Securing a safe, secure and sustainable water supply is essential to accommodating the needs of Sydney’s growing population – now and in the future. Our current strategy to deliver this is contained in the 2017 Metropolitan Water Plan. However, we recognise that, as Sydney changes and grows, water policy and planning need to evolve to keep pace.
We believe that securing Sydney’s water future requires the collaboration of both the government and private sectors. To address this, the government has embarked on a series of reforms designed to stimulate competition in the urban water market. These reforms feature in the 2017 Metropolitan Water Plan.
The Water Industry Competition Act 2006 (WIC Act) sets out a licensing and compliance framework for private suppliers of water and sewage services. It establishes strict rules to ensure drinking water meets Australian standards, recycled water is ‘fit for purpose’, and all services are delivered safely, reliably and with minimal environmental impacts.
The WIC Act encourages competition and investment by:
The Department of Planning and Environment administers the WIC Act and policy development.
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) administers the licensing for private sector water providers. This includes considering licence applications, recommending the terms or conditions of a licence to the Minister, auditing and enforcing licences and arbitrating access agreements.
In early 2012, the government amended the WIC Act to streamline the regulation of licensees and provide greater protection for customers and the community. These amendments became legislation in 2014. Key changes include:
The government has started to review and revise the supporting regulation so that it aligns with the Water Industry Competition Act Amendments (2014). The review is due for completion in 2019 following consultation with the broader water industry. The proposed reforms include:
Page last updated: 14/11/2019