Urban Water and Sewerage SectorUrban Water and Sewerage Licensing
Draft Tasmanian Water and Sewerage Service Introduction Policy
The Water and Sewerage Industry Act and the Water and Sewerage Corporations Act (available on the Tasmanian Legislation website www.thelaw.tas.gov.au) were passed by the Tasmanian Parliament in 2008.
This legislation has removed the responsibility for water and sewerage provision from local Councils and divested it in TasWater, which came into being on 1 July 2013.
The Minister for Primary Industries and Water is responsible for administering the Water and Sewerage Industry Act 2008. The Minister is further responsible under this Act for developing and coordinating policies related to the regulation of the water and sewerage industry.
The Urban Water Policy Unit has been created within the Department to assist the Minister in carrying out these functions under the legislation.
Contact: Urban Water EnquiriesUrban Water Enquiries
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: (03) 616 53217
As well as the new organisational structure, the legislation has installed a new regulatory regime, with the creation of the Office of the Tasmanian Economic Regulator. From 2012, the Economic Regulator will be responsible for price and service regulation in the sector, ensuring Tasmanians pay a regulated price for sustainable water and sewerage services which meet appropriate industry standards. In the interim, the Treasurer is responsible for setting prices and service standards.
The Water and Sewerage Industry Act 2008 also creates a role for the Tasmanian Ombudsman, to investigate customer complaints about the new Corporations and to promote fairness, openness and good public administration in the sector.
Under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994, the Director of the Environment Protection Authority is responsible for environmental regulation. The Director of Public Health is responsible for the protection of public health under the Public Health Act 1997. Although Environmental and Public Health regulation of drinking water and sewerage services remains largely the same, the Economic Regulator will ensure that the capacity of the Corporations to raise revenue will be linked to attaining regulatory compliance and minimum service standards.
These reforms have been designed to achieve major long-term improvements in Tasmania’s water and sewerage services and infrastructure, through a collaborative approach with local Government.
For more information on the Regulators and their roles in the sector, please see the relevant links below:
Office of the Tasmanian Economic Regulator: www.economicregulator.tas.gov.au
Environment Protection Authority: www.epa.tas.gov.au
Public Health: www.dhhs.tas.gov.au
The Water and Sewerage Industry Act 2008 requires that people who provide an urban water and/or sewerage service should be licensed under the Act. It provides for a licensing framework and broadly defines who and what should be licensed.
The Act gives the Tasmanian Economic Regulator the power to grant licenses. These licenses can be viewed at the Regulator's website (see link above).
The Water and Sewerage Industry Act also gives the Minister the power to refine the coverage of the licensing framework to ensure that it covers only those activities and people that should be licensed.
Further information on this aspect of the licensing framework is available here: Urban Water and Sewerage Licensing Framework
The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment has developed a draft Service Introduction Policy to guide Tasmania’s water and sewerage corporation and the Tasmanian community regarding the circumstances in which a feasibility analysis will be undertaken to assess the merits of introducing regulated water and sewerage services to areas which do not currently receive services.
This is a Portable Document Format (PDF) file and requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. The Reader is easy to download and is free of charge.
For access to the Water and Sewerage Industry Act 2008, the Water and Sewerage Corporations Act 2008 or any other Tasmanian legislation, please go to: www.thelaw.tas.gov.au
If you have a complaint about your water and sewerage service that you have been unable to resolve with the water and sewerage corporation, please contact the Tasmanian Ombudsman:
Contact: Ombudsman TasmaniaOmbudsman Tasmania
GPO Box 960
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 1800 001 170 (Free call)
Fax: (03) 6233 8966
For further information about the Ombudsman and his/her role, please visit the website: www.ombudsman.tas.gov.au
For information on interim pricing arrangements in the sector please go to the Department of Treasury and Finance’s website: www.treasury.tas.gov.au
For further information on national water reform, please see the following websites:
Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts: www.environment.gov.au
National Water Commission: www.nwc.gov.au