The Tasmanian Government is responsible for the regulatory arrangements for water and sewerage prices. Under the Water and Sewerage Industry Act 2008, TasWater is licensed by the independent Tasmanian Economic Regulator to provide water and sewerage services. The Regulator is also responsible for setting water and sewerage charges.
Legislation to establish a single, state-wide water and sewerage corporation in Tasmania completed its passage through Parliament on 21 November 2012. TasWater commenced operations on 1 July 2013, following the amalgamation of the three regional water and sewerage corporations, namely Ben Lomond Water, Cradle Mountain Water and South Water. TasWater is owned by Tasmania’s local councils. This amalgamation is part of the ongoing reform of Tasmania’s water and sewerage industry, which has a key aim of ensuring that TasWater has sufficient revenue to provide acceptable water and sewerage services and meet environmental and health standards for all Tasmanians.
The Tasmanian Economic Regulator sets water and sewerage charges for a specific period of time known as a price determination period. The Economic Regulator’s approach to setting prices involves conducting a Price Determination Investigation, which considers a Price and Service Plan submitted by TasWater, the outcome of public consultation, the input of the sector’s technical regulators (principally the Director of Public Health and Director of the Environmental Protection Authority) and all relevant legislation. The outcome of the investigation is published in the Regulator’s Final Price Determination and Final Report.
On 29 April 2015, the Economic Regulator released its 2015 Final Report and Final Price Determination for the Tasmanian water and sewerage industry for the second pricing period from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2018. The structure of water and sewerage charges remains largely consistent with the previously approved arrangements of the first pricing period, including the use of two-part pricing, which was adopted in the first pricing period.
The current pricing approach is intended to continue to progress towards recovering the full cost of providing water and sewerage services across Tasmania. The Regulator aims to fully implement cost reflective pricing by the end of the 2019-20 financial year.
Detailed information on the performance of the water and sewerage industry is contained in an annual report produced by the Economic Regulator. The most recent report, the State of the Industry Report 2014-15, can be found on the Economic Regulator's website.