Urban Water and Sewerage Sector

Photograph of tap and glass of water.The Water and Sewerage Industry Act 2008 and the Water and Sewerage Corporations Act 2008 (available on the Tasmanian Legislation website www.legislation.tas.gov.au) were passed by the Tasmanian Parliament in 2008. The Water and Sewerage Corporation Act 2012 commenced in 2013.

This legislation removed the responsibility for water and sewerage provision from local Councils and vested it in three regional water and sewerage corporations, which subsequently amalgamated to form TasWater.  TasWater commenced operating on 1 July 2013.

The Minister for Primary Industries and Water is responsible for administering the Water and Sewerage Industry Act 2008. The Minister is further responsible under this Act for developing and coordinating policies related to the regulation of the water and sewerage industry.

The Urban Water Policy Unit has been created within the Department to assist the Minister in carrying out these functions under the legislation.

Contact: Urban Water Enquiries
Urban Water Enquiries
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: (03) 616 53217
Email: urban.water@dpipwe.tas.gov.au


As well as the new organisational structure, the legislation has installed a new regulatory regime and established the Tasmanian Economic Regulator as the regulator of the water and sewerage industry.  Since 2012, the Economic Regulator has been responsible for price and service regulation in the sector, ensuring Tasmanians pay a regulated price for sustainable water and sewerage services which meet appropriate industry standards. In the interim period from July 2009 to June 2009,  the Treasurer was responsible for setting prices and service standards. 

The Water and Sewerage Industry Act 2008 also creates a role for the Tasmanian Ombudsman, to investigate customer complaints about the water and sewerage corporations and to promote fairness, openness and good public administration in the sector.

Under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994, the Director of the Environment Protection Authority is responsible for environmental regulation. The Director of Public Health is responsible for the protection of public health under the Public Health Act 1997. Although Environmental and Public Health regulation of drinking water and sewerage services remains largely the same, the Economic Regulator will ensure that the capacity of the water and sewerage corporations to raise revenue will be linked to attaining regulatory compliance and minimum service standards.

These reforms have been designed to achieve major long-term improvements in Tasmania's water and sewerage services and infrastructure, through a collaborative approach with local Government.

For more information on the Regulators and their roles in the sector, please see the relevant links below:

Urban Water and Sewerage Licensing

The Water and Sewerage Industry Act 2008 requires that people who provide an urban water and/or sewerage service should be licensed under the Act. It provides for a licensing framework and broadly defines who and what should be licensed.

The Act gives the Tasmanian Economic Regulator the power to grant licenses. These licenses can be viewed at the Regulator's website (see link above).

The Water and Sewerage Industry Act also gives the Minister the power to refine the coverage of the licensing framework to ensure that it covers only those activities and people that should be licensed.

Further information on this aspect of the licensing framework is available here: Urban Water and Sewerage Licensing Framework.

Draft Tasmanian Water and Sewerage Service Introduction Policy

The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment has developed a draft Service Introduction Policy to guide Tasmania's water and sewerage corporation and the Tasmanian community regarding the circumstances in which a feasibility analysis will be undertaken to assess the merits of introducing regulated water and sewerage services to areas which do not currently receive services.

Draft Tasmanian Water and Sewerage Service Introduction Policy (590 KB)

Further Information

Photograph of worker fixing water main in Argyle Street.

Customer Complaints

If you have a complaint about your water and sewerage service that you have been unable to resolve with the water and sewerage corporation, please contact the Tasmanian Ombudsman:
Contact: Ombudsman Tasmania
Ombudsman Tasmania
GPO Box 960
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 1800 001 170 (Free call)
Fax: (03) 6233 8966
Email: ombudsman@ombudsman.tas.gov.au

For further information about the Ombudsman and his/her role, please visit the website: www.ombudsman.tas.gov.au


For further information on Taswater pleae go to the following website:http://www.taswater.com.au


For access to the Water and Sewerage Industry Act 2008, the Water and Sewerage Corporations Act 2008, the Water and Sewerage Corporation Act 2012,  or any other Tasmanian legislation, please go to: www.legislation.tas.gov.au


For information on interim pricing arrangements in the water and sewerage sector please go to the Tasmanian Economic Regulator's website: www.economicregulator.tas.gov.au

For information on interim pricing arrangements in the water and sewerage secto, prior to the Economic Regulator's Price Determination, please go to the Department of Treasury and Finance's website:  http://www.treasury.tas.gov.au/

National Policies

For further information on national water reform, please see the following websites: