Log on to have your say on water pricing
TOWNSVILLE residents will finally have their say on the city’s controversial water charges.
The council’s Corporate Governance Committee yesterday launched a Share Your Water Wisdom community consultation program for ratepayers to have their say on the water pricing scheme.
The council has agreed to give ratepayers the choice between a two-part tariff or fixed price allocation.
Mayor Les Tyrell said the c o mmunity c o n s u l t a t i o n would ask residents for their opinion on the frequency of bills and whether water and utilities should be combined as in the past.
‘‘ So what we want to do now we have made that decision to move back to our old scheme is just see how people feel most comfortable in that billing,’’ he said.
Cr Tyrell said residents could indicate their pricing p r e f e r e nce s t hr o ugh t he council’s website.
‘‘ What we want
is encourage people to have their say on those particular issues and then we’ll be able to get an indication on which way they want to go,’’ he said.
‘‘ We do want to get people’s views on a number of other issues.’’
Cr Tyrell said the informat i o n p e o p l e p r o v i d e d would play an important part in how the council moved forward with water charges.
‘‘ We’re very keen to unders t and people’s views on whether or not they like the quarterly billing that came in with that change,’’ he said.
‘‘ The reason for doing the consultation is to find those sorts of things out, certainly people have indicated to me they’re happy with the quarterly system because it helps them budget.
‘ ‘ Others have i ndicated they get confused because they have too many bills coming in.’’
Cr Tyrell refused to be drawn on whether the council would consider reducing its high fixed connection fee which has been a bone of contention.
Cr Tyrell said he was still waiting for the federal gove r n m e n t ’ s d e c i s i o n o n whether it could revert to the old water system without losing $ 40 million in funding.
‘‘ We were waiting for the Federal Government to give us some sort of OK to revert to our original system,’’ he said.
‘‘ The indication from the Federal Government was really a non-answer. We have now indicated to the Federal Government that that’s what we’re doing.’’
Residents will be able to log their concerns at the city libraries and customer service branches, as well as online at council’s website, www. townsville. qld. gov. au