Mayor Predicts Big Changes to Regional Water Utilities

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Ballina Mayor Philip Silver is predicting significant changes for water utilities in country New South Wales.

The State Government this week finished public hearings as part of an inquiry into sustainable urban water supply and sewerage services in country areas.

Councillor Silver is a member of an advisory group set up by Water Utilities Minister Nathan Rees.

He says the Government believes reform is necessary because some councils do not have sufficient water, or the population base, to pay for new infrastructure.

“They certainly see our area doing quite well and we are, but that’s largely because we have high rainfall and reasonable growth which means water utilities can go out and borrow money for infrastructure and with a certain knowledge they will be able to pay for it,” he said.

“Unfortunately that’s not the case from the Government’s point of view right across the state.

“So they see, particularly in the western areas and the inland areas, water authorities which are frankly struggling.”

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