Mount Isa City Council has buckled to public pressure and is now offering massive concessions on water access charges.
Residents with big metres are set to save thousands of dollars a year on their water bills.
In July, Mount Isa City Council changed the way it charges for water.
Residents now pay a base charge to access water on top of a consumption charge.
The base charge depended on the size of your water meter.
People with smallest meter (20mm) were charged $1130 a year to access water and people with 100mm meters were forced to cough up $28,250.
But now council has given the green light to concessions which will see residents with water meters up to 100mm pay $1130 – a drop of more than $27,000 a year.
Mayor Joyce McCulloch said council would now offer a concession on owner occupied residential properties who have a water meter larger than 20mm.
“The concessional access charge will be the same as for a 20mm water meter irrespective of the actual water meter size, and we’ve done this on the basis that to require the ratepayer to pay the full charges in these circumstances would result in hardship,” Cr McCulloch said.
Former Labor candidate for Traeger Danielle Slade called for council to consider this action at Wednesday’s council meeting – but was told the matter had already been workshopped.
There was huge public outcry in July when council converted to a two-tier charging system without holding formal public consultation.
People were left confused as to why households paid different access charges.
At the time, council said people with bigger meters were charged more because “different size meters operate on different infrastructure” and because other councils used the same scale.
“Council has listened to community concerns around this and we have spent much time workshopping these issues and we will continue to do so,” Cr McCulloch said.
“We do understand the issues around making the change to a new water charging method, and while it is necessary to do so, we are continually taking the information we receive from correspondence from and meetings with our residents and doing what we can to ensure a good outcome for the community.”
Residents who have paid water access charges for rating period due on or before Thursday October 11 and now eligible for concession can apply for a refund or have credit applied to their account.
There are some conditions around the concession and you can read more at council here.
For more information, please contact Council on 4747 3200 or visit www.mountisa.qld.gov.au