Consumer voice must be at centre of water

The priority in the TasWater discussions must be delivery of the best outcomes for all Tasmanians and especially those on low incomes, according to TasCOSS.

“Tasmania’s 70,000 aged pensioners must budget about $600-$700 a year and rising to cover the cost of accessing basic water and sewerage services,” CEO of TasCOSS Kym Goodes said.

“Making a cup of tea or watering a garden should not be luxuries in the lives of our parents and grandparents.

“Whatever form of ownership model is eventually settled on, the priority must be on keeping prices down; Tasmanians cannot afford to pay more for water when jobs are scarce, pensions are being clawed back and incomes are not rising.

“Concessions must be tied to price increases as electricity concessions already are. And renters must have access to the concessions to which they are entitled, and any other protections, as they already do with electricity.

“Access to clean, potable water is not just an essential service; it is a human right.

“We support decisions that will achieve a 21st century water and sewerage system for Tasmanians as soon as possible and with a consumer-centred focus.

“The status quo isn’t working for our State or for Tasmanians and we are better than this: Change must be made and we applaud leaders brave enough to make it.”