TasWater to remain in council hands

The Tasmanian Government’s controversial plan to take over TasWater has been defeated in the State Parliament.

Legislative Councillors have voted 10-4 against a Bill which would have enacted a change of ownership in July next year.

The takeover proposal, which the Government claimed was necessary to expedite the repair and renewal of the state’s sewerage and water infrastructure, will now form part of Liberal Party's manifesto for next year’s state election.

“The Government remains absolutely committed to our plan to take control of TasWater, because we believe it is in the best interests of the state,” Local Government Minister Peter Gutwein said after the vote.

“If re-elected, we would expect the Labor members of the Legislative Council to honour that mandate, noting that the Bill would have passed if Labor had supported it.”

Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) president Doug Chipman welcomed the vote on behalf of the 29 councils which co-own TasWater.

“Clearly there are some issues both Local Government and TasWater can take out of it,” he said. “But the bottom line was the government hadn’t done its homework and it was relying too much on empty spin and rhetoric.”

Mayor Chipman said it was time the Tasmanian Government got back to core business.

“I think it is really important now that the state government work with Local Government and TasWater to come up with the best product right across Tasmania, for all Tasmanians,” he told local media.

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