Rural Water Charges
RURAL WATER CHARGES
Mr D. L. PAGE: Will the Minister for Land and Water Conservation re-affirm his statement to this House on 20 September last year that the $1.35 megalitre increase in rural water charges only constituted about 30 per cent of full cost recovery? Given that the objective of the Council of Australian Governments - the COAG - is to achieve full cost recovery by 2001, would the Minister therefore anticipate a trebling in the price of water in rural New South Wales in order to meet that objective?
Mr YEADON: The Government announced its very comprehensive water reform program last September, which has various components to it and will be implemented over time. Of course, one component is the full cost recovery of rural water price increasing as per the COAG agreement, which was entered into by those opposite when they were in government. Honourable members would know that the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal is examining that matter, and it will be considered fully when IPART hands down its report. In the meantime, the $1.35 charge is being implemented as the Government indicated.