Consumer groups welcome Vic desalination plant refinancing

Consumer Action Law Centre and Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre (CUAC) have welcomed news that Melbourne households would benefit from the early refinancing of the desalination plant project.

‘Many Victorians feel like prices have risen every time they open a utilities bill, so measures that put downward pressure on water and electricity prices are very welcome,’ said Gerard Brody, Chief Executive Officer of Consumer Action.

Mr Brody said he was pleased that the Government and AquaSure plan to pass savings back to consumers, but called on both parties to disclose the total savings from the project once the refinancing process was concluded.

‘Refinancing the desalination project early seems like a practical way to keep water costs down, but full disclosure of the amount saved by refinancing will be important so that Victorians can be confident that all savings are passed on in full.’

Jo Benvenuti of CUAC also stressed the importance of disclosure and suggested an independent body be appointed to oversee the project. Ms Benvenuti said ‘the Essential Services Commission is well placed to provide independent oversight and ensure the savings are passed on in full.’

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