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Modern utilities infrastructure delivers value for money reliability

21 June 2017

Council Spokesperson for Utilities Cr Peter Saxelby inspecting the state-of-the-art $17.2 million Chinchilla Water Treatment Plant that will provide quality water to a population of 7,325 allowing for future growth as well as generating its own power through solar technology.

Council Spokesperson for Utilities Cr Peter Saxelby inspecting the state-of-the-art $17.2 million Chinchilla Water Treatment Plant that will provide quality water to a population of 7,325 allowing for future growth as well as generating its own power through solar technology.

With no increase to water volumetric charges for the second year running and only moderate increases to water and sewerage access charges, Western Downs Regional Council ratepayers continue to enjoy value for money reliability of one of the State’s most efficient utility networks.

  • Over the last six years Council has strategically invested in critical regional infrastructure with more than a dozen high quality large-scale projects now operational across the Western Downs;
  • The $17.2 million Chinchilla Water Treatment Plant was the final project delivered under Council’s Accelerated Capital Utilities Works Program, coming online this month;
  • Despite only having 0.6% of Queensland’s population, Western Downs Regional Council has 5.2% of the State’s water treatment plants, 2.5% of its sewerage treatment plants and 6.4% of its water pumping stations;
  • Based on Queensland Water Directorate’s benchmarking of Local Government water and sewerage operators, Council operates some of the most reliable water and sewerage plants in the State;
  • Compared to other towns in Southern Queensland, ratepayers in the Western Downs generally pay lower general rates and utility charges.

Council Spokesperson for Utilities Councillor Peter Saxelby said research undertaken by Council showed that its average water and sewerage bills per residential property were among the lowest in Queensland.

“Independent benchmarking by the Queensland Water Directorate reports Western Downs Regional Council’s average water and sewerage bill per residential property as the lowest in the State, for local governments with more than 10,000 connections,” he said.

“They also reported that Council was one of the few wastewater treatment plant operators that had no sewerage overflows due to capability, blockages, breakdowns or flooding.

“We were also well above the State median for water main breaks, reporting only 21 breaks per 100 kilometres of mains which is a great outcome considering local soil conditions.

“Operating 5.2% of the State’s water treatment plants within one region; it’s not surprising that Council does not make any economic return on its water or sewerage assets.

“We do however provide residential ratepayers with comparably low cost access to an extremely reliable and high quality water and wastewater network.

“With this year’s $50 increase to both water and wastewater access, our ratepayers will continue to pay lower utility charges compared to other towns in Southern Queensland.”

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Media Contact:
Cr Peter Saxelby | Spokesperson for Utilities | 0475 007 554