Lobby group seeks water bill cuts

HOUSEHOLDS could receive up to $100 off their water bills if councils shared water and sewerage dividends with ratepayers, Tasmanians For Reform claims.

The council lobby group said economic modelling by A'Ohlin Commercial Insights suggested Northern households would receive $51.16 in 2013-14 to $78.84 the following year, and those in the North-West would receive between $90.89 in 2013-14 and $101.99 in 2014-15.

Southerners would receive $72.78 in 2013-14 and $75.45 in 2014-15.

Tasmanians For Reform chairwoman Mary Massina said local government was forecast to collect about $29 million in TasWater dividends this financial year.

``When water and sewerage moved away from local government, we were told that council rates would fall, but they haven't, and neither have water and sewerage bills,'' she said.

``To cover these distributions and upgrade water and sewerage assets, it is the mums and dads who are forced to pay more by this local government-owned monopoly, which is just wrong.''

TasWater owners chief representative Tony Foster said dividends were already shared with ratepayers as they were spent on community projects and facilities.

He said the dividends were a small return on water and sewerage assets on which councils had spent billions of dollars to build and maintain.

``If council didn't get these dividends, most of them would have to put up their rates,'' he said.

``I don't understand (Tasmanians For Reform's logic.''

Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide