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Resignation letter confirms SA Water’s cash cow status

Damning revelations today in a resignation letter from former Essential Services Commission of SA chief executive, Paul Kerin, confirms that the Weatherill Labor Government is using SA Water as a cash cow to prop up its ailing budget. 

In his resignation letter, Mr Kerin claims that the Weatherill Labor Government and senior government bureaucrats have no interest in reform or in serving the long-term interests of consumers.

The latest CPI data confirms that over the past 12 years, water prices have risen by 236 per cent despite inflation only being 41 per cent during this time.

A damning ESCOSA report on the performance of SA Water released in April this year revealed that SA Water’s net profit after tax ratio was one of the highest of the capital city water utilities in 2012-13.

The total number of SA Water hardship customers (customers unable to pay their accounts due to financial difficulties) also increased from 1,445 in January 2012 to 3,618 by June 2013 – an increase of 150% since the beginning of 2012.

“It is quite clear from Mr Kerin’s letter that SA Water is being used as a cash cow and that the Weatherill Labor Government has no interest in reform, despite there being opportunities to do so,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“It’s time for Premier Jay Weatherill, Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis and the rest of the Weatherill Labor Government to sit up and take note – it cannot continue to use SA Water as a cash cow to prop up its budget.

“South Australians are struggling with ever increasing cost of living pressures and cannot continue to foot the bill for 12 years of financial mismanagement and reckless spending from this Labor Government.

“Labor must now outline how it intends to relieve the cost of living burden on South Australian families.”