29/01/2015 - 15:35

Water Corp to sell engineering arm

29/01/2015 - 15:35

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The Water Corporation has announced plans to sell its in-house engineering and construction services team, which has 152 permanent employees.

Water Corp to sell engineering arm
Water Corporation chief executive Sue Murphy.

The Water Corporation has announced plans to sell its in-house engineering and construction services team, which has 152 permanent employees.

Chief executive Sue Murphy said the decision was based on a shift away from building new infrastructure to maintaining its existing assets.

“We are well advanced in our strategy to drought-proof Perth, so our operational priorities are shifting, and we now need to focus on upgrading and maintaining the assets we have,” Mrs Murphy said in a statement.

“As the need to construct new assets will continue to reduce, we have taken the opportunity to review the future role of the team.

“The decision has been made to pursue a private buyer, to ensure the workforce has the greatest opportunity to retain employment.”

The sale comes at a time when the state government is seeking to sell a range of assets, including the Perth Market Authority, port facilities at Kwinana and Port Hedland, and surplus land, to help rein in its debt.

It is also seeking more private investment in traditional public sector assets, such as a new bulk liquids berth at Kwinana, and in the construction and maintenance of schools through a 'public private partnership' contracting model.

Mrs Murphy said the Water Corp’s sale process would begin in the coming weeks, with an expression of interest seeking suitable prospective buyers.

She said preliminary market sounding had shown a strong level of interest from the local market.

Water Corporation expects to determine the successful new owner by mid-2015.

Mrs Murphy said the sale would not affect the level of service provided to customers across the state.

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