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*Pic: Tim Slade’s pic of a Guinness Glass full of water ...

Water utilities must be kept in public hands, a former Australian Water Association president has said.

In an interview with The West Australian on Monday, the newly-retired Western Australian Water Corporation chief operating officer Peter Moore said ensuring water quality was critical.

“Ministers and governments can survive if people don’t have power for a day or two,” he said.

“If the water quality is not managed in a supply system and you get it significantly wrong you have hundreds of thousands of people very ill and multiple deaths.

“Governments don’t survive that.”

Speaking to Fairfax Tasmania, Mr Moore said for Tasmania, having a single utility like TasWater meant necessary expertise was concentrated in the correct place to work on infrastructure and improve water quality, regardless of ownership …

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