Time to question SA’s crippling water prices

The final week of State Parliament for 2014 will see the Weatherill Government under intense scrutiny as a result of the explosive evidence the former ESCOSA chief Dr Paul Kerin gave to a parliamentary committee.

“Dr Kerin’s evidence laid bare a culture of bullying, deception and intimidation at the highest levels of State Government designed to conceal grossly inflated water prices in South Australia,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“Treasurer Koutsantonis’ furious personal attack upon Dr Kerin after his revelations merely confirms Dr Kerin’s statements about the modus operandi of the Weatherill Government.

“The State Liberals want an independent investigation of the price of water in South Australia and this week will move legislation in State Parliament to establish that inquiry.

“Dr Kerin’s evidence exposed the Weatherill Government’s earlier inquiry into water pricing as an elaborate sham designed to conceal the facts of water pricing policy.

“An independent inquiry is the only means of establishing what the real price of water should be South Australia.

“In evidence to the Budget and Finance Committee Dr.Kerin said struggling SA families were being slugged hundreds of millions of dollars more than they should be because of deliberate policy decisions of the Weatherill Government.

“Acts of intimidation and deliberately false public statements by former Ministers and officials will be scrutinised during question time.

“Dr Kerin described one meeting where he raised the issue of greater competition reducing water prices when a furious Treasury officer slammed his fist on the desk and said ‘There will be no competition’!

“Dr Kerin criticised former Minister Caica and Treasurer Snelling for making ‘untrue’ and ‘false’ public statements about water pricing reforms and policy.

“The Weatherill Government’s secret plans to privatise some of SA Water’s assets will also be dissected during this week’s question time.”