Isaac Regional Council remains committed to improving the quality, reliability and sustainability of the region’s water supply for the community and continues to implement an equitable and financially sustainable operating framework for its water network to support these efforts.
“Two years ago, Council introduced a new water pricing framework which represented a shift to a more equitable system of water billing for ratepayers so that small users were no longer subsidising large consumers through a flat-rate charge,” Mayor Anne Baker said.
“This was also an important measure towards securing the long-term sustainability of the region’s water supply network by ensuring an equitable and financially sustainable operating model.”
Council is progressively moving to a water pricing model which fully recovers the costs associated with providing water supply infrastructure as well as operating costs for raw water, treatment and distribution.
“This year, we are delivering a capital program of $6.2 million to support continued improvements across the water network. We have invested significantly in improving our raw water, treatment and networks across the region and these costs needs to be shared fairly across all users,” Mayor Baker said.
Council’s water pricing comprises an Infrastructure Change, levied on rates notices, and a separate Water Consumption Charge, calculated on six-monthly water usage.
“In 2019-20, there will no increase in revenues raised from the Infrastructure Charge,” Mayor Baker said.
Several Isaac communities will see a marked reduction in their infrastructure charge this year including -7.69% in Clermont, St Lawrence and Carmila, as well as -4.16% in Middlemount.
Dysart’s infrastructure charge will remain on hold, while there will be a 2.43% increase in Moranbah and a 9% rise in both Nebo and Glenden. The latter two communities presently pay a significantly lower charge compared to other towns, but Nebo particularly has received several million dollars of investment in new infrastructure.
“These fluctuations in the Infrastructure Charge are part a long-term strategy to achieve parity on water pricing across all communities, with standardisation of this charge expected by 2021-22,” Mayor Baker said.
“Equity in pricing reflects Council’s commitment to deliver comparable service levels in terms of water quality, sustainability and security of supply across all reticulated towns and villages.”
Mayor Baker said in 2019-20 water consumption charges would be standardised across all Isaac communities for the first time.
“Whether you live in Moranbah or Middlemount, households will now pay the same consumption rate for the water they use. This will be reflected in water notices issued in February 2020 for the six months from 1 July 2019 to 31 December 2019.
“For some communities this standardisation in water tier pricing means they will experience a greater price adjustment in 2019-20 than towns where existing tier pricing was already higher.”