The Weatherill Government has once again pushed up the price of water for South Australian households and small businesses despite the fact it received a $64 million budget windfall from SA Water last year.
"With the latest increase in water prices South Australian households are now paying a staggering 241 per cent more for water than they were in 2001-02,” said Shadow Minister for Water Michelle Lensink.
“Premier Weatherill should take his hand out of South Australians pockets and give back the $64 million windfall.
“The Weatherill Government is using SA Water is being used as a cash cow and should return the punitive tax it levies on water in South Australia.
“The failure of SA Water to reduce South Australia’s excessive water prices follows a decision by Sydney Water to reduce the price of water for households and businesses.”
Sydney Water is proposing to slash household water bills by around $100 per annum while businesses would save anywhere between 10 to 39 per cent on their bills.
“The relentless rise in the price of water has driven thousands of South Australian families into debt and onto hardship programs to make ends meet,” Ms Lensink said.
“With more than 3000 SA Water customers classified as hardship customers in December 2014 the need for cheaper water is pressing.
“South Australian families are being hit incredibly hard by the exorbitant cost of water under the Weatherill Labor Government.
“Former ESCOSA chief Paul Kerin has explained that the Weatherill Government extracts a hidden tax from water users in South Australia by over valuing SA Water’s Regulated Asset Base.
“Mr Kerin claim that the Weatherill Labor Government decided to overvalue SA Water’s asset base to plug holes in its leaking budget must be independently assessed.