water prices will “go the way of power bills”
HOUSEHOLD water prices will “go the way of power bills” , rising by more than $50 a year for decades and double that by 2040 unless drastic action is taken, including privatising the utilities, says a government report to be released today.
Infrastructure Australia predicts average water bills will rise from $1200 to $2500 over the next 23 years and even hit $6000 a year by 2067.
The organisation blames population growth, ageing infrastructure , climate change and poor regulation for the projected skyrocketing costs – and warns Queensland’s high number of natural disasters could see it affected most.
IA executive director Adrian Dwyer said long-term planning needed to start now to stop water bills crippling family budgets.
“There’s a danger water bills could go the same way as power bills if we don’t reform,” he said. “A $2500 water bill will be a big impost on most family budgets.”
According to the report, a national body should be established , it should draw up a reform plan next year, then make changes to water price regulation over five years.
But long-term , it said a national regulator for water pricing , and selling off the assets, was needed to avoid bill shock.
This would save families $4135 over 23 years if the full plan was implemented. He said governments needed to act now to ensure reliable and affordable water into the future.
Copyright © 2017 The Courier Mail
Bulk water charges on your bill could rise by up to $80 for some
By Felicity Caldwell7 December 2017 - 08:59pm
The bulk water charge for the average household would be $488.80 or $489.44 by 2020-21, under the two options proposed by the Queensland Competition Authority.
- In 2008, the state government took over responsibility for bulk water supply from south-east Queensland councils.
- The 11 councils will be required to have a common bulk water price by no later than 2020-21.
One of the charges on south-east Queensland water bills would be up to $80 more expensive in three years under draft recommendations handed to the state government.
The Queensland Competition Authority is reviewing bulk water prices for customers in 11 council areas, in an attempt to reach a common price across south-east Queensland.
The Queensland Competition Authority has recommended new bulk water charges for south-east Queensland until 2020-21.Photo: Kirk Gilmour
Out of the 11 council areas, Sunshine Coast, Noosa and Redland City were yet to reach the common price, but all would be standardised by 2019-20 or 2020-21.
Under option one, the bulk water charge for an average south-east Queensland household would cost $488.80 per year by 2020-21, while option two would cost $489.44.
That was based on the indicative bulk water bill for an average household using 160 kilolitres per year.
For those in Sunshine Coast and Noosa councils, it would be an increase of about $71.
In Redland City Council, it would be an increase of about $80.
Under option one, the common price would reset in 2018-19 and then increase by inflation, and all council areas would pay the common price in 2019-20.
Under option two, increases for all council areas would be smoothed over the three-year priod and all council areas would pay the common price in 2020-21.
In south-east Queensland, water bills generally include three parts: the bulk water price, retailers' charges for water distribution and retail services to the premises and retailers' charges for providing sewerage services to the premises.
Quensland Competition Authority chairman Roy Green said the draft report recommending bulk water prices for south-east Queensland for 2018-21 had been presented to the state government.
"Under the first option, the current bulk water price for the eight councils paying the common price - Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Scenic Rim and Somerset - of $2.82 per kilolitre - would rise by 3.2 per cent in 2018-19 and 2.5 per cent in 2019-20," Professor Green said.
"Under the second option, the common price applying to the group of eight councils would rise by 2.8 per cent in each of the three years.
"A common price of $3.06 per kilolitre would apply to all 11 councils by 2020-21."
The second option would result in more gradual increases for Sunshine Coast, Noosa and Redland City councils over three years rather than two.
The Queensland government took over control of the bulk water supply from the region's councils in 2008.
To reduce the price impact of significant investments made in water infrastructure in response to low water availability, the government decided that bulk water price increases should be phased in over time.
To avoid an initial sharp price rise, prices were set to initially recover less than the cost of supplying bulk water, and gradually repay the deficit until 2028.
The QCA estimated Seqwater should be allowed to recover $8.1 billion in costs between 2018 and 2028.
The QCA completed its first full review of Seqwater's bulk water prices in 2015 and recommended prices until June 2018, with the Queensland government setting prices that were consistent with the recommendations.
People can comment on the draft report until January 31 at www.qca.org.au.
facts & figures
It is assumed that 90% of water used will also need to be treated as sewerage. This means that water used in the garden is charged a price to be delivered to the house (.644 cents per 1000 litres) and again when 90% of it is "treated" as sewerage, at the same price.
Queensland Competition Authority Fact Sheet - Retail water prices - Unity Water
The QCA found that residential bills for 2013–14 for a household using 200 kilolitres of water a year will increase by 17.8% in the Sunshine Coast, 28.0% in Caboolture, 25.3% in Pine Rivers and 38.8% in Redcliffe.
SEQWater Water Outlook for SouthEast
Water usage before the Millennuim Drought 330 litres per day.
At best during the drought it was 124 litres per day.
In November 2013 it was 128 litres per day.
SEQwater Water Outlook - water supplies
The region's water supplies are set to remain high throughout the 2013-13 summer despite forecasts of a hot summer and a dry wet season.
Queensland Government Department of Water and Energy - Bulk Water Prices
By 2017-18 all councils will pay the same bulk rate for water of $3217 per megalitre ($643 per household using 200kL of water per year).
The bureaucracy behind Queensland’s tariff rises
Bureaucratic cost pressures have contributed significantly to recent steep water tariff rises in South East Queensland, according to a report commissioned by the Local Government Association of Queensland.
Disestablishment of Unitywater - Preliminary financial assessment - 2011
Ernst & Young ("Consultant") was engaged on the instructions of Moreton Bay Regional Council ("Client") to provide assistance with the financial assessment of the potential transfer of Moreton Bay Regional Council's investment in Unitywater back to Moreton Bay Regional Counci