The Property Council of Australia today expressed dismay that TasWater and their owners, the 29 councils would spend rate-payers money on anything other than infrastructure improvement.

“A campaign war chest, to fight against improvement, and paid for by rate payers is completely inappropriate.

“If councils have additional funds to spend, they should be committed immediately to infrastructure improvement,” he said.

The Property Council has continually questioned TasWater and the local government sector regarding why dividends were not put back into infrastructure improvement.

“The lack of acceptable water and sewerage provision in Tasmania highlights a legacy of council neglect.

“Arbitration, legal fees, media spin and pet projects are where the dividends have been spent rather than providing clean drinking water to 30 towns across Tasmania or addressing sewer outflows at seven times the national average.

“Rate payers have a right to know.  These decisions are totally out of step with the community’s expectations, particularly considering just one of the state’s 78 water and sewerage treatment plants is considered compliant,” he said.

The Tasmanian Division again raised the importance of addressing water and sewerage provision, particularly in the north of the state.

“Northern Tasmania faces the challenges of a transitioning economy.

“If we truly wish to embrace the Launceston City Deal and become a world class University region, then we must address water and sewerage infrastructure.

“Jobs and investment will flow if the conditions for development are attractive.

“And if councils across the state believe that it’s more important to a fund a media campaign, then they are seriously out of touch,” he said.