WASTE WATER: Connection fees will be equalised over the next three years.
WASTE WATER: Connection fees will be equalised over the next three years. Matthew Newton

One town wins big in council budget with huge fee reduction

A MOVE to level out wastewater charges will bring benefits for some and woe for others, but Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie says it's only fair.

Southern Downs councillors yesterday voted in their 2018-19 budget, which will see wastewater charges equalised across the Southern Downs region over a three-year period.

By 2022, Southern Downs residents on a sewage system will pay $710 across the board.

For regions where a Common Effluent Drainage system (CED) is used, the equalised figure will be $535.

For Warwick residents, the changes will mean paying $52 more by the end of 2021.

But other parts of the Southern Downs met the news with a smile.

The changes mark an total reduction of $204 each year for Killarney residents, which is no minor drop in the ocean according to Jane Heron.

Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Tracy Dobie observes the new Warwick Water Treatment Plant Clarifier at Glen Rd.
Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Tracy Dobie observes the new Warwick Water Treatment Plant Clarifier at Glen Rd.

"I really welcome that and it does seem to me like we pay more rates out here when the services aren't really that different,” Mrs Heron said.

Southern Downs mayor Tracy Dobie said it was about creating equality across the region.

"Why should the charges be any different to the services you are getting in another part of the region,” the mayor said.

But Wallangarra resident Pauline East said the services were not equally delivered.

Warwick waste water charges will increase slightly over three years as the council moves to equalised waste-water rates.
Warwick waste water charges will increase slightly over three years as the council moves to equalised waste-water rates.

Mrs East said she has "never seen” the Wallangarra CED system flushed out in her street since it was installed.

"They say they maintain it, but it is not maintained in every house,” Mrs East said.

"For the price they are charging us, we are getting ripped off.”

Waste collection rates will be the next charge to be equalised under the new waste management plan.

Wallangarra residents say they are not getting an equal service.
Wallangarra residents say they are not getting an equal service.

2018-19 WASTE WATER CHARGES

Warwick residential: $696

Warwick residential CED: $540

Stanthorpe residential: $658

Stanthorpe residential CED: $598

Killarney residential CED: $ 736

Wallangarra residential CED: $524

Dalveen residential CED: $540


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