Gary Burridge
Gary Burridge

Water war is still on the boil

THEY'VE been locked in a battle over water pricing for months and agree on almost nothing, but the Richmond Valley Council and the Northern Co-operative Meat Company do agree Tuesday's council decision to charge the co-op $1.19 a kilolitre will impact on other water users.

"The community needs to understand that the council decision effectively forces the Northern Co-operative Meat Company out of the council water supply system," co-op general manager Gary Burridge said.

"In doing so council has indicated an increase to the average ratepayer's water bill in the order of 30%, or at a minimum $118."

Council general manager Brian Wilkinson noted that in making the decision to charge the co-op $1.19 a kilolitre, the council did not decide to adjust charges for other users for 2011/12.

However based on a charge of $1.19 a kilolitre, and with the co-op consuming 900 megalitres in 2011/12, he did say the decision would leave the council short on revenue of $44.68 per typical residential bill.

Mr Wilkinson also agreed if the co-op builds its own treatment plant and withdraws from the council's supply the unit price for water would increase to $2.40 and the average residential bill by $118 if the council was to achieve full cost recovery.

"(However) An additional saving would be realised without the need to augment the Casino water treatment plant, which would reduce the unit cost," he said.



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