October 13th 2010
Mayor asks Anna for return to old water system
Townsville Mayor Les Tyrell has challenged Premier Anna Bligh to allow the city to go back to the old system for water charging.
In a media release to Magnetic Times, Cr Tyrell said he was disappointed at the Premier and local MP, Craig Wallace, for blaming Council for user pays water prices.
“After months of Council working with Queensland Treasury Corporation and other areas of the government to do everything by the book under the State’s rules, the government has washed their hands of any responsibility,” Cr Tyrell said.
“I ask the Premier to please provide us with advice saying we can go back to the way things were without penalty.
“We are putting a request in writing to the Premier asking for formal advice that we can be exempt from the Queensland Competition Authority Statement of Regulatory Pricing Principles for the Water Sector which has forced us down this path.
“We don’t want a lecture about who is responsible for setting the price of water, we just want an indication we can go back to a system that has served us well, without being punished.”
Townsville’s water system previously gave residents the choice between paying a fixed service fee which entitled them to use up to 772KL or a lower service fee and paying for each drop of water used.
“It’s State Government laws that have created the problem, not only here but right across Queensland, and only the Premier can fix it,” Cr Tyrell said.
“Prior to the legislation being introduced, we argued for months that it shouldn’t be a one size fits all across the state.
“We live in the dry tropics, we need the ability to use more water at an affordable rate and unlike most other parts of the state, we have an abundance of supply.
“We stand ready to return to our previous water methodology on the proviso of receiving from the Premier written confirmation we are exempt from the Regulatory Pricing Principles. We want to be exempt from any penalty for what would appear to be breaches under the National Water Agreement and Initiative, National Competition Policy, Queensland Competition Act and all related statutory requirements for Local Government and Water Acts.”
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