Restructuring our organisation

During 2011–12, we reviewed our structure, and identified improvements and efficiencies. We now have a new structure which will help us achieve our vision of providing valued water solutions. We will do this through focusing on customer service and business excellence, and being forward thinking in addressing customer needs and challenges facing the water industry in the future.

The Board approved the new structure in February 2012 and it formally started on 1 July 2012.

As part of the new structure we have eight divisions:

  • Business Strategy & Regulation

  • Liveable City Solutions

  • Infrastructure Delivery

  • Service Delivery

  • Customer Services

  • Finance & Corporate Services

  • People, Leadership & Culture

  • Information Technology.

Our new structure is designed to create a more collaborative Sydney Water.

Getting ready for competition

The arrival of new competitors means improved efficiency and greater innovation for the water industry, which is a win for customers.

In 2006, the NSW Government introduced the Water Industry Competition Act 2006 (WICA). The Act aims to foster competition in the urban water sector. IPART manages a WICA licensing scheme, under which the private sector can apply to become retailers and/or network operators. There are currently 19 WICA licences.

Since the Act was introduced, with the exception of the licences for Sydney Desalination Plant Pty Ltd (SDP), WICA licences have generally covered smaller-scale wastewater and recycled water projects. However, two larger-scale projects are now on the horizon.

In 2012, the Water Factory Company lodged an application to provide water, wastewater and recycled water services to Fraser’s large development on the old brewery site at Broadway in Sydney.

In the future, we expect more developments of this kind in Sydney. We welcome this competition and are ready to meet the challenges. We will provide customers with the choice of new products and services that they value.

Managing finances for the future

In May 2012, on behalf of the NSW Government, we refinanced SDP, our subsidiary company which owns the desalination plant. We refinanced SDP for $2.3 billion.

The objectives of refinancing were to:

  • maximise the proceeds for the Government, subject to reliable and responsible operations of the plant

  • create additional capacity for investment in other priorities.

The refinancing involves a 50-year lease from the NSW Government to a private sector consortium made up of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and two funds managed by Hastings Funds Management Limited: Utilities Trust of Australia and The Infrastructure Fund. This consortium owns SDP and leases the assets from the Government. The lease includes the desalination plant, the pipeline and the site.

IPART will continue to regulate prices for SDP. It will also regulate the quality of water produced by the plant and other operating requirements through SDP’s licences under the Water Industry Competition Act 2006. The water quality requirements in these licences follow national standards and are monitored by NSW Health. The NSW Government can also request SDP to expand the plant if required in the future.

Image of the Sydney Desalination Plant

We refinanced our subsidiary, Sydney Desalination Plant, for $2.3 billion.