Fools rush in: the case against radical water and wastewater restructuring in regional New South Wales
Dollery, B, Kortt, MA & Grant, B 2014, 'Fools rush in: the case against radical water and wastewater restructuring in regional New South Wales', International Journal of Public Administration, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 1-9.
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In its 2008 Final Report, the Independent Inquiry into Secure and Sustainable Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Services for Non-Metropolitan New South Wales (NSW) recommended that the (then) 106 local water utilities (LWUs) be restructured through regional aggregation into 32 regional entities. This recommendation has been echoed without any further analysis or substantiation in Infrastructure NSW's (2012) First Things First: State Infrastructure Strategy, 2012–2032, with its call for the present 105 entities to be radically reduced to “around 30 authorities.” This paper demonstrates that the case for drastic regional water reorganization along in these lines in country NSW has been fatally weakened by (a) the recent strong performance of NSW LWUs as made plain in the 2010–11 NSW Water Supply and Sewerage Performance Monitoring Reportand (b) the failure of the Tasmanian water restructuring strategy on which much of the Independent Inquiry's restructuring model had been based.