O'Farrell's crocodile tears on water: Protests price rises after he's already signed off on them


The O'Farrell Government's submission to IPART is a belated exercise in window-dressing because it has already forced Sydney Water to massively increase profits and dividend payments to Government that will send household water bills soaring, Shadow Minister for Water Luke Foley said today.

"The O'Farrell's Government belated interest in keeping household water bills down is a case of trying to catch the horse after it has well and truly bolted," Mr Foley said.

"The NSW Labor Opposition noted several weeks ago that the O'Farrell Government failed to make a submission to IPART by the October 14 deadline protesting the proposed 31 percent price hike for Sydney Water consumers.

"This is because the real State Government submission is Sydney Water's submission. Sydney Water is owned lock, stock and barrel by the O'Farrell Government. Premier O'Farrell and Treasurer Baird are its shareholding Ministers.

"If the Government was serious about stopping Sydney Water's proposed 31 percent price increase, the Premier could have used his powers under the State Owned Corporations Act and directed Sydney Water to seek smaller increases.

"Barry O'Farrell has already signed off on a corporate plan to increase Sydney Water profits by 78 per cent. Sydney Water will pay $1 billion over the next four years in dividend payments to the O'Farrell Government.

“The only way the O’Farrell Government and Sydney Water can make these targets is by jacking up household water bills."

"Under Sydney Water's proposed increases, assuming a 3.3 per cent inflation rate, average household water bills will be: 

Year Annual bill Increase
2012/13 $1248.34 $143
2013/14 $1313.63 $208
2014/15 $1380.13 $275
2015/16 $1447.81 $343


"The average Sydney household will fork out an extra $969 in water bills over the next four years – all because Barry O'Farrell signed off to gouge massive profits out of Sydney Water.

"Any protestations to the contrary from the Premier are simply spin."