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September 30th 2010
TCC to hold Island info session on new public utilities notices

An information session for island residents on the new utilities invoice will be held on Tuesday, October 5 from 11.30am-1.30pm at the RSL Hall.

Townsville City Council staff and councillors will hold information sessions next Tuesday to provide ratepayers with personalised information on the new utilities notices.

Director of Townsville Water Ken Diehm and Mayor Cr Les Tyrell today announced the measure to boost public information on utilities notices and new user pays water charges.

Mr Diehm urged ratepayers to go directly to the council’s customer service centre or meet with councillors and staff at next Tuesday’s sessions to get accurate information.

“Council’s customer service staff have been doing a great job answering calls from the public, but to take that a step further we have organised information sessions at venues across the city next Monday,” Mr Diehm said.

“These sessions will give ratepayers a chance to bring in their utilities notice and meet face-to-face with staff and councillors to discuss any questions they might have and obtain factual information.

“The reality is that the user pays for water, which is a legislative requirement, is one of the biggest fundamental changes in local government in the city and people have a lot of questions about how and why.

“The important message we want to get across to people with any queries at all, is that the best course of action is to contact the council directly and we’ll be happy to help.”

Cr Tyrell said he had acknowledged at Tuesday’s full meeting of council that the council needed to do more to explain the changes to ratepayers.

“I said then that we needed to do better with the information to ratepayers and that’s exactly what we’re doing with the public sessions.”

“Councillors and senior staff will be available to meet each and every ratepayer who attend the sessions to go through their notices and answer any questions.”

Session details:
Tuesday, October 5 from 11.30am-1.30pm at the RSL Hall in Hayles Avenue Arcadia.

People attending are encouraged to register on Council's website and to bring in their utilities invoice as well as their last two rates notices.

People are encouraged to register on-line at to help save time.

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

TCC to hold Island info session on new public utilities notices
Brian & Polly Parkes
September 29th 2010
Rates bills have increased to the level where we have decided we can no longer afford to build our retirement home on our land in Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island. As very few homes have been built there these last few years, like others, we will now sell up, cut our bills and forget about retiring there. Sad but we can't afford it any more!
September 30th 2010
Gee, brilliant session timing 11.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m., a time when a lot of rate paying Islanders are at work, in town or even on the Island earning a living to pay for these rates. Call me cynical but this sounds like a hollow excursion organised by the council spin doctors.
October 4th 2010
I am just amazaed that the TCC have seen the need to go to all this trouble over something so simple. 1) we pay for water according to your metered usage? 2) The rest is just an additional quartly rates bill in addition to our normal twice yearly rates bill. It is folklore that a previous mayor was supposedly have stated that he was going to 'Rate' those B%$%$#%*s off the Island. How many more good folk are thinking that the rates are now too high to be able to live here?
David J
October 4th 2010
Excellent, lets have a lesson on how to suck lemons as well. I hate this slow death of our living standards by these council logical moves towards \"user pays\". Whilst we are at it how about we do a user pay on everything else as well? Can we now have a reduction in our rates to reflect this user pay approach? Dont hold your breath I suspect. Dont we, as tax paying citizens of Queensland, fund these services as a public service to reflect sharing of costs for essential services? Sure its wise to save water but theres only so much you can do from a pricing perspective. This is a problem brought about by an absence of good policy. Examples of this ridiculous logic abound in other areas as well, for example carbon tax etc. If we are serious about user pays lets do it for everything from council superannuation of public servants to the bus service in Townsville! No doubt Island rates get thrown into the mix for those services as well. I am indeed sympathetic to Brian & Polly Parkes, who no doubt have funded a variety of services in council rates for a property that they never even got to fully utilise. I also pity those of larger families who have no alternative. We have the most expensive rates in the country for the services delivered now. How about some real policy solutions rather than first year University lessons on supply and demand techniques, which will no doubt deliver \"a bit of coin\" to the council along the way. We should never accept anything of \"user pays\" when it comes to esssential services such as this. Such a pity. David J

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