Media response - water assets

Published on 17 March 2021

Response to The Advertiser (regarding previous media statement)

  • Are you able to please provide responses to the following questions from a named consortium spokesperson?

RESPONSE

Is it only the councils' community wastewater management system (CWMS), alternative water supply business (AWSB) and potable water networks that could be sold? Please let me know if one or both councils is only considering having some of this infrastructure externally managed - not sold, which infrastructure this is, and if this varies for each council. i.e. which council is considering what, or are both open to all options etc. 

The City of Onkaparinga’s assets that form part of the consortium’s offering are the community wastewater management system (CWMS) and the alternative water supply business (AWSB).  

No commitment has been made at present to sell or to divest the management of any of the assets. There are a wide range of possible outcomes from this process that may be beneficial to the councils, water service customers and all ratepayers. 

The potable water services mentioned in the release refers to specific potable water networks in Murray Bridge's council area, not potable water generally across both councils. 

Why are the councils looking at doing this? 

The councils already operate these assets to a high standard, but this market testing and tender process is about seeing whether the assets can be optimised even further, either through sale or a different management model under continued council ownership. 

What would this mean for ratepayers? I.e would they receive cheaper services? What are the benefits? 

There are a wide range of possible outcomes from this process that may be beneficial to the councils, water service customers and all ratepayers, and these will be determined as the process continues. 

How much money could the councils potentially make from these infrastructure sales? Can you give an approximate figure? 

We’re not in a position to discuss potential value at this time. 

I presume the consortium consists of Onkaparinga and Murray Bridge councils? 

Yes. 

Are any other councils considering doing this? 

Not to our knowledge. 

Do you know of others that have done this before? 

We're aware that SA Water assumed ownership, management and operation of the CWMS network servicing the District Council of Yankalilla region and the drinking water supply network in Wirrina in 2019

ENDS