Melbourne water customers kept in the dark on impact of $300m cuts to water

Melburnians are paying more, but getting less under dramatic cuts to the state’s water budget.

But in Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) last night, Acting Water Minister Richard Wynne and departmental officials skirted questions on job cuts and reduced services after a $300 million cut to the water portfolio spend.

In 2015-16, total output was $603 million, but this year that dropped to just $317.7 million.

Shadow Minister for Water Steph Ryan said the budget cut came as all Victorians will be paying more in increased taxes and charges, with further increases to come tomorrow on July 1.

“Cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from the water budget means less money for service delivery and local jobs and will have far-reaching impacts,” Ms Ryan said. 

“This is surely something the Minister and his department should be across yet neither he nor the deputy secretary responsible for the water portfolio could answer a single question on it at the budget hearings last night.

“At a time when Labor’s metro project cost blowouts have left our state drowning in debt, the Minister owes us an explanation on what millions of dollars in cuts will mean for Melbourne water customers.

“Dan has no plan for our state’s recovery out of COVID apart from ripping us off with increased taxes and charges.”

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