Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Southern Downs Water Rates Could Skyrocket

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Southern Downs Water Rates Could Skyrocket

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Lester

SOUTHERN Downs ratepayers could see their water rates rise by more than $100 each year for the next decade, according to a document tabled in State Parliament this week.

The Queensland Audit Office report found Southern Downs Regional Council asset sustainability would decline in the next 10 years.

A case study revealed it would cost the council $46.2million to replace council-owned water assets over the next 10 years, compared to the $18.9million the council could afford to spend in the planned renewal forecast, a discrepancy of $27.3million.

In 2022-23, the asset register indicates 42% of water pipes will have reached the end of their useful lives, but SDRC is not forecasting corresponding renewals as it does not know the pipes' condition.

The study concluded the council would need to raise water rates by 19% per rateable property per year for 10 years to fund the shortfall or risk not supplying drinking water. …

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