TasWater’s Headache Holiday…

The Property Council of Australia today reiterated its support for proposed legislation to create a TasWater Government Business Enterprise.

Executive Director Brian Wightman outlined a number of facts regarding the water and sewerage sectors performance across the State.

“The spin regarding the achievements of TasWater and the Local Government Sector must cause severe headaches.

Fact – The State Government reimbursed TasWater for headworks charges for two years between 01 April 2014 and 31 March 2016 with a $5 million grant to stimulate investment and development.

Fact - after the two years TasWater voluntarily removed the headworks charges, though for many developments headworks charges still apply through their permits. The removal of headworks charges by Taswater changed the model from a fixed tenement arrangement to a model where at any given time an assessment is made as to the capacity of the infrastructure and that cost if any, is passed on to the developer.

Fact – just one out of 78 Water and Sewerage Treatment Plants in Tasmania is compliant with no penalty incurred by the owners.  By comparison, if a member of the public receives a parking ticket, the council demand it be paid in 14 days or interest is incurred and then legal action threatened.

Fact – 25 Tasmanian towns are on boil water alerts and five on do not consume notices.

Fact – Launceston’s Dual System, Macquarie Point and Cameron’s Bay require significant capital infrastructure and the owners and managers have absolutely no plan to fund it.

Fact – under the State Government’s proposal, the councils will receive seven years of dividends and 50 per cent thereafter without being required to inject any capital to fix the legacy of their leadership,” Mr. Wightman said.

The Tasmanian Division again raised the importance of addressing water and sewerage provision.

“Tasmania continues to face the challenges of a transitioning economy.

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

“Jobs and investment will flow if the conditions for development are attractive,” he said.

Media contact: Brian Wightman, Executive Director, Tasmania | bwightman@propertycouncil.com.au