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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Energy and Water Supply
    The Honourable Mark McArdle

    SEQ’s “back to the future” bulk water model back on track

    Minister for Energy and Water Supply
    The Honourable Mark McArdle

    Tuesday, June 26, 2012

    SEQ’s “back to the future” bulk water model back on track

    The Newman Government will significantly reduce the number of water supply bureaucracies servicing South East Queensland (SEQ) from four to one, fulfilling a commitment from the First 100 Day Action Plan.

    Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark McArdle said merging three SEQ bulk water entities (Seqwater, LinkWater and the SEQ Water Grid Manager) and abolishing the Queensland Water Commission (QWC) would reduce the cost of supplying drinking water across South East Queensland.

    Mr McArdle said the merger would be a major undertaking, involving businesses with SEQ water grid assets worth approximately $9 billion and around 700 staff.

    “The Newman Government has acted swiftly to address the rising cost of living and reduce pressure on Queensland household budgets,” Mr McArdle said.

    “The transition from three bulk water businesses to a single supply authority servicing SEQ will cut board and executive costs as well as administrative charges.

    “The decision is an important step in simplifying the inefficient, confusing and wasteful industry structure put in place by Labor.”

    Mr McArdle said the former Labor Government’s unilateral reforms to SEQ’s water supply system delivered one of the most expensive, confusing and inefficient water supply bureaucracies imaginable.

    “Under Labor’s so called reforms, the number of water bureaucracies kept growing without adding one drop of water during the water supply crisis,” he said.

    “Under Labor there were up to seven publicly-owned water entities between a water source and a household tap in SEQ, where there used to be one (Gold Coast Water), or two (Brisbane Water and SEQWater).

    When announcing its unilateral SEQ water reform agenda, the former Labor Government said: “We’re in the middle of the most exciting period of development in the State’s history and we have clearly outgrown a water delivery system that belongs in the horse and buggy days.”*

    Mr McArdle said Labor’s so called reforms to the SEQ water supply system was a bit like hitching up seven very expensive race horses to the same buggy – all going in different directions.

    “We need to get SEQ’s urban water supply system back on track heading towards greater efficiency, less duplication and lower costs for households, small businesses and industry,” he said.

    “Less duplication, opportunities to better co-ordinate infrastructure planning and investment and capacity will improve efficiencies and savings.”

    Mr McArdle said the Newman Government was committed to planning properly for Queensland’s future water needs.

    “The Government is developing a detailed implementation plan and timetable to deliver this important reform by the end of the year.”

    As part of the broader legislative package to simplify the previous Labor Government’s complex and costly bulk water model, the QWC will be abolished on 1 July 2012 – with most of its functions and services taken up by the Department of Energy and Water Supply by 1 January 2013.

    [ENDS] 26 June 2012

    Media Contact: Minister’s Office – 3896 3694

    * SEE: Beattie, P and Anna Bligh. 2007. ‘Beattie Government responds to Pricing Recommendations.’ In, Queensland Government Ministerial Media Statements, 9 March, Available at: