New South Wales


Delivering Customer Value: A new framework for water regulation


From: Tuesday August 23, 2022, 12:30 pm

To: Tuesday August 23, 2022, 1:30 pm


When: Tuesday 23 August 2022 AEST (please note this event was previously scheduled for 2 August 2022)
Time: 12.30 pm - 1.30 pm AEST
Cost: members: free, non-members: $5 (join or renew)
Venue: Macquarie University City Campus and online via Zoom

All people in NSW expect safe reliable drinking water and wastewater services at a fair price. However, the environment in which monopoly water businesses plan and deliver services is changing. Population growth, climate change, economic shocks, digital technology and new government water strategies all present challenges that water businesses need to plan for and manage.

IPART’s regulatory approach needs to adapt to ensure that water businesses:

  • Deliver long term customer value
  • Have robust planning and cost management systems in place, and
  • Deliver credible pricing proposals backed by the capability to deliver outcomes.

This presentation will discuss what is needed to regulate natural monopoly infrastructure in a modern world. It looks at how to manage the multiple objectives of understanding and delivering on customer preferences, efficient supply and providing the assurance communities expect that regulated businesses can manage risk in complex operating environments.

Traditional approaches to regulation have become increasingly complex and costly. IPART is therefore developing and consulting on a new approach that draws on Australian and international experience in water and electricity regulation.

The 3Cs approach of customer, cost and credibility rewards water businesses that deliver long term customer value will still holding the businesses to account. It discourages short-term thinking and cost-cutting where it would lead to higher prices in the future, and shifts the focus to put customers at the centre of decision making, backed by good long-term planning and continuing the focus on ongoing efficiency.

About the Speaker

Deborah Cope has over 35 years’ experience in analysing and reforming governments’ economic, social and environmental policies and regulation She was appointed to the New South Wales Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal in 2017 and chairs the delegated committee on local government contribution plans. Deborah is also a member of IPART’s delegated committee for the regulation of electricity network safety. She is the principal of PIRAC Economics, a consulting business started in 2000, where she works with a broad range of regulators to help them improve the effectiveness and efficiency of regulation. She is a member of the National Disability Insurance Agency’s Pricing Reference Group and the ASIC Consultative Panel.

Deborah was a Commissioner with the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC) for 6 years. She developed Victoria’s manual and supporting paper on how to implement risk-based regulation. She previously sat on the boards for the Cooperative Research Centre for the Sustainable Development of Tropical Savannas and the Northern Territory Centre for Social Research. She was appointed by the Victorian Government to lead an independent inquiry into casino regulation in Victoria in 2021 and was a member of the Victorian Essential Services Commission Appeals Panel.

She has held senior positions in the National Competition Council, Office of Northern Development and worked with the Australian Productivity Commission and its predecessor organisations for 8 years. Deborah completed an honours degree in economics from the University of New England in 1986.

Registration and Joining this Event

This is a hybrid event, being held in-person at Macquarie University City Campus, Room 2415, Level 23 and online via Zoom.

To register please book online below. If you are attending via Zoom the link to join will be sent 24 hours prior.

Please select how you will attend the event via the drop down selection when registering.

Members should login before registering to avoid paying $5 non-member fee.


Bookings are now closed


Macquarie University City Campus, room 2415, level 23

123 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000

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