26/11/2019 - 14:18

Water Corp scraps private sector alliance

26/11/2019 - 14:18

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The state government has announced that a second major Water Corporation contract delivered by the private sector will be brought back in-house, despite contractor Suez claiming it had exceeded the government's performance targets.

Water Corp scraps private sector alliance
Dave Kelly says the move will ensure Water Corporation has the resilience . Photo: Attila Csaszar

The state government has announced that a second major Water Corporation contract delivered by the private sector will be brought back in-house, despite contractor Suez claiming it had exceeded the government's performance targets.

The Water Corporation entered into an agreement with Suez Water and Broadspectrum, named Aroona Alliance, to deliver metropolitan water production and wastewater treatment services in July 2012.

In a statement, the government said about 170 employees from the alliance will transfer to the Water Corporation by the end of June 2020 and will be provided continued employment.

Water Minister Dave Kelly said bringing these services back into public hands will give Water Corporation control over its maintenance and operations within the metropolitan area, consistent with how it already operates in other parts of the state.

“This decision will position the Water Corporation well for the future, ensuring it has the resilience to continue to respond to the impacts of climate change and a growing state, in an efficient and cost-effective way,” Mr Kelly said.

“The Aroona Alliance workforce are to be commended for their work and I look forward to having their expertise in-house when they become Water Corporation employees.”

Premier Mark McGowan said the decision will benefit the community for years to come and was a great result for about 170 workers.

“The publicly-owned utility will be able to deliver better services for Western Australians, and also provide a saving of about $2 million to the WA taxpayer each year,” Mr McGowan said.

According to Suez’s website, the Aroona Alliance has exceeded the contractual savings requirement each financial year.

"With $31 million in sustainable savings already achieved in the first four years, exceeding the KPI targets, the partnership is firmly focused on identifying new opportunities for efficiency and excellence," the website said. 

The announcement follows the decision in August to bring the metropolitan network operations and maintenance services back under the control of the Water Corporation by March 2020, bringing 250 previously privatised jobs back to the Water Corporation.

The government said the move would save taxpayers between $2 and $3 million a year but the Water Corporation was not forthcoming to Business News about how they had arrived at these numbers.

The work was privatised in 1995, with Programmed winning the latest contract in 2012.

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