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TasWater takeover? Tasmanian government's plan approved by new report

Addie Thomes
|Jul 19|magazine7 min read

The Tasmanian government’s plan to assume control of TasWater appears a step closer after a detailed report backed its bid to fast-track major infrastructure improvements.

The Infrastructure Tasmania report, backed and verified by engineering and civil construction firm pitt&sherry, approved of reducing what was a 10-year project to a five-year program.

“The re-profiling of TasWater’s capital expenditure program by Infrastructure Tasmania results in additional investment of $437 million in the five years to 2022-23,” it said.

“Relative to the level of infrastructure investment each year in TasWater’s original 10-year plan, the re-profiled program would lead to higher levels of employment, particularly in the construction industry, over this period.”

“If TasWater is able to align its projects and its contracts over the five-year period to provide a sustained high level of work for the major construction firms in the state, this will encourage these firms to expand their workforce, including taking on more apprentices.”

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The Hodgman Government wants to fix Tasmania’s failing water and sewerage infrastructure, keep prices down and improve services.

Peter Gutwein, Treasurer for the Tasmanian government, added: “We know that fixing infrastructure sooner will deliver long-term benefits to the community… The Government is also committed to ensuring prices are lower, by capping price increases.

“By completing the existing 10-year works program within five years of taking over the business, we will also be able to commence work sooner on stage 2 projects including the Launceston storm-water project, and Macquarie Point.

“Earlier this year, the Economic Regulator found that TasWater’s infrastructure was deteriorating faster than it could be fixed. We can’t allow this to continue.  That’s why the Government wants to step in, take responsibility and fix the problem.

“Enough is enough. Tasmanians are rightly sick of third world infrastructure.  It’s time to fix the mess.”

A copy of the report and pitt&sherry’s review is available here online at http://www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au/home/about_us/infrastructure