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2013 Water Pricing Submission

Have your say on the City of Gold Coast’s (the City's) water pricing submission. This submission sets out our investment priorities and revenues over two years from 2013 to 2015. It is provided to the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) which makes the final decision on our submission, including proposed revenues.

We know no one wants prices to increase and we’ve been working hard to minimise the impact on our customers by keeping our controllable operating costs as low as possible over the regulatory period.

What is the price monitoring submission?

Our 2013 price monitoring submission is a two year plan that outlines our proposed revenues, costs, investments and service standards for the 2013–14 to 2014-15 period.

  • It’s a summary of the costs, demands and prices we forecast that are required to deliver our services over this two year period.
  • The submission outlines how much it will cost to run our business, including maintenance and operational costs.
  • It also forecasts water demand, sets our customer service standards, and outlines our investments to cater for future growth and the renewal of ageing infrastructure to maintain service.
  • The submission proposes that revenues required to cover the expected costs of operating the City's water business do not exceed the maximum allowable revenue generated from water prices which will cover the expected costs of operating our business. This does not include bulk water prices which are set by Seqwater, our bulk water supplier.

What is the process?

The QCA ensures that the price monitoring review process is an open and transparent one, and that everyone has an opportunity to provide input.

The key milestones for the 2013 price review are:

  • City of Gold Coast price monitoring submission - 30 September 2013
  • Draft Report - 31 January 2014 
  • Responses to Draft Report - 28 February 2014
  • Final Report - 31 March 2014

The QCA, as the economic regulator for Queensland, will decide on final maximum allowable revenues and invited customer and stakeholder feedback prior to making its final decision.

Impact on residential customers

How will this impact me?

  • City of Gold Coast has finalised its 2013-14 budget and has kept price increases as low as possible. Our water and sewerage distribution and retail charges have increased by 2.1 per cent on 2012-13 prices in line with inflation.
  • The State bulk water price has increased by 11 per cent on 2012-13 prices. The bulk water price is the amount the City of Gold Coast pays for water that is then passed on to our customers.
  • Cost increases in the delivery of our water and sewerage services over the past year, including electricity and chemicals, have contributed to this increase.
  • A complete list of charges is available on the latest Water and sewerage pricing fact sheet.

What do I pay for?

Essential investments have been made in our local water and sewerage infrastructure such as:

  • extending and upgrading our water and sewerage network, which includes over 6000 kilometres of water and sewer pipes and pumps
  • reducing the amount of water lost through leaks and bursts 
  • replacing water and sewerage infrastructure at the end of its usable life.

Water quality is always a priority and we pump and transport over 50 billion litres of water every year to homes and businesses in our region, and monitor the quality of it 24 hours a day seven days a week.

Rain falls from the sky and it’s free. Why should I pay for it?

  • It may seem like water falls from the sky straight to your tap – however, you may not be aware of the extensive network of pipes, pumps and infrastructure required to deliver fresh water every day, and remove and treat sewage from over 240,000 homes and over 14,000 businesses in our region. We build and manage over $2.6 billion worth of pipes, pumps and sewage treatment plants keeping them in top working order to so we can deliver the water our customers want and remove the sewage they don’t.
  • There are numerous projects happening in our region right now that are either renewing, maintaining or expanding the water supply and sewerage network. While most of it is buried out of sight, it’s vital infrastructure and it does come at a cost. 

Support for our customers

  • We know that paying the water bill can be a burden which is why we offer payment plans and extensions for customers who are having trouble paying their bills.
  • The State Government Pensioner Rebate is applied to the City of Gold Coast water and sewerage rate notices using the conditions set down by the State Government.
  • City of Gold Coast recognises that customers may experience financial hardship (often due to circumstances beyond their control) which could affect their ability to meet the payment terms for their water and sewerage rate notices. Under our Hardship Policy, we may provide assistance to customers who are suffering from financial hardship or experiencing difficulty in paying water and sewerage rate notices.
  • Leakage relief - in cases where a concealed water leak has been found and repaired, the property owner can lodge an application to City of Gold Coast to claim relief from the water consumption charges and the sewage volume charges (relevant to non-residential customers only) under our Water Charge Remission for Concealed Leaks Policy.

What about water prices for 2014-15?

  • Tariff structures have not been reviewed for over 10 years.
  • City of Gold Coast is currently reviewing its tariff structures with the intention to implement reform in 2014-15.
  • The tariff review will involve customer consultation to gain an understanding of customers attitude towards tariff reform, their likely acceptance of proposed tariff options, and any changes that this might have to their water use behaviour.

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