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 WaterNSW ensure its strategic direction aligns with the Government's expectations. We seek to clarify the Government's key priorities relevant to the work of WaterNSW, while it continues to operate its business in a commercial manner.

The objectives and functions of WaterNSW are described in the State Owned Corporations Act 1989 and WaterNSW Act 2014. This statement does not replace any aspect of the relationship between Water NSW, its Shareholding Ministers, and the Portfolio Minister as set out in applicable legislation.

Government expectations

Align with Government's strategic planning

We expect WaterNSW to:

  • work closely with the NSW Government to deliver the actions outlined in the Greater Sydney Water Strategy, State Water Strategy and State Drought Plan
  • ensure its capital investment plans and decisions support the Government's strategic frameworks, including underlying assumptions and funding options
  • seek opportunities to support regional towns and communities and grow its regional business with a view to supporting future reforms
  • collaborate with Sydney Water to achieve a more integrated catchment to tap approach to decision making and operations in Greater Sydney.

Strive for excellence in customer service and experience

We expect WaterNSW to:

  • put the customer first, giving particular focus to customer accountability, engaging on investment decisions and leveraging technology to improve customer service and experience outcomes
  • continuously engage with its customers, the community and other stakeholders to thoroughly understand their expectations.

Build trust with the community and stakeholders

We expect WaterNSW 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
  • collaborate with other water sector entities by sharing data and expertise in an open manner to improve sector-wide outcomes
  • focus on delivering projects on-time and on-budget.

Focus on environmental outcomes

We expect WaterNSW to:

  • demonstrate environmental performance is considered in the management of catchments, rivers, and storage facilities and all operations
  • 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 WaterNSW to:

  • prioritise investments and services through meaningful engagement with customers and stakeholders and strategic consideration of alternatives to minimise the pressure on end users' bills
  • operate efficiently ensuring ongoing management of corporate and other costs meets the regulated level of expenditure and deliver increased value for customers.

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

We expect WaterNSW 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
  • ensure technology investment decisions take account of the government's direction for joined up customer service and experience and system integration
  • proactively identify surplus or under-utilised assets and land whose value could be realised.

Deliver services safely

We expect WaterNSW to:

  • deliver its products and services safely and with respect to the safety and well-being of its employees, the community and the environment and focus on reducing safety incidents in the workplace.

Maintain high standards of public accountability and corporate governance

We expect WaterNSW 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 WaterNSW 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 communities it operates in and boost female participation.

SOC response

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