The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS (15:31): My question is directed to the Minister for Water and
the River Murray. I refer the minister to the answer he gave in this place yesterday regarding the
removing of the processing of cheque payments for SA Water bills from South Australia to Victoria.
Given the minister's answer, can he advise whether SA Water has investigated opportunities for
keeping this service of processing cheque payments for SA Water within South Australia? If not, will
he commit to directing SA Water to look into keeping this business in our state, even if it means them
changing their banking agency?
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation,
Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change) (15:31): I thank the
honourable member for his most important follow-up question from yesterday. It is indeed an issue
that is important to me. I sympathise and empathise with the honourable member because I also pay
my bills by cheque—
The Hon. J.S.L. Dawkins: As I do.
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: Indeed.
The Hon. M.C. Parnell: What's a cheque?
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: The Hon. Mr Parnell asks, 'What's a cheque?' I think he's firmly
got his tongue in his cheek and is trying to demonstrate to the chamber his relative youthfulness and
modishness when it comes to the use of technology. I am sure that he moved to electronic banking
50 years ago, before the rest of us. I find, and I am sure the Hon. Mr Dawkins does as well, that the
use of a cheque book is a very efficient way of keeping on top of one's finances. It was with that
degree of interest that I took the honourable member's question yesterday.
The response that came back through my office very quickly that I gave the chamber was
that this is an issue that the banks are pursuing. I think I said that, from memory, SA Water banks
with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and this is an issue that they have been pursuing. I am
also advised that all banking institutions are considering the exact same outcome.
Page 2210 LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL Thursday, 19 November 2015
I do not know and I cannot say from direct knowledge, but I would imagine that this
arrangement the Commonwealth Bank has entered into in some sort of contractual manner will
probably involve a period of time for that contract to be in play. I have asked my office to get some
further information on this matter for the honourable member and for my own interest as well. Once
I have that I will bring it back for the honourable member.