AND THE WINNER IS:
Leeann and Mark ‘Chad’ O’beirne of Horsham are looking forward to a $12,500 Greek Island holiday next year. Mark won the holiday package for two in The Weekly Advertiser and radio stations 3WM and MIXX FM’S Ultimate Greek Island Getaway competition. The couple’s entry was one of thousands that filled entry boxes at participating businesses across the region. The O’beirnes will have to wait a few months before embarking on their adventure.
Most people across much of the Wimmera, Mallee and Grampians will experience cheaper water from the start of July.
Corporation Gwmwater, which provides supply services for much of western Victoria, has announced it will pass on the results of cost-saving measures to its customers.
It has confirmed that an average urban customer’s bill will reduce by $30 a year, a rural lifestyle property owners’ bill will drop by $13 and larger farming enterprises will experience a $50 drop per 250 hectares.
Gwmwater managing director Mark Williams said water prices would then remain ‘flat’ for the next four years, with annual adjustments to account for inflation, which now sits at 1.9 percent a year.
Mr Williams said Gwmwater staff had worked hard to identify areas for savings that could be passed on to customers, while maintaining sufficient revenue to fund an extensive program of capital works and network improvements.
“During the next five years we will spend more than $85-million improving and maintaining the water and wastewater services we provide to urban and rural communities across the region,” he said.
“The savings come after the Essential Services Commission considered pricing proposals provided as part of Gwmwater’s 2018-23 Pricing Submission.
Mr Williams said other key projects in a 2018-23 Pricing Submission included –
• Water-quality upgrades for Kaniva, Elmhurst, Moyston and Ultima;
• Introduction of a wastewater scheme for Goroke;
• Extension of recreation water discounts to schools;
• Introducing a new guaranteed service level payment of $100 for customers who received a drinking water supply and were issued with a ‘boil water’ notice;
• Wavering water-trading fees for rural pipeline customers during the first quarter of 2018-19.
Mr Williams said payroll tax concessions for regional businesses, announced in the Victorian budget, contributed to the price reductions for 2018-19.
He said Gwmwater, in preparing for the pricing submission, undertook significant customer consulta- tion, including the formation of a 17-member independent deliberative panel, to identify customer concerns and priorities and ensure these were addressed or met.
Gwmwater’s urban and rural supply system, boasting the Wimmeramallee Pipeline, covers a vast area and draws most of its water from its catchment headworks reservoirs.
Further details about the water changes are available online at www. gwmwater.org.au/news and www.esc. vic.gov.au.