Water pressure forces rate change
PUT away the champagne — Noel Thompson will celebrate a victory against the North Burnett Regional Council with a glass of water fresh from his tap.
Fed up with inconsistencies that meant some towns' residents and businesses were paying twice as much as their neighbours for water, the Eidsvold man launched a campaign to equalise the charges.
“I have a little shop in the main street of Eidsvold, and the only water I use there is flushing the toilet and washing my hands a couple of times a day,” he said.
“But I get charged $700 for water — if my shop was in the main street of Gayndah, it would only be about $300.”
He said the theatre in Eidsvold, which was only open for a few hours every Friday night, was also slugged the $700 fee.
“The only time anyone is ever in there is when I put on movies on a Friday night,” Mr Thompson said.
Under the former shire councils, the major towns of the North Burnett — Gayndah, Mundubbera, Monto, Biggenden, Mt Perry and Eidsvold — had different systems for paying for water.
These systems were kept when the amalgamated councils became the North Burnett Regional Council.
Mr Thompson argued that the whole North Burnett region should be switched to a two-part tariff, where both businesses and residential property owners would pay an access fee and a charge per kilolitre.
“Gayndah, Mundubbera and Monto already have that system, where they are only paying for the water they use,” Mr Thompson said.
North Burnett Mayor Joy Jensen said the council saw the merit of Mr Thompson's suggestion.
“We will be bringing in the two-part system with an access charge and a water usage charge,” Cr Jensen said.
“That means the water charges will be the same across all the towns, so Biggenden, Mt Perry and Eidsvold will be brought into line. We believe it is a fairer system to pay for what you use.”
She said the new system would take effect when the council's new budget was enacted on July 27.