Why your water bill could be going up even more
QUEENSLANDERS look set to pay dearly for the $9 billion noose around the neck of its largest water utility.
The situation facing Seqwater has prompted Treasurer Curtis Pitt to direct the state's competition authority to investigate and recommend a new bulk water charge for south-east Queenslanders, the Courier-Mail reports.
Queensland Competition Authority will investigate pricing and recommend a new bulk water charge for the next three years that will "allow Seqwater sufficient revenue to recover prudent and efficient costs incurred from providing bulk water supply services and to repay Price Path Debt", Mr Pitt said.
The QCA will have until the end of November to deliver a draft report on a new bulk water price to be charged from July 1, 2018 until June, 2021.
It comes as an audit report found Seqwater has a fundamental problem.
We're not using enough water.
It simply doesn't provide enough revenue to pay down the massive debts incurred when the former Labor government introduced a massive water grid which included the failed Traveston Crossing Dam and the Tugun desalination plant.
Already Queenslanders are screaming about high water and power bills.
One contributor on the Courier-Mail's site wrote: "There is something inherently WRONG with the principles being employed by these Semi Govt owned departments , USE LESS and PAY MORE ??
"Certain 'high end restaurants' can and do get away with it but a Govt Dept /Company essential service ?? Water -Electricity ARE not a Business to make a profit but are taxpayer funded entities 'supposed ' to give us essential service at reasonable cost."
Daniel wrote: "It's already too high. Our family uses a fraction of what the average family uses. Our last bill was $224.29 for an average 144 litres per day. Of this our actual water usage was only $9.98. That's right people, we could triple our usage and our bill would only rise by $19.96 to $244.25. This system rewards water wasters already and Labor is about to reward them more."
David added: "Boy am I glad we don't have town water...phew...escaped a bullet there. A work colleague tells me that his water bill is now well over $2,000 a year. He has 3 teenage daughters.
"Pitt! Surely you jest. Who can afford $2000+ for water and another $2000+ for power, $1,500 for rego, $4000 for insurances, $2000 rates, $3000 health insurance and one day hope to own their home?
"Perhaps SEQWater could conduct an external audit and find ways to spend less hey? I see dozens of expensive 4wd's all over the place belong SEQWater, doing nothing. There's a hint Pitt."
Another wrote: "Finally, the complete and utter folly of the Beattie/Bligh recycled water scheme and Traveston Dam are coming home to roost.
In the end, the Gold Coast Desalination Plant is actually used regularly -- but then again THAT project was actually started by the Gold Coast City Council - and just taken over by Beattie / Bligh government and then mismanaged.
"Newman was going to use asset sales to pay off this debt at Seqwater; so prices wouldn't have to go up.
"I sure hope no-one moans on these pages about prices going up who was also against asset sales. Because you are getting exactly what you asked for!"