The Western Australian Water Authority will review its consumers' policy for new industries connecting to the Goldfields and Agricultural Water Supply Scheme (G&AWS) following a request from Goldfields and State Development Minister Ian Taylor.
An investigation by the Department of State Development into tariff charges by WAWA and SECWA on the Goldfields revealed possible inequities in the charging structure of both instrumentalities.
Water Resources Minister Ernie Bridge says any tariff reform is a long-term process but confirmed WAWA would review its major consumers' policy.
The review would examine the circumstances where upfront capital contributions could be deferred and recovered as annual charges.
Until now the Water Authority has charged an upfront payment for major consumers connecting to the Goldfields supply - a payment which Department of State Development officers argued could discourage developments.
"The upfront payment was both a source of finance for the capital works required to provide the service and a means of overcoming the risk of a company ceasing operations and leaving the authority with facilities that had not been paid for and that had no other use," Mr Bridge said.
Annual payments were a possible alternative as long as an appropriate risk premium was applied in each individual case.
Alternative funding would, however, then be required for capital works.
Mr Taylor welcomed WAWA's review of its major consumers' policy and its co-operation with the Department of State Development towards seeking a better deal for the Goldfields.
"Industry is looking to Government to be flexible in its policies and charging mechanisms," he said.
"Anything that will encourage development in regional areas like the Goldfields is to be commended."