WATER BOARD ENVIRONMENTAL LEVY INDEXATION
Ms ALLAN: My question without notice is directed to the Premier. Has the Water Board agreed as part of its business plan to continue with indexation of the special environmental levy? How will this affect families who are presently paying this levy?
Mr FAHEY: I cannot give the details of that. Honourable members opposite are amazing. Some Ministers in this Chamber represent Ministers in the other place. Those Ministers may have the details if honourable members wish to ask them.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I call the Leader of the Opposition to order.
Mr FAHEY: Honourable members should know that the decisions the Water Board makes in respect of water charges are subject to the Government Pricing Tribunal.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I call the honourable member for Blacktown to order.
Mr FAHEY: That tribunal determines water charges on an annual basis. It also determines other charges and is now undertaking, as I am sure honourable members would know - certainly those on the Government benches pay attention to these matters - an extension of the reviews on water charges outside the Sydney metropolitan area to some country areas. The Government Pricing Tribunal is following that process to ensure that water pricing throughout the State is consistent and to determine whether those charges ultimately will be levied by local councils that may have responsibility for certain water supplies.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I call the honourable member for Blacktown to order for the second time. I call the honourable member for Ermington to order.
Mr FAHEY: I cannot recall the environmental levy being brought to my attention for my consideration. However, I am happy to have the matter discussed, if necessary. Though I do not reside in the Sydney metropolitan area, and therefore do not receive rate notices, I am aware that they are sent out on 1st July for the current year. Any charges that may be applicable to next year, subject to the comments I have made about the Government Pricing Tribunal and its role, are not likely to be wrapped up at this time. I shall make further inquiries about the matter.
Mr FAHEY: Further to the question asked earlier this afternoon by the honourable member for Blacktown, I am advised by the Water Board that there are no plans to index the environmental levy.