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20 June 2012
Council will undertake a Public Benefit Assessment of the cost/benefit options for the management and operation of Wide Bay Water Corporation.
“Council is looking at all options to lower operating costs and the cost to ratepayers,” Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O’Connell said.
“We have examined all internal business units to find savings as we formulate our budget so it is prudent to also investigate the potential cost benefit of transitioning Wide Bay Water Corporation to a Commercialised Business Unit within Council.
“To do that, we will commission a Public Benefit Assessment by an independent company to look at the proposal.
“It is not a decision we take lightly. Our paramount concern is continuing to provide quality water and sewerage services to the community, however at the least possible cost.
“The assessment will review the benefits and cost of a Corporate Model versus a Commercialised Business Unit. The review is about providing cost efficient services while reducing duplicated costs.”
Under a Commercialised Business Council would still envisage the establishment of a Water Advisory Board which would include Councillors and external members to ensure that a robust approach is taken to the long-term planning and infrastructure investment decisions. This is to ensure that legacy decisions due to lack of investment in water and sewerage is prevented moving forward.
“Every other regional local government runs its water and sewerage services as a unit within Council and there is no reason why the Fraser Coast can’t,” Cr O’Connell said.
“While Council believes there are expected savings to be made of between $1.7 million and $4 million, we will wait for the outcome of the report to determine the full extent of any savings.
“The PBA will provide Council with the relevant information to make an assessment on whether to proceed with the transition.”
“Wide Bay Water is well recognised for their high quality of service and Council expects that this will continue.”
Cr O’Connell said Wide Bay Water Corporation had provided a fantastic service.
“The staff should be very proud of the service that they provide,” he said.