Effective governance

Effective governance

Established as a public corporation on 1 July 1995 under the South Australian Water Corporation Act 1994, legislation guides our operations, the most significant legislature includes:

  • 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
  • Landscape South Australia Act 2019.

Key regulators

The Essential Services Commission of South Australia is the state’s independent economic regulator that determines our allowable revenue, sets service standards, and monitors our performance and compliance in the delivery of essential water and sewerage services for our customers.

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 wastewater 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 arrangements for managing 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 state government, reporting to the Minister for Climate, Environment and Water. The Board sets our strategic direction and monitors performance, driving efficiency and protecting our long-term financial viability in accordance with the Public Corporations Act 1993.

The following Board directors, appointed by the Governor of South Australia, served during 2022-23:

  • Allan Holmes, Chair (from 25 July 2022)
  • John Bastian AM (to 2 August 2022)
  • Sue Filby
  • Janet Finlay
  • Chris Ford
  • Fiona Hele
  • David Ryan

Day-to-day management of the business is delegated by the Board through the Chief Executive to the Executive. 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 $15 million (GST inclusive) and expenditure up to $4.4 million (GST inclusive) on any one project.

A charter prepared by the former Minister and the Treasurer, in consultation with the Board, was in place for 2022-23 in accordance with section 12 of the Public Corporations Act 1993. The charter guided the Board in seeking to balance community service with prudent commercial principles.

Directors’ interests and benefits

For 2022-23, 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 help it meet its responsibilities. Each committee has a charter that guides its functions and duties and is reviewed regularly.

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

* Customer, Sustainability and People and Safety Committee – supports and advises the Board with regards to our people, our customers and outcomes related to the environment and sustainability. This committee focuses on strategic matters that may have significant impacts on our business, and actively participates in discussions about the direction for any relevant strategies of the Corporation. The committee helps ensure the business has the right capabilities and plans in place to manage the impacts of an ever-changing climate and ensuring future generations are considered in the decisions of today.

* Customer, Community and Business Development Committee – helped the Board’s oversight of customer and community needs, interactions and outcomes, to ensure they are aligned with business and brand strategy. This committee held its last meeting on 16 November 2022.

* People, Culture and Innovation Committee – supported the Board on matters associated with human resources policies, strategies and practices including health and safety, culture, capability, diversity, equality and inclusion, remuneration and future workforce planning, taking into account the strategy, government policy, relevant Board policies, business needs and regulatory requirements. This committee held its last meeting on 9 November 2022.