The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) today released its final decisions on the prices that WaterNSW can charge for its monopoly rural bulk water services in the Murray and Murrumbidgee valleys from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2021.
Customers in the Murray and Murrumbidgee valleys pay WaterNSW bulk water charges and Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) charges.
IPART Chair Dr Peter Boxall said the final decisions take stakeholder feedback on board and deliver greater savings for most water users than those proposed in the draft decisions in March 2017, following changes to the way costs are allocated.
“Typical general security customers in the Murray and Murrumbidgee valleys will see their bills increase at or below the rate of inflation,” Dr Boxall said.
“However, high security customers in the Murray valley will see a significant increase in their bills of around 16.9%, whilst high security customers in the Murrumbidgee valley will see their bills increase by 10.3% over the four year determination period.”
While WaterNSW’s operating costs have decreased, charges for the MDBA are rising. This is despite our reduction to the proposed amount of MDBA pass-through charges WaterNSW can collect, in response to concerns about lack of transparency.
“The bill increases are primarily a result of rising charges for the MDBA, which are passed through to customers by WaterNSW, and changes to the high security premium to ensure high security charges reflect the security and reliability of the services customers receive,” Dr Boxall said.
The report for the WaterNSW price review is available on IPART’s website www.ipart.nsw.gov.au.