Resident speaks up on water prices

Carmel Donnelly of IPART

Residents face significant price increases, Carmel Donnelly, chair of the the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, (IPART) said at a public hearing this week.

Donnelly was speaking at the zoom meeting into water and sewer charges that Central Coast Council will apply from July 1.

The meeting started with Woy Woy peninsula resident Aurora Walker giving the inquiry a good indication of community anger about the proposed rises.

Walker said it was “very evident” that both IPART and Council didn’t care about ratepayers. 

“Both organisations are hell bent on wasting people’s time in engaging ratepayers in time wasting exercises, just so that they and Central Coast Council can say ‘we have engaged with ratepayers’,” Walker said and left the electronic meeting soon after.

She was one of about 20 community members to attend the meeting which also included 31 employees of either IPART or Council or Sydney or Hunter Water.

The hearing heard from representatives of The Davistown Progress Association and the Central Coast Chamber of Commerce.

Davistown resident Jenny McCulla said Upgrades to both the 30-year old wastewater and ineffective stormwater
system was becoming essential to avoid flooding after east coast lows, and periods of heavy rain.

“Much staff time and money has been spent on remedial works over recent years as the system has been breaking down with 400 homes without proper sewerage services two years back,” she said.

“Residents need to be guaranteed this will not be repeated.”

IPART held the public inquiry to hear from the community in response to Council’s proposed price hike of 34 per cent.

IPART has made a draft decision, so not yet a final decision, to allow the council to be able to charge residents the equivalent of a 25 per cent rate hike.

The final decision will be known in May.

IPART sets the maximum prices Central Coast Council can charge customers for water, wastewater and other services it provides as a Water Supply Authority.

IPART is proposing that a typical household water, wastewater and stormwater bill would rise 19 per cent this year with a further 4% increase each year from 2023-24 to 2025-26 and that’s without including any CPI increases which may be added later.

The biggest increase would be seen in a 109 per cent increase in service charges from $87.29 now to 182.37 from July one and increasing by 18 per cent every year after that.

Waste water prices will be harmonised between the former Wyong and Gosford council areas meaning that some residents will see larger price hikes than others.

The northern residents will see a jump in waste water prices from $488 to $563 in the first year and increasing every year after while Woy Woy peninsula and Gosford residents will jump from $525 to $563.

Waste water prices for apartments will jump to $521.

Stormwater prices also go up as do water usage charges.

All up, residents will pay 25 per cent more than they do now.

Residents can still have their say in three ways but only until April 14.

Send in a written submission: https://www.ipart.nsw.gov.au/Home/Reviews/Lodge-a-submission?openforms_id=922debf9-0915-463b-bee1-55ae0c82f644&timeline_id=13573&cta_type=have_your_say

Ring through a verbal submission:   02 92908400.

Fill out a survey on the Council’s Your Voice Our Coast website.

Merilyn Vale

3 Comments on "Resident speaks up on water prices"

  1. Matthew Cross | April 7, 2022 at 5:23 pm |

    The Adminsitrator doing the only thing he knows to fund the incompetence of the council – gouging the ratepayers at a time when inflation and interest rates are at a record low. If that’s the only solution you’ve got Hart, hand the keys in and piss off.

  2. I now remind people of an old saying. When you went to use the toilet were “going to spend a penny”. It actually does cost this now for the water which the “water authority” gets free. How do you own something that you never paid for and sell back to us?

  3. Deborah Lund | April 12, 2022 at 12:23 pm |

    Get rid of Rick Hart now. His wage could lessen the water rate increase.

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