Staff cuts could help SA's water worries
SA Water says sacking 150 staff should allow it to charge less.
South Australia's water utility says a drop in costs should be passed onto consumers.
The utility has cut 150 staff and found cheaper ways to purchase electricity, while SA consumers complain they are struggling with the cost of living.
SA Water says it will ask the Essential Services Commission of SA (ESCOSA) for a reduction in water bills of three to five per cent, in ESCOSA’s price regulation for the next financial year.
It is expected the ESCOSA will welcome the opportunity to push prices down, after a report last year claiming that SA households were collectively paying up to $150 million a year too much for water.
ESCOSA says the State Government is not helping.
The regulator says the State Treasury has forecast a higher annual demand for water than it had, and is refusing to write down the value of SA Water assets, which is behind the inflated prices.
SA Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis denied the claims, saying former ESCOSA head Dr Paul Kerin had a “political agenda” and wanted to see the state-owned utility privatised.