Independent Regulator’s Report Calls For Urgent Improvement From TasWater

Independent Regulator’s Report Calls For Urgent Improvement From TasWater

Tasmania Treasurer Peter Gutwein

Independent Regulator’s Report Slams TasWater Performance

Victor P Taffa

Treasurer Peter Gutwein said that the latest report on the state of Tasmania’s water and sewerage has confirmed the need for urgent action.

Report, released today by the independent Tasmanian Economic Regulator, finds that:

“Comparison over the past 5 years highlights that there has been no tangible progress towards substantially improved compliance levels…’and’…it is evident compliance levels worsened during the seven years from July 2009, when the water and sewerage reforms began and responsibility for the management of sewage infrastructure was transferred firstly to regional corporations, and subsequently to TasWater.”

Importantly, the report also states that “Tasmania’s water and sewerage assets are deteriorating faster than they can be replaced…”

 

Report also shows that:

  • In 2015-16, the number of sewer overflows increased by more than 20 % from 164 to 201;
  • Rate of sewer overflows in Tasmania (4.3 per 100 km of sewer main) is up to 8 times that of similar sized utilities on the mainland (0.5-1 per 100 km of sewer main);
  • Total number of sewer main breaks and chokes also increased from 57 to 61 per 100 km of sewer main, which is almost double the rate reported nationally for similar size utilities at 32 breaks and chokes per 100 kms of sewer main;
  • Only 1 of 79 sewage treatment plants achieved full compliance with discharge limits;
  • In 2015?16, TasWater received 2,892 complaints, up 24 % from 2,324 for the previous year. The largest group of complaints were in relation to water quality (38 %);
  • Thirteen water supplies had chemical contaminants detected above safe health limits;
  • Twenty five systems were operated under a temporary or permanent boil water alert while another five systems had a public health alert (do not consume) in place; and
  • 6 systems reported metal concentrations above safe health limits.

“As this report shows, the status quo is simply not working to fix our water and sewerage, which is why we have announced a Plan to take over TasWater.” Treasurer Gutwein said.

“Our plan will ensure Tasmanians get better water and sewerage services faster, with lower prices and with no increase in rates.”

“In contrast, Labor’s disastrous do-nothing position won’t fix the immediate problems, and will privatise water and sewerage assets, with price rises of up to 18 %.” Treasurer Gutwein said.

“So far, our Plan has the support of TasCOSS, the TICT, the TCCI, the Property Council, Master Builders Association, developers, businesses, a number of mayors and local councils and, I believe, the Tasmanian community, who are sick and tired of third world water and sewerage infrastructure in Tasmania.”

“It seemed that the only people who opposed our Plan to fix infrastructure, create jobs and cut the cost of water and sewerage bills are Labor and a few people with vested interests.” Treasurer Gutwein said.