TasWater posts profit rise, CEO receives $18,000 more in pay

TasWater chairman Miles Hampton
TasWater chairman Miles Hampton

TasWater recorded a $28.5 million profit over 2016-17 and made gains in key environmental performance areas, its latest annual report shows.

However, the company spent $25.1 million less on capital expenditure, with a spend of $103.8 million over the year, and took slightly more time to attend sewage spills.

Councils received $875,913 less in dividends last financial year but still raked in $19.4 million.

The report noted there was $3.8 million made in operational savings and a $6.1 million increase in revenue to $315.4 million.

Chief executive Mike Brewster received a $18,136 pay bump, taking his wage to $498,264.

There was $2.7 million was paid out in senior executive wages over the year; collectively a rise of $384,293. 

Worker compensation claims were up but the value of the claims was down with 37 claims made over 2016-17, costing the company $137,000.

The report noted less sewer main breaks and chokes per 100 kilometres of pipeline but a slight rise in the time it took to attend to these incidents as well as spills.

The time, however, remained under the organisation's target.

There were fewer dry weather sewage spills over the financial year, 66 incidents compared to 109, the year before, and 50 per cent of TasWater's wastewater volume was fully compliant with Environmental Protection Authority requirements.

Chairman Miles Hampton said 97.8 per cent of the company’s industrial customers were operating under an Industrial Trade Waste Agreement, compared to 80 per cent the year before.

TasWater’s trade waste solutions have copped flak from the state government and businesses this year with many complaining about TasWater’s inflexibility and the expense involved in meeting EPA standards.

Mr Hampton said while 2016-17 contained many achievements, the company acknowledged there was more work to do.

“But this annual report shows we are making progress and making significant improvements across our range of operations,” he said.

“We have achieved this through careful prioritisation of projects, prudent financial management and finding more efficient ways to work. 

“TasWater has managed to finance its entire capital program while still delivering the cheapest bills of any similar water and sewerage utility in Australia.”

Mr Hampton acknowledged TasWater staff in his report, amidst the state government’s claims of a water and sewerage crisis in Tasmania. “We remain confident that our plan appropriately balances improved compliance, time frames and price increases,” he said.