Bulk water costs equals high retail prices: LGAQ

Steep hikes in water charges in southeast Queensland (SEQ) over the past three years were due to the high price the State Government placed on bulk water from dams and other sources, a comprehensive new study has revealed, the Local government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has said.
The Association said a study, by economic consultancy firm AECgroup found that high charges for the region's bulk water was the major contributor to the price rise hitting residents.
AECgroup forecasts that the average retail water bill in southeast Queensland will climb to nearly $1350 a year by 2017, a 190 percent increase on bills in 2007 when the State Government introduced its water reforms.
“By this time, bulk water costs will make up about 65 percent of the total bill,” LGAQ president Paul Bell said.
“The objective analysis of the factors driving water price increases in the region should put an end to the blame game over who is responsible for such sharp increases in the cost of living in southeast Queensland.
"This report has established that increased bulk water charges were a significant contributor to the sharp increases in water bills that have caused so much pain recently."
Cr Bell said the report found that of the near 67 percent increase in average SEQ water bills over the past three years, two thirds of it was due to bulk water price rises.
About 22 percent of the price rises were due to higher distribution and retail costs.
Bulk water, supplied by the State, includes water from dams as well as the Gold Coast desalination facility.

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