By Gabrielle Karas.
With the upcoming state election, Liberal Shadow Minister for the Environment, David Speirs, said an independent inquiry into the state’s water costs would put a stop to customers paying the highest prices in the nation.
For most South Australians the cost of water is a major issue, and the Liberals say they will ensure consumers are not ripped off.
“We think that SA Water is exploited as a prop to increase the State Budget, which has a harmful effect on our state,” Mr Speirs said.
“The cost of water is no doubt a strain on the cost of living for individuals, but it is also a cost strain for businesses, predominantly those that use a considerable amount of water.”
Mr Speirs said that water was a matter that had not been discussed enough and should be a priority.
The Liberals’ water policies include:
- Assessing all aspects of water, from the cost of household water through to the cost of business water.
- Ensuring South Australians pay fair and reasonable prices.
- Providing third parties access to SA Water infrastructure to establish new and effective ways of supplying water to customers.
- Putting a hold on cuts to water allocations in the South-East Natural Resources Management (NRM) region to ensure farmers can be efficient producers and exporters, resulting in state economic growth.
The Liberals also promise to implement an Energy Solution Plan to cut the cost of household and business electricity bills by hundreds of dollars a year and prevent blackouts.
Significant features of the plan are a $200 million fund to enhance connectivity with the national electricity market and a $100 million household battery package.
The party said the plan focuses on:
- Affordable electricity.
- More value for cost.
- Reliable renewable energy.
- Strengthening existing connections between South Australia and the National Electricity Market (NEM).
“South Australians cannot afford to wait years to tackle rising electricity prices,” said State Liberal Leader, Stephen Marshall.
Based on independent expert assessments, under the plan, the average power bill would be cut by $302 a year.
“The water and power policies would ultimately lower the cost of living for households and the cost of business in South Australia, reducing the state’s job crisis,” Mr Marshall said.
Image Source: InDaily