Water bills are set to double

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Water bills could more than double by 2040 unless steps are taken to reform Australia’s urban water, Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive Philip Davies has warned.

Mr Davies said fundamental changes must be made to the governance and regulation of Australia’s urban water markets.

“Unless we act now, we will soon start to experience rising water bills, high taxes or a decline in service quality,” Mr Davies said.

Modelling commissioned by Infrastructure Australia shows that without action a typical residential water and sewerage bill could be higher than $2500 in today’s money by 2040.

The urban water sector has a strong track record of providing clean and safe water to more than 20 million people. But the ageing infrastructure which it relies on is costly to maintain and is being put under further strain by climate change and our growing and changing cities.

“If Australians want continued access to safe, reliable and affordable water in the future, we need to begin a staged approach to reforming the sector now – starting with a new national urban water reform plan,” Mr Davies said.

Mr Davies said that while reforms of this scale will take time to be rolled out, it is important that our governments get on with the task of initiating reforms now.

“Across Australia many of our dams are relatively full, which gives us a rare window of opportunity for clear thinking and long-term planning to meet our future needs,” he said.

“Now is the time for governments to get on with the job of bringing urban water policy, regulation and governance up to speed so that it can meet the changing needs of Australians in the 21st century,” Mr Davies said.

Infrastructure Australia has recommended improvements to long-term planning and pricing frameworks, and enhanced collaboration between regulators.

Read Infrastructure Australia’s full report on urban water services.

Are you worried about the rising cost of utilities? Could you afford to pay an annual water bill of $2500? What would that mean for your retirement budget?

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Written by Ben


Total Comments: 83
  1. 0

    Propaganda to prepare us for rises they’ve got planned from another political appointee in the pocket of the government bent on raping us of every spare cent.

    We already pay two thirds of our water bill here (having come off tank water) for ‘connection’ – meaning that two thirds is supposed to go to infrastructure maintenance and upgrading…. at least in part… they already get enough.

    Instead it goes to padding the super fund for the shiny-arsed office boys and girls they employ, new cars, fine income packages, and so forth, rather than solid work on behalf of the people.

    You could also add that the flow-on (sic) effect from raped power costs plays a part in maintaining pressure in the system…. when power goes up it costs more to move water…. funny how that works…. same with everything else that goes through the roof. When the trucks have to use ‘private roads’ and pay tolls, that adds to the cost as well… many other things apply such as rising costs of earning a living/forced to use toll roads etc/rising costs for train fares = upward pressure on incomes….. you may say that each of this is relatively small in itself, but the cumulative effect in every way is relentless, since each has a ‘flow-on effect’.

    • 0

      Blame labor
      Rudd should have spent our billions on upgrading infrastructure instead of pissing it in the wind

    • 0

      Typical government sponsored response Raphael. You sound just like the PM and his nasty nasty attacks on Labor…whilst the crooked behaviour of his side is acceptable.

      I pretty well agree Trebor. Of course infrastructure needs to be updated and I can acknowledge that the pipes in SYdney have been on the brink of failure for decades. This is a genuine issue.
      The issue I have with government, any government, involvement in providing services is that they seem to have become commercial enterprises where CEO are on the same merry go round as their commercial cousins. Pegging salaries seems to have gone by the way and consumers are the sacrificial lambs whether they can pay or otherwise.
      If water gets too pricy I’ll disconnect and use my own water. Electricity is already heading that way and only thing stopping me is the current price of batteries. When these fall the coal industry can p*ss off as I will put at least one nail in that coffin and hope that my fellow Australians will follow suit if they can afford the investment.
      It is a sign of our society that big business is taking over. The want it all, including slaves as employees, Its an interesting new world. We’ll survive the holocaust before people wake up to who they vote for but I suspect average people will need more pain before they abandon both sides of politics and do what sections of Europe does: vote for Independents who are not puppets for the top end of town.
      We live in a world in a state of flux so hang onto your seats.

    • 0

      For heavens sake, Raphael, stop sounding like a stupid LNP politician – capable of NOTHING other than blaming Labor for everything. The LNP has wasted far more than Rudd could possibly waste in 50 lifetimes!

    • 0

      Blame the Lieberals. They spend little on infrastructure at the best of times.

    • 0

      Liberals would rather spend Billions on replacing perfectly good stadiums such as their recently proposed plan in Sydney – wonder if the construction companies are giving back (to the Liberals)?

      This is the beginning of a push for Privatisation of the only public utility which actually works efficiently and increases prices within CPI – how can the politicians & greedy companies let this continue?
      Agree with MICK – vote for Independents and vote last in preferences all current sitting Liberal, Labor & Greens seat-warmers – they need a real shake-up to start thinking about the people.

  2. 0

    The hiving off of our water resources into Water Corporations instead of under the old Council umbrella has paved the way for privatisation of the water resources.

    Foreign Corporations have a track record of selling water from third world countries to the highest bidders, in this case probably China.

    Once privatised and in foreign hands the costs will escalate higher than $2400 a year.

    No different than roads, electricity, fuel, medical, education etc. Once in private hands only the wealthy will be able to afford water.

    The UK was a perfect example of how selling water can become a nightmare for the poor and those on fixed incomes.

    • 0

      Short of People Power, how do we stop this rot, Rae?

    • 0

      This one we may have to fight TREBOR.

      I know most Australians are apathetic and often don’t complain until the fat lady is singing but as with electricity we will be told. I still see one of those union signs warning about electricity prices at the netball high on a pole.

      People power really is the only way. It’s tiring them into action that is the hard part.

      If the water is sold then tanks will be the only solution for those who can afford them.

    • 0

      Once upon a time every house in the suburbs had a water tank which was very useful in keeping most the storm water out of the water pipes and keeping the gardens growing even when there was no rain for weeks on end.
      These days it is only those in rural areas who have tanks as it is their only water supply for the family.
      The comments about the dangers of using water from tanks for household use are already circulating, describing in grim detail all the nasties that lurk in the water tanks just waiting to make everyone sick who uses the water.
      I’ve lived on tank water all my life without any problems, the only time water has caused problems for me was in the city with all the chlorine and other rubbish used to”purify” the drinking water.

    • 0

      Likewise, AutumnOz. And my kids never had fluoride in their water but have perfect teeth. Our council banned tanks and made everyone take them out and dump them, but then they ruled that everyone had to have one and we all had to put them in again, but only for gardens, toilets and laundry. It’s not permitted to use tank water in the kitchen or for bathing or teeth cleaning. And there is connection fee just to have the water on, so even if you use very little you still pay a lot. Might have to move back to a rural property where they aren’t constantly telling you how to run your life and charging an arm and a leg for your compliance.

    • 0

      My thoughts exaccery, Rainey…. might move back bush….

  3. 0

    Water is Australia’s most precious commodity. I think we all know that. Already the government is charging farmers for rainwater they collect in their dams built at their own expense. The Queensland government is talking about gifting billions of litres of water to adani for a mine the majority Australian population does not want! The government is also pursuing the so called benefits of fracking by holding “enquiries” into the risks of such activities that threaten our water reservoirs. Overseas experience of fracking has proved the risks are real and they are dicing with clean water supplies into the future. The protective casing they use through which chemicals are forced will gradually deteriorate with time and release the chemicals into our water reservoirs permanently!! Our government is relentless in its attempts to force us into accepting this diabolical risk, what they see in the short term is financial gain and the empty promise to bring our budget into surplus during the term of this government is just another furphy. We need a government who has the wisdom to look into our long term future, stop selling us out, increase production and manufacturing, stop turning us into a third world country and keep our precious water safe for future generations!

  4. 0

    I ask HOW the hell can these mongrel Governments PROMISE the likes of the Adani mine UNLIMTED water for 60 to 70 years — when they are wanting to charge us a fortune AND Aust’has never had unlimited water — NO ONE can live without WATER
    There is also Talk of charging for water collected in Dams AND Tank in fac.t they are doing that in some areas

  5. 0

    Lets STOP CEO and upper management taking all the golden eggs and Faberge eggs get them on a realistic salary ESPECIALLY as they don’t manage the infrastructure properly ….
    Look at all the burst water pipes.
    And heard SA Water blokes complaining about not enough staff……
    One day a bloke worked 14 hrs went home for 2 hours and was ordered back for an emergency!!!!!!!!!
    Most of our water bill is a hidden government tax on property
    Think about it. Look at your bill ; it is nit your usage but the tax which is exorbitant….

  6. 0

    Got nothing to do with water its government hidden tax!!!!!!

  7. 0

    By 2040! I expect to be dead by then; to double my water bill would really hurt. At present it is over $300.00 per quarter I’m single, live in a retirement village without water meters on our units i.e. we share a common bill. There are those among us that waste water. My bill shows that my single person usage is three times higher than others in the district. Nothing I can do about it; voting at meetings vote for no meters. There is a majority of couples here.

  8. 0

    Monsanto has had it’s dirty beady eyes on Australia’s water for about 15 years. There plan is to use supertankers to ship our water to the highest bidder. Bet very few of the pollies would even squeak in protest.

    • 0

      Squeak? They’d stand back and applaud while waiting for their ‘retirement’ job with Monsanto…

      Politics was always a dirty business here – but it is much worse these days than I recall.. at least once they had the decency to hide their daylight robbery.

  9. 0

    Never ever believe the goverment when it says privatisation will make competition and make it cheaper. Just blatant lies and they know it.kowtowingto business that’s all it isselling the peoples utility’s .im sorry but al party’s are guilty of this theft and deceit of the people’s utilitys that should be affordable for all.

  10. 0

    STOP these clowns that think they are important from paying thenselves over the top wages then the price of water ((MIGHT)) go down,until this happens WE the australian public are screwed..RANT OVER..

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