News / Business / 7th April 2022
Costly impact of proposed water rates increase
Heavy water users such as businesses and large families will bear the brunt of more proposed Council rate rises.
The suggested five per cent increase in water fees comes 12 months after Warrumbungle Shire Council approved a 15 per cent price hike on water charges.
Local motel owner, Semrit Goitrem, said she would be writing an impassioned submission to Council outlining her concerns.
She said the increase in water rates over the years has been too much for her business.
“At the last increase my water bill jumped from $3000 to $4000 - and now its going up again?”
“It’s just too much. I can’t afford it and my customers won’t be able to keep affording it if it’s passed on to them.”
Coonabarabran resident, Damien Bennell questioned Council’s logic in claiming the increase is due to residents using less water.
“So, their train of thought is to punish residents for doing the right thing and using less water, by making them pay more for it?” Mr Bennell said.
“It makes no sense. It’s just ridiculous.”
Mr Bennell said if Council was going to continue increasing rates they should offer ratepayers something in return.
“And if they can’t supply clean drinking water, maybe they should offer subsidies for people to install filtration systems,” he said.
Baradine resident, Jacqui Standen, was also outraged with the announcement of the rates increase and said water quality in her town is no better.
“We can’t drink the water out here either,” Ms Standen said.
“I spoke to the last metre reader and he told me he had been contracted by Council.
“Why is Council contracting that out when they could use their own workers and save money in the process?
“It’s going to get to the point soon that we just can’t afford to pay it. What we really need is to march against Council and the increases.”
Warrumbungle Shire Council invites written submissions on its Draft Operational Plan for 2022/23, which can be submitted on Council’s website under the ‘Have Your Say’ tab.
Alternatively, hard copy submissions can be addressed and mailed to: The General Manager, PO Box 191, Coonabarabran, NSW, 2357.
Submissions will be received until 4.30pm Tuesday, 19 April, and should include a reference to the draft Operational Plan for 2022/23 as the subject of the submission.
Submissions received will be summarised and reported to Council.
IMAGE: Damien Bennell said he is fed up with Warrumbungle Shire Council’s water rate increases.