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Liberals Ignore Councils on TasWater

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Thursday, 11 May 2017

Tags: TasWater, Sewerage, Infrastructure, Local Government

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens' Water spokesperson

Today’s Local Government Association of Tasmania meeting on the government takeover of TasWater was a forgone conclusion.  The Liberal Government’s mind was already made up.

Treasurer and Local Government Minister, Peter Gutwein’s authoritarian attitude towards councils in his political quest is unbelievable.  He ignored TasWater’s pleas for funding and Greens’ questioning on the shocking state of Tasmania’s water and sewerage infrastructure for years, before making his snap decision to take over TasWater.

The Liberals only made their decision to take them over after TasWater delivered their plan to fix the State’s water woes. This is politically motivated in its entirety, made even clearer by the government saying they would proceed regardless of Council will.

There’s been widespread criticism from mayors and Local Government representatives. They, like all Tasmanians, still have almost no information on how the government will deliver their water promises.

If anyone was in any doubt the Liberals’ self-constructed water fight was entirely political, many Tasmanian households were polled by ReachTEL last night, with a series of leading questions about the State Government’s planned TasWater takeover.

Although not disclosed, the leading questions in the ReachTEL poll point to it being commissioned by the Liberals.  Peter Gutwein and his colleagues must reassure Tasmanians about whether last night’s poll was paid for by taxpayers.

The Liberals are refusing to tell Tasmanians how they’ve reached their cost estimate, or how they can deliver it in the timeframe they’ve claimed. They ignored the real issues for years and only picked the fight over TasWater for political purposes when there was a solution in sight, and now they will ignore the views of Local Government.