From the ed­i­tor's desk

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

THE open­ing of Air­lie’s main street in both di­rec­tions this week marks the end of a very ex­pen­sive, long-awaited pro­ject.

The up­grade is cer­tainly pos­i­tive for Air­lie and our re­gion but it caused dis­rup­tion for more than 12 months and it is now hoped that busi­nesses in the main street will start to reap the ben­e­fits.

It is hoped that the many peo­ple who have been avoid­ing the main street will now head into town once again, en­joy the at­mos­phere and shop at the lo­cal busi­nesses. On another mat­ter... The Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil has an­nounced it will be hold­ing pub­lic fo­rums over the next two weeks to ex­plain the new rates and charges.

The most con­tro­ver­sial of these is the new wa­ter charges. Es­sen­tially, it is now a user pay sys­tem. Most ratepay­ers who have al­ready paid their rates prob­a­bly haven’t no­ticed a big change.

We all knew rates were go­ing to go up and that coun­cil is in a dif­fi­cult fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion.

How­ever, it will be when ratepay­ers re­ceive their wa­ter bills that they will no­tice the big­gest dif­fer­ence

As wa­ter me­ters are read ev­ery six months, that bill is not ex­pected to ar­rive un­til af­ter Christ­mas.

Part of the rea­son for the new charging sys­tem is to en­cour­age peo­ple to con­serve wa­ter.

If you don’t want to re­ceive a big wa­ter bill, you will cer­tainly need to do that.

If you want to know more about the charges, you can at­tend the pub­lic fo­rums be­ing or­gan­ised by Coun­cil.

They will be held in the next two weeks and de­tails are on the front page to­day.

Leanne Aber­nethy

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