‘A slap in the face’: Gladstone water prices hiked 16%
GLADSTONE Regional Council has cited budget restrictions for adopting the Gladstone Area Water Board’s 16 per cent price increase on Awoonga Dam water.
From 2021, Gladstone residents who use water from Awoonga will be charged $2.13 per kilolitre.
This price hike represents a $0.30 or 16 per cent increase on its current price of $1.83, which Deputy Mayor Kahn Goodluck said he simply could not get his head around.
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“All you have to do is turn on the TV and watch any news channel to understand how much financial strain not only Australians, but people internationally are under,” Cr Goodluck said.
“I don’t understand the decision and call on the Gladstone Area Water Board to explain the price rise to the residents which use Awoonga Dam for their water supply.
“It is not a Gladstone Regional Council charge - it is a charge that we pass onto our constituents on behalf of the Water Board so I would ask they do their part and explain it to the community.”
Councillor Glenn Churchill was in a more relaxed state of mind regarding the price hike, despite another potential hike happening in the near future.
“I think we all anticipated something, didn’t we?” Cr Churchill asked.
“I mean let’s deal with it at this stage, we were quite well aware there was going to be a price increase.
“I am concerned about the next round of price increases, which we aren’t well aware of.”
An emotional Councillor Chris Trevor said he found GAWB’s justification for a price increase, which they said stemmed from a Queensland Competition Authority, very hard to justify.
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“As a member of the community I watched each and every day during the COVID crisis, good men and women of this community do what they’ve always done, get up and go to work and come home safely,” Cr Trevor said.
“I just see this price increase as a major slap in the face for the good men and women of this community who stood up during the COVID crisis, who got up and went to work every day and will now suffer the pain of a tax on a commodity that everyone has to consume to survive.”
The council resolved to write to the new Minister for Water, and coincidentally the Member for Gladstone, Glenn Butcher, to request GAWB take a COVID concession on the price increase.