New South Wales pledges to keep utilities public

The New South Wales Government has promised to keep the state’s local water utilities in public hands if it wins re-election in the forthcoming state election.

State Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair, made the announcement last week in response to questions posed by the Local Government NSW’s President Linda Scott.

The Minister’s promise matches the 2018 commitment by Labor’s Shadow Minister Chris Minns at LGNSW’s Water Conference in Armidale last year.

“By ruling out privatisation of local water utilities, both Labor and the Coalition have given much-needed security to water supplies in regional NSW,” Cr Scott said.

“More than 1.8 million people in regional NSW are supplied by council-owned water utilities and keeping them locally owned is essential for the public good, for community health and wellbeing.

“As well as providing safe and affordable drinking water and sewerage services, local water utilities provide local jobs and aim to generate sufficient return to maintain and upgrade this critical infrastructure.

“For too long local water utilities have been under threat of privatisation, and it’s great that while battling this severe drought both major parties have removed one problem by committing to keep local water utilities in local hands.”

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