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NEWS: Gold Coast, Australia protesters say ‘water is a human right’

Water a basic human right, not a commodity

Water a basic human right, not a commodity

GoldCoast.com in Australia reports, “A small but vocal group of Gold Coast protesters marched (this weekend) from North Burleigh to the headland in a move aimed at continuing community anger towards Allconnex. Organised by protest group Disconex Allconnex, about 80 protesters held banners reading ‘We all say no to profits from water’ and ‘Water a basic human right not a commodity’ (and Queensland premier ‘Anna Bligh give us our water back’). …Disconex Allconnex founder Kirsty Strowger said the event was always meant to be a low-key occasion for those who wanted to voice their concerns about spiralling water costs…”

A recent Australian Broadcasting Corporation report has noted, “(Allconnex) says water prices on the Gold Coast will increase by up to 15 per cent next year, prompting outrage from the council and community protest groups.” Allconnex is the Gold Coast City Council-owned water supplier (it is also owned by the Redlands and Logan councils). Two weeks ago, “several hundred angry Gold Coast residents marched on council headquarters in protest over excessive water bills.”

Gold Coast is the sixth largest city in Australia with a population of more than 400,000 people.

Australia abstained at the July 28, 2010 United Nations General Assembly vote on the recognition of the human right to water and sanitation. The UN notes on that meeting state, “The representative of Australia said access to water and sanitation was linked to a range of civil rights, and noted that more than half the people in the Asia-Pacific region lacked access to water and sanitation.  Despite having increased its development assistance, Australia nevertheless had reservations about declaring new human rights in a General Assembly resolution.  Indeed, when new rights were recognized, consensus was essential.  Australia had followed the work of the independent expert, who should have been able to report on it before the text was tabled.”

More about the Disconnex campaign at http://www.disconex.com.au/.