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SA Water says any ‘asset privatisation’ proposal should go to competitive tender

Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today SA Water has advised the Weatherill Government not to accept an unsolicited bid for the Aldinga wastewater treatment works but rather go to a competitive tender if it agreed to the privatisation proposal.

SA Water CEO John Ringham told the Budget and Finance Committee that the Weatherill Government’s coordinator general, Mr James Hallion, had been considering the privatisation proposal for months since late last year. 


Mr Ringham continued that after the unsolicited bid was received last year SA Water had for months been providing significant information to the Coordinator General to assist in his consideration of the privatisation proposal.


Mr Ringham also confirmed that SA Water has still not been advised by the Coordinator General of a decision of the privatisation proposal.


Mr Ringham’s evidence makes it clear that the Weatherill Government did not reject the unsolicited bid but instead has been actively considering for many months the privatisation of this SA Water asset.


Rob Lucas; So for some months, you provided information to the coordinator general. When did that process conclude, or has it concluded?


John Ringham; I’m not actually aware that there has been a final answer/decision.


Mr Ringham also confirmed that Minister Ian Hunter had been briefed by SA Water as soon as the privatisation proposal had been received.


“The hypocrisy of the Weatherill Government on the issue of privatisation is stunning,” said Mr Lucas.


“It is now clear the Government did not immediately reject a privatisation proposal for the Aldinga wastewater treatment works but instead had been actively considering it for many months”.