Program focus areas

Gum trees by the banks of the Nimmie-Caira.

The department proposed a set of high-level areas that the program will focus on. Stakeholders will provide their perspective on these high-level focus areas, including where options may need to be added, revised or even removed. The department will refine its proposed focus areas based on this input, and then establish a process for collaborating with the sector to design more detailed mechanisms and solutions.

The proposed focus areas for the program are:

Improve the regulatory and support framework

We will partner with the sector to develop and implement an improved regulatory framework for local water utility strategic planning, pricing and major asset approvals.

Encourage greater collaboration

Connect utilities facing similar issues so they can share insights and learnings and facilitate knowledge capture across the sector

Facilitate greater state government support

We will explore how the capabilities and scale of State-Owned Corporations (SOCs) and the department could be better leveraged to address risks and challenges local water utilities face.

Review of skills shortages

We will partner with key stakeholders and co-regulators to design and conduct a review to identify any critical skills shortages in the sector, and develop options to address these.

Investigate alternative funding models

We will work with the sector to explore the pros and cons of alternative funding models, including a needs-based Community Service Obligation (CSO) funding model.