Water warning to councils
ANNA Bligh has threatened to legislate against councils accused of profiteering on water.
Hostile Gold Coast residents confronted Ms Bligh and her ministers at a community cabinet meeting on Sunday.
Ms Bligh said she understood the distress after bills increased by about 20 per cent.
‘‘ We’ll be taking that concern back to the Cabinet and looking at what we might be able to do to further curb the profiteering that councils are doing in water,’’ she said.
‘‘ We’ll have to have a look at what legislation we can put in place, this is not easy. But councils who continue to make a profit without returning that to their ratepayers is an issue that we do have to turn our minds to.’’
Ms Bligh said the Government made no money selling water to councils.
But Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke blames the Government for higher water costs he says is behind the rises.
Opposition l eader JohnPaul Langbroek said the government had created the mess by restructuring the way water was sold and had to strip away the ‘‘ spaghetti bureaucracy’’ it had created around the new system.
He said price increases were slower when councils were in charge of water, before the new system sothe state government could recoup the costs of the water grid.