LEON BYNER: Well, the Price is Right… we’ll talk to Larry Emdur about what price we’re talking about but we really have to ask the same thing about this carbon tax because we now find that SA Water are going to have a tax liability of about $6.2 million. Now, this is pretty interesting stuff because remember the Treasury modelling by the Federal Government said it would be a minuscule about of money. What I guess they didn’t take into account is, for example, the businesses who incur any cost – which, for example, is any tax – will pass it onto the customer – of course they will! – so let’s talk to Senator Simon Birmingham. Simon, how do you view this situation where SA Water… they’re one of the many named companies who are going to be hit to the tune of about 6.2 million?
SIMON BIRMINGHAM: Well, that’s right, Leon, you know… good morning to you and your listeners… and I think many of your listeners will be quite surprised to hear that SA Water will, in fact, be one of the liable entities under the carbon tax. People have come to expect, and are still very concerned about, the impact it will have on their electricity bills but the truth is it won’t just be their electricity bills that feel the pressure and we have this situation now where, in SA, SA Water will be paying $6.2 million or thereabouts in the first year – going up every year after that – thanks to the Federal Government’s…
LEON BYNER: But we own the infrastructure. We own the infrastructure so why should we be paying a tax? We’re taxing ourselves!
SIMON BIRMINGHAM: This is the madness of it and it’s a transfer, of course, between a South Australian Government enterprise to the Federal Government for the carbon tax but that, of course, is the bureaucracy of this money-go-round that is the carbon tax that will drive up the prices of everything – electricity, we know from the Government’s estimates, by at least 10 per cent; gas, we know from the Government’s estimates, by at least 9 per cent; water… well, now we’re going to have to find out and it will be great to hear from SA Water as to what impact they think the carbon tax will have on the average water bill for South Australians.
LEON BYNER: Well, they’re saying on one hand it’s hard to estimate but what you can guarantee, Simon Birmingham, is it’ll be rounded up, not down.