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Murray levy unfair: price for excess water must rise: Lees.

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Senator Meg Lees

Australian Progressive Alliance Senator for South Australia 3 June 2003


Murray Levy Unfair

Price for Excess Water Must Rise: Lees Australian Progressive Alliance Senator for South Australia, Meg Lees, has joined SA Independent Bob Such in calling for an increase in the cost of water across South Australia. “The SA Government is to be congratulated for allocating dedicated funds to the rescue of the Murray Darling Basin,” said Senator Lees. “However an across the board levy is unfair - it hits the wealthy, the poor, the high users and the low water users equally. “Instead of a levy, the cost of excess water should be increased to collect at least $20 million per year,” said Senator Lees. “The basic water rate should remain the same.” “Increasing the cost of excess water would achieve two positive goals: Raise money for the River and also send a strong message about water conservation to all of us. “Increasing the price of excess water will remind us to fix the dripping tap, perhaps encourage us to install a rainwater tank or plant more native plants in our gardens. “But $20 million is nowhere near enough. The SA Government could also be using its dividend from SA Water to save the Murray,” said Senator Lees. “S A Water must put a total of $206 million into government coffers this financial year. “Much of this money should immediately be put to use on priority issues such as protecting the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges ($800,000 this year) and buying water for the Clare Valley,” Senator Lees concluded. Media Requests: Kerrie Thornton 02 6277 3203 or 0438 816 376