Media release: Support for regional town water infrastructure

The Auditor-General for New South Wales, Margaret Crawford, released a report today examining whether the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has effectively supported the planning for, and funding of, town water infrastructure in regional NSW.

The audit found that the department has not effectively supported or overseen town water infrastructure planning since at least 2014. It does not have a clear regulatory approach and lacks internal procedures and data to guide its support for local water utilities that service around 1.85 million people in regional NSW.

The audit also found that the department has not had a strategy in place to target investments in town water infrastructure to the areas of greatest priority. A state-wide plan is now in development.

The Auditor-General made seven recommendations to the department, aimed at improving the administration and transparency of its oversight, support and funding for town water infrastructure, and at strengthening its sector engagement and interagency coordination on town water planning issues and investments.

According to the Auditor-General, ‘A continued focus on coordinating town water planning, investments and sector engagement is needed for the department to more effectively support, plan for and fund town water infrastructure, and to work with local water utilities to help avoid future shortages of safe water in regional towns and cities.’ 

Further information

Please contact Scott Stanton, Acting Deputy Auditor-General on 9275 7347 or by email