Effective governance

Effective governance


SA Water was established as a Public Corporation on 1 July 1995 under the South Australian Water Corporation Act 1994. SA Water’s operations are guided by legislation, the most significant include:

  • South Australian Water Corporation Act 1994
  • Public Corporations Act 1993
  • Water Industry Act 2012
  • Safe Drinking Water Act 2011
  • South Australian Public Health Act 2011
  • Work, Health and Safety Act 2012
  • Environment Protection Act 1993
  • Natural Resources Management Act 2004.

Key regulators

The Essential Services Commission of South Australia is the independent economic regulator for the water industry. It sets service standards and revenue levels for water and sewerage services provided by us.

SA Health sets and monitors standards for drinking water quality and regulates recycled water use in the state.

The Office of the Technical Regulator sets standards and requirements for water and sewerage infrastructure, and the operation of that infrastructure, to ensure public safety.

The Environment Protection Authority sets standards for acceptable discharge from SA Water’s used water treatment facilities and monitors our operations and activities to minimise impact on the environment.

The Department for Environment and Water regulates access to natural water sources, protects water catchments and native vegetation and is the state body responsible for the River Murray as part of the Murray-Darling Basin.

The Board

The Board is appointed under the South Australian Water Corporation Act 1994 to govern the business on behalf of the South Australian Government, reporting to the Minister for Environment and Water. The Board sets the strategic direction and monitors performance, driving efficiency and protecting our long-term viability in accordance with the Public Corporations Act 1993.

The following Board directors, appointed by the Governor of South Australia, served during 2017-18:

  • Sybella Blencowe
  • Sue Filby
  • Ian Stirling
  • Hon. Carolyn Pickles (appointed Chair 28 November 2017 to 30 June 2018)
  • Hon. Karlene Maywald
  • Roch Cheroux.

Day-to-day management of the business is delegated by the Board through the Chief Executive to the Senior Leadership Team. Pursuant to section 18 of the South Australian Water Corporation Act 1994, the Minister has delegated authority to the Board of SA Water to approve procurements of up to $10 million and expenditure up to $4 million on any one project.

A charter prepared by the Minister and the Treasurer, in consultation with the Board, was in place for 2017-18 in accordance with section 12 of the Public Corporations 1993. The charter guided the Board in seeking to balance community service with prudent commercial principles.

Directors' interests and benefits

For 2017-18, no director had an interest in any contract or proposed contract with SA Water, other than contracts in the ordinary course of business. No benefits were received by any director of SA Water by virtue of a contract that was made with SA Water, other than in normal course of business as set out in the financial statements.

Board committees

The Board has established a committee structure to assist it in meeting its responsibilities. Each committee has a charter that guides its functions and duties and is reviewed annually.

Governance, Finance and Risk Committee – supports and assists the Board in fulfilling its corporate governance and oversight responsibilities in relation to our financial planning and reporting, internal and external audit functions, internal control processes, risk management systems, legal compliance, and fraud control.

Policy and Strategy Committee – assists the Board’s oversight of the long-term strategy of the corporation to ensure it remains a valuable, relevant and effective water and sewerage service provider with high levels of customer, community and stakeholder service and support.

People and Culture Committee – supports and assists the Board on matters associated with workforce planning, remuneration and corporate culture, taking into account the strategy, government policy, relevant Board policies, business needs and regulatory requirements.

Operational Contract Review Subcommittee – reporting to the Governance, Finance and Risk Committee, the subcommittee assisted the Board to assess approaches to operational services and capital delivery to ensure they continue to meet our vision and strategy.

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