From the Newsroom

CHCC: “final agreement” achieved for valley’s water supply

Geoff Helisma

At last week’s Coffs Harbour City Council (CHCC) meeting, the executive summary regarding the reaching of an agreement between Essential Energy, Clarence Valley Council and CHCC – on ownership of water supply infrastructure – concluded, “The final step is to gain the formal consent of Clarence Valley Council and the Essential Energy Board to conclude the transaction to transfer the assets to Clarence Valley Council ownership.”

In an effort to inform the Independent’s readers about the issue, given all of CVC’s discussions have been confidential, here’s a full transcript of CHCC’s executive summary of the matter.

“At its meeting of 11 February 2021 [CHCC] considered report DSI 21/01 Water Security Negotiations, regarding the problematic external ownership arrangements of various critical components of the Regional Water Supply Scheme (RWSS).

“The report discussed that the two RWSS partner councils’ raw water supply is significantly dependent upon the Nymboida River water source via the Shannon Creek Dam.

“The report also discussed the ongoing issue that the water licence and water access assets, upon which both the Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour communities relied, actually resided within the historical ownership and control of Essential Energy.

“Consequently, [CHCC] authorised the General Manager to provide support and assistance to Clarence Valley Council in order to assist in concluding a Memorandum of Understanding between CVC and Essential Energy (“the MoU”) to effect a transfer of ownership of the critical Nymboida Water Supply assets to CVC.

“NSW Treasury Guidelines require that the transfer of such assets (i.e. non-tradeable) must meet certain stipulated ‘fair value’ methodology tests during any transfer process.

“The transfer process has now reached a stage where this final test has been met.

Council’s resolution to the initial Report on this matter (DSI 21/01) noted that a further report containing details of any future fair value agreement would be presented for Council’s consideration before proceeding further.

“CVC, with CHCC’s involvement and support, and Essential Energy have now agreed to a fair value for the Nymboida assets and the agreement is now presented for Council’s further consideration.

“Final agreement on all key aspects has now been achieved between the parties.

“The final step is to gain the formal consent of Clarence Valley Council and the Essential Energy Board to conclude the transaction to transfer the assets to Clarence Valley Council ownership.

“This report updates Council on the key elements and structure of the transfer.”

 

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