Sewerage rates outrage

DOWN THE DRAIN: Matilda Motel owner Glenn Evans is angry with having to pay $4000 for sewerage rates every six months. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
DOWN THE DRAIN: Matilda Motel owner Glenn Evans is angry with having to pay $4000 for sewerage rates every six months. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

A BUNDABERG motel owner is outraged at the exorbitant sewerage rates he is forced to pay.

Bundaberg Matilda Motel owner Glenn Evans said the current rate was far too high.

"Roughly half the rates I pay are just for sewerage," Mr Evans.

Mr Evans said he paid $4000 for his sewerage rates every six months.

Mr Evans said this was unfair when compared to rates for water or garbage collection.

"I pay around $400 for water," Mr Evans said.

"So why are my sewerage rates so much more expensive than everything else."

Oscar Motel proprietor Wendy Carter said it was just another bill to add to all the rest.

"It's just another expense we don't need," Mrs Carter said.

"On top of the rates there are all the annual permits we have to pay."

Bundaberg Regional Council Water and Wastewater spokesman Alan Bush said his department had not received any complaints from hotel or motel owners in the region.

"I've never been approached by any hotels or motels regarding this issue," Cr Bush said.

Cr Bush said the reason sewerage rates were so high was because it was calculated on per toilet basis.

"Some motels would have 20 to 30 rooms which means 20 to 30 toilets which is why it costs so much."

Mr Evans said calculating in this manner was grossly unfair to his business as it didn't take into account his occupancy rate.

"My occupancy rate is at 70% and sometimes lower so all these toilets aren't being used all the time," Mr Evans said.

Mr Evans said any possible solution should take this into account.

"Perhaps a commercial or bulk rate could be used so that if your occupancy rate is at 60% then you pay a proportional percentage of the rate," Mr Evans said.

"I just want something that is fairer to us as businesses 'cause it hasn't been the same since the floods."

Cr Bush said the problem with that solution was obtaining the information from hotels.

"Their books are private so it would be difficult to check on those books to make sure they were accurate," he said.

"And what about people who leave their homes for part of the year."

Cr Bush said the current system was the fairest one for all.

"Like any request people can come to the briefing meeting and put forth their case to the council," Cr Bush said.

Topics:  council, motel, sewerage charges



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