Second draft sought for QCA water pricing policy

A GLADSTONE Area Water Board director says it would be a great injustice if the water pricing policy was ratified without a second draft.

Calliope Shire Councillor Warren Dinte, one of four councillors from Calliope and Gladstone councils on the board of GAWB, said the Queensland Competition Authority's response to a recent questionnaire was flawed.

'I was absolutely amazed by what (CQA chairman) Darryl McDonough said in his reply,' he said.

In a reply to a Gladstone Observer questionnaire Mr McDonough said some details on how it applied its pricing model could not be revealed because it was 'commercially confidential' although "as much information as possible was provided to GAWB'.

'Is he saying even GAWB has not been given all the information on which the QCA based its indicative pricing?' Cr Dinte asked.

Cr Dinte also took issue with Mr McDonough's claims that GAWB was not provided with the QCA pricing model because the QCA's policies and those of the GAWB had to be prepared differently as they did not have common outcomes.

Cr Dinte said the common goal was to have a minimum price to maintain a commercially viable business. He said the QCA got it wrong in its 2002 report when it recommended an indicative price for Mt Larcom of more than $5000.

'The QCA had used outdated and incorrect information, it had no history of the asset and made wrong assumptions which it fed into the Mt Larcom price.

'What steps did QCA take this time to ensure they are in possession of all relevant information to put into their model to get the indicative price?' (The latest indicative price for Mt Larcom is nearly $9000).

He said because the QCA provided no supporting material with the indicative prices 'no one really knows if the prices are reliable so what is the point of releasing them?'

He said Mr McDonough was also wrong in saying the councillor members of the board were council representatives, because none of the directors represented their nominating entities.

'Council-nominated directors have to walk a fine line and are prohibited from disclosing information that comes to their knowledge as a director.'

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