Water turn-around for GC

GOLD Coast Water is back - with a twist.

Gold Coast City Council voted yesterday to create the water authority under the name Gold Coast Water.

The council voted to have the water authority operate as a commercial business after the council-controlled assets were returned from Allconnex next year.

Earlier this year the council decided to opt out of the State-established Allconnex to regain control of water.

But in a sign that the fight for control of water was far from over, Mayor Ron Clarke went to the State Government with questions about why water was being transferred from Hinze Dam to Wivenhoe Dam.

"Obviously, with Wivenhoe Dam already at 80% and a wet summer forecast, lessons learned from January this year may prompt the early release of water - yet the Gold Coast is still currently pumping water north at a rate of 40-60 megalitres per day," Mayor Clarke said.

"Based on the state's bulk water prices, this transfer is worth more than $40 million a year for water they don't need."

Although council does not control bulk-water assets under the arrangement, a report from KPMG revealed that the council could find savings.

"In the case of the new Gold Coast Water it would be expected that under either model, significant savings in operating costs ought to be available through the effective use of shared services in order to capture economies of scale," the report states.

"GCCC is an organisation with over 3000 employees, with GCW most likely approximately 15% of that size.

"Given the differences in scale, and the lack of effective scale at GCW, it ought to be possible for significant synergies to be realised through the effective use of shared services."



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