ACTEW takes over water and sewerage in the ACT
The Board of ACTEW Corporation has decided it will fully integrate the water and sewerage operations currently undertaken by ActewAGL Water Division into ACTEW from 1 July 2012. Water and sewerage will be managed under the trading name of Actew Water.
ACTEW AGL was formed to manage water and sewerage in the ACT in 2000 when ACTEW Corporation and AGL formed a joint venture
Announcing the decision, ACTEW Managing Director, Mark Sullivan, said the restructure would enable the company to become more customer focussed.
“Many things like customer support, billing and a central contact point will continue to be delivered by ActewAGL. We will however focus on the needs of customer segments. To the developer we would prefer to be viewed as a partner in providing future sound infrastructure rather than a regulator. To the relatively few industrial customers we wish to help balance the processing and environmental issues of their waste with commercial viability, to the residential customer we want to help assist in wise water usage. We want to continue our community engagement.
“We want to be at the forefront of developing leading-edge urban water policy with our ACT Government colleagues, taking into consideration sustaining long-term water security while ensuring our continued record on environmental sustainability.
“To do this we will draw on the work of our water and climate modelling team, which has mapped more than 200 climate possibilities for our region, reviewed almost 100 years of climate records and taken the CSIRO 2030 climate model to develop the likely range of climate scenarios for our region.
We want to engage with our environmental regulators, to ensure a rigorous and effective regime that will maintain the standards of water and treated effluent across the ACT. By sharing our data, comparing analysis, engaging quality experts and partaking in exchanges of ideas the ACT can continue to be a leader in the treatment of water.”
Mr Sullivan said that as a single business, ACTEW could more efficiently reach its aim of being a leader in the water business in Australia and presenting a clear report card on how that is being achieved.
“Our timing is also deliberate as we approach the next five-year review of our business and price path by the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission (ICRC). Our submission will be lodged in July as part of their consideration of many aspects of our business. Most people are aware that the ICRC determines the price of water and sewerage services in the ACT. The Commission also sets out a range of operational parameters for ACTEW, from our five year capital expenditure, to annual operational expenditure levels and our ability to recoup or reclaim lost revenue from previous periods.”
“I am encouraged by and support fully the efforts of the Commission to engage the community in their determination. I join them in encouraging individuals and corporations to join in the debate and discussion. I am disappointed that only seven submissions were made on the excellent issues paper released by the Commission – three were ACTEW, the Government and the Tribunal. The final determination of the ICRC is a statement of value for water.”
Mr Sullivan said that ACTEW is becoming more involved in the broader water picture.
“Our work in the Upper Murrumbidgee, in environmental reference groups and river action groups reflects the fact that our core business is impacted markedly by the broader water quality and management issues be they be as broad as the negotiation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, catchment management, secondary water use, including stormwater and the possible re-use of effluent.
“The ACT’s water system is a sub-set of a larger system and one of the key priorities is to ensure that when water leaves the ACT, be it from our rivers, the stormwater or as treated effluent - it is clean.
“The creation of ACTEW Water and its positioning closer to mainstream government indicates our willingness to engage in broader operational water issues. Recent enquiries by the Assembly and the ICRC both point to a further concentration of water within an operational agency. We support that move and hope to display the knowledge and business acumen for ACTEW to extend its current role.”
More information is here.