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South Australian government sues United Water over contract

Adelaide Now reports today that, “Australians have overpaid United Water ‘tens of millions of dollars’ because the company duped the State Government into paying for its operations in Ballarat and New Zealand, court documents claim.”

“SA Water yesterday started action in the Supreme Court, suing United Water for allegedly issuing false, misleading invoices so taxpayers would foot the bill for its international operations.”

“Acting Premier Kevin Foley said it was impossible to quantify how much more people had paid for their water bills – (and) stopped short of promising refunds for all water users.”

“The management of SA’s water system was privatised by Dean Brown’s Liberal Government in 1995 under a 15-year, $1.5 billion deal. The contract allowed for a price review in 2001 – when SA Water claims United Water began charging the costs of its research, business and industry development, including ‘all of its corporate overhead costs, including those relating to United Water’s operations in New Zealand and Ballarat’.”

“United Water …has not yet filed a statement of defence.”

The full article is at http://wl.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,26005948-2682,00.html.