The Bracks Government's water strategy is doubly flawed. Shielding our biggest water users - farmers and industrialists - from the fair market price of water through subsidies encourages profligacy and discourages investment. To compound this, the Government limits its waste compliance regime to domestic users, who use just a few percentage points of our state's water supply. Business users are exempt from these measures and instead opt into a voluntary program (The Age, 21/4/05).
Any strategy that relies on the individual consciences of (often financially desperate) small business people - especially where they can't monitor their competitors' waste and so assume the worst - is headed for disaster. Mr Thwaites, please reconsider and at least signal to business that you are serious about this issue.