Sydney Water prices to increase on O'Farrell's watch


Families will be forced to pay higher water prices for inferior services – after it was revealed the O'Farrell Government will increase Sydney Water prices at the same time they are slashing services and maintenance work, the NSW Labor Opposition said today.

The final pricing determination by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has revealed Sydney Water prices are set to increase by $89 for the average house and $164 for those living in apartments.

"Barry O'Farrell is forcing Sydney Water customers to pay more for inferior services and more frequent water interruptions under his government," Shadow Minister for Water, Luke Foley said today.

"The O'Farrell Government has cut $54 million from Sydney Water's infrastructure budget which will mean poorer services, less maintenance and longer and more unplanned water interruptions – and now they want to charge families more for less.

"This means Sydney Water's 4.4 million customers will be forced to fork out up to hundreds of dollars more in water bills over the next four years, while Barry O'Farrell cuts services and maintenance.

"Sydney Water's current ‘triage’ trial is resulting in leaking sewerage and water pipes being left unattended for hours – and in some instances, days – on end.

"This means that if your water pipe breaks in the middle of the night, you will be forced to wait until mid morning the next day to even have it repaired.

"Barry O'Farrell promised to build infrastructure, but instead he has cut water infrastructure spending.

"Barry O'Farrell promised to reduce the cost of living, but his government has made secret submissions to the pricing regulator to increase Sydney Water bills.

"Barry O'Farrell's broken promises are hurting hardworking families.

"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."

 Average Sydney Water household bills (200kl usage per year) with NSW Treasury predicted inflation figures:

Residential House: 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16
  $1104 $1132 $1153 $1173 $1193
          Total Increase: $89


Residential Apartment: 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16
  $1030 $1067 $1109 $1150 $1193
          Total Increase: $164