Elders Real Estate principal Lester Wheatley has demanded council investigate Deniliquin's exceedingly high water bills.CASS SAVELLIS May 20, 2014 4:00am
An investigation must be conducted on exceedingly high water bills delivered to Deniliquin ratepayers earlier this month.
That is the demand from Deniliquin Elders Real Estate principal Lester Wheatley, who says the increases cannot be blamed on high summer usage.
Mr Wheatley said with so many residents complaining about their high bills, it is a ‘‘matter that needs to be investigated’’.
Water bills were delivered on May 9 with some Deniliquin ratepayers reporting increases of more than 400 per cent on previous charges to the Pastoral Times.
Mr Wheatley said his office had also fielded a surge in the number of complaints regarding the seemingly high water charges.
‘‘We look after a lot of properties and have been inundated with requests,’’ he said.
‘‘A significant number of those are irregular, based on previous consumption records. Some bills have increased three or four-fold.
‘‘The substantial nature of increasing water bills have started to become a significant cost issue.’’
Mr Wheatley said Deniliquin Council has an obligation to ensure Deniliquin residents get an explanation.
‘‘A person from council said that people don’t understand the system, well I say that council has then failed to communicate the method used to detect costs.’’
A local ratepayer, who asked to be referred to only as Jan, said Deniliquin Council’s summer usage explanation was just ‘‘lip service’’.
Jan, who has lived in Deniliquin for 50 years, said the significant rise in bills was ‘‘very, very frustrating’’.
‘‘Reading Tuesday’s paper, council said charges could have been from a hot summer .
‘‘Our gardens have computerised watering and it doesn’t change except when we turn it off in wet weather.
‘‘Our bill went from $70 to $320 – we said it must be wrong. When it does fluctuate we can pay roughly about $180.
‘‘One of my biggest concerns is how older people will go with this price rise. If they only have $100 dollars spare to play with and get a bill like this then what can they do?’’
With a proposed water charges increase yet to be adopted, Mr Wheatley has encouraged council to use common sense.
Mr Wheatley said having the fourth lowest charges in the state, according to a government report, does not justify an increase.
‘‘We live in a semi-arid area completely different to the coast or high rainfall areas,’’ he said.
‘‘We have different usage requirements at different times of the year. We need to make our own decision on what’s fair, reasonable and responsible in regards to water costs. It should not be dictated by Sydney.
‘‘Water needs to be affordable and priced in a manner that causes responsibility, not being restrictive or detrimental.’’
Police are asking for information about an assault in Shepparton that left a man with serious facial injuries and broken bones last month.
The 2014 Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival has been hailed a huge success by organisers and participants alike.
The fifth annual King Billy Retreat Open Garden Party will be held at Rushworth on Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26, from 10 am to 4 pm.
Emily Umbers has been helping members of the Maasai community to get a toilet.
St Joseph’s Primary School students took part in an extended after-school stay.
Fraser sure has aces in spades
A great day brought big numbers to Station St in Seymour.
Finley's Mark Whiley has been traded from the GWS Giants to Carlton - the club he has supported all his life.
Nominations are being sought for the annual Axedale CWA community youth award.
Access to Ulupna Island has been blocked at key points, leaving local residents and businesses rallying for a re-opening in a bid to save tourism dollars.
Deniliquin McDonald's raised more than $1300 for McHappy Day on Saturday.
Up to14 new full-time jobs will be created at Pactum Dairy Group in Shepparton, with the company set to embark on an $18million expansion at its factory.
Alma Nungarrayi Granites is the most successful of the Warlukurlangu artists who still live at Yuendumu and enjoys teaching children about aboriginal culture and art.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.