” … People should be entitled to know how their water bills are being spent.”
Mr Turnbull, the Minister for the Environment, announced yesterday he would order the Productivity Commission to review the dividend policy of every capital city’s water utility and require water bills to show all fees, including dividends paid by state-owned corporations to state governments.”State governments have been treating these businesses as cash cows and running them in ways that a commercial business in that industry would never be run,” Mr Turnbull told the Herald.
“It is quite unusual for businesses that are growing and are great long-term businesses to be paying out 100 per cent of their profits in dividends … People should be entitled to know how their water bills are being spent.”
These manner of claims are amusing always because of their hypocrisy. The last people that the people need lecturing them on transparency are bloody politicians. Perhaps Mr Turnbull might like to address some of his colleagues on our entitlement to know how our money is being spent on detaining asylum seekers, and locking up their children away from schools? Just a thought.
In an incentive-based model similar to Kevin Rudd’s health plan, Mr Turnbull said yesterday a re-elected Coalition government would direct investment in water infrastructure towards states which reinvest profits from their utilities.
“We want to use some incentives for more appropriate policies and financial management, ” he said. “The concern we have is that the more the Commonwealth moves into urban water, the more the states use that to take cash out of their own water companies.
Funny – it wasn’t all that long ago that the government had been busted spending all their infrastructure money – money scheduled to last ’til 2010 – on electioneering.
An election-year increase in spending from the Government’s $1.6 billion Water Smart Australia Program – set aside to cover large-scale water infrastructure projects – has drained it nearly dry, despite it being meant to last until 2010.