Today the Hodgman Liberal Government is releasing the draft legislation it will present to Parliament in order to take over TasWater.
Over recent days, we have travelled around the State, talking to communities along the way about issues that affect them, including water and sewerage.
It’s clear that Tasmanians are not happy with how their water and sewerage system is being managed.
They are not happy about the prospect of significant price rises for water and sewerage infrastructure that is simply not up to scratch and they are not happy about Labor and some local councils being so out of touch on this issue.
The legislation will lock in cheaper prices, better infrastructure and guarantee payments to councils.
It will help deliver the results that the community expects and deserves.
TasWater’s assets don’t belong to councils, they belong to the people of Tasmania.
It was the people of Tasmania that paid for them and it is the people of Tasmania that suffer when they are deteriorating faster than they can be replaced as pointed out by Tasmania’s Economic Regulator in his most recent report.
This legislation means that the Hodgman Government will become responsible for and will manage water and sewerage infrastructure on behalf of all Tasmanians, at a lower cost to Tasmanians.
This legislation establishes a new Government Business Enterprise responsible for providing water and sewerage services in Tasmania.
The draft bill has been prepared by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel to give effect to the Government’s plan to transfer ownership and responsibility for the State's water and sewerage industry to the State Government.
The Government has sought advice from the Solicitor-General on the draft Bill and we are confident that the provisions of the draft Bill will withstand any potential legal challenge to its validity.
The Government’s plan has the support of the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Property Council, TasCOSS, the Tasmanian Hospitality Association, the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania, the Master Builders Association, the Tasmanian Small Business Council and, most importantly, the broader community.
This legislation will let the Government step up, take responsibility and fix the problem once and for all.