The Department of Finance and Services has released a discussion paper for public comment regarding last resort arrangements under the Water Industry Competition Act 2006 (WIC Act).


The Government introduced the WIC Act to harness the innovation and investment potential of the private sector in the water and wastewater industries as part of its strategy for a sustainable water future. One of the reforms introduced under the WIC Act was a licensing regime for private sector entrants to ensure the continued protection of public health, consumers and the environment.


Similar to the energy industry, to protect consumers, the WIC Act includes provisions to ensure the continued supply of water and sewerage services in the event that a licensed retail supplier fails or becomes unviable - these provisions are referred to as retailer of last resort (RoLR) arrangements. While the RoLR provisions address the possibility of a retail supply failure, the WIC Act does not include provisions that would respond to a licensed network operator failure (OoLR event) or the failure of a combined network operator and retail supplier.

Therefore, the Department of Finance and Services is undertaking a review to:

  • review the adequacy of the RoLR provisions and identify a preferred set of arrangements
  • identify a preferred option for OoLR arrangements.

As part of the review the Department of Finance and Services is seeking feedback on the discussion paper that seeks to generate stakeholder views in relation to two key areas:

  1. the principles and objectives that should underpin a RoLR and OoLR scheme
  2. the issues that must be addressed in developing the detailed provisions that will make up the RoLR and OoLR scheme.


A copy of the discussion paper is available on the Water for Life website, as well as other details of the review, including how to make a submission.


The closing date is Monday 12 September 2011. Should you have any further enquiries, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. on (02) 8281 7344.