The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCI) has today welcomed the State Government’s change to water pricing to drive greater efficiency.

CCI Chief Economist Rick Newnham said although increasing charges on some households is not ideal, the proposed changes to pricing will drive behavioural change that ensure that the heaviest users of WA’s precious water will pay a premium for that use.

“Customers should be paying bills that accurately capture how much water they use, not additional charges because of a small number of excessive users,” Mr Newnham said.

“The pricing changes will also defer investment in new water capacity which will avoid an increase to the net debt position in the short-term.

“When demand reaches a point that a new desalination plant is required, the Government should consider establishing a public-private partnership whereby the private sector picks up the bill for new infrastructure instead of taxpayers.”

CCI has presented the State Government with a series of recommendations in its Pre-Budget Submission to reduce government spending whilst keeping taxes stable.

“Government spending is now at a record high $31 billion – 20 per cent higher than at the peak of the mining resources boom in 2012-13,” Mr Newnham said

“CCI urges the Government to keep its focus on reducing spending to return to surplus, not increasing taxes that will hurt economic recovery.”