Rules to open up Sydney’s wastewater

Wednesday, 03 May, 2006

The NSW government has accepted recommendations from the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal to reform the Sydney water industry.

The Government will draw up new rules that will allow the private sector and local councils to access the wastewater generated in Sydney each year.

The new rules will inject competition into the water and wastewater industries, encouraging new and innovative recycling projects.

The new plan for competition in Sydney's water and wastewater system involves:

  • the development of a state-based access regime for water and wastewater;
  • competitive sourcing - meaning innovative recycling projects will be encouraged such as sewer mining;
  • a review of current regulation and legislation to remove any barriers for third-party participation in the industry;
  • postage stamp pricing - meaning access will be priced to ensure every person pays the same per unit of water no matter where they live;
  • IPART will continue to set water pricing;
  • a consistent approach with the Trade Practices Act and National Competition Policy;
  • strict guidelines to guarantee protection of the environment and health standards - meaning new rules would not allow treated sewage to enter Sydney's drinking water system.
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