The key findings of the Review include:
— integrating responsibility for the complete delivery of water services, including stormwater services and secondary water projects through a single publicly owned entity;
— that the Government should consider establishing two separate entities, one for the responsibility for the water and sewerage business and the other to retain oversight of the Government’s 50 per cent interest in the ActewAGL Joint venture that supplies the electricity and gas services to the Territory;
— that initially these entities should be Corporations Act companies, and that following a suggested review of the Territory-owned Corporations Act (TOC Act) to establish a common framework covering all Territory public owned companies and statutory authorities, give consideration to changing the entity owing the water business from a Corporations Act company to a Statutory Authority;
— each year the Government outline the scope of activities it expects its publicly owned utilities to undertake and to ensure that the objects are reflected in and are consistent between the TOC Act and the ACTEW constitution;
— with regard to the water strategy “Water for the future: striking a balance” clearly specify responsibilities of participants with respect to supply augmentation decisions and allocate responsibility for the imposition of water restrictions to the relevant Minister responsible for water policy and enhance working relationships between ACTEW and relevant Government directorates with respect to land development activities in the ACT;
— making improvements to the regulatory framework;
— making changes to processes for ACTEW borrowings, major capital projects and dividend payments, and to various processes of interaction between ACTEW and the Government; and
— support ACTEW in its exploration of business opportunities in providing water and sewerage services to regions surrounding the ACT.
Minister Barr now intends to consult on these findings.