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.
"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.
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.
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