Water Minister upstream without a paddle

The State Liberals have accused Water Minister Ian Hunter of being in complete denial about the extent of the problems engulfing South Australia’s ageing system of water mains.

“The Weatherill Government treats SA Water as a cash cow and that has come at the expense water consumers and the necessary upgrading of the system,” said Shadow Minister for Infrastructure David Pisoni.

“As SA Water prepared to slash its Pipe Network Renewal budget from $47.2 million to just $30.6 million it paid the Weatherill Government $183.9 million in dividends.

“In the same year the Weatherill Government transferred $2.7 billion of State debt onto SA Water’s books.

“Little wonder that SA Water was forced to slash its Pipe Renewal Network budget by 35 per cent as it looked for ways to pay the massive tax placed on it by the Weatherill Government.

“Households and businesses get the worst of both worlds under the Weatherill Government – paying ever higher water bills delivered by crumbling infrastructure.

“Since Labor came to power in 2002 the average household water bill has increased by 241 per cent, but South Australia’s water infrastructure continues to deteriorate.

“The 35 per cent cut in funding for upgrading SA Water’s pipeline network is clearly a contributing factor in the spate of burst water mains that have hit Adelaide this year.

“Months of damaging pipe bursts in the CBD and suburban Adelaide have damaged homes, cars and roads and led to lengthy delays for tens of thousands of commuters.

“Between 2014 and 2015 the rate of burst water mains increased by an alarming 22.7 per cent.” 

 

Year

Total Bursts

(Metro and Regional)

2014

3258

2015

3998