The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) has spoken against the National Water Commission (Abolition) Bill 2014, calling for national leadership of Australia’s waterways.

“WSAA spoke against the Abolition Bill when it was referred to Senate Committee on the basis that it removes national water leadership, fearless advice and independent assessment of the National Water Initiative”, said Adam Lovell, WSAA’s Executive Director.

“With the loss of the COAG water theme in 2013 and now the National Water Commission, WSAA is calling for independent, national leadership for the water sector,” said Mr Lovell.

“The urban water sector is ready to work with governments, regulators and the Australian community to determine our water future.

“There are no shortage of challenges ahead including managing the ramifications of expected strong El Niño, providing essential infrastructure for growing cities and meanwhile there is an ongoing Senate inquiry into stormwater management in Australia. Revitalising State and Federal Government commitment to the National Water Initiative with these new challenges is a top priority.

“WSAA notes that amendments that were passed with the Abolition Bill that require a Stakeholder Working Group and looks forward to working with the Productivity Commission in this regard. As an industry we want to meet the challenges of the future and ensure good outcomes for customers, industry and the environment”, said Lovell.

WSAA supports the view of the Harper Review (Competition Policy Review) that there is a need to re‐commit to the National water Initiative including a greater focus on economic regulation.

The water sector is critical to Australia’s economy, society and environment. It provides healthy, safe and reliable water and wastewater services that support Australia’s high standards of living and underpin its economic success.

WSAA is the peak body representing the urban water industry in Australia. Its members provide water and wastewater services to over 20 million Australians, including many of Australia’s largest industrial and commercial enterprises.

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