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WA Government returns privatised water services to public hands

Water Corporation is bringing water services in the Perth and Mandurah regions back in-house – 25 years after the State Government outsourced the operations.

Western Australia (WA) Premier Mark McGowan announced the news following a Water Corp review of its services in the regions, which found in-sourcing was the best model for the future.

Returning the water, wastewater and drainage operations and maintenance to government hands is consistent with the way services are delivered by Water Corp across the rest of the state. 

McGowan said the integrated approach is expected to save taxpayers $2 million to $3 million per year. It will also help Water Corp provide more streamlined customer service, and allow for more effective and rapid decision-making when capital expenditure is required.

“Bringing these services back into public hands will save taxpayers money and ensure high-quality service for years to come,” McGowan said.

The Perth and Mandurah operations and maintenance services were originally outsourced to the private sector in 1995. The current contract with Programmed Facilities Management began in 2012 and was named Perth Region Alliance (PRA).

Water Minister Dave Kelly said the transition would bring more than 250 PRA employees into the public sector.

“We recognise the work and expertise of every PRA worker and are pleased to see them become employees of the Water Corporation,” Kelly said.

“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.”

Water Corp will work with Programmed Facilities Management to transition the entire workforce and service provision by March 2020.