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Council rejects privatisation proposal for water and sewerage services

Published: 30 June 2015

Council rejects privatisation proposal for water and sewerage services

Logan City Council has rejected a proposal by developer Lend Lease, to privatise water and sewerage utilities in the developing suburb of Yarrabilba.

In reviewing the proposal, Council noted that the provision of services had the potential to generate revenue for the developer while the infrastructure remained relatively new and that short term profits would be made at the expense of the longer term requirement to maintain and upgrade the whole of the city's network. 

Roads and Water Infrastructure Committee Chairperson, Councillor Don Petersen (Division 4), said the decision was made in the longer term interests of all Logan ratepayers, who would be faced with "picking up the tab" if the developer decided that it was no longer profitable to provide services.

"Council is responsible for meeting the current and future needs of all residents and we do this by providing reliable water and sewerage networks that are engineered to meet future capacity requirements and extensions to the networks," he said.

"To isolate one development would fragment the network, leading to network-wide inefficiencies and the need to "plan around" a privatised service. The proposal would limit any capacity of Council to meet the future requirements of areas surrounding Yarrabilba.

"Council's role is to ensure the reliable provision of essential services to required public health standards. If a private provider should fail for technical or financial reasons, Council would be left, literally, to clean up the mess."

Councillor Petersen said Logan City Council had a firm position on the issue: that it would continue to be the water and sewerage service provider to the City of Logan – until it could be proved that an alternative arrangement would provide a public benefit that considered the current and future needs of residents.