Water entities to be merged
THREE major water entities in south east Queensland will be merged in a huge bureaucratic re-shuffle.
Seqwater, LinkWater and SEQ Water Grid Manager will be merged and the Queensland Water Commission will be abolished, Water Supply and Energy Minister Mark McArdle announced on Tuesday.
Seqwater is the region's bulk water supplier and responsible for the management of catchments, water storage and treatment, while LinkWater is responsible for water supply infrastructure.
The SEQ Water Grid Manager oversees the operation of the water grid.
Mr McArdle said the merger, involving $9 billion in assets and 700 staff, would reduce administration and board costs.
"We need to get SEQ's urban water supply system back on track heading towards greater efficiency, less duplication and lower costs for households, small businesses and industry," he said.
Under the former Labor Government there were seven publicly-owned water entities resulting in a confusing and expensive water supply bureaucracy, Mr McArdle said.
The Opposition raised concern over what the merger would mean for jobs as the state government continued to slash positions to combat the state deficit.
"Our concern is that the merging of these water entities and abolishing of the Queensland Water Commission will result in more job losses in Queensland," Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
"The Newman Government has flagged up to 700 positions could be affected. The Government needs to provide further information about how many jobs will be lost and how workers will be affected."
The Queensland Water Commission will be abolished on July 1 with the Energy and Water Supply Department taking over most of its functions.