Published on 15 June 2022

Have your say on the future of Onkaparinga's water assets

All residents and businesses in the City of Onkaparinga are being asked to provide their feedback on the future of the region’s water assets.

Community engagement is open until Wednesday 13 July, with information and surveys available online at council's Your Say page, or in print at council offices and libraries.

Drop-in sessions will be held at Noarlunga, Woodcroft, McLaren Vale and Clarendon in June and July where you can find out more.

The assets include a Community Wastewater Management Scheme (CWMS), serving 4500 households without access to SA Water’s wastewater network, and the Water Business Unit (WBU), focused on the provision of recycled water for irrigation of public spaces.

Proposals have been received from interested parties for the possible divestment of the assets and the council’s Strategic Directions Committee has now approved the next round of community engagement to seek feedback.

“No decision to divest the assets has yet been made by Council, but we want to hear from everyone – those that are directly served by these assets, and all residents across our city,” said acting CEO Julia Grant.

“Divestment can mean several things – sale of assets, lease of assets, joint or part ownership, joint or part operation, or a combination of these approaches depending on the offers presented through the Request for Proposals process.

“This process will highlight whether the assets can be further optimised, either through divestment or a different management model."

A requirement of the RFP process was the need for applicants to demonstrate how they intend to effectively manage service delivery and capital improvements, while maintaining competitive pricing for customers.

Other criteria set by council include risk, environmental and water security considerations. Any final recommendation to Council will involve those requirements being fully satisfied.

Investigation into possible divestment of the assets commenced in 2018. Following the current round of community engagement, a report will be presented to Council in August 2022. If divestment is approved, the process will proceed to commercial alignment and due diligence.

If the elected members do not approve, the divestment process will cease. Council will then work to identify what investments are needed to ensure that these can continue to provide services our communities need into the future. Further communications will be provided to residents explaining the outcome and the next steps.

If the elected members do approve, the divestment process will cease. Council will then commence addressing matters identified as part of the strategic review to ensure we continue to provide services our communities need into the future.

Head to council's Your Say page for more details including frequently asked questions and fact sheets, and to complete the 10-15-minute survey until Wednesday 13 July.

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