The State Liberals have described evidence presented to a Parliamentary Committee that the Weatherill Government forced SA Water to borrow $71 million to pay a $71 million extra dividends to the Weatherill Government as outrageous.
“This meant the Weatherill Government ripped $193 million out of SA Water’s coffers even though their net profit for 2016/17 was only $134 million!” said Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas.
“SA Water CEO Roch Cheroux confirmed today they had to be directed by the Treasurer to make this payment and SA water only complied after they took legal advice.
“With electricity prices going through the roof hard pressed South Australian households are desperate for relief from the Weatherill Government’s relentless tax grab.
“Clearly this extra $71 million will not be used to provide cost of living relief for struggling SA families but instead will be wasted by helping fund the Government’s pre-election advertising splurge and consultancy costs.
“In typical Weatherill Government style this cash grab was not revealed in the State Budget.
“The Weatherill Labor Government’s complete lack of transparency around water bills is utterly disgraceful.
“The Weatherill Government has long treated SA Water as a cash cow driving up the price of water for all South Australians but forcing SA Water to borrow money to pay increased dividends is a new low.
“Since Labor was elected to government in 2002 the price of water in South Australia has increased by 232 per cent with the Weatherill Government collecting well over a billion dollars in dividends to cover for its financial mismanagement.
“Despite the savage increase in the price of water during 16 years of Labor Government South Australians households will be slugged another $25 by SA Water this year.
“A Marshall Liberal Government will establish an independent inquiry into the price of water in South Australia.