MidCoast Water will move forward on projects outlined in their 30 year plan, Our Water Our Future, during the coming financial year, with funds to be invested into the construction of a second water scheme for the Manning and Great Lakes communities.
Our Water Our Future provides a sustainable strategic plan for how MidCoast Water will provide water related services to our community over the coming decades. In that plan a number of key elements of the future are outlined, including securing water supplies – an area that has received some attention in the organisation’s draft operational plan and budget for 2016-17.
General Manager, Ken Gouldthorp, said the coming year will see MidCoast Water commit an additional $5 million, on top of the $15 million spent to date, towards the construction of the $34 million Nabiac Inland Dune Aquifer Water Supply Scheme.
“This project is designed to provide an alternative water source to the 36,000 Manning and Great Lakes customers currently reliant on the Manning River for their water supply.”
“This project has attracted $9.6 million in Federal Government subsidy.”
“Our focus on maintenance will continue, with a $3.5 million proposed allocation to our ongoing program to renew water and sewer mains across our service area,” Mr Gouldthorp said.
“We will also begin planning for the replacement of the Gloucester Sewage Treatment Plant and have included $190,000 to complete the upgrade of the Gloucester Water Treatment,” he said.
Planning funds have been proposed to upgrading the Bootawa Dam spillway and major water mains
renewal for the Taree CBD.
New water and sewer charges
MIDCOAST Water proposes to introduce limited increases to rates and charges for the 2016-17 year, with the average bill increasing 3.7 per cent.
The proposed new charges, from July 1, will be $3.15 per kilolitre (thousand litres) for the first 50 kilolitres per quarter.
Water usage above 50 kilolitres per quarter will be charged at $3.52 per kilolitre.
There will be no increases to the charges levied for sewer services.
The average customer will experience a $14 per quarter increase in their water access and charges, however high water usage customers could face larger increases.
“While there is an increase on last year’s prices, for the average customer it equates to about $1 per week,” Mr Gouldthorp said.
“Those who choose to use more water will have to pay more under the two-tier usage charge, a system recommended by the State Government to encourage customers to reduce consumption.”
Community encouraged to have their say
MEMBERS of the community are encouraged to have their say on MidCoast Water’s draft operational plan and budget by making a submission during the formal public exhibition period.
The draft operational plan and budget are currently on display at MidCoast Water customer service centres in Muldoon Street, Taree and Breese Parade Forster and Gloucester Shire Council chambers in King Street, Gloucester as well as on the MidCoast Water website www.midcoastwater.com.au
Submissions from the general community are welcome, and will be accepted until 5pm on Wednesday May 10, 2016.