IPART issues paper reveals underspending by council on water services

The former Gosford Council underspent on both operating and capital programs for the delivery of water services between 2013 and 2017, according to an IPART issues paper, and the combined Central Coast Council has not caught up.

IPART is currently conducting a comprehensive review of water charges on the Central Coast and has reviewed Gosford Council’s and Central Coast Council’s performance since 2013. Maximum prices are set by IPART to enable the Council to cost recovery, but over the 2013 determination period, Gosford Council spent $20m (9 per cent) less than the operating expenditure allowances used to set prices. It underspent by $13 million (8 per cent) on capital programs in the first two years of the pricing period but made up somewhat in the last two years. “We have asked Council to outline the reasons for any deviations between the allowed and actual expenditure and revenue,” the IPART issues paper said. The issues paper also highlights that the former Gosford Council recovered $17.6m more in revenue than forecast, during the last four years determination period.

Source: Issues Paper, Jun 12 Peter Boxall, IPART