QCA puts water price policy back to councils

By REN LANZONnewsroom@gladstoneobserver.com.au

THE Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) has thrown the water pricing issue back into the councils' court, saying they decide what they charge their customers.

QCA chairman Darryl McDonough said the 'Gladstone Area Water Board: Investigation of Pricing Practices' report was a draft designed to draw comment.

'The councils are not compelled by anything we (the QCA) have done to charge maximum prices,' he said.

'It's a draft prepared for the Premier and Treasurer and the public comments we receive will be added to it.'

On Friday The Observer asked Mr McDonough a question that was raised at a recent meeting in Mt Larcom last week and since then ? why didn't the QCA send a representative to the meeting?

Both Calliope Shire Council and GAWB had representatives present.

Mr McDonough said he could not attend 'because of personal reasons'. He said his chairmanship position was part time and he had been given two days notice of the meeting.

Gladstone mayor Peter Corones said he was not willing to enter into any banter with Mr McDonough.

'We have prepared a submission on the QCA draft recommendations and have forwarded it to the QCA by email by the due date,' he said.

Calliope Shire mayor George Creed said council would pass on the cost charged for the water by GAWB which accepts the price set by the QCA.

'The QCA draft report is our one and only chance to comment on the water pricing,' he said.

'It's too late to comment when the final report goes to the Premier and Treasurer for adoption.'

On Friday Mr McDonough agreed to receive a list of questions prepared by the Gladstone Observer and said he would examine them for the purpose of answering them if he was in a position to do so.



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