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Victoria's desal debt - new repayment plan over 60 years - and it still hasn't delivered one drop of water

Here's the latest from Victoria's desal plant operator Aquasure.

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And this is the latest proposal to pay back the huge debt associated with it.

Victoria's desalination plant to take 33 extra years to pay off under Melbourne Water plan

 

Victorians have been asked to consider a Melbourne Water proposal which would see the state's desalination plant take an extra 33 years to pay off.

The proposal would see the $18 billion bill spread out over 60 years, rather than the 27 years in the current contract.

It would initially reduce water bills by up to $11 a year, but would cost longer in the long run due to borrowing costs.

The desalination plant commissioned by the Bracks' Labor Government, came into service in late 2012.

Victorian Water minister Lisa Neville would not say whether she supported the proposal, as water pricing is set by the independent Essential Services Commission.

"In this case as part of the review of Melbourne Water pricing, they have asked Melbourne Water to have a look at both the risks and the benefits that are involved in spreading the costs of the desal over a longer period," she said.

"Victorians, particularly those who utilise Melbourne Water, can have a say about what works best for them in the short and the longer term, and how we best fund water infrastructure going forward."

According to the price review, published on Melbourne Water's website, the company is required to pay around $620 million per annum over the next five years of the 27-year contracted payment period. 

"Melbourne Water collects revenue through our wholesale water prices to pay this cost," the proposal said.

Victoria's opposition spokesman for water Peter Walsh said the move would cost the public more in the long run by shifting the cost to future generations.

 

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