EDIT RIAL Licence hike headache
Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) has embarked on a difficult process to convince residents with licences on foreshore land that fee rises of more than 110% is “fairer” ”for all.
Sending letters to hundreds of licence holders stating their fees would at the very least be doubling and, in some cases skyrocketing above $1000, was always going to cause a backlash.
Once that backlash got into print and onto the airwaves, GMW claimed it was merely consulting but still did not have the decency to turn up to a meeting of concerned licenced holders at Kirwans Bridge who want nothing more than to be consulted with.
GMW is not a business. It is a statutory authority with no competition and holds a legislated monopoly.
If GMW decrees foreshore property owners must pay a licence on a long list of constructions, those property owners have no recourse and no way to appeal.
The only option they have is to make their anger known, which they have done, loudly.
It is rare to see Labor and the Coalition agreeing on anything, but in this instance the office of Water Minister Lisa Neville and opposition spokesperson for water Steph Ryan along with our local Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy have all gone on the record expressing concerns about the issue.
For Ms Neville’s office to have its department get involved to ‘‘work with’’ GMW is also noteworthy.
We can only imagine what kind of conversations are taking place behind closed doors.
With an election looming noise like this is something the minister would no doubt like to quickly silence.