City Seeking Clearer Joint Oversight of Water Supply Operations
Published on 16 May 2023
City of Coffs Harbour has agreed to sit on a temporary Advisory Committee proposed by Clarence Valley Council (CVC) to consider a revised Bulk Raw Water Supply Agreement between the 2 councils.
The $180m Regional Water Supply Scheme (RWSS), a joint project of the City and CVC to ensure the security of the region’s water supply up to and beyond 2030, was officially completed in 2009. It includes 87km of pipeline linking the Nymboida River to reservoirs at South Grafton, Karangi Dam at Coffs Harbour, as well as the 30,000-megalitre Shannon Creek Dam near Coutts Crossing.
The RWSS provides raw water to both the City and CVC and both councils have, for some time, been working towards the establishment of a joint management committee and had reached the stage of discussing and sharing a final draft terms of reference for the committee.
“The City is keen to have clearer oversight and input into the operations and maintenance of - and infrastructure investment in - the RWSS,” said Andrew Beswick, City of Coffs Harbour Director Sustainable Infrastructure.
“This is why we’re proposing that we set up a new Joint Management Committee that includes two Councillors and the General Managers of both organisations, as well as receiving expert advice from staff.
“There are transparency and governance concerns because the City has over $60m invested in the joint RWSS assets, but isn’t currently afforded appropriate visibility of the investment, maintenance or operations of those assets by CVC,” added Mr Beswick.
Council last week adopted the Terms of Reference for the new Joint Management Committee and is to invite Clarence Valley Council to do the same so that the Committee can be established.