TasWater has expressed its extreme disappointment at the State Government’s repeated
claims of higher prices following the release of the Infrastructure Australia report that has
strongly supported the current water and sewerage ownership and regulatory model in
Chairman Miles Hampton said instead of accepting the overwhelming evidence that he was
misguided in trying to force a takeover of TasWater, Treasurer Peter Gutwein has again shown
little respect for the truth by claiming the Infrastructure Australia report showed a doubling of
water and sewerage charges in Tasmania.
“This is disingenuous and grossly misleading,” Mr Hampton said.
“What the report does say is that the best model for water and sewerage in Australia is for
governments to regulate, rather than own utilities, a situation that currently exists in
“Indeed the report said proposed legislative changes in Tasmania where prices would be set by
the Government rather than an independent regulator ‘would see the State shift further from
best practice with increased powers for political interference’.
“It clearly rejects the Government’s takeover proposal.
“The dishonesty of the Treasurer’s statement is disrespectful to all Tasmanians and places
TasWater in the difficult position of having to openly censure the State Government for the
“The Government continues to claim a cap on price increases as low as 2.75 percent for water
and sewerage charges.
“However, the legislation tabled by the Government, and outright rejected by the Legislative
council specifies price increases of 2.75 percent in 2018/19, 3.5 percent in 2019/20 and
2020/21, with further indications of price increases between 2.75 percent and 3.5 percent
following on from those increases.”
Mr Hampton said TasWater’s pricing was considered and approved by the independent
Economic Regulator and, on average, Tasmanian charges currently were $300 a year lower
than those interstate. The Economic Regulator has issued a draft price determination
suggesting a 4.16 percent increase in each of the next three years.
“For the Government to continue to mislead Tasmanians in an attempt to promote its failed
takeover bid is disappointing and unworthy of our political leaders.
“Fortunately for Tasmanians, the Legislative Council fully understood the reality and
emphatically rejected the Government’s legislation by 10 votes to four.
“The key question is how many independent reports critical of its takeover bid does the
Government need to see before it moves on to dealing with the real issues confronting
Tasmanians, like health services, education, public safety and the economy?”
TasWater Chairman Miles Hampton