Victoria Shadow Minister for Country Water Resources Peter Walsh
Coliban Customers Stung By Labor’s Incompetence
Victor P Taffa
Coliban Water customers are footing the bill for the Brumby Government’s incompetence, Shadow Minister for Country Water Resources and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh said today.
Mr. Walsh said the Essential Services Commission had approved a further 14 % increase in the price of water for Central Customers and 8.3 % for Northern Customers of Coliban Water.
“Residents have reduced their water consumption only to be stung with an increase of more than $300 from 2007-08 to 2010-11 in the Central Region and $190 in the Northern Region during the same period because of the Brumby Government’s water mismanagement.” Mr. Walsh said.
“Labor has collected about $340 Billion in revenue over the past 11 years, yet for most of that time it has failed to address the State’s Water Needs.”
“Now Coliban customers will fork out another $7.3 Million over the next three years, on top of the huge price increases they were slugged with in 2008, to pay for Labor’s failure and incompetence.” Mr. Walsh said.
“Labor’s long-term failure to increase the capacity of the state’s water supplies forced the implementation of arbitrary water restrictions and left Coliban in a weak financial position.”
Mr. Walsh said the soaring price of water would add to the financial pressure already faced by families, low income earners and seniors.”
“Bendigo, Castlemaine and Kyneton customers using 170 kilolitres of water each year can expect a water bill next year of almost $900, with further increases in the next few years.
“Customers in the Northern Zone, including Echuca and Leitchville, using the same amount face a yearly bill of about $740.”
“One of the reasons cited for the cost increase in the northern zone was the outbreak of blue-green algae in the Murray River system.” Mr. Walsh said.
“Coliban has been forced to cart water to many smaller towns, either because they have run out of water or because their town supply is not safe to drink because of blue-green algal blooms.”
“Its customers are effectively paying to fund Labor’s appalling decision to loot the environmental water reserve held in Lake Eildon water which is traditionally set aside to flush the river in the event of a blue-green algae outbreak but was sent to Melbourne this year with the North-South Pipeline online.” Mr. Walsh said.