Lee Duffield

Edited by Lee Duffield
Freedom and Truth

Unhappy Sunshine Coast residents talk with water boss

More than 400 unhappy Sunshine Coast residents attended a forum addressing rising water prices.

Frustrated residents filled Lake Kawana Community Centre on Monday night, where they challenged Unitywater CEO, Jon Black, on the accuracy of their water bills.

Paul Westbury of Commerce Avenue was one of these residents.

SEQ residents unhappy due to increased water bills. Source: freedigitalphotos.net

SEQ residents unhappy due to increased water bills. Source: freedigitalphotos.net

“We got our water bill for our industrial shed and it totalled $427. Out of that $12 of it was for water, so that left $415 for sewage,” he said at the meeting.

“In that billing period I only did two number twos, so that was $207.50 each. My question is do you think that is extortion,” he asked.

Anna Bligh has accused councils of being dishonest with their communities about water control.

However, Member for Kawana, Jarrod Bleijie, said the blame should be on the state government since they took over the council’s water infrastructure program in 2007.

“We now have a situation that the state thought they would run it better than the councils. Clearly that’s not the case,” he said.

“They have now set up these water entities and people have been hit heavily with high consumption and high water charges, quite considerably higher than those in the past.”

Mr Bleijie said the Bligh government has been ignoring public upset on the issue.

“The government have shown a complete disregard for the community expectation and the wishes of the community on this,” he said.

A vote of no confidence in the Department of Natural Resources and the Bligh Government was passed at the forum.

The residents are also very dissatisfied with the company, Unitywater.

“We were quite happy with the way we were being charged before. Now what is the process for dismantling Unitywater and going back to the previous way,” resident Peter Carey asked.

A motion was moved to dismantle the company which Mr Bleijie said he supports.

“The great thing about democracy is we all have a view and that’s the view I’ll be taking to my party room because that’s what I have been told to do last night by this community,” he said.

Mr Bleijie said he’ll put this position to the opposition rank and file members.

Minister for the Department of Natural Resources, Stephen Robertson, was unavailable for comment.