Labor sinks to new low with water bill scare campaign

Michael Ferguson,Minister for Finance

Labor’s ineptitude knows no bounds, just like its scaremongering.

Having voted to stop the Government taking over TasWater, they now complain and feign concern.

According to the Independent Tasmanian Economic Regulator in its latest report on the State of the Tasmanian Water and Sewerage Industry 2019-20:

Tasmanian bills for water and sewerage services are typically lower than those on the mainland. The bill in 2019-20 for a household using 200 kL per year was unchanged at $1,214.

The Report clearly deals with the claim that Tasmanian households pay too much compared to interstate consumers and it also highlights the fact that Labor continue to fabricate their own facts to suit themselves.

Let’s deal with Labor’s central claim. In order for an average Tasmanian households to face $453 extra for their water and sewerage bills, they would have to be paying about $3,200 per annum currently. This is totally false. Labor have spun the figures and provided the cumulative total increase over 4 years based on annual increases.

The reality is that households will face an average $46 per annum cost over the next 4 years. Households will not face a $453 hike in their bill as Labor have inferred.

The State Government became a shareholder in TasWater in early 2019 with a view to reducing price increases and investing in much needed capital upgrades.

The results of our $300 million investment are starting to pay off and are making a difference to everyday Tasmanians with the State now not facing any boil water alerts.

The Government’s investment allowed a price freeze for TasWater customers during financial year 2019-2020 which extended for residential and business customers for FY 2020-21 as part of a COVID-19 support package.

With that said, the Government does not own or run TasWater however we are investing to boost the business and put downward pressure on bills.

A price increase of 3.5 per cent has been applied with effect from 1 July 2021 under the legislation, the first increase since 1 July 2018.

This means that the price increase is actually over 6 years, averaging out at 2.33 per cent over that period.

The Tasmanian Economic Regulator is currently reviewing TasWater’s next Price and Service Plan which will have effect from 1 July next year.

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