25th May, 2017
Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
TasWater will have $60 million more to speed up their infrastructure upgrades under the Government’s plan to take control of TasWater.
This year’s Budget provides $20 million a year from 2018-19 to be paid to councils rather than TasWater paying them, exactly the same amount councils are entitled to under the current ownership structure.
By providing these funds through the Budget, rather than out of TasWater itself means that TasWater will have an additional $60 million to support the acceleration of infrastructure upgrades across the first three years of our ownership.
This means Councils have absolutely no justification for rate rises as a result of the TasWater takeover.
The Tasmanian Government’s plan to take control of TasWater is all about providing better infrastructure and services, at a lower price.
Under local government ownership water and sewerage prices have been forecast to rise by five per cent each year over six years.
At the same time, it is predicted it will be 10 years before water and sewerage services are brought to an acceptable standard – assuming that TasWater can meet its own deadlines, which in the past it has failed to do.
Under our plan price rises will be capped at 2.75 per cent in our first year of ownership and then between 2.75 per cent and 3.5 per cent, each year saving the average customer up to $550 over a six year period.
In addition, we will deliver the water and sewerage upgrades quicker, supporting around 1000 new jobs in the sector.
We are Building Tasmania’s Future by ensuring Tasmanians have the essential services they need and deserve, and that includes quality water and sewerage infrastructure.
Our TasWater takeover plan is fair all around – fair to the consumer, fair to councils, and fair to the broader community – and the Government remains resolute in ensuring it is delivered.