Sydney Water submission on IPART draft determination
Sydney Water has given its broad support to the IPART draft pricing determination released in late March, but expressed reservations around some elements in a submission which was made public today.
Managing Director Kevin Young said it was pleasing to see a big bill reduction for customers, but some of the determinations were likely to have a material impact on the long-term interests of customers.
“We have customers at the heart of all our decisions and they have been our focus in making this submission,” Mr Young said.
“Many elements of IPART’s draft determination support our original proposals, including modernising the guidelines under which we operate and passing on a substantial saving to customers through cheaper bills.
“The bill reduction is a recognition of the hard work and efficiencies that the organisation has made over the period of the last price determination.
“In fact, our new submission recommends even lower bills than our original proposal because of the better ways that we are managing our business.
“It’s great that our customers will reap the rewards of our efforts.
“Our main concerns, however, centre on the additional efficiencies and savings that Sydney Water has been instructed to make while still passing on the high bill reduction and maintaining top quality services.”
Mr Young said Sydney Water needed to balance the needs of customers with business sustainability.
“The IPART draft determination recommended an $80 million reduction in operating expenditure and a $420 million reduction in capital expenditure, over the significant efficiencies already flagged by Sydney Water,” he said.
“We believe the proposed reductions increase our risk of being able to maintain appropriate service levels for our customers, community and the environment.
“We have a strong track record of finding efficiencies, especially through the use of modern technology to improve our work practices.
“This will continue, however we think that more appropriate reductions are $56 million in operating expenditure and $186 million in capital expenditure.”
Mr Young said he hoped IPART would consider these and other elements of Sydney Water’s submission, before making its final determination.
“We have an absolute commitment to providing high quality services that benefit the entire community and the environment,” he said.
“Service delivery and our customers will continue to be a priority.
“If adopted though, our submission will foster an even greater confidence in Sydney Water and the essential work that we do.”