SA Water Chief Executive John Ringham should be forced to give urgent evidence to a parliamentary inquiry on the decision to mothball the Lonsdale desalination plant.
Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas said the Liberal Party will move a motion at next week’s meeting of the desalination plant Select Committee that Mr Ringham not only give urgent evidence, but also produce all documents relating to the decision to double the size of the plant and then mothball it.
“There has been widespread criticism of the costs of the decisions to double the size of the plant and now to mothball the plant,” Mr Lucas said.
“Whilst the Government has now released two consultants’ reports – KPMG and WorleyParsons – on the original decision to double the size of the plant, the Liberal Party understands there are many other documents within SA Water on the decision which should now also be revealed publicly.”
There are many unanswered questions on the desalination plant which can only be answered by the Government or SA Water:
• What will be the annual costs of operating the plant during the two year warranty period until 2015?
• What will be the annual costs after the plant has been mothballed?
• What will be the annual savings after the plant has been mothballed, and what water rate reductions will be implemented?
• When was the decision to mothball the plant first considered by the Government and SA Water?
• Was there any advice received within SA Water arguing against the decision to double the size of the plant?
• What were the total additional direct and indirect costs from the decision to double the size of the plant?
“The Select Committee has the power to require SA Water to produce all documents requested by Parliament on this issue,” Mr Lucas said.
“Premier Weatherill and Minister Caica must be held accountable for their ill-advised decision to double the size of the desalination plant, which has now led to the decision to mothball the plant.
“Mr Weatherill has to explain to angry South Australian families why they have to
pay for a trebling of water prices because of the decision his Government made.”