TasWater takeover

Burnie City Council Mayor Anita Dow believes that Friday’s announcement by the Treasurer that a State Government takeover of TasWater was under active consideration was a calculated move by the State Government and the Treasurer.

Mayor Dow said, “To discuss this intention in a national forum and the media, but not directly with Local Government until Friday is poor form and shows a complete lack of regard for Local Government and the important services we provide to our local communities.”

“At Friday’s meeting the Treasurer informed us that the Government was actively considering a takeover, however there were no details, modelling or timeframes provided. Local Government is now seeking written confirmation of this proposal to discuss with our individual Councils and to understand its implications.”

“Council’s preferred option is continued Local Government ownership of TasWater to ensure the Corporation is best focused on servicing local communities. However consideration must be given to financial compensation for Council’s if the State Government proposed takeover is to proceed.”

“This is clearly about economic reform and not the drinking water quality of Tasmanians and the fact that the government can see the increasing revenue streams from TasWater once compliance measures are met. It is incredibly important that this revenue stays in local communities, communities that have already paid for and maintained these assets. It shouldn’t become consolidated revenue of the State Government.”

“Burnie has always taken a very responsible approach to maintaining our water and sewerage assets and Council is not aware of any significant non-compliance issues with water and sewerage services within the Burnie municipality that need addressing. These are assets that our community has already invested in and therefore the community should not be disadvantaged further by the potential economic ramifications of a State Government takeover.”

“Any change in revenue streams from tax equivalents, loan guarantee fees and dividends will impact on Councils’ budgets and may lead to council amalgamations.”

“TasWater has made significant progress in addressing the state’s water and sewerage infrastructure issues over the last three and a half years and Councils have been working closely with the organisation – endorsing their $1.55 billion fully funded 10 year capital plan.”

For further information please contact

Janine Phillips
Communications Officer
Burnie City Council
03 6430 5716 or 0448 568 728

Email: jphillips@burnie.net