A parliamentary inquiry into a planned takeover of TasWater has found the government has failed to show if it can handle the long-term funding of the state’s water and sewerage needs.
The report on the takeover was released yesterday, detailing 48 findings but offering no recommendations on whether the plan should proceed.
The report noted there was no consensus that there is a crisis in the Tasmanian water and sewerage sector or that water and sewerage compliance was in-line with community expectation.
From evidence presented, the inquiry’s committee found there would be a significant cost from consolidated revenue to support a takeover and no short-term savings as a result.
“There is insufficient information to clearly demonstrate the veracity of the government's financial modelling with respect to long-term funding of Tasmania's water and sewerage infrastructure needs,” the report said.
Meanwhile, the report said TasWater was in a financially sound position because it had kept its borrowings low but could increase borrowings to make infrastructure upgrades.
The government plans to finish TasWater’s $1.5 billion, 10-year infrastructure plan three years early, increasing its cost.
The committee found that although it was raised that the plan would create a 'boom and bust' cycle, Treasury analysis suggested that it would be good for the state's economy.
The report acknowledged an Environmental Protection Agency analysis that showed a downward trend in environmental compliance for the past five years
TasWater and the EPA have already established a Memorandum of Understanding regarding prioritisation of environmental compliance issues.
The committee found that some council services could be in jeopardy and some councils might need to raise rates once there was no guarantee of dividend payments after 2025.