Why the council is bumping up water and sewerage charges
DESPITE a promise of a zero per cent general rates increase, ratepayers can expect to see a rise in water charges on their next rates bill.
A 2.5 per cent increase to water and sewerage charges has been introduced in the Fraser Coast Regional Council's budget to help fund upgrades to the Aubinville Sewage Treatment Plant and Teddington Water Treatment Plant.
About $25.7 million has been allocated from the capital works spend to help upgrade both plants, including $2.89 million for the Aubinville upgrade and $2.4 million for a new treated water pumping station at Teddington.
Deputy mayor Darren Everard said the increase in water and sewerage charges would not drastically affect the average ratepayer.
"There will be a 2.5 per cent (increase) in water and sewerage, but that equates to around about $1.30 for the average property," Cr Everard said.
"The minimum rate works out to be about $21 a week.
"It comes down to the cost of replacing infrastructure, we've got some very old infrastructure in the ground that needs to be addressed.
"We do have a massive network and we need to replace that.
"The cost of chemicals and power and all of that, they go up and sadly they do need to be passed on."
Councillor Anne Maddern said the capital works allocation would focus on replacing ageing equipment and modernising the council's water and wastewater centres.
Those works include $900,000 to replace the Urraween water reservoir roof liner and $788,000 to start construction on the new Howard Sewage Treatment Plant.
"Our sewer lining program will continue with a $2.65 million allocation towards fixing breaks, cracks and leaks identified through inspections using remotely-operated cameras," Cr Maddern said.
"Relining allows the council to repair the sewers quickly and at a fraction of the cost of digging them up and replacing them."
The State Government has provided $245,000 through the Works for Queensland program to fund sewer lining in the Maryborough CBD.
The budget includes $1.5 million to continue replacing water meters throughout the region.