The Western Australian Government has passed two bills aimed at improving the governing of water services before State Parliament.


State Water Minister Bill Marmion said the passage of the Water Services Bill 2011 and the Water Services Legislation Amendment and Repeal Bill 2011 marked a significant milestone on the State’s water reform agenda.


“These Bills represent a major step forward in modernising the way water is provided and will bring benefits for water customers and service providers,” Mr Marmion said.

“Industry will benefit from updated legislation facilitating easier entry of new water service providers to the market and, for the first time, all water service providers will operate under the same set of powers and obligations.”


The legislation will see the formation of the office of the Water Ombudsman, a move Mr Marmion said has been supported by community advocacy groups to help resolve disputes between customers and water utilities.


The changes would also allow some of the State’s water service providers to offer new services such as bulk water supplies, drainage, recycled water and sewerage services.

It will also allow the development of codes of practice for water service providers.  A discussion paper on the first proposed code for customer service will be released for public comment on September 1, 2012.