Goldfield Minister Ian Taylor today commented on an exhaustive study, prepared by the Department of State Development, into the capital recovery mechanisms (especially headworks charges) employed by both the WA Water Authority and SECWA - particularly as they affect regional areas.
Mr Taylor said that the study indicated that both agencies use systems and formulas which appear to produce both high and inequitable consequences for regional areas.
He suggested that, in the case of the Water Authority, consideration should be given to alternative methods of applying loan funds which would yield improved outcomes for regional development. Present calculation methods produce intergenerational inequities because in the past headworks were paid for from general taxation and borrowings, whereas the system used today has been modified to `user pays'.
The study has found that the principle adopted today, where the agency accepts no risk in the provision of services, which must be carried by the developer, disadvantages regions those which are seeking to expand and develop their economies.
Mr Taylor said that the study was of vital consequence to regional development in areas like the Goldfields and the Pilbara and especially as it analysed issues associated with headworks charges.
"I will therefore not be letting the issue of the existing capital recovery mechanisms rest until they are overhauled in a manner that results in more appropriate and industry encouraging levels for these rapidly developing regions," he said.