By James Wells

NEWCASTLE: Retravision New South Wales chairman, Paul Murphy, has expressed disappointment at the decision not to include his local area in the $150 water rebate scheme introduced in Sydney today.

The State Government’s $150 water rebate for water efficient washing machines will run for 12 months, but at this stage will only be available in the Sydney, Illawarra and Blue Mountains areas.

“It’s very sad that the rebate is unavailable in the Hunter region. It has really annoyed and disappointed me,” Murphy said this morning.

Last August, Murphy lobbied the then recently-appointed State Premier, Morris Iemma, outlining his proposal for a program that provides an incentive to consumers purchasing washing machines and dishwashers with a high level of water efficiency.

“After spending all of the time lobbying and putting forward our case for a rebate, the State Government is not rewarding the people of the Hunter area,” said Murphy, who is also the proprietor of Churchill’s Retravision in Newcastle.

“The Hunter Water Corporation contributes $38 million in dividends into state coffers and we are very upset that we are not recognised for our exceptional efficiency and sustainability. When there is an opportunity to reward the good work that people have done, they get snubbed by the State Government.”

The $150 rebate scheme applies to 4-star or 5A rated washing machines, which can use half the water of an inefficient machine.

“This rebate will encourage households to invest in a new washing machine – helping to save water and secure our water supplies into the future. It also means less water diverted into the waste water system, said New South Wales Minister for Water Utilities, David Campbell.

Murphy will meet with the Minister for the Hunter and the new Treasurer of the New South Wales State Government, Michael Costa, on Friday to further discuss the matter.

“We have to keep the pressure on government and see the reason to change because at this stage we have not received an explanation. I will also be sending letters to the Minister for Water Utilities, David Campbell and Premier Morris Iemma,” said Murphy.