Water rates increase was expected


BILL Knight has watched his water charges soar during the past three years, and it hasn't come as a surprise.

“The Chronicle published a letter to the editor I wrote in the late ‘90s, predicting water would become a cash cow for councils.

“This has been borne out in many different ways. Anything to do with water is dangerous.”

Mr Knight runs a shop on Maryborough's Ferry Street. The premises is also his home.

“We had always paid a commercial access fee for water. Now, since amalgamation, we're paying two access fees, one for domestic and one for commercial.”

He has kept close tabs on his water charges through the years. His water access fees have climbed from $440 in 2007/08 under the old Maryborough City Council to $884 for 2010/11 under the amalgamated Fraser Coast council.

Mr Knight was not surprised when he learned the results of a Chronicle survey that shows Fraser Coast domestic water charges among the highest in the state.

After Toowoomba and Gladstone, the Fraser Coast rates third highest in average household water costs with an annual average of $649. Tweed Heads, across the border, showed the lowest costs in the extensive survey with $350.

The average annual household water usage is 200kL on the Fraser Coast.

“I think another rise is imminent,” Mr Knight said.

“We water the garden. I think we'll have to change that.

“It's almost too expensive to have water. What do you do? Shower once a week? Sales in deodorant will skyrocket.

“Where is it all going to stop? They can't keep bleeding us dry.”

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