform update

Productivity Commission National Water Reform update

Productivity Commission National Water Reform update
Date: 25-Jul-2017

The Commission is currently compiling their draft report the current Inquiry on National Water Reform. Details of qldwater’s submission on the Commission’s initial issues paper were included in eflash #317 and can be read here.

Responses to the initial issues paper have led the Commission to seek further information on the specific needs of water service providers in regional and remote areas and convened a workshop on 11 July. The workshop was attended by two Commissioners and Tasmania, Victorian and NSW industry representatives. Queensland was represented by Trevor Harvey (North Burnett), Graham O’Byrne (Cairns), Rob Fearon (qldwater), and Arron Hieatt (LGAQ).

The workshop covered the different institutional models for water and sewerage services in each State and focussed on programs like QWRAP in Queensland and the regional alliances among councils in NSW. Queensland representatives made the case for the needs of Queensland’s numerous diverse (including many small and remote) communities and the negative outcomes from rapid water reform. The importance of appropriate infrastructure investment shared with State government and appropriate consideration of staff and skills were also discussed at length. The summary of the meeting by the Commissioners demonstrated they had a strong understanding of the issues put forward.

The Commission has advised that the draft report is expected to be released by the end of September.  Feedback on the draft will be sought prior to the publication of the Final Report in December 2017. qldwater encourages Queensland Service Providers and Regional Water Alliances to respond directly to the Commission on the Draft Report when it emerges or via the joint response that will be compiled by qldwater.

We would particularly like to thank Trevor Harvey and North Burnett Regional Council for providing his time to travel to Sydney to participate in the workshop and provide practical insights and represent the issues facing small regional and remote Queensland service providers.

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