Water and sewerage services in Tasmania are provided by TasWater, a council-owned corporation established by the Water and Sewerage Corporation Act 2012. TasWater is licensed under the Water and Sewerage Industry Act 2008 and is subject to economic, environmental and health regulation by independent regulatory bodies.
On 1 May 2018, the Government, TasWater and the Chief Owners' Representative of TasWater signed a Memorandum of Understanding to progress reforms of the water and sewerage industry.
The purpose of the MoU is to facilitate cooperation between TasWater, the State Government and councils to enable TasWater to accelerate water and sewerage infrastructure investment and deliver water and sewerage services to Tasmanians at more affordable prices.
The MoU proposes a joint ownership model for TasWater, with the State Government committing to make equity contributions to TasWater of $200 million over 10 years. TasWater has committed to use its best endeavours to undertake a targeted $1.8 billion infrastructure investment program in the 10 years to 2025-26.
TasWater has also committed to freeze prices for regulated water and sewerage customers from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 and to develop a future price profile with annual price increases of no greater than 3.5 per cent, which applies from 1 July 2020 until 30 June 2025.
The MoU includes a range of other measures, including working cooperatively to progress projects of special economic importance to Tasmania such as the works needed to allow the Macquarie Point site to be developed and to address the issues arising from the combined sewerage/stormwater system in Launceston.
TasWater and the State Government are implementing these commitments through legislative amendments, by amendments to TasWater's Constitution and Shareholders' Letter of Expectation and a new Share Subscription and Implementation Agreement.
At a Special General Meeting of councils on 27 September 2018, councils passed three resolutions that approve the measures arising from the MoU.
Legislation to implement the measures set out in the MoU is currently being developed. The legislation follows the enactment of the Water and Sewerage Corporation Amendment (Crown Involvement and Facilitation) Act 2018 which ensured the validity of the resolution made by the councils on 27 September 2018 to allow the State Government to be a part owner of TasWater. The Bill, titled Water and Sewerage Legislation (Corporate Governance and Pricing) Amendment Bill 2018, is scheduled to be introduced into Parliament in mid-October 2018.
Information on the current economic regulation of Tasmania's water and sewerage industry is available on the website of the Tasmanian Economic Regulator at www.economicregulator.tas.gov.au.
The Regulator's State of the Industry Reports provide information on the performance of the Tasmanian water and sewerage industry.
The Regulator's Final Report and Price Determination for the period from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021, together with TasWater's approved Price and Service Plan, are available on the 2018 Water and Sewerage Price Determination Investigation page of the Regulator's website.
The Environment Protection Authority's Annual Reports provide information on the performance of TasWater's wastewater treatment plants.
If you have concerns relating to water and sewerage services or accounts, TasWater can be contacted by telephone on 13 6992, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about TasWater can be obtained from its website, www.taswater.com.au.
If you are unhappy with the response provided by TasWater in relation to your water and sewerage services or account, you may wish to raise the matter with the Tasmanian Ombudsman. The Office of the Ombudsman can be contacted by telephone on 1800 001 170 or email to: email@example.com.