Water prices up, services down: O'Farrell makes $57 million cut to Sydney Water


The O'Farrell Government has cut a whopping $57 million from Sydney Water's infrastructure spending in next week's Budget – which will slash services at the same time the government is trying to send water prices skyrocketing.

"Sydney Water's 4.4 million customers will see their prices rise and services slashed because of the O'Farrell Government's budget cuts," Opposition Leader, John Robertson said.

"Cutting $57 million from the Sydney Water's infrastructure budget will mean poorer services, less maintenance work and longer and more unplanned water interruptions for families and businesses.

"Barry O'Farrell promised to build infrastructure and help lower the cost of living, but instead he has cut infrastructure spending and applied to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to send household water bills soaring.

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

Shadow Water Minister, Luke Foley said: "Slashing $57 million from the Sydney Water infrastructure budget will see families and businesses paying more for inferior services."

"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.

"Last year, we saw a 30 per cent increase in unplanned water interruptions lasting longer than five hours. Massive cuts to infrastructure spending will only make this worse.

"The O'Farrell Government is trying to hit families with a huge price hike at the same time they are cutting services.

"The O'Farrell Government has made two secret submissions to the IPART appealing for Sydney Water prices to increase – on top of IPART's draft recommendation for a 7.6 per cent increase over four years.

"Barry O'Farrell promised to reduce the cost of living, but now his government has made secret submissions to the pricing regulator, that if adopted, could add hundreds of dollars to the average Sydney Water bill."

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

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