26/08/2019 - 15:24

Kelly nationalises water maintenance

26/08/2019 - 15:24

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The WA government has turned the clock back by returning maintenance and operations work across Water Corporation’s Perth and Mandurah networks to state control.

Kelly nationalises water maintenance
Dave Kelly says the move will have numerous benefits.

The state government has turned the clock back by returning maintenance and operations work across Water Corporation’s Perth and Mandurah networks to state control.

About 250 maintenance jobs will be moved from the private sector into the Water Corporation, the government said.

Currently, Programmed holds the service delivery contract for water, wastewater and drainage operations through its Perth Regional Alliance business unit.

The work had been shifted to the private sector in 1995, with Programmed winning the latest contract in 2012.

The Water Corporation recently reviewed delivery of operation and maintenance services in Perth and Mandurah, and found the move would save taxpayers between $2 million and $3 million per year, according to a state government release.

The corporation’s board had determined that insourcing would streamline customer interaction and improve decision making, adding it was the same way the service was delivered outside the metropolitan area.

In a tweet over the weekend, Premier Mark McGowan claimed the move would mean better conditions for workers.

The premier had announced the move at the Labor Party state conference on Saturday.

Water Minister Dave Kelly said he was pleased the Water Corporation’s board had brought the services in-house.

"Water Corporation's review of its operation and maintenance services identified that putting these services back in public hands would save taxpayers' money and ensure consistent services are provided to all customers across the state,” he said.

"We recognise the work and expertise of every Perth Regional Alliance worker and are pleased to see them become employees of the Water Corporation

"This not only means a new way of working to deliver greater value for the community, but more conditions and benefits for these employees that don't exist under current arrangements."

Mr Kelly is a former employee of the United Voice union, and has been critical of privatisation.

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