NSW to ban privatisation of water assets

The NSW government will introduce legislation to prevent state owned corporations Sydney Water and Hunter Water from being sold without an Act of Parliament.

The two statutory organisations are responsible for supplying the state’s drinking water and managing wastewater recycling and stormwater, with Sydney Water the focus of an election stoush over whether or not the previous government intended to offload it.

The legislation proposes an amendment to the NSW Constitution requiring the two specific organisations and their main undertakings to remain in public ownership.

It will be introduced on Tuesday when when parliament sits for the first tine since Labor won power.

Safeguarding public ownership of public assets was a key election platform for Labor, which had savaged the previous government for what it said was 12 years of privatising the electricity network, ports and toll roads.

Water minister Rose Jackson says Sydney Water and Hunter Water have served their communities for over 30 years and directed profits back into the NSW government.

“It is basic common sense to keep these entities in public ownership,” she said in a media statement.

“These two entities were created on behalf of the people of NSW and this Bill will ensure they continue to operate in the best interests of the people of NSW.”

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