From 30 June 2018, Whitsunday Regional Council will only offer our residents the Two-Part Tariff water supply scheme, region wide. This pricing strategy includes an annual charge for all connections to the system (known as the access charge), and a charge for each kilolitre of water consumed. All water meters in the Whitsunday Region will be read every six months, scheduled for the months of December and June. Water consumption charges will be levied immediately following each meter reading for water used since the last meter reading.
Ratepayers are encouraged to check their meter regularly to avoid undetected water loss.
Council recommends that ratepayers turn off the water service, at the meter, for periods when the property is unoccupied.
In 2016 Whitsunday Regional Council introduced a second water billing option, the Allocation Tariff. However, Council has been forced to withdraw the opt-in water allocation option to ratepayers due a recent legal challenge outcome at another Queensland council.
Mayor Andrew Willcox delivered on an election promise by giving residential ratepayers a choice for their preferred water billing options as part of his council’s first budget.
“When the opt-in tariff was introduced in 2016, residents were legally able to choose between the then existing two-part tariff water tariff or opt-in to move to an allocation-based tariff,” he said.
“However, a recent legal decision against another Queensland Council has ruled any allocation-based tariff or seeking to levy charges for water in the manner contemplated by an allocation tariff, was invalid.
“Council did its due diligence, sought two legal opinions and was advised it should now avoid adopting water tariffs that do not involve a variable charge based directly on the amount of water used,” Mayor Willcox said.
“As the current state of the law is that the Council cannot offer an allocation-based water tariff, even on an opt-in basis, council has no choice but to bill all ratepayers using a two-part tariff.
“We will continue to monitor the legal challenge, which is under appeal, and should the court overturn the decision then council will immediately review again providing an opt-in water tariff,” Mayor Willcox said.
The Two-Part Tariff billing will apply to all residents from 1 July 2018, and will apply to water consumption in the 2018/2019 financial year.