Parliament’s Budget and Finance Committee today agreed to take evidence on the Weatherill Government’s water pricing policy and claims made by former ESCOSA Chief Executive Paul Kerin.
Interestingly, even though Mr Koutsantonis previously indicated he looked forward to Labor Members being able to question Dr Kerin the Labor Government voted against the inquiry today.
The Committee however agreed to take evidence from Dr Kerin in the last week of November and to take evidence from Treasury, SA Water and the Chair of ESCOSA, Dr Pat Walsh, early next year.
The Budget and Finance Committee will give Dr Kerin a forum to explain:
• Why water is so expensive in South Australia;
• What type of economic reform is needed to drive down the price of water in South Australia;
• What role ESCOSA should have in driving that reform; and
• How Weatherill Government Ministers and senior bureaucrats had stymied efforts for reform and efforts to serve the long-term interests of consumers.
“The State Labor Government’s savage increases in the price of water in South Australia during the past decade is distorting the broader South Australian economy,” said Mr Lucas.
“It is critical that there is an open and frank inquiry into why water in South Australia is so expensive and how the price can be driven down.
“It is also critical that Mr Kerin’s explosive and damning criticisms of the Weatherill Government are fully investigated.”