LNP Promise Hands Off Public Water

Filed under Council, Infrastructure, News ~ by Press on  26 Feb 2019

Pledge to keep local water utilities in local hands welcomed by councils.

The local government sector welcomed a “rock-solid guarantee” that local water utilities will not be privatised if a Liberal-National Government is re-elected in NSW.

NSW Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair, made the pledge at the Western Division Conference in Bourke ,in response to a question on behalf of councils from Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Cr Linda Scott.

The Minister’s promise matches the 2018 commitment by Labor’s Shadow Minister Chris Minns at LGNSW’s Water Conference in Armidale last year.

By ruling out privatisation of local water utilities, both Labor and the Coalition have given much-needed security to water supplies in regional NSW,” Cr Scott said.

More than 1.8 million people in regional NSW are supplied by council-owned water utilities and keeping them locally owned is essential for the public good, for community health and wellbeing.

As well as providing safe and affordable drinking water and sewerage services, local water utilities provide local jobs and aim to generate sufficient return to maintain and upgrade this critical infrastructure.

For too long local water utilities have been under threat of privatisation, and it’s great that while battling this severe drought both major parties have removed one problem by committing to keep local water utilities in local hands.”

Cr Scott said there was now bipartisan support to protect local water utilities from privatisation in the future, which was a huge win for regional NSW.

Water management has never been a more critical issue for NSW councils and their communities,” she said.

This news gives regional communities the certainty they need to tackle this drought and prepare for a more secure future.”

Protecting council owned-water utilities is one of the top 12 election priorities for local government in NSW.

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