Lithgow City Council is encouraging community comment on proposed changes to water charges from 1 July 2022.
One of Lithgow’s most precious and prized resources is the resilience of its water supply. A combination of local partnerships and strategic asset management demonstrates Lithgow City Council’s unwavering commitment to ensuring the continued delivery of reliable, quality services to the community.
However, the pressures of uncontrollable, increasing costs of operation have impacted Council’s ability to deliver these services. In large part, IPART’s WaterNSW pricing determination has increased the Council’s water purchase costs by up to 36%. As this is an essential community service, the Council must now make necessary changes to ensure that mains breaks, pipe renewal and upgrades of water treatment plants can occur sustainably into the future.
For this reason, alongside operational improvements, Lithgow City Council is proposing to increase the fixed Annual Access Fee for all customers and decrease the variable usage charges. This proposed change aims to achieve the following:
- Better cost recovery following IPART’s WaterNSW pricing determination,
- Building of financial reserves for future-focused asset renewals and improved infrastructure, including water mains replacement and new water treatment plants as required, and
- Ongoing maintenance of existing levels of service for water treatment, transport and delivery to customers.
To ensure complete transparency regarding the proposed changes, the following summary compares next year’s draft charges against those applied this year.
Fixed Access Charges (applicable to all Lithgow Council connections)
|Connection size (mm)||2021/22||Proposed 2022/23||Increase|
Variable Usage Charges (subject to individual usage)
|Type of Charge||2021/22||Proposed 2022/23||Decrease (per kL)|
|Residential Tier 1|
|Residential Tier 2|
|Business Tier 1|
|Business Tier 2|
To summarise the proposed changes, a typical residential dwelling consumes 131kL of water per year. This means the yearly cost of water for the average consumer will rise from $677 per year in 2021/2022 to $753 in 2022/23 per year or $1.46 per week. This equates to the average cost per day of water usage increasing from $1.85 in 2021/22 to $2.06 in 2022/23. The pensioner concession will continue to apply to the annual access charges.
Considering cost of living pressures, Council has held the proposed 2022/23 charge for sewerage access at $936 (nil increase from 2021/2022) for residential sewerage connections. In addition, Council applies no usage charge to residential sewer connections. Other sewerage access charges have a CPI increase only.
Council’s fees and charges are currently on exhibition for community comment until 28 May 2022. Community feedback will be then considered at the 27 June 2022 Council meeting. If you wish to review this proposal in detail, or make a submission, please visit https://ourplaceourfuture.lithgow.com/exhibition/ or write to Council quoting reference IPR2022-2026. Hard copies are also available at Council’s Administration Centre and Libraries.