Water Journal : Water Journal June 2013
WATER JUNE 2013 24 AWA News URBAN WATER PRICING REFORM: REQUEST FOR FEEDBACK Over recent years, there has been a general increase in prices for urban water services across Australia, both to fund investment in new and upgraded assets and meet the increased costs to operate and maintain ageing assets. Increased prices have resulted in a corresponding increase in media focus and public concern. Against this backdrop, AWA's Water Management Law & Policy Specialist Network believes there is a strong case to refocus attention on the merits of pricing reform, such as cost re ective pricing, in a way that leads constructive industry communication and supports the continuation of the COAG reform agenda that commenced in the mid-nineties. Pricing reforms aimed to improve water ef ciency and the performance of the industry as a whole, including protecting consumers from excessive prices in natural monopoly markets. AWA's Water Management Law & Policy Specialist Network proposes to publish a position paper on the reform agenda for urban water pricing. The paper will advocate a 'back-to-basics' approach (which will demystify the economic jargon) to encourage a broader understanding of the merits of the reform agenda and promote perseverance with their implementation even through times of price rises. Such an approach would seek to simply explain concepts such: • 'Cost re ectivity' and how transparency of inputs promotes lower prices; • 'Cross-subsidising' and how it distorts investment decisions leading to higher prices. The position paper would also seek to review key milestones and publications associated with the development of pricing policy and place key pricing concepts into context. These publications include: • COAG Strategic Water Reform Framework (1994); • National Water Initiative (2004); • National Water Initiative Pricing Principles (2010); • Recent publications by the Productivity Commission, Infrastructure Australia and the National Water Commission. Approaching the 20-year anniversary of the COAG strategic water reform framework, there is an opportunity to re-engage with the reform process and encourage appreciation of the bene ts achieved to date and the opportunities still available through continued commitment to the delivery of these strategic industry-wide reforms. To ensure the position paper accurately re ects the views of AWA members, your feedback is sought. Please email Grant Leslie, National Manager -- Programs and Policy, at firstname.lastname@example.org by 20 July 2013. BEST WATER JOURNAL PAPER Congratulations to Tim Foster, a researcher at the School of Geography and Environment, University of Oxford, UK and Dr Brieana Dance, a medical practitioner at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, NSW, for winning the Best Water Journal Paper from June 2012 until May 2013. Their paper, entitled: 'Water-Washed Diseases and Access to Infrastructure in Remote Indigenous Communities in the Northern Territory', was published in the July 2012 edition (p 72). The Best Water Journal Paper Award is given in honour of Guy Parker, a chemist and bacteriologist, and one of the founders of AWA, and is awarded for originality, relevance and presentation. A letter of congratulations and award certi cates have been sent to the authors. Branch News New South Wales NSW Branch Seminar Series The NSW Branch held its second seminar of the NSW Branch Seminar Series on Wednesday 15 May. The seminar explored the key issues for the water sector, from rising energy costs to the commencement of the Carbon Tax in July 2012. As a major user and generator of power, how has the sector responded, and how is this shaping infrastructure planning and key investment decisions? We would like to thank the delegates who attended and the event sponsor, Aquatec Maxcon, for supporting the event. We also thank the presenters -- Bob Robinson from Sinclair Knight Merz, Graeme Watkins from MidCoast Water and Wayne Jackson from Sydney Water. We look forward to presenting the next seminar, Asset Management and Ageing Infrastructure, on Wednesday 24 July in Newcastle. NSW Heads of Water Gala Dinner Registrations for NSW Heads of Water Gala Dinner are now open. This premier event brings together leading water professionals for an evening of networking with colleagues and peers, enjoying ne food and drinks, and celebrating the water sector. NSW Branch Water Industry Awards Open Soon The NSW Branch Water Industry Awards open next month. These awards have been designed to acknowledge the best of the best in the NSW Water Sector, as well as recognise exceptional achievements in a range of project and individual categories. Building on past success, the 2013 Awards are in line with the AWA National Awards and provide the opportunity for the NSW winners to enter in the National Awards, which are presented at Ozwater each year. Please visit the AWA website for more information on award categories and selection criteria. 15th NSW Engineers & Operators Conference -- Call for Papers The 15th NSW Engineers & Operators Conference has opened the Call for Papers. This year's event will take place at the Novotel, Sydney Olympic Park from 28--30 October. The theme for this year's conference is 'Doing More With Less While Keeping The Customer Satis ed'.
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