In a bid to ease the financial burden on drought-affected rural residents facing water shortages, Kyogle Council has decided at it Monday, 9 December meeting to waive its $34 service charge for bulk water sales for the next three months.
Council also will write to all registered professional water carters accessing Kyogle Council’s water supply requesting they pass on the saving in full to their customers.
Kyogle Council Mayor Cr Danielle Mulholland stressed that the service fee did not generate a profit for Council, rather it covered the cost of providing the service to the community.
However, she said Council recognised that waiving the fee temporarily was going to help struggling drought affected residents.
“The communities in our area are under a lot of pressure and accessing clean drinking water should be any government’s highest priority,” Cr Mulholland said.
“Thirty four dollars may not seem like a huge amount, but it will mean a lot to residents on fixed incomes who are facing real financial hardships due to the ongoing drought.”
“And to ensure that they people who need the help receive the benefit of the waiver, we are appealing to all the professional water carters to pass on the full saving to their customers.”
The fee waiver will come into effect immediately, will cover all water sales over 100 litres, and will be reviewed at Council’s March 2020 meeting.
Councillor Maggie May, who put forward the motion to waive the fee, said access to water was an essential human right and that the need to buy water was adding to the financial burden of families already struggling due to the effects of the drought.
She said a saving of $34 would mean a lot to affected families and showed the Council was sympathetic to the difficulties people were facing as a result of the ongoing drought.