Letters to the editor

DRESSED: Barkly Highway SS are in the Workpac Best Dressed premises competition in the community section. Results will be announced Thursday. Photo: Alan Mathieson
DRESSED: Barkly Highway SS are in the Workpac Best Dressed premises competition in the community section. Results will be announced Thursday. Photo: Alan Mathieson

Mount Isa’s new water scheme

There have been conflicting stories on North West Star, ABC North West Queensland and Mount Isa City Council on the new water charge scheme.

Was this brought in because the public wanted it and Mount Isa City Council have been working on it for 12 months and they have done community engagement with various sporting groups and user groups?

Or is this the result of a court case and they have only had three months to work on it and there was no community engagement? It’s very confusing.

There is no doubt a public forum would have been the best course of action, but perhaps their reluctance was because they didn’t have all the answers on how it was going to be implemented. 

This seems evident as it’s already August and residents still haven't seen any official letters from the Mount Isa City Council to explain what's happening and how it will affect them. 

And yes, not everyone is on social media.

Since the council was voted in over two years ago, our rates have gone up 15 per cent.

In the 16/17 budget rates went up 9 per cent, in the 17/18 Budget it went up 2.9 per cent and 18/19 Budget 3 per cent.

For rates to jump 15 per cent in such a short time begs the question are the Mount Isa City Council living within their means? 

The council have sold this new water scheme on the pretext that if residents can keep their water allocation around 490kL you will save around $100. 

Then the council turn around in the 18/19 Budget and increase rates by 3pc. 

Isn’t that an extra $100 a year? 

We need a council that is clear, honest and transparent. 

We aren’t always going to like what we’re told, but we need to be confident we are getting the facts and being brought in to be part of the conversation.

I know that there is a lot of residents who have paid very expensive rates and water in the past and they are extremely hopeful this is going to be a saving for them. 

I really hope it is and the best course of action going forward is to ring the council and find out what you water meter size is? 

Will it stay the same size? 

What your water allocation was last year? 

Then do the sums, Access Charge plus $0.87 kL x last years usage.

There is a new Isa Rate Payers Facebook page that anyone can comment on, we are hoping to capture how many people are worse or better off under the new water scheme so we can get a true indication of how this new scheme is affecting residents. 

The aim to to make sure that no resident or business feels alone or powerless, we are going to stand by them. 

As a community, we all need to speak up as silence can sometimes be seen as acceptance. The best thing we can do going forward, is all stick together as a community. 

We need everyone to benefit from the new water charge scheme.

Danielle Slade, Mount Isa

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