This month we weigh in on the TasWater ownership debate and hear what the new leader of the Tasmanian Labor Party has to say about the future of health, education and infrastructure development in our state. You’ll also find news of the Neil Buckby Motors expansion, a 4000 panel Launceston solar park and the Advanced Sensor Manufacturing Facility coming to Tasmania.
APRIL 2017 T A S M A N I A’ S L E A D I N G B U S I N E S S P U B L I C A T I O N . C I R C U L A T I O N 1 2 , 0 0 0 M O N T H LY The proposed takeover of water and sewerage infrastructure by the State Government is being hailed as a game-changer Macquarie Point in Hobart where business development has been stymied for years by the treatment plant, at right of picture, below the Domain. Picture: RICHARD BENNETT Waterworks debate near boiling point By TOM O’MEARA A GROWING number of Tasmanian business and community groups are backing the Government’s proposed takeover of Tas- Water. As debate heats up, Tasmanian communities are calling for caps on their water charges and no excuses for increases in local government rates. Anger is growing at TasWater’s proposed five to six per cent annual increases in water and sewerage costs over the next decade. The Government promises that under its more economical major sewerage and water reforms there would be about 1000 new construction jobs and earlier removal of “boil water” or “do not drink” alerts in 25 Tasmanian towns. The major selling point for the Government to take over TasWater from its current owners, the state’s 29 local councils, is to reduce the timeframe for a $1.5 billion capital works program from 10 years to five. The legislation for the takeover in July next year has passed the House of Assembly and will now be considered by the Legislative Council. Organisations from business to TasCOSS have recognised that the political debate between Treasurer and Minister for Local Government Peter Gutwein, the Opposition, TasWater and the Local Government Association of Tasmania has dominated the discourse while ratepayers believe they have been ignored. Peak business organisation, the Tasmania Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has supported the takeover from the outset and is now seeking more detailed information from Mr Gutwein. “This move will provide clarity and surety for Tasmania’s water supply,” TCCI chair Susan Parr said. Continued page 3 STATE BUDGET BRIEFING PRESENTED BY TREASURER PETER GUTWEIN MP Friday 26 May Hobart Launceston Ulverstone BOOK NOW p 1300 559 122 w tcci.com.au