Stuckey Slams Government Over Water Prices

25 Nov 2010 9:28 AMJann Stuckey

25 November 2010

Member for Currumbin Jann Stuckey MP used a speech on water legislation in the State Parliament to highlight the Labor Government’s failure to manage Queensland’s water crisis and the Tugun desalination project.

“Without doubt our state’s water crisis was due to the reprehensible neglect of water provision for over a decade by successive Labor Governments.

“Capital assets like the $1.2 million Tugun desalination plant and other facilities hastily built as part of this Government’s $9 billion water grid are the cause of crippling household water bills.

“These borrowings, these debts must be re-paid – by generations of Queenslanders who will be forced to pay through the nose for water.

“Just like Premier Beattie’s promise that electricity prices would not increase, Premier Bligh has shown she’s made of the same mould.    

“Five pieces of water legislation in as many years from this Labor Government have seen fat-cat water bureaucrats’ wages skyrocketing upwards of $400,000 a year.

“These obscene wages are offensive to residents of South East Queensland as they struggle to pay their water bills and other basic living costs.

“It is no wonder residents were outraged to learn that $32,000 a day is being spent to keep the Tugun desal plant running at 33% capacity to supply a grid that is overflowing with water stocks.

“When questioned as to why the plant could not be turned off the Premier replied that it was more cost effective to let it run at a low capacity. 

“Now reports have surfaced that the government is considering switching the redundant plant onto ‘hot standby’ which is anticipated to save $10.5 million per year.

“So which method is it? The public deserve to know the truth and the Premier and her government must come clean and show Queenslanders the cost comparisons.

Ends

Link to speech in Hansard: (begins page 108) http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/view/legislativeAssembly/hansard/documents/2010.pdf/2010_11_24_DAILY.pdf