Tell the truth Minister Roberston!!!!!!!!

PHOTO: Executive Director of the Local Govt Association Greg Hallam takes Minister Stephen Robertson to task concerning his recent inaccurate statements about the Water transition to Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU)
MINISTERS STATEMENT:
Qld Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Minister for Trade The Honourable Stephen Robertson issued this media statement .
Natural Resources Minister Stephen Robertson has urged councils and council-owned water distributor-retailers to ensure water prices do not put unnecessary pressure on households in South East Queensland.
“We know that people are under financial pressure right now and that is why we have urged councils to minimise the impact on consumers from their retail water prices,” Mr Robertson said. “Councils should follow the state governments lead in limiting water price rises – the State Government supplies bulk water and since 2008, has limited price rises at around $68 a year for average households.
“Those prices were set after consultation with the councils, and were made public mid-2008 – councils have known these prices for more than two years. “Unlike some Councils, State Government does not make a profit from water charges.”
“Retail water and sewerage charges are the responsibility of councils through their council owned retailer-distributors. Councils are in a position to limit price rises and they need to take ownership of any increases that may impact on their communities. “It is up to the council-owned water distributor-retailers to run their businesses for the people of South East Queensland not for profit.”
Mr Robertson said claims that South East Queensland urban water reforms were responsible for council-controlled water price rises are misleading. “In mid-2009, the State Government sat round the table with the South East Queensland Council of Mayors to discuss urban water reforms,” Mr Robertson said. “The State Government agreed to councils’ own proposal to establish three council-owned urban water distributor-retailers.
“This simply means water charges council have previously included in their rates will now be charged separately by the council-owned water distributor-retailers. “It is time for SEQ councils to be honest and stop blaming the State for their choices and I challenge them to run their business for the benefit of South East Queenslanders not for profits”
GREG HALLAMS RESPONSE:
“Mr Robertson must have been living in another world for the past four years,” Local Government Association of Queensland executive director, Greg Hallam, said today. “Decisions by the state government to undertake south-east Queensland water reform are at the heart of the problem. No south-east Queensland council asked for the state’s water reform and the government’s own laws compel councils to make a profit from their water businesses,” he said.
“Now, in a Monty Pythonesque-like statement, the government is saying that councils should take the burden of the quadrupling of charges it put in place four years ago.
“Fair go. The government forced councils into choosing one of a number of its imposed water institutional arrangement models. It’s clear the minister has decided not to let ratepayers know his government now drives water prices through its setting of bulk water charges. “Mr Robertson and ratepayers may be assured that local government-owned water entities will not take the same path as those who have commandeered the recent state electricity price hikes,” Mr Hallam said.

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