Fraser challenges Newman to ‘come clean’ on water profits
Brisbane City Council should “come clean” on revenue raised from water charges, Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser said last week.
Mr Fraser said the Council should tell Brisbane residents what they planned to do with the recent average increase of $107 per water bill.
“Only $44 of that amount is due to increases in State bulk water charges. The remaining $63 goes to council-owned water businesses who deliver their dividends and payments back to council,” he said.
Mr Fraser said the Government had been honest about spending on Queensland’s water infrastructure and the questions which remained unanswered lay squarely at the feet of Brisbane City Council.
“Council has been hiding the details of what they are doing with increasing water charges and it’s time for them to tell residents exactly what they are being charged,” he said.
Council Opposition leader Shayne Sutton said she supported the Treasurer’s call for transparency with water charges.
“The Lord Mayor makes millions of dollars from water each year, and I absolutely support the Treasurer’s call for Cr Newman to be honest with Brisbane ratepayers,” she said.
Cr Sutton said the Queensland Urban Utilities group, set up to supply water and wastewater services to sections of South East Queensland, would make a payment of $180M to the city council this year.
She said the extra revenue could be used to subsidise Brisbane ratepayers’ water charges similar to the concessions Moreton Bay residents received from their council.
Correction: In an earlier version of this story the word “should” was used in error instead of “could” in the final paragraph.