Water Price Hike: Government Should Scrap Drought Tax

Labor is warning Sydney residents will pay up to $200 a year more for water from July under a pricing plan it wants the Government to reject.

The proposal from the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) recommends water users pay more when dam levels fall below 70%. Labor analysis of historic dam levels shows 10 of the past 20 years would have triggered higher prices.

Labor Shadow Minister for Water, Clayton Bar said: “This is a drought tax. Under this model Sydney Water and the NSW Government will charge more during drought.

“If the Premier says she’s not aware of anyone who’ll be worse-off then she’s poorly informed. You can go to the IPART website and enter in your details to check.

“If the Premier wants us to believe that she’s bringing a pricing model to the market that is actually going to return less money to a revenue-stricken Government then she’s treating us as fools.

“This proposal will hit people who can least afford it. Gladys Berejiklian must intervene to prevent families and renters from drowning in bills.”

Mr Barr said the Government should stick to the current price plans until a better alternative is found.

“There is no doubt we need the people of Sydney to be vigilant about their water use because there will be more demand on supply.

“If you run a business and you’re planning your finances, you need certainty about your costs. Under this model you won’t know year-on-year if your water costs will be up or down. This will make life tougher for business.

“I’m calling on the Government to do exactly what the Labor Premier and Treasurer did in 2008.  They must say no. This is not a burden we’re willing to ask families to bear.”