The NSW Government has announced that it will consolidate the Sydney Catchment Authority (SCA) with the State Water Corporation to form Bulk Water NSW, a new efficient service provider for the State’s water sector.

Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson announced the move, saying that it will create a centre of excellence for bulk water management and associated catchment protection in NSW.

“This is about a merger of two equals into a modern and responsive service provider for the NSW bulk water sector,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

“Importantly, the legislated requirements to provide clean and safe drinking water will continue and there will be no change to the objectives of ensuring water and catchment quality and related public health and safety outcomes.

“By uniting water quality, dam management, flood mitigation and catchment management skills and expertise, this new stronger organisation will ensure the highest quality and most efficient service to customers across NSW.

“The new structure will assist the NSW Government to anticipate, plan and react to such environmental issues as drought, flood and water quality.

“This is a logical, practical and overdue reform, which will create opportunities to leverage the combined strengths of these two organisations to deliver improved service delivery and better outcomes for customers.”

“This reform will create a critical mass to further develop the skills, knowledge and experience needed to meet the increasing challenges of water management into the future,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

Bulk Water NSW will provide a focus on the most efficient way to transport water, certainty for food production and continuing attention to the health of drinking water – its creation is not about budget savings.

“Importantly, the outgoing Chairs of both the SCA and State Water strongly support this reform, believing it will deliver better long-term outcomes for the citizens of NSW.

“The findings of Stage 1 of the 2013 independent Bulk Water Delivery Review informed the decision to form Bulk Water NSW, with the integration anticipated to take up to 18 months.”

Ms Hodgkinson said an interim common Board and Chief Executive Officer will operate across SCA and State Water Corporation during the implementation, with Mr Terry Charlton appointed as the inaugural Chair.

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