Thu 17 Dec 2020

TasWater update

This year saw a year of angst surrounding the Capital Delivery office that was established by TasWater to deliver their capital works program.   As a result, a subcommittee of CCF Members impacted by TasWater was established.  I would like to thank those members involved and their contribution in working with Management and TasWater to seek much needed changes to their process in delivery of the water infrastructure program in Tasmania.

To date, we have lobbied on behalf of Industry for change and to better understand the engagement of the CDO and if it could streamline processes and provide greater value for money for the projects being delivered and ultimately also as customers.  The subcommittee made a submission to the Legislative Committee into their inquiry into the operations of TasWater.  The subcommittee were then invited to present before the committee on 3 November 2020.

The subcommittee further was invited to present to the Shareholders / Owners of TasWater on 29 October 2020.  At this meeting Members of the committee discussed with the Shareholders the issues presented at the Parliamentary inquiry

On 3 November 2020, CCF Directors Hugh Maslin, Ashley Cooper and CEO Rachael Matheson met with Mike Brewster CEO and Stephen Gumley Chair of TasWater to discuss issues and concerns Industry was still experiencing. It was agreed at that meeting a working group would be formed and CCF would table issues and work through these.  It was agreed we would start with the terms and conditions that Industry currently were seeing as unfair.

The Committee attended a Parliamentary hearing on 3 November 2020.  The Hansard transcripts and submission made to the inquiry can be found here.

Following our most recent meeting with TasWater, on Monday 14 December 2020, TasWater advised that they had decided to transfer responsibility for some of the simpler and lower cost works, including those that require an urgent and, or rapid response from the CDO back to TasWater and below is a communication from TasWater to CCF Members for your information.

At TasWater, we are making changes to improve how we manage our low complexity and low risk capital projects to ensure they are out to market in a more rapid and streamlined way.

TasWater will be resuming the direct responsibility of lower-risk, low complexity capital works, including those that require a level of urgency. The threshold value of each of these projects will vary, depending on the associated risks.

This will allow the TasWater Capital Delivery Office to focus on managing the medium and large, multi-disciplinary projects that they are good at and have the systems established to deliver.

Work has begun on the assessment of existing and upcoming projects based on risk, level of complexity and urgency to determine whether they will be managed by the Capital Delivery Office or TasWater.

We will also be finalising the contracting details for TasWater managed projects as part of this assessment early in the new year.

With TasWater directly managing low complexity projects, more work will go out to market more rapidly for efficient delivery.

This change will set the framework for how we can work together moving forward to build and maintain a sustainable water and sewerage network across the state.

We will provide regular updates through the Civil Contractors Federation while we work through this new operating model.

We still have a long way to go to ensure Members concerns are addressed, changes are made so that all Contractors tendering for projects are in a position deliver water infrastructure in an effective and efficient way to Tasmania.

Please continue to send in your feedback.