Infrastructure upgrades make a splash in NSW

Infrastructure upgrades make a splash in NSW

Homeowners need to keep ahead of their mortgage payments, but there are other important payments to keep an eye out for.

Local councils levy rates on property owners every year, which can be paid yearly or by installments. While there are concessions for water management, there are still charges that homeowners need to be prepared for. The Department of Water and Energy has established best practice pricing guidelines to help ease the burden on property owners.

However, for New South Wales-based homeowners, a massive funding injection is sure to provide some refreshing news.

New funding makes a splash

The NSW government has pledged $700 million over the next year to "maintain, renew and upgrade critical infrastructure across state water networks," according to a June 23 statement.

The funding is part of a 2014-15 state budget initiative and it's hoped that it will result in "better outcomes" for water customers in the state.

Several projects will receive funding, including $171 million for works that will facilitate urban development. This is in addition to $268 million for upgrades to wastewater treatment plants and pipeline, as well as $71 million towards maintaining water distribution systems.

Reform is one the way, too, with the Water Industry Competition Amendment (review) Bill 2014 being introduced to parliament.

The bill establishes a framework for a more efficient water sector, including safeguards for water users across the state.

"Through this bill the [government] is encouraging competition, driving innovation and boosting efficiency of service delivery," Minister for Natural Resources, Lands and Water, Kevin Humphries, explained.

A thorough look at water pricing may trigger homeowners to rethink their entire finances, from their home loan repayments to budgeting for associated costs, such as council rates, electricity and gas.

Individuals who want to drive down their costs may even contemplate a mortgage refinance to obtain a better interest rate.

Image credit: rozal