Water bills to jump by $80 a year in SA to pay for mains and sewerage pipes to new homes

water bills to jump by $80 a year in sa to pay for mains and sewerage pipes to new homes

The average SA household will be slugged by a water bill hike of $80 a year. (ABC News: Che Chorley)

Average South Australian household water bills will increase by $80 each year to help pay for $1.5 billion worth of new mains water and sewerage connections to rapidly-growing Adelaide suburbs.

SA Premier Peter Malinauskas said the bill hike, to come into effect from July 1, would address a "major underinvestment in water infrastructure", which he said was holding back the construction of new houses.

The SA government will also spend $440 million on new water infrastructure, and restructure developer augmentation charges, to ensure SA Water can cater for housing demand.

"We're calling on households who can't afford much to pay a little bit more for their water bills," Mr Malinauskas told a crowd of just under 1,000 property sector representatives.

"We're calling on generations in the future to wear a bit of debt, but we're calling on you to build homes as fast as you possibly can."

Mr Malinauskas said the government needed to spend $1.5 billion over four years to ensure SA Water could service a potential 40,000 new allotments across the state.

He said $300 million of that had already been allocated to SA Water, but the government needed to find an additional $1.2 billion.

Opposition spokesperson Michelle Lensink said she was "concerned" that water bills would increase during a cost-of-living crisis.

"It obviously hits pensioners the hardest, but there's also families who we believe are $20,000 worse off under the current government than they were under the previous government," she said.

"There's also small businesses closing, so it's an issue for all South Australians."

Bills to increase above inflation

From July 1, household water bills will increase by 3.5 per cent above inflation, or about $20 a quarter.

That increase is in line with a SA Water business proposal submitted to the state's Essential Services Commission (ESCOSA) late last year.

Mr Malinauskas said if SA Water customers were to foot the entire $1.5 billion bill to build new water infrastructure, their bills would have increased by $440.

"You can imagine how loath we are as a government to see any increase above CPI on water bills," he said.

"But, because of the government contribution of $440 million and because of the augmentation charge and that contribution, we can ameliorate the impact down from 32.5 per cent above CPI to 3.5 per cent above CPI.

"You can imagine how unenthusiastic we are about having this imposition on hardworking people and families in a cost-of-living crisis."

Mr Malinauskas said the government would introduce additional water bill concessions, with details to be announced on Wednesday.

Developer charges to change

Developers will also face changes to water augmentation charges.

From July 1, charges for greenfield developments would be capped at $10,000 an allotment.

Developers would have to pay $2,500 for infill developments from next financial year, with that charge to increase to $10,000 by 2027-28.

Apartments, built-to-rent, community and not-for-profit housing developments would be exempt from the augmentation fees.

Currently, developers pay augmentation fees on a "user pays" model, with the government forecasting charges to increase by between $50,000 and $240,000 an allotment.

"We're providing a degree of certainty in the market to help unlock investment," Mr Malinauskas said.

'At the endgame'

ABC News first reported on issues with SA Water's network late last year, when the network warned "accelerated growth" in both the water and sewage networks in Adelaide's north would mean the systems "will be at capacity sooner than originally projected".

SA Water has already cut the number of development approvals for new homes in Adelaide — a move the housing industry has warned could lead to a construction "valley of death".

Mr Malinauskas said the government had been "shocked" to learn of the amount of additional water infrastructure needed to cater for future housing demand.

He said previous governments of "all political colours" were to blame for the lack of investment.

"We have a major underinvestment in water infrastructure – not just in metropolitan Adelaide, but also in regional communities as well," he said.

"We are at the endgame."

OTHER NEWS

55 minutes ago

TikToker Bella Brave's Mom Gives Update on 10-Year-Old's Health

55 minutes ago

Nearby exoplanet could be first known ocean world: Webb telescope

55 minutes ago

Zwane returns as MKP secretary general after Zuma rejects resignation request

55 minutes ago

Majority of economists say inflation would be higher under Trump than Biden: WSJ survey

55 minutes ago

Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck selling their $92M Beverly Hills mansion

1 hour ago

'We know we have more to do' | CenterPoint CEO appears in video talking about preparation before Hurricane Beryl

1 hour ago

Practising left-handed shots with Tiger Woods almost paid off – Collin Morikawa

1 hour ago

Carlos Alcaraz through to another Wimbledon final after beating Daniil Medvedev

1 hour ago

New research indicates fatherhood changes men’s brains

1 hour ago

It’s fair to assume the Mariners regret trading Jarred Kelenic to Braves

1 hour ago

Japan's PM promises to discipline military for mishandling classified information

1 hour ago

Indigenous group turns their backs on Poilievre during AFN speech

1 hour ago

"These Live Rent-Free In My Mind": People Are Sharing Discontinued Foods They'd Kill To Taste Again

1 hour ago

Pakistan, Iran to enhance bilateral trade

1 hour ago

Tim Houston criticized over Calgary Stampede trip

1 hour ago

Astros get 6-3 win over Marlins to complete 3-game sweep with 9th straight home win

1 hour ago

Speed limits set to increase July 12 on portions of some Ontario highways

1 hour ago

Archaeologists Discover Mysterious Monolith in 4,000-Year-Old Temple

1 hour ago

From a Mini Cooper to a Lotus 24: One Texas legend’s first F1 experience at the Nurburgring

1 hour ago

Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Quinta Brunson Seemingly Call Out Pat McAfee for Caitlin Clark Comments at 2024 ESPYs

1 hour ago

New Popular Front’s radical spending plan compatible with EU rules, Mélenchon claims

1 hour ago

Ben Stiller's "Severance" returns: Season 2 release date revealed

1 hour ago

Keir Starmer meets his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau at NATO summit

1 hour ago

10 Best Players Missing from EA Sports NCAA Football 25 Top 100 Ratings

1 hour ago

Swans relish return of captain Mills against Kangaroos

1 hour ago

Hallmark Brought the Jolly to the 2024 TCAs: Every Big Network Announcement

1 hour ago

25 Years Later, Star Wars is About to Retcon Anakin Skywalker's Origin Story

1 hour ago

How to watch 'The Bachelorette' season 21 online, on TV and from anywhere

1 hour ago

The first ever Reform MP's arrive at Parliament for the first time

1 hour ago

Inland surfing is coming to Scotland for the first time with the launch of Europe's largest wave pool (that's THREE TIMES the size of a football pitch)

1 hour ago

England face a daunting challenge as they prepare for second New Zealand Test, writes ALEX BYWATER But Steve Borthwick's side can draw inspiration from their last visit to Eden Park back in 2014 as they look to tie the series

1 hour ago

Plans for £2.3bn ‘Venice of Britain’ new town scrapped

1 hour ago

Penguins Dubas Admits Crucial Managerial Mistake With Toronto Maple Leafs

1 hour ago

'FitFlops sandals changed my work life - I'm a GP receptionist and on my feet all day'

1 hour ago

Jeff Bridges' The Old Man Sets Season 2 Premiere Date With New Teaser

1 hour ago

Dodgers' struggles becoming a concern after being swept by Phillies

1 hour ago

Cubs place outfielder Cody Bellinger on injured list with broken finger

1 hour ago

Orioles' Gunnar Henderson projected to top pre-arbitration bonus pool at $1.3 million

1 hour ago

Walmart’s Huge Sale Is Almost Over—and The Pioneer Woman’s Deals Are Too Good to Skip

1 hour ago

Semien to start All-Star Game, Castro and Santander named replacements for Altuve, Tucker