Mostly remote and regional shires, providing small-scale sewerage and non-potable water services, are now exempt from licensing burden
Compliance cost savings available for asset renewal and to improve customer affordability
Part of ongoing benefits now flowing from Liberal National Government's water reform agenda
Tens of thousands of dollars a year tied up in regulatory red tape is being redirected into reducing sewerage costs for small communities, Water Minister Mia Davies said today.
"The Liberal National Government, through the Department of Water, has implemented a licensing class exemption for small local governments acting as water services providers, with 15 shires exempted since April this year," Ms Davies said.
"This exemption alleviates the regulatory burden for these shires, and the estimated $60,000 a year saved on compliance costs will instead be redirected towards assets to help ensure sewerage services are affordable for customers in these mostly remote regional areas.
"The schemes present a low-risk to the public and the benefits of licensing are greatly outweighed by the costs of regulation."
The licensing exemption is limited to shires servicing fewer than 1,000 connections with sewerage and non-potable water, and does not apply to drinking water services.
Annual workshops will be held by the Department of Water with exempted shires and key stakeholders, including the Department of Health, to discuss and help resolve any service performance issues.
Ms Davies said four major class exemptions were among the ongoing benefits flowing from the Government's water reform agenda through the Water Services Act 2012.
"These exemptions cover properties with their own water services such as caravan parks, mining, oil and gas camps, local governments providing drainage services and some types of irrigation services," she said.
Finance Minister Sean L'Estrange confirmed the progress in removing unnecessary administrative burdens and costs for local governments and ratepayers through the new exemptions for water licensing, was all part of the recent Repeal Week.
"Well designed regulation can help to lower costs and increase innovation and productivity," Mr L'Estrange said.
Read the Government's Red Tape Reduction Report Card here Submit your ideas to reduce red tape and #shredthered here
The Minister for Water has granted the licensing class exemptions to 15 local governments under the Water Services Act 2012
It is one of four major class exemptions under the Act as part of the Government's ongoing water reform agenda
Water Minister's office - 6552 5500
Finance Minister's office - 6552 6900