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    Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for State Development and Trade
    The Honourable Andrew Fraser

    Water under the bridge – let’s get on with it: Treasurer

    Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for State Development and Trade
    The Honourable Andrew Fraser

    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    Water under the bridge – let’s get on with it: Treasurer

    SEQ councils have rejected the state government’s offer to take back their water entities, so now they should focus on getting on with the job of delivering affordable water to their ratepayers, Treasurer Andrew Fraser said.

    Mr Fraser said councils have until midnight tonight to decide whether to split from the distributor-retailers (Allconnex, UnityWater and Queensland Urban Utilities) and take back control of water and sewage services. Late on 30 June no council had declared its willingness to take their water entity back.

    “The councils have been crying out for the last few years to have the water entities back under the council banner,” Mr Fraser said.

    “They said they could deliver water cheaper if water was given back to them, so we gave them the option to put up or shut up.

    “Their actions speak louder than words.

    “None of them have decided to put their money where their mouth is.

    “They want to keep their water companies and the dividends they are reaping.

    “Councils have made their choice, now they should get on with delivering affordable water to the people of South East Queensland.”

    Mr Fraser said the companies were wholly owned by Councils.

    “The debate is now over. Councils need to get on with the job.

    “The State Government is doing its part to alleviate the burden on ratepayers by selling bulk water at a loss – in 2010-11 that loss was nearly half a billion dollars.

    “It is councils who reap dividends from selling water to their ratepayers. Now that they’ve decided to keep the current distributor-retailer model, the political blame games should stop, and the action to ease the burden of rising water bills on ratepayers should start.”

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