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28/11/19 Mayor backs Council’s decision to apply Tier 1 water charges to Swickers

The matter of water charges for urban householders is based on the size of the connection to the property and the volume of water used.  In the case of commercial property the same applies relative to the size of the water meter connection and the volume of water used.  

The principle in both cases is that there is a graduating charge when the volume of water used exceeds the limit of usage that applies to that property.  The purpose of the increasing tariff is to discourage the excess use of water that puts a level of strain on Council’s water treatment plant as well as stored water volumes.

South Burnett Regional Council Mayor Keith Campbell explained “In the case of Swickers, water is an essential ingredient to enable production and to provide ongoing employment which contributes to the region’s economy.  With the current dry conditions, Swickers have exhausted their own on-site water supplies.    They have initiated practices, where possible, to utilize minimum quantities of water in their processing, and have done everything possible to use water as effectively and efficiently as possible.  Council commends the efforts they employ to achieve this result.”

“The resolution that was passed at the November 2019 Council Meeting is the same in context as was passed for water usage during the preceding two years.  It recovers treatment costs and ratepayers are not disadvantaged.  It acknowledges that Swickers have done everything possible to be as efficient and effective as possible in their factory.  Their use of water from the town supply is not likely to reduce until heavy and sustained rains occur.  Council acknowledges that the draw from the town’s supply will be dependent on rain to fill the aquafers so they can use their own water supplies to supplement their needs to run the factory.  From the perspective of Council, respecting the economic worth of the Swickers / Sun Pork enterprise to this region, there is no appetite from this Council to profit from the hardship that is being experienced,” Mayor Campbell said.

Mayor Campbell said, “The report accompanying the recommendation presented to the Council Meeting last week was well explained.  The motion to continue to charge Tier 1 for the first 20,000 kilolitres of water used in each six month period was carried unanimously.” 

An explanation on water charges can be found here.

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