Douglas Shire Council will implement a more equitable pricing schedule for water access and usage to improve service and reliability.
Under the new pricing structure, Council will combine an access charge and a volume charge in the one notice to help cover the provision of new and future upgrades and the maintenance of assets for the production and delivery of water in the Douglas Shire.
Mayor Julia Leu said the changes to the pricing structure would result in an average $1.68 weekly increase for average residential water use and access to deliver significant benefits for the resilience and sustainability of the Douglas Shire’s water supply network.
“To help achieve equity, Council is implementing a new schedule for water utility charges that is more reflective of the costs associated with providing these services,” Mayor Leu said.
“This new schedule also rewards users who are more waterwise to further encourage our communities to remain vigilant in the water volumes they use as we have a limited supply in the Douglas Shire and we need to do more to reduce our consumption.
“Despite these changes to water charges, the Douglas Shire remains one of the cheapest providers of water in Queensland.
“By comparison, average residential water users in the Douglas Shire pay almost half of what is charged by councils in southeast Queensland.”
Mayor Leu said another consideration in adopting the new water price schedule was Council’s proposed investment in upgrading infrastructure to improve the quality of recycled water.
“Council currently supplies almost 500 megalitres of recycled water to local resort golf courses but our intention is to invest in further water and sewerage infrastructure upgrades to dramatically improve the quality of our recycled water so more businesses and residents can access it,” Mayor Leu said.
“This will not only result in significantly improved outcomes for our environment, but will strengthen the resilience of our water network by reducing the volume of water we need to generate and give users access to cheaper recycled water.”
Water access charges will be separated from the general rates notice and added to the water consumption bill issued three times a year.