The McGowan Government’s range of new innovative financial assistance programs for Water Corporation customers has resulted in 72 per cent fewer households in the Goldfields region facing water flow restrictions for non-payment of water bills.
New figures show the number of customers having their water reduced to a trickle for non-payment of bills in the Goldfields region has reduced from a high of 67 in 2016-17 under the previous Liberal National Government to 19 last financial year.
Overdue notices for water bills have also decreased in the State by 31 per cent, down to an average 43,002 notices per month in 2018-19 from 62,455 per month in 2015-16 under the previous Liberal National Government.
Since March 2017, the McGowan Government has introduced a number of new programs to help people manage their water bills, including Time Assist, Start Over and Medical Assist.
The help provided to customers through these programs include; providing up to an additional three months to pay accounts, removing interest charges on overdue accounts when on a payment plan, reducing long-term debt, and providing an additional water allowance free of charge for those on kidney dialysis.
The McGowan Government has also made the Water Assist program more accessible. Last financial year, 433 per cent more Western Australian families were able to access the program to chart a path out of debt, compared to 2016-17. In the Goldfields region the number of households able to access the program doubled from 5 in 2016-17 to 10 last financial year.
Anyone experiencing difficulty in paying their account is strongly urged to contact the Water Corporation on 13 13 85 early, before their account becomes overdue. For more information about the programs on offer, visit: http://www.watercorporation.com.au.
As stated by Water Minister Dave Kelly:
“I’m very pleased to see we have reduced the number of households in the Goldfields region having their water reduced to a trickle for non-payment of water bills by 72 per cent.
“We have done this by throwing out the heavy-handed approach of the previous Liberal National Government and moving to a customer sensitive and compassionate approach for those in genuine financial hardship.
“The previous Liberal National Government were cutting Goldfields household water off at an alarming rate, by up to 16 householders a month in 2016-17.
“Reducing a household’s water to a trickle causes significant anxiety and distress to people who are likely already having a hard time. This practice should only be used as a last resort.”