Busselton Water To Remain In Public Hands

Busselton Water To Remain In Public Hands

Western Australia Minister for Water Dave Kelly

Transfer Of Busselton And Dunsborough Water Assets Not To Proceed

Victor P Taffa

  • Transfer of water assets would result in increased costs to the State
  • Proposal would require legislative change

Water Minister Dave Kelly today announced a proposed transfer of ownership of Dunsborough water and Busselton drainage assets from the Water Corporation to Busselton Water will not proceed.

“This proposal is a very complex financial transaction and the advice from the Department of Water is that it would cost the government overall and not save money.” Minister for Water Dave Kelly said.

“In the current Budget climate, even a small cost to the State Budget needs to have compelling public benefit.”

Previous Barnett Government had indicated in-principle support for the proposal prior to fully considering a whole-of-government business case. 

Investigations since the election of the McGowan Government have revealed there would be significant financial and legal implications for the State.

Transfer of ownership would have been contrary to the principles of the Water Services Act 2012 and the Water Corporations Act 1995, and would have required special legislation.

Department of Treasury estimated the transfer would have cost the State Government between $3 and $12 Million over the first 3 years.

“Department of Water has indicated that the transfer of ownership would have no likely benefits to customers.” Mr. Kelly said.

Importantly, investigations also found it was unclear if the proposal would deliver improved pricing and security of supply for Dunsborough water users or improved drainage outcomes beyond those resulting from the Vasse Taskforce.

Option for a non-potable water supply for Dunsborough outlined in the proposal will be considered as part of broader water planning in the South-West.