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Inquiry Details

Inquiry into Urban Water Infrastructure

The Standing Committee on Public Works is now calling for submissions to this inquiry. 

The Standing Committee on Public Works is now calling for submissions to this inquiry. The closing date for submissions is Friday 26 July 2002. Submissions should refer to the Terms of Reference. Information on preparing submissions to Parliamentary Committee Inquiries is contained in a pdf document attached below. Submissions can be sent by email to or faxed to 02 9230 3309 or posted to: The Committee Manager Standing Committee on Public Works Parliament House Macquarie Street Sydney NSW 2000

The Committee to inquire into and report on: The provision of urban water* infrastructure in New South Wales, with particular reference to: Factors (historical, social etc) which have led to current systems of centralised reticulation infrastructure for the delivery of urban water services Age and expected life of this existing infrastructure Full replacement cost of this infrastructure Environmental, economic and social performance of these systems Alternatives systems and approaches which can provide high quality water-related Services to the community at a lower cost and with better environmental outcomes. For example: smarter engineering solutions, including decentralised water supply and waste water treatment and management water sensitive urban design principles adoption of modern biological treatment processes Environmental, economic and social performance of such alternative systems, particularly: potential cost savings of alternative approaches (including capital and operating costs) advantages of better integrated administrative and policy arrangements recognising stormwater and waste water as a resource rather than a problem (for disposal) financing options Strategies for introducing alternative systems as existing infrastructure approaches the end of its design life Any other related matter * 'water' is taken to mean water supply, sewerage and stormwater and 'urban' includes all urban areas (not just major metropolitan areas) In developing the terms of reference, the Committee has been guided by the following considerations: The Committee has become aware of concerns expressed in various forums over the last few years that, in many urban areas, the water-related infrastructure is reaching the end of its life and will need, at considerable cost, to be replaced. This is, potentially, a very significant ongoing capital works issue, which warrants an evaluation of the state of the current infrastructure and the identification of the most suitable courses of action to ensure the continued provision of high quality water services in a cost-effective and environmentally sound way, should that infrastructure need to be replaced. In this regard, the following questions present themselves How do we provide urban water infrastructure at the moment? (centralised large scale engineering reticulation schemes with little integration) Why do we do it this way? (historical, social factors) Are there problems with this approach? What are they? (age, costs - replacement and ongoing, environmental concerns) Are there alternative approaches with as good, if not better, outcomes? (non-engineering/ smart engineering/decentralised/localised/on-site) Why are they better? (costs savings - capital/operating; better for environment; utilisation of resources - not disposal of problems) Do they have disadvantages? What are they? If change is warranted, how can it be achieved? (incentives, policies, structures and roles) Do we need to identify a range of solutions for a range of situations? In dealing with these questions and issues the Committee is aiming to identify a range of options for Government within an integrated, conceptual framework for service provision.

 Terms of Reference