WATER CORPORATION — STANDPIPES —
672. Hon RICK MAZZA to the minister representing the
Minister for Water:
I refer to the Water Corporation's removal of
concessional prices for water drawn from regional standpipes from 1 July 2019
and that it will be up to local governments to decide whether they will pass
the increases on to landholders or absorb them.
(1) Does the
minister realise that this will increase the price of standpipe water by up to
200 per cent for primary producers?
(2) Is the
minister aware that water in some areas will be charged at $8.35 a kilolitre
compared with less than $2 a kilolitre for metropolitan residents?
(3) What is
the rationale for this rise in standpipe fees at a time when low rainfall is
having such an impact on vulnerable farmers and growers?
Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN
I thank the member for the question. The following
information has been provided by the Minister for Water.
households and local government authorities are still able to access standpipe
water at concessional rates. The new pricing for fixed standpipes ensures that
commercial operators are not inappropriately accessing water at concessional
rates. These changes prevent the situation in which the community is
effectively subsidising water use for commercial operators, as under existing
arrangements, most standpipe users are incorrectly charged the concessional
households that rely on accessing water from fixed standpipes will still be
charged the concessional rate when filling from a community standpipe, and this
is consistent with metropolitan households. The higher charges apply only to
large standpipes that are used for commercial purposes. Regional households
accessing scheme water will continue to be subsidised so that they pay the same
as metropolitan customers for their initial entitlement.
changes will ensure equitable pricing across the state. The changes are being
put in place precisely because water is a precious resource. These changes
prevent the situation in which the community is effectively subsidising water
use for commercial operators.
acknowledge the hardship that is being experienced across the communities of
Ravensthorpe, Lake Grace and Kent where water deficiency declarations
are in place. In local government areas where a water deficiency declaration is
in place, implementation of the new standpipe arrangements have been suspended
for the period of the declaration.