More cost of living pain on the way with water bill hikes to be confirmed this week

More cost of living pain on the way with water bill hikes to be confirmed this week

Posted on: 26 June 2024

South Australian households and businesses can expect more cost of living pain with increases to SA Water bills to be confirmed this week after the Malinauskas Labor Government failed to make significant investment to support housing development in the State Budget.

The final SA Water determination for the next regulatory period is due on Wednesday and will reveal how much water bills are increased come July 1.

The former Liberal Government saved South Australian households an average of $200 per year on water bills between 2020 and 2024, while small businesses received deductions of approximately $1,350.

This was after an independent inquiry found the former Labor Government deliberately inflated the value of SA Water’s regulated asset base driving up the cost of water bills to prop up their failing budget.

The Malinauskas Labor Government has announced several land releases in the past two years but no plan on how these sites will actually be developed, fuelling speculation SA Water bills will be hiked for all South Australians to pay for the developments.

Leader of the Opposition David Speirs said any increase to water bills will add further pain during Labor’s cost of living crisis.

“South Australians are doing it tough right now – with the typical family more than $20,000 a year worse off since Peter Malinauskas was elected and many small businesses struggling to survive,” Mr Speirs said.

“South Australian households and businesses are already dealing with the highest inflation rate in the nation and skyrocketing electricity bills – the last thing they need is a hike in water bills.

“The former Liberal Government proudly lowered water bills for all South Australians, reversing years of Labor deliberately keeping water bills high to prop up a failing budget.”

Shadow Treasurer Matt Cowdrey said South Australian households would feel further pain if water bills were significantly hiked this week.

“Peter Malinauskas has been all headlines and little action when it comes to solving our housing crisis and announcing land releases with no plan to build houses is the perfect example of this,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“We know additional supply is essential to solving the housing crisis, but it cannot come with significant increased costs to struggling families and small businesses via water bills.”