Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens' Water spokesperson
It's not only TasWater who are being left hanging by the Hodgman Government's refusal to have a meaningful discussions about critical water and sewerage infrastructure funding, it's the Tasmanian community. Every Tasmanian household will feel the effects of their petulance.
TasWater have said they will likely raise charges by 10% in the next two years. This fee hike will hit disadvantaged Tasmanians the hardest.
A likely 30% increase in water charges over the next six years will hurt low-income households. The State Government must show leadership and engage with their Canberra colleagues on how best to ease the pressure on TasWater and, ultimately, Tasmanians.
Just adding the works needed on the Federal Infrastructure Priority List isn't enough. Tasmania needs a commitment from the State and Federal Government on sharing the costs of upgrading the State's aging water and sewerage infrastructure.
The State Government's quarantine of water and sewerage works from their northern councils infrastructure announcement was a cruel blow. Launceston's water infrastructure is in dire straits, with the levels of untreated sewage polluting the Tamar River some of the highest in the country.
The problems with Tasmania's aging water and sewerage infrastructure have taken generations to surface. It can't be left solely to current users to pay for upgrades, water supply is the responsibility of government.