The State’s construction industry has received a boost, with new legislation making it easier, quicker and more cost-effective to connect to the water and sewerage system.
Water Supply Mark McArdle said the Water Supply Services Legislation Amendment Act will help speed up and simplify development approvals for building projects of all sizes.
“We promised at the election to grow construction as one of the four pillars of the economy and to cut red tape and these reforms deliver,” Mr McArdle said.
“Under the previous Labor government, water and sewerage connections in south east Queensland had to be approved by the council owners of water service providers such as Queensland Urban Utilities and Unitywater, increasing approval times, costs and paperwork.
“However, from 1 July 2014, SEQ water service providers will be able to provide direct approval to developers for new projects ranging from a new house to a large apartment complex.
“Third party certification will be used for more complicated approvals, resulting in faster design times and lower holding costs for developers and home builders.
“The legislation also cuts red tape for water service providers, which are predominantly local councils in regional and rural Queensland.”
Mr McArdle said instead of preparing a multitude of management plans about asset and drought management, water providers would simply need to prepare an annual performance report, which would eliminate unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy.
“Customers will also be able to see how their provider measures up in a report on the water industry’s performance to be first published in early 2016,” he said.
The reforms were developed in consultation with local governments and water service providers and have been described as a “great leap forward” by the Local Government Association of Queensland.
The legislative changes have also resolved long-standing confusion in the industry by clarifying that a service provider’s authorised person can install primary water meters.
Sub-meters that service individual units within a complex, such as townhouses or a shopping centre, will need to be installed by a licensed plumber