TasWater’s Annual Report for 2016-17 demonstrates the strong progress the corporation is making to enhance water and sewerage services for Tasmanians.
The report was released at TasWater’s annual general meeting in Launceston yesterday.
Chairman Miles Hampton said: “In the last year TasWater has delivered nearly $104 million in capital improvements. This investment has been recognised nationally with TasWater identified as investing more per household on infrastructure than any other water utility in Australia.”
Mr Hampton says the Annual Report demonstrates the kind of things TasWater does every day – 24/7/365 – to ensure clean water comes out of the tap and sewage is taken care of. But it also shows the magnitude of the job with a system that has to deal with urban and rural environments and with assets like dams, pipes and treatment plants often located in remote or rugged terrain.
“We recognise that there is work to do, but this annual report shows we are making progress and making significant improvements across our range of operations.
“We have achieved this through careful prioritisation of projects, prudent financial management and finding more efficient ways to work. TasWater has managed to finance its entire capital program while still delivering the cheapest bills of any similar water and sewerage utility in Australia.
“From its beginning, TasWater has identified improving drinking water quality as our customers’ first priority. Since the start of the 2016-17 financial year to date, we have removed 12 public health alerts.
“The remaining alerts will be removed by 31 August next year meaning 100 per cent of our customers will be supplied with water they can drink straight from the tap.
“With that done, TasWater will intensify investment on improving sewerage services from this financial year forward.
“By agreement with the Environment Protection Authority, we will first target 13 high capacity facilities resulting in a significant improvement for environments and water ways which receive treated effluent.”
Mr Hampton said the $51 million upgrade of the Blackmans Bay sewage treatment plant was one of these projects with work already well underway.
“I release this annual report at a particularly important time for TasWater with its operations even more intensely under scrutiny than normal.
“It has been a difficult time too for our staff and I pay tribute to the dedication to their jobs and the people of Tasmania.”
“This annual report is a credit to them all and is a document which strongly and clearly counters any notion of a crisis in Tasmania’s water and sewerage system.”
The TasWater Annual Report can be viewed on the TasWater website www.taswater.com.au