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Actew Water set to change its name

Time for another change ... The Actew Water logo.

Time for another change ... The Actew Water logo.

Eighteen months and $2.5million ago, ACTEW Corporation rebranded  itself "ACTEW Water'' but  Chief Minister Katy Gallagher says it's a ''no-brainer'' the name of the publicly owned utility needs to change again.

Ms Gallagher made the comment on Tuesday after praising former ACTEW managing director Mark Sullivan's contribution to Canberra.

ACTEW Corporation provides Canberra's water and sewerage service, while the joint venture ActewAGL is responsible for electricity. The old ACT Electricity and Water organisation was once responsible for both.

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher.

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

Since July 2012, ACTEW has mainly traded under the name ACTEW Water. Mr Sullivan said at the time  the name change and bringing water and sewerage functions back in-house would cost about $2.5 million.

The utility expected to recoup that cost through no longer having to pay a 3 per cent margin on its capital works.

Asked about ACTEW's name, Ms Gallagher agreed it needed to change to help end public confusion between the water and electricity companies.

"It's really a no-brainer I think going forward for us,'' she said.

Possible new names included Canberra Water and ACT Water.

A review by former Victorian competition commissioner Bruce Cohen and public consultation had both indicated a name change was needed.

"People think ACTEW is ActewAGL and ActewAGL is ACTEW,'' Ms Gallagher said.

"There's a very clear [distinction] between those two organisations and we need to ensure the confusion around the name ... doesn't contribute to people's understanding of the way our energy [and water] utilities work.''

Ms Gallagher said the name could be managed "relatively cheaply'', but this would be a matter for the ACTEW board.

Dr Cohen also recommended in his review that major changes be made to the governance of ACTEW.

Mr Sullivan announced his resignation as ACTEW managing director on Monday after six years in the job.

John Mackay resigned as chairman of the organisation last year.

Ms Gallagher said Mr Sullivan had done a good job, successfully overseeing drought-proofing projects such as the Cotter Dam expansion. "No doubt it's been a challenging position but I think he's performed very strongly in it,'' she said.

Ms Gallagher said the government would accelerate the appointment of a permanent ACTEW chairman so the board could begin work on recruiting a new managing director.

"There's very good senior staff in that organisation to keep things moving along and the board has remained relatively stable for a number of years,'' she said.

On Monday, ActewAGL chief financial officer John Knox was appointed acting ACTEW chief executive; businessman and former union official Michael Easson is acting chairman.

 

33 comments

  • Seriously, does any one really care? So long as we have utilities.....

    Commenter
    M
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    February 11, 2014, 3:30PM
    • And where do you think the next $2.5 million to pay for the rebranding is coming from? From your wallet to some brand design studio and market research business instead of maintaining or extending this utility.

      Commenter
      YS
      Date and time
      February 12, 2014, 8:00AM
  • will the name change go to tender? or will it be a gimme. Has to be better than the recent BCR logo.

    Commenter
    stoney
    Date and time
    February 11, 2014, 3:34PM
    • Typical ACT government. Spending tax payer money on things that are not important in order to keep themselves busy. Do us all a favour and stop trying to make yourself look important, and try to put our money to good use.

      Commenter
      Ed
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      February 11, 2014, 3:47PM
      • Why do they worry about changing the name and re-branding. They are the only supplier in the ACT and have a captive market. Surely the bureaucrats have better ways to spend taxpayers money.

        Commenter
        Felix
        Location
        ACT
        Date and time
        February 11, 2014, 3:52PM
        • 'Only been 18 months since it spent 2.5m to rebrand itself' hard to believe, more likely legal and administrative costs in creating a different organisation....

          Commenter
          user1
          Date and time
          February 11, 2014, 3:53PM
          • Seems like a smart move. You only have to see the amount of people calling for ACTEW to do this and that over the power cuts during January to see that there's a lot of confusion over which company is which and the split between the two.

            Commenter
            Jim
            Date and time
            February 11, 2014, 3:55PM
            • If they change the name of Actew Water are they going to call the other part ACTE?

              Commenter
              David
              Date and time
              February 11, 2014, 3:55PM
              • If one half comes ACTEW Water the logically the other half would be ACTPOO.

                Commenter
                stoney
                Date and time
                February 12, 2014, 9:34AM
            • You mean to say this has only just dawned on you?

              Like duh?

              Commenter
              Bretto
              Location
              Canberra
              Date and time
              February 11, 2014, 4:04PM

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