Water Industry Bill 2011 introduced into Parliament
The Water Industry Bill 2011 (Bill) was introduced into the lower house of the South Australian Parliament on 27 July 2011.
The Bill is a revised version of a consultation draft which was released for consultation in late 2010. Many Councils and the Local Government Association of South Australia made submissions to the Minister for Water in relation to the proposals in the Bill.
Norman Waterhouse assisted a group of metropolitan Councils to frame their joint submission around those issues likely to be of most significant impact to them specifically and Local Government generally. This submission was co-ordinated with the LGA’s over-arching submission.
The Bill seeks to harmonise the various aspects of the water industry in South Australia. It repeals the Sewerage Act 1929, the Water Works Act 1932 and the Water Conservation Act 1936 and replaces them with a consolidated Act which will regulate all aspects of the water industry. The Bill therefore seeks to regulate the provision of all water and sewerage related industries in South Australia. This has an impact on Local Government because of its significant role in the provision of sewerage services through Community Waste Management Schemes and various reticulated water supply systems.
If your Council is involved in any aspects of the water industry, including the collection, storage, treatment or delivery of waste water or stormwater or the collection of sewerage then this Bill, if passed, will impact your Council.
Some particular issues which will affect Councils are:
- Regulation of water infrastructure and sewerage infrastructure
- Requirements for licensing of retail services
- Third party access rights for water infrastructure
- Land access and infrastructure maintenance rights
- Regulation of pricing by the Essential Services Commission of South Australia
- Regulation of small CWMS schemes
Although there is no official consultation underway at this point and the Bill is currently laid before the Parliament, Councils with an interest may wish to lobby their local MP.
If you would like to understand how the Bill might impact on your Council specifically or have any questions in relation to the Bill or the Water Industry generally, please contact Mark Henderson (direct line 08 8210 1220, or email email@example.com).