“Unfair, unreasonable and illogical” is what Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) councillor Juanita Wilson called the new water pricing recommendation handed down by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).
WaterNSW has asked IPART to raise the cost of raw water for the region, meaning Tamworth, Moonbi and Kootingal residents could pay 10 times more than the people of the Murrumbidgee region.
In their ordinary meeting on Tuesday, the council approved a firm submission to contest IPART, arguing that water costs should be equal “no matter where you live”.
The submission will request an investigation into groundwater holders in the Peel Valley region who do not pay WaterNSW, as well as the need for a postage stamp price across the state.
Councillor Mark Rodda announced in the Tuesday meeting how “insignificant our region must be” to the State government, to propose such an increase in water costs after having just endured a suffering drought, water shortages and water mismanagement, fires, and COVID-19.
“How sad to be belted by the government in such a nasty manner” said Mr Rodda.
The council will write to Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson in a bid to gain support in having the recommended costs of raw water reduced, and certainly not increased by 40 per cent.
Under the new draft pricing, water from the State government operated Chaffey Dam will cost more than 48 times the cost of water from the council managed Dungowan Dam. That’s $253.55 per megalitre from Chaffey Dam, compared to $5.25 per megalitre from Dungowan Dam.