Jobs and services slashed under Sydney Water 'efficiency drive'

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Sydney Water is being forced to slash jobs and services to meet the huge profit and dividend requirements of the O'Farrell Government – and has announced it will cut 135 jobs from its mechanical and electrical division.

"The O'Farrell Government's extraordinary profit gouging and dividend demands have forced Sydney Water to slash jobs and services," Shadow Water Minister, Luke Foley said today.

"These cuts will have a devastating impact on Sydney Water customers and services.

"The 135 sacked workers were responsible for maintaining key infrastructure, including water treatment plants, sewage treatment plants and ocean outfalls.

"They follow more than 200 other Sydney Water job cuts under the O'Farrell Government last year.

"This is all happening because Sydney Water has to meet the huge 78 per cent profit increase set by the O'Farrell Government.

"Sydney Water is required to deliver a monstrous $693.3 million profit next financial year, up from $387.8 million this year.

"In line with these massive profit forecasts, dividend payments to the O'Farrell Government will increase to $245 million next financial year, and to $250 million in 2013/14.

"The O'Farrell Government's rampant profit gouging of Sydney Water means families and businesses will inevitably have to pay more for inferior services and more frequent water interruptions.

"I fear the slashing of these jobs and services is the first step in the O'Farrell Government's plan to outsource the maintenance of all of Sydney's water supply.

"Outsourcing the maintenance of water supplies will lead to longer waiting times and lower service levels.

"Last year, we saw a 30 per cent increase in unplanned water interruptions lasting longer than five hours.

"The O'Farrell Government is obsessed with gouging huge profits out of Sydney Water at the expense of millions of water users around the State.

"These service cuts and the prospect of all water maintenance being outsourced is all part of the O'Farrell Government's plan to cut costs and rip record dividends out of Sydney Water."