IPART has asked the State Government to give it powers to check on Council’s performance as a water supply authority in two years’ time.
The State-sanctioned review would allow IPART to investigate and report publicly on Council’s performance and its progress implementing improvements.
The investigation would look at Central Coast Council’s Water performance to check whether it has:
• reported to the community on details such as water quality, sewer breaks, stormwater blockages and water losses;
• made the necessary improvements that it has committed to.
These improvements included that Council publish by September 30 of this year performance data and strategic documents and that by October 31 of this year it publishes an implementation plan for improving its performance, accountability and transparency.
At a minimum, IPART expects this to include:
– expected timing to develop its Accountability Strategy, its Customer Charter and improvements to asset management
– expected timing and methods of customer engagement.
The review in 2024 would include looking at the progress Council has made.
“The review would provide constructive advice to CCC Water as necessary, and inform our next pricing review, and could inform further consideration of regulatory reform going forward,” IPART said in its May determination.
The IPART determination involved 39 decisions with the main one allowing Council to increase water rates by 17 per cent this year with further increases coming in the next three years.
It made other recommendations such as further regulatory reform to help improve the accountability of CCC Water.
Operating licences govern service standards, management systems and auditing requirements and differ for the different water utilities.
IPART said a more targeted and comprehensive regulatory framework “may promote lasting and ongoing improvement in CCC Water’s performance and accountability”.
Council Watch has asked the Government for an update on its consideration or decisions on the IPART recommendations.
See previous story here on IPART’s water determination.