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Improve the regulatory and assurance framework

Guidance for local water utility strategic planning

Information about guidance for strategic planning outcome areas and how to use the IP&R framework for local water utility planning.

Townscape of Inverell. Image courtesy of Destination NSW.

Guidance on strategic planning outcomes

Under section 3 of the 'Regulatory and assurance framework for local water utilities', the department establishes what outcomes it expects effective, evidence-based strategic planning to achieve (see section 3.2) and assesses if a local water utility’s strategic planning achieves these outcomes to a reasonable standard (see sections 3.3 and 3.4).

The department is developing guidance on achieving strategic planning outcomes to a reasonable standard, to supplement the framework. This guidance includes:

  • more detail on the expectations for achieving this outcome to a reasonable standard
  • optional ‘how to’ guidance that helps utilities achieve regulatory expectations.

Draft guidance

The department’s Town Water Risk Reduction Program has produced draft guidance on the outcome “implement sound pricing and prudent financial management”

Download the draft guidance (PDF. 1,380 KB)

Submissions on the draft guidance are now closed. The department will consider and incorporate feedback into the final guidance document.

Ongoing guidance development

We continue to develop other guidance for local water utility strategic planning. In October and November 2022 we will progressively publish guidance for each of the 12 strategic planning outcome areas identified in the regulatory and assessment framework.

Guidance on using the Integrated Planning and Reporting framework for local water utility strategic planning

The department’s guidance Using the Integrated Planning and Reporting framework for local water utility strategic planning (PDF, 573.33 KB) is for councils interested in using the Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) framework of the Local Government Act 1993 for local water utility strategic planning.

We will continue to work with interested councils and joint organisations of councils over the next cycle of IP&R (from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2025) to support pilots using the IP&R framework for local water utility strategic planning. The intention is to learn from these councils and share their knowledge, expertise, and learnings with the sector more broadly through future updates of this guidance. Councils interested in participating in the pilot process should contact the Town Water Risk Reduction Program at regional.town.water@dpie.nsw.gov.au.