No wa­ter bill re­lief for Ex­mouth

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

There will be no spe­cial ex­emp­tions from in­creased wa­ter bills for Ex­mouth’s ac­com­mo­da­tion providers af­ter Wa­ter Min­is­ter Dave Kelly slapped down sug­ges­tions heavy wa­ter users were be­ing tar­geted.

The Ex­mouth Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try wrote to the State Govern­ment fol­low­ing the 2018-19 State Bud­get re­quest­ing a re­think on rais­ing fees for wa­ter use. It was ar­gued Ex­mouth’s ho­tels would be un­fairly hit as they had to use wa­ter-guz­zling fil­ters to bring the qual­ity of drink­ing wa­ter up to an ac­cept­able stan­dard for tourists.

Mr Kelly said the fee hike would be across the board.

“A flat 6 per cent in­crease has been ap­plied across the board for busi­nesses, as per the price path left be­hind by the pre­vi­ous Lib­eral Na­tional Govern­ment,” he said.

“The wa­ter sup­ply in Ex­mouth meets all safe drink­ing stan­dards.

“How­ever, due to nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring min­er­als and salts, the el­e­vated hard­ness of this wa­ter can af­fect its taste and ap­pear­ance.”

Mr Kelly said the Wa­ter Cor­po­ra­tion was al­ways look­ing for ways to im­prove wa­ter qual­ity, not­ing chlo­ri­na­tion and flu­o­ri­da­tion treat­ment was un­der­taken to re­duce hard­ness and scal­ing.

ECCI pres­i­dent Barry Sul­li­van said a ne­ces­sity for re­verse os­mo­sis fil­ters and wa­ter soft­en­ers to bring wa­ter to a suit­able stan­dard for tourists re­sulted in high wa­ter us­age.

“If we were get­ting bet­ter qual­ity wa­ter we wouldn’t have much to gripe about,” he said.

“The cham­ber will keep fight­ing on this one.

“We can’t give up just be­cause the Govern­ment says ‘this is the way it is go­ing to be’.

“We have a prob­lem here — the North West has the same prob­lem — and ev­ery­one should be fight­ing the Govern­ment over in­creased charges on poor qual­ity wa­ter.”

Mr Sul­li­van said ac­cess to bet­ter qual­ity wa­ter would re­duce wa­ter use in the North West.

Dave Kelly

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