Sydney Water Corporation

Issued by:

Treasurer, the Hon Matt Kean MP
Minister for Finance and Small Business, the Hon Damien Tudehope MLC Shareholding Ministers

Minister for Lands and Water, the Hon. Kevin Anderson MP
Portfolio Minister

The purpose of this statement is to help Sydney Water ensure its strategic direction aligns with the Government's expectations. We seek to clarify the Government's key priorities relevant to the work of Sydney Water, while it continues to operate its business in a commercial manner.

The objectives and functions of Sydney Water are described in the State Owned Corporations Act 1989 and Sydney Water Act 1994. This statement does not replace any aspect of the relationship between Sydney Water, its Shareholding Ministers, and the Portfolio Minister as set out in applicable legislation.

Government expectations

Align with Government's strategic planning

We expect Sydney Water to:

  • contribute to and support the finalisation of the Greater Sydney Water Strategy and implement the relevant actions through its long-term capital and operations planning, consistent with the water security risk profile identified in the Strategy
  • contribute to and support the implementation of the NSW Water Strategy 2021
  • contribute to and support the finalisation and implementation of the State Drought Plan
  • as the lead for supply augmentation planning, work collaboratively with the water sector and build community support to inform evidenced-based recommendations to Government
  • support the delivery of the Government's economic recovery and ongoing economic sustainability through the efficient and effective delivery of water and wastewater infrastructure and services.

Strive for excellence in customer service and experience

We expect Sydney Water to:

  • continuously engage with its customers, stakeholders and the community to thoroughly understand their expectations
  • build awareness and understanding of alternative options among customers and community to achieve optimised investment decisions
  • deliver world-class products and services that are relevant and consistent with customer and community expectations.

Build trust with the community and stakeholders

We expect Sydney Water to:

  • continue to build trust with its customers, stakeholders and the community through providing transparent, meaningful and timely information and engagement
  • share data sets with the public or stakeholders as appropriate to improve transparency of decision-making whilst maintaining customer privacy
  • maintain its social licence to operate through the ongoing delivery of quality products and services including water conservation and leakage reduction
  • focus on delivering projects on-time and on-budget.

Focus on environmental outcomes

We expect Sydney Water to:

  • contribute to the delivery of thriving and liveable communities within Greater Sydney through the better integration of land use planning and waterway health and resource management by integrating water cycle management where appropriate
  • operate its business in a way that is consistent with the Government's Net Zero 2050 Plan, including Stage 1 of that plan to fast-track emissions reduction over the next decade
  • help support NSW communities to benefit from the economic and employment opportunities created by decarbonisation
  • monitor and report annually its activities against agreed sustainability reporting and climate risk disclosure frameworks.

Minimise cost of living pressures

We expect Sydney Water to:

  • deliver its products and services and otherwise operate in a manner that seeks to minimise cost of living pressures now and in the future
  • prioritise investments and services through meaningful engagement with customers and stakeholders and strategic consideration of alternatives to minimise the pressure on end users' bills.

Ensure the Government's investment of its capital is used efficiently

We expect Sydney Water to:

  • optimise business performance, grow revenue and deliver efficiencies to ensure it maximises returns to government without compromising service quality, service cost, environmental performance or safety, now or in the future
  • proactively identify surplus or under-utilised assets and land holdings for which value could be realised. Deliver services safely We expect Sydney Water to:
    • deliver its products and services safely and with respect to the safety and well-being of its employees and the community and focus on reducing safety incidents in the workplace.

Build an innovative culture

We expect Sydney Water to:

  • invest in research, innovation and new technologies that enable more resilient, new and better services to be delivered to all its customers so that Greater Sydney continues to be a thriving, liveable and sustainable region for generations to come.

Maintain high standards of public accountability and corporate governance

We expect Sydney Water to:

  • proactively communicate and engage with the Government to keep it informed of relevant matters of interest related to its accountabilities
  • maintain the highest standards of governance, probity and integrity in line with government policies and community expectations.

Ensure robust procurement and employment practices that support the economic and social outcomes of the state

We expect Sydney Water to:

  • support diversity in its suppliers by considering procuring from small and medium enterprises, Aboriginal businesses, regional businesses, disability employment organisations and social enterprises
  • ensure payments to all suppliers, but particularly small and medium enterprises, are made on time, and where possible, faster than the payment terms require
  • support a diverse and inclusive workforce which reflects the Greater Sydney community and boost female participation.

SOC response

We expect the guidance in this Statement of Expectations will be reflected in Sydney Water's 2022-23 Statement of Corporate Intent and those of future years for as long as this Statement of Expectations remains in effect.