Melbourne Water customers will pay more than half a billion for the Victorian desalination plant at a time when customers can least afford it.
Departmental officials appearing at Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) today confirmed that Labor pushed ahead with a massive water order this year, despite options for smaller – and cheaper – orders being on the table.
Victorians will pay $663 million this year to meet the Andrews Government’s 125 gigalitre water order in 2020-21.
Shadow Minister for Water Steph Ryan said Labor was desperate to justify the need for the desalination plant, even if it meant unnecessarily high, costly water orders.
“Melbourne’s water storages are at 74 per cent coming into a summer where the city is forecast to receive above average rainfall,” Ms Ryan said.
“Lisa Neville doesn’t care about the costs facing Victorian households. Her decision to order water from the desalination plant is a political one aimed at justifying the enormous cost of the plant.”
Departmental officials also said at PAEC today that desal water was used to ‘build our storages’.
Ms Ryan questioned the need for Melburnians to pay for a further 125GL this year, given Melbourne’s water storages are more than 12 per cent higher than this time last year.
“The Andrews Labor Government is digging into the pockets of Melbourne Water customers to further its own political agenda,” Ms Ryan said.
“Daniel Andrews and Lisa Neville owe an explanation on why they’re driving up the cost of water bills at a time when Melburnians can least afford it.”
Steph Ryan MP
Shadow Minister for Water