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Water Industry Competition Amendment (Review) Act 2014

On 14 October 2014, the NSW Parliament passed the Water Industry Competition Amendment (Review) Bill 2014 (now the 'Amending Act').

The Amending Act will:

  • narrow the current licensing regime to focus on utility-like schemes, bulk water and sewerage facilities, and other prescribed infrastructure (including higher risk recycling schemes)
  • provide for entity wide licensing and a separate scheme approval process
  • bring metropolitan council schemes that meet these thresholds into the WIC Act
  • remove barriers to entry for the private sector (including the current requirement for new entrants to source sufficient water other than from public water utilities)
  • strengthen customer protections by improving the provider of last resort provisions and ensuring buyers are aware, when purchasing a property, if a private utility will provide water or sewerage services
  • increase penalties so they are commensurate with the types of activities being regulated, and include review and appeal provisions.

The Amending Act can be viewed at the NSW Legislation website, and the explanatory notes and second reading speeches can be viewed at the Parliament of NSW website.

A Better Regulation Statement (BRS) has been prepared following the NSW Government’s Guide to Better Regulation to ensure the reforms are required, reasonable and responsive, and comply with the government’s Better Regulation Principles. The BRS examines the costs and benefits of the options outlined in the position paper, and takes into account stakeholder feedback on the position paper. The BRS is available below.

Before amendments to the WIC Act commence, the Water Industry Competition (General) Regulation 2008 will be revised to reflect amendments to the WIC Act. This next phase of the review will provide further opportunity for stakeholders to comment on the provisions that underpin the WIC framework.

More information

For all enquiries related to the Urban Water Regulation Review, please contact the Metropolitan Water Directorate on 1800 759 857 or waterindustry.competitionact@dpi.nsw.gov.au