Water: 2015–16 results of financial audits (Report 7: 2016–17)

Queensland's state and local government owned water entities form part of the state's water supply chain. Comprising bulk water suppliers, retailers, distributors, local governments, and smaller water boards, these entities provide water to households, agriculture, mining, electricity generation, tourism, and manufacturing industries.

The Queensland Bulk Water Supply Authority (trading as Seqwater) is the key water entity that provides water treatment services within South East Queensland. It also sells and distributes bulk water to the Northern SEQ Distributor-Retailer Authority (trading as Unitywater) and the Central SEQ Distributor-Retailer Authority (trading as Queensland Urban Utilities). These entities are responsible for distributing the water purchased from Seqwater to water users in their respective local government areas.

Queensland Urban Utilities and Unitywater were established in 2010 with transfers of water and sewage infrastructure assets from local councils. These two entities now own and manage the water distribution and sewerage treatment responsibilities of these councils, and provide each council with an annual participation return (which is similar to a dividend).

Outside South East Queensland, SunWater Limited, Gladstone Area Water Board, and Mount Isa Water Board own and operate infrastructure that stores and supplies bulk water to irrigators, industrial customers, and local governments.

Smaller water boards and local governments source and sell water primarily to irrigation customers in designated areas and ratepayers respectively, and are outside the scope of this report.

This report summarises our financial audit results of the six main state and local government owned water entities, and two controlled entities. The Queensland Auditor-General audits the financial statements of these water entities annually, and provides parliament and the general public with assurance that the reports are reliable and comply with accounting standards.

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