Sydney Water services could be slashed under O’Farrell government
The NSW Labor Opposition today welcomed the draft Sydney Water price determination by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) – but warned water services could be slashed if the O’Farrell Government doesn’t drop its huge profit demands of the utility.
“The O’Farrell Government’s profit and dividend demands forced Sydney Water to request extraordinary increases to household water prices – and the independent regulator was right to knock them back,” Shadow Minister for Water, Luke Foley said.
“IPART has done the right thing. It’s now time for the O’Farrell Government to do the right thing and drop its demands on Sydney Water to deliver massive profits and dividends so the utility will not be forced to slash services.
“Sydney Water has to meet the huge 78 per cent profit increase set by the O’Farrell Government.
“This means it is required to deliver a monstrous $693.3 million profit next financial year, up from $387.8 million this year.
“In line with these massive profit forecasts, dividend payments to the O’Farrell Government will increase to $245 million next financial year, and to $250 million in 2013/14.
“We have already seen Sydney Water attempt to increase effluent discharge into the Hawkesbury River in order to cut costs.
“Last year, we saw a 30 per cent increase in unplanned water interruptions lasting longer than five hours.
“The 39 kilometre long Blue Mountains sewerage tunnel is now assessed ‘at risk of catastrophic failure’ during heavy rainfall. I am concerned that government pressure will force Sydney Water to fix it on the cheap, with a detrimental effect on the environment.
“The O’Farrell Government can’t cut corners and slash services for Sydney Water customers now that its plan to gouge record payments out of households has been foiled by IPART.”
Breakdown of Sydney Water price increases:
The average household using 200kl of water has a current annual (2011/12) bill of $1104.90.
Under IPART’s proposed increases, given the current 3.2 per cent inflation rate, average household water bills will be:
|Year||Annual bill||Increase from 2011/12|
Total Sydney Water bill increase over the next four years = 7.6 per cent.