Queensland - Water Regional Alliances Program
Assisting and promoting regional collaboration is a primary function of LGAQ and qldwater. The two organisations have been working jointly on regional collaboration initiatives for the urban water industry since 2006 and this program was expanded in June 2010 with a joint Memorandum of Understanding with the state Regulator (now the Department of Energy and Water Supply or DEWS).
Regional collaboration was called into focus strongly in early 2011 with the release of the three national reviews of the urban water industry that were critical of Queensland and NSW water sectors. For example, the Productivity Commission called for Queensland and NSW State Governments to review institutional arrangements to seek greater economies of scale for water service providers.
LGAQ has responded by developing an industry-led review of potential collaborative arrangements and has successfully sought funding support from the State until mid 2013. The aim of the Program is to determine the risks and benefits of different collaboration models in three pilot regions in Queensland where councils will consider the best ongoing model for their water services.
The project is now being implemented by LGAQ which has appointed qldwater as the program manager for the program. The Program seeks to develop three pilot regions across the state where the potential benefits and disadvantages or greater collaboration and institutional change can be investigated by self-selected groups of councils.
The program allows for review and support processes in three pilot regions. The following regions have agreed to particpate in the project.
The Remote Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD) group of councils has confirmed participation in the program including inkind and cash contributions to review collaborative arrangements for provision of water services across their member councils. RAPAD members may access the restricted QWRAP-RAPAD page here
Councils in the Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (FNQRoC) have confirmed their participation in the program including Cassowary Coast, Cairns, Etheridge, Croydon, Cook and Tablelands Regional Councils.
To be announced. Initial discussions have commenced with councils in the WBBROC region of eastern Central Queensland.