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Italy shows Australia the way on water reform

Fair Water Use (Australia)

Media Release
6th September 2010

Italy has national referendum on water privatisation

Recent legislation to privatise water services in Italy has met with staunch public resistance and a well-organised national campaign, resulting in the tabling of a petition of around 1.5 million signatures from citizens opposed to this legislation - three times as many as are required to call a referendum on the issue.

Paris: Water back in public hands

Paolo Carsetti of the Forum Italiano dei Movimenti per l'Acqua has pointed out that even the City of Paris has removed control of water supply from the private sector, "when Paris had been the heart of the empire of water multinationals such as Suez and Veolia."

Australia: Privatisation by stealth is occurring

Citing the Australian activities of these and other off-shore companies such as Olam International, Summit Global, the Guinness-Peat Group and Water Asset Management, Ian Douglas, national coordinator of public water rights and environmental advocacy group, Fair Water Use, indicated today, "Unlike the Italian scenario, in Australia the process of water privatisation has been one of stealth; the vast majority of Australians are unaware that, as a direct result of the so-called 'water-reform' policies of successive state and federal governments, Australia is handing control of its water resources, and the uses to which our water is put, to private entities whose only interest is maximising the financial returns of their shareholders."

Vital to keep public spotlight on what is happening

"Having dragged the issue into the open, Fair Water Use will do all possible to ensure that it remains in the public arena and will continue its campaign to let the people of Australia decide their water future: not inept administrations or self-serving speculators", he continued.

Demand democracy

 Dr Douglas concluded, "The Italian public will now have the opportunity to voice its opinion on water privatisation via national plebiscite: Australians deserve the right to do the same".

Authorised by:

Ginny Brown

Media Coordinator
media [AT]

Fair Water Use (Australia)

+61 (0)8 8398 0812 / (0)4 1602 2178

PO Box 384, Balhannah, South Australia 5242

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