Jobs and Water Commission go in Queensland budget
Staff numbers in the Queensland Energy and Water Supply Department will be reduced by half, with 135 job losses reducing the department to a workforce of 273.
Energy and Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle said the Budget outlined a long-term strategy for the Department of Energy and Water Supply that will “eliminate duplication and ensure power and water services are provided at an affordable rate”.
Mr McArdle said the Department faced a number of challenges including: reducing price shocks associated with Labor’s Carbon Tax and Renewable Energy Target (RET) schemes; reigning-in operational costs; improving efficiency; and reducing cost of living pressures.
Mr McArdle said the cost savings measured included abolition of the Queensland Water Commission (QWC) as well as ending a number of clean energy projects following the introduction of the Carbon Tax.
He said that in 2012/13, the department will:
- Develop 30-year plans for Queensland’s energy and water supply sectors
- Ensure efficient and effective regulation, including reducing red tape
- Implement strategies to address cost pressures on energy and water prices
- Progress the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry recommendations
- Adopt an integrated and streamlined whole-of-supply chain approach to energy and water supply
- Finalise strategies to develop a sustainable domestic gas supply industry in Queensland
- Implement the final report of the Interdepartmental Committee on Electricity Sector Reform
- Complete the merger of the South East Queensland bulk water entities
- Finalise the Gold Coast Desalination Plant and Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme review.