Changes to our water bills all about fu­ture and more fair­ness

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS DOUGLAS SHIRE BUDGET 2017 -

DOU­GLAS Shire Coun­cil will im­ple­ment a more eq­ui­table pric­ing sched­ule for water ac­cess and us­age to im­prove ser­vice and re­li­a­bil­ity.

Un­der the new pric­ing struc­ture, Coun­cil will com­bine an ac­cess charge and a vol­ume charge in the one no­tice to help cover the pro­vi­sion of new and fu­ture up­grades and the main­te­nance of as­sets for the pro­duc­tion and de­liv­ery of water.

Mayor Ju­lia Leu said the changes to the pric­ing struc­ture would re­sult in an av­er­age $1.68 weekly in­crease for av­er­age res­i­den­tial water use and ac­cess to de­liver sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits for the re­silience and sus­tain­abil­ity of the Dou­glas Shire’s water sup­ply net­work.

“To help achieve eq­uity, Coun­cil is im­ple­ment­ing a new sched­ule for water util­ity charges that is more re­flec­tive of the costs as­so­ci­ated with pro­vid­ing th­ese ser­vices,” Mayor Leu said.

“This new sched­ule also re­wards users who are more wa­ter­wise to fur­ther en­cour­age our com­mu­ni­ties to re­main vig­i­lant in the water vol­umes they use as we have a lim­ited sup­ply in the Dou­glas Shire and we need to do more to re­duce our con­sump­tion.

“De­spite th­ese changes to water charges, Dou­glas re­mains one of the cheap­est providers of water in Queens­land.

“By com­par­i­son, av­er­age res­i­den­tial water users in the Dou­glas Shire pay al­most half of what is charged by coun­cils in south­east Queens­land.”

Mayor Leu said an­other con­sid­er­a­tion in adopt­ing the new water price sched­ule was Coun­cil’s pro­posed in­vest­ment in up­grad­ing in­fra­struc­ture to im­prove the qual­ity of re­cy­cled water.

“Coun­cil sup­plies al­most 500 me­gal­itres of re­cy­cled water to lo­cal re­sort golf cour­ses but our in­ten­tion is to in­vest in fur­ther water and sew­er­age in­fra­struc­ture up­grades to dra­mat­i­cally im­prove the qual­ity of our re­cy­cled water so more busi­nesses and res­i­dents can ac­cess it,” Mayor Leu said.

“This will not only re­sult in much im­proved out­comes for our en­vi­ron­ment, but will strengthen the re­silience of our net­work by re­duc­ing the vol­ume of water we need to gen­er­ate and give users ac­cess to cheaper re­cy­cled water.”


Water plant chief Henry Mayo and Mayor Leu

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