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Water rate hikes of up to $120 per year

Coliban water rates are set to rise 5% this year, which is one of the lowest rates in the state.  Unfortunately, throughout the state, there have been rate rises from 5% up to 15% announced.

 Reported in the Bendigo Advertiser this week:

The rising cost of living is set to become even more painful for residents in parts of country Victoria as households face water rate hikes of up to $120 per year.

Hikes of between 5 and 15 per cent were announced on Monday by the water pricing regulator, the Essential Services Commission, to help fund drought relief projects.

Central Highlands Water customers in and around Ballarat, have endured successive annual rate hikes of 5 per cent and above since 2007.

 For 2011/2012, it’s a 7 per cent jump, set to cost $66 per year.

Bendigo residents – under Coliban Water – escaped the worst with a 5 per cent increase, expected to cost bill payers up to $46 per year.   However, it comes on top of last year’s monster rate hike of 17 per cent.  

Wodonga households will pay slightly more with North East Water granted a 6 per cent increase.

A spokesperson for North East Water said the utility was ”leading the way in Victoria" , allowing customers to control their bills by freezing the waste water charge while increasing the water service charge and rate per kilolitre.

Water bills in Warrnambool are going to be particularly painful. The city’s water supplier, Wannon Water, has been granted a 13 per cent rate hike, predicted to cost households an extra $120 per year.

Managing director Grant Green defended the increase – read what he had to say by clicking here.

Meanwhile, Northern Grampians Shire Council is pressing ahead with plans to adopt recreational water costs itself to lessen the burden on ratepayers.

“It’s unfair that if you live in inland Victoria, you have to pay to have recreation water but if you’re living on the coast, you can enjoy it anytime you want,” Councillor Kevin Erwin was quoted as saying in The Stawell Times News.



Government takes scrooge approach to water tanks

The Federal Government’s decision to scrap rebates for rainwater tanks and greywater systems has highlighted its lack of serious support for environmental initiatives, says the Alternative Technology Association.

Adam Maxey, the ATA’s water policy manager, condemned the withdrawal of subsidies under the National Rainwater and Greywater Initiative.

The rebates were $400 for rainwater tanks between 2000 and 3999 litres and $500 for tanks of more than 4000 litres. The rebate for permanent greywater systems was $500.

“These were miserly rebates to start off with,” Mr Maxey said. “They would barely cover the cost of a pump let alone the rainwater tank, the plumber, the filters and other things. As for commercial greywater treatment systems – they start at about $15,000 so a $500 discount was minimal anyway.”

“The government is taking an extreme scrooge approach to water conservation, which is of national importance.”  Read the rest of the article here on the Alternative Technology Association website.


Closure of the National Rainwater and Greywater Initiative

The National Rainwater and Greywater Initiative Rebate scheme has been closed on the 10th May, 2011.  If you have purchased your tank prior to this date, you are still eligible for the rebate as long as you get your application in by 10th of November.

The Department of Sustainability has more information about the scheme, including a number of very useful FAQS about what is and isn't available and what you are able to claim for.


Households hit with 26pc water price rise

The cost of water is rising again, this time in South Australia.  The large price rise is to help pay for Adelaides new desalination plant.  The ABC reports that ....

Water prices will increase by more than one quarter on average next financial year in South Australia.

A rise of 26.3 per cent follows average increases of 18 and 23 per cent over the previous two years.

SA Treasurer Jack Snelling says the latest increase will add almost $200 to the average annual water bill.

"No-one's hiding behind the fact that these are significant increases to water charges," Mr Snelling said.

"I mean the Snelling household toilet gets flushed ... once every five minutes it seems sometimes so I know as much as anyone the effect of these price increases on ordinary families."

Sharp rises are to help pay for Adelaide's $1.8 billion desalination plant, which is yet to come on line.

Opposition frontbencher Rob Lucas says even before the latest increase, someone using 300 kilolitres of water has seen its cost increase by 177 per cent since Labor took office.  View the full ‘Households hit with 26pc water price rise’ Article 



Here is a recent media statement released by Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission on 20/4/2011.  It makes for interesting reading.  Only an average of $142 increase per year doesn’t sound too bad, but as we know, it never stays static for long!

Photo supplied by Carlos PortosThe statement reads:

The Commission has decided that from 1 July 2011, water prices for the first 540 litres consumed per day will rise from $2 per kilolitre to $2.33 per kilolitre, and for all water consumed above 540 litres per day the rate will rise from $4.01 per kilolitre to $4.66 per kilolitre.

Wastewater charges will also increase from $516.11 to $555.39.

‘For an average household consuming 250 kilolitres of water per year, the total water and wastewater bill will increase by 11.73% in 2011–12, that is approximately $142 for the year’, Mr Baxter said.

Want to read the whole statement?  Go here.

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