WATER WASTE: The statewide increase has been defended by the Queensland government.
WATER WASTE: The statewide increase has been defended by the Queensland government.

Water rates cash grab could hurt Southern Downs residents

NEWS that the Queensland government will be bumping up the price of water over the next month, has been labelled as a ‘cash cow’ by some Southern Downs residents.

The 3.5 per cent charge, set before the outbreak of coronavirus, is estimated to add 3.94 per quarter to the average bill.

For pensioner Carolyn Lamb, it was a cost the elderly population of Warwick would struggle to afford, with many already battling “state-high rates”.

“The Queensland government are just trying to think of anything they can to get money out of us,” she said.

“There are many Warwick pensioners that live from hand to mouth and don’t have anything behind them.

“Registration doesn’t get cheaper, and neither do other expenses in living. It really is an imposition on the part of the pensioner.”

Despite objections, the State Government has stood by the increase, with Deputy Premier Steven Miles saying the Government had used targeted measures to relieve financial pressures – pointing to the $200 in rebates they made available for households.

“That included $100 off their water bill,” he said.

“The decision we made was that the best way to relieve the financial pressure on households was that $200 rebate and that’s what we’ve implemented.”

It comes as Southern Downs Regional Council reveals a zero rates increase for 2020-2021, due to coronavirus.

Council Spokeswoman said council was not in a position to comment, as they were still finalising the 2020/2021 budget.


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