Volume Seven 2010 focus on Environment, Climate Change and Water

The Auditor-General, Mr Peter Achterstraat, today released his Volume Seven Report to Parliament for 2010. The report includes comments on his financial audits of NSW Government environment, climate change and water agencies.

The audits of these agencies’ financial reports for the year ended 30 June 2010 resulted in one qualified Independent Auditor’s Report. Sydney Water has not recognised assets and liabilities of the Build-Own-Operate schemes in their statement of financial position. 

Increased profits and distributions to Government

“The combined profit after tax of the four largest water utilities increased substantially from $300 million in 2008-09 to $584 million in 2009-10”, Mr Achterstraat said. “Distributions to the Government were $379 million up 17 per cent or $55 million from last year”, he added.

Less water leaks

Water loss from breaks and leaks has nearly halved from 68,620 mega litres in 2002-03 to 35,323 mega litres in 2009-10. Water loss represented seven per cent of water supplied.

Desalination project under budget

The cost of constructing the desalination plant was approximately $30 million less than the approved July 2007 budget. The plant will operate at full capacity for two years and when dam levels are below 70 per cent. Dam levels are currently close to 60 per cent.

Major IT project late over budget

Sydney Water’s Maximo project, an Information Technology solution to assist with asset management, has been delayed further at additional cost. The project is expected to cost a further $9 million on top of the revised $31 million budget, now more than double its original budget of $18 million.

“It is imperative that Government computer projects are well thought out, budgeted for and governed to deliver benefit to the NSW taxpayer ”, Mr Achterstraat said.

On a pleasing note Sydney Water’s IT department completed nine major IT projects in 2009-10.


More than half of Sydney Water’s employees (52.5 per cent) worked overtime in 2009-10. Thirteen employees received more than a hundred per cent of their base salary in overtime.

Tillegra dam

The Government is still to decide on the proposed Tillegra Dam project.

Poor air quality days on the increase

The number of poor air quality days is steadily increasing. In 2009-10 there were 64 up from 47 in 2008-09 and 23 in 2007-08.

Hot Water System Rebates In 2009-10, $64.6 million was paid to residents for hot water systems. From October 2007 to June 2010, the Department paid 118,848 rebates. 

Further information

Barry Underwood, Executive Officer on 9275 7220 or 0403 073 664