Press release: Regional Towns Water Quality and Security Review

31 January 2011

Infrastructure Australia engaged Aecom to help identify opportunities to improve Australia's regional towns' water quality and security and to form practical recommendations for change at the federal, state and local government levels.

Infrastructure Australia's initial infrastructure audit identified concerns that in many regional towns, water quality does not always meet health standards and that planning for security is often inadequate.

The review looked at a sample of towns across Australia with populations between 2,000 and 15,000 and with a reticulated water supply.

The Aecom report outlines the problems, analyses their causes, explores options and recommends a range of solutions. The key recommendations are to:

  • Mandate compliance with Australian Drinking Water Guidelines through legislation or regulation
  • Implement a nationally consistent Best Practice Management Framework for all regional water utilities
  • Move toward more cost reflective pricing water pricing
  • Develop a more highly skilled workforce to operate and maintain water systems in regional water utilities by developing a nationally consistent trade qualification
  • Reform the governance structure of regional water utilities in NSW and Queensland

Infrastructure Australia is now developing a plan of action to respond to the findings and recommendations in the Aecom report.

Infrastructure Australia welcomes feedback on the findings and recommendations in the Aecom report. The report is available on Infrastructure Australia's website at

Feedback should be sent to Infrastructure Australia will accept comments until 25 March 2011.


Michael Deegan, National Infrastructure Coordinator

Infrastructure Australia

Ph: 02 8114 1900