Utility to invest $341m in projects

IT'S only a dollar but Ipswich residents will splash out less for water than last year after Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) released its pricing structure.

While Brisbane's water and sewerage bill will increase by $61.26 from July, Ipswich residents will save, on average, $1.06 based on household water use of 149kL.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said it was “great news for Ipswich, especially at a time when people are hurting”.

“When I was informed about it I was over the moon,” Cr Pisasale said.

“We're getting a massive amount of infrastructure in the region as well so we're getting the best of both worlds.”

Lockyer Valley residents will save about $48.52 while Scenic Rim residents' bills will fall by $22.

QUU chief executive Noel Faulkner said that was despite the State Government's bulk water charge increasing by about $40 on all bills.

Across all regions, the average bill for next year will swell by $49.55, or 5.02%, to $1035.95.

“We have listened to our customers and understand the pressure the rising cost of living is putting on household budgets,” Mr Faulkner said.

“Queensland Urban Utilities has developed a fair and reasonable 2011-12 pricing structure, that we believe achieves a balance between the cost of providing quality water and reliable wastewater services with the needs of our existing and growing customer base.

“We have been able to achieve this despite the January floods which destroyed or damaged a third of our water and wastewater infrastructure, and cost $63 million to repair.”

He said QUU also had reduced water access charges, and a flat fee of $280 had been introduced across the Ipswich, Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley and Somerset regions for residential customers.

Mr Faulkner said QUU would invest $341.43 million in the next 12 months on more than 85 separate projects in Brisbane, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and Somerset council areas.

They include upgrades to sewage treatment plants at Goodna and Rosewood and the eastern regional treatment plant in the Lockyer Valley.

Queensland Urban Utilities water pricing schedule for 2011-2010 includes:

Brisbane – average overall 2011-12 bill: $61.26 or 6.47% increase to $1008.71.

Lockyer Valley – average overall 2011-12 bill: $48.52 or 4.50% decrease to $1029.49.

Scenic Rim – average overall 2011-12 bill: $22 or 1.78% decrease to $1214.79.

Somerset (Esk) – average overall 2011-12 bill: 39 cents or 0.03% decrease to $1166.21.

Somerset (Kilcoy) – average overall 2011-12 bill: $45.49 or 4.46% increase to $1064.61.

Ipswich water pricing breakdown includes:

Queensland Urban Utilities water charges: $41.42 decrease.

State Government bulk water charge: $40.68 increase.

Queensland Urban Utilities sewerage charge: 32 cents decrease.

Average overall 2011-12 bill: $1.06 or 0.09% decrease to $1207.50.