Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : March 9, 2016 Edition Contents THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9, 2016 - PAGE 7
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HOUSEHOLDS in the Westernport Wa-
ter region are paying among the highest
fixed charges for water in Victoria.
Before the tap is even turned on, fixed
charges in Westernport represent up to
88 per cent of a bill, compared to 50 per
cent for an average North East Water bill.
As of July 2015, Westernport Water’s
residential water access charge is $375,
while the residential sewer access charge
is $579, totalling $954.
This compared to Yarra Valley Water’s
water service charge of $175 and sewage
service charge of $353.
According to the Essential Services
Commission data, examined by the Ad-
vertiser, South East Water’s residen-
tial water service charge is $117, while
the residential sewage service charge is
City West Water’s is $228 and $255,
while Central Highlands Water is one of
the more expensive with the water ser-
vice charge at $255, and sewage at $731.
Barwon Water service charge is $171,
and sewerage tariff $552.
These figures do not include drainage
and parks charges, which further add to
costs that householders can’t avoid, no
matter how much they try to be water
The Advertiser also conducted a ran-
dom comparison of quarterly bills in the
February-March period for a two-person
home, excluding water consumption,
showing: Westernport Water was $237,
compared to Yarra Valley Water at $154
and City West Water at $144.
Managing director of Westernport Wa-
ter Peter Quigley said the organisation
needed to boost fixed charge costs be-
cause of the low number of full-time resi-
dents in the area.
“In terms of consumption we are one
of the lowest in the state because of the
higher number of non-resident owners
in a reasonably small area,” Mr Quigley
“To ensure the operation and main-
tenance of the network we have higher
fixed charges to meet the income we
He said income ensured water quality
remained high and waste water services
were maintained, catering to peak tour-
In Westernport Water’s 2013-18 Water
Plan the organisation has price increases
of 2 per cent in 2013-14, followed by in-
creases of 3.8 per cent in each year from
2014-15 to 2017-18.
The plan states that based on these
figures, the annual water and sewerage
bill for a residential owner occupier was
estimated to rise from $1029 in 2012-13
to $1214 in 2017-18.
The plan said total capital expenditure
for Westernport Water in the 2013-18 pe-
riod was forecast at $23m, around half
of the $47m capital expenditure for the
current price period.
“Total operating expenditure is fore-
cast at $64m, around six per cent higher
than the $60m for the current price pe-
riod,” it states.
WESTERNPORT Water has not ruled
out the possibility of using water from
Wonthaggi’s desalination plant, should
autumn and winter rains be low.
Managing director of Westernport Wa-
ter Peter Quigley said storage levels at
Candowie Reservoir were reviewed every
He said while he didn’t anticipate wa-
ter restrictions in the near future, both
restrictions and the use of desalination
“Technically summer is finished but
we’ve got two weeks of hot weather which
will see a drain on Candowie,” Mr Quigley
“The signals are that we are entering a
dry cycle. Unless we get good autumn and
winter rains we won’t be in a good situ-
“If we get to the point security of supply
is threatened, then yes, desalination is a
definite supply option.”
The potential for Westernport Water to
tap into Wonthaggi’s controversial desali-
nation plant came as senior State Govern-
ment figures suggested the first water or-
der from the plant could be made within
days to boost Melbourne’s supply.
April 1 is the final date that an order
can be made this year.
Water Minister Lisa Neville toured the
Wonthaggi plant last week, as Victorian
water storages continue to drop.
Melbourne’s dams are below the 65 per
cent benchmark, seen as the trigger point
for desalination water.
Should Melbourne Water turn on the
desalination plant, for the first time since
it was built in 2012, Mr Quigley said
Westernport would be able to access it.
He said under the current pricing struc-
ture, desalination water would not cost
Westernport Water householders more.
“There’s not a different costing price
for desalination in our water plan (which
runs from 2013-2018),” he said.
“Our water plan specifies what our cus-
tomers pay per kilolitre for the duration
of that plan.”
A major infrastructure upgrade saw
Candowie Reservoir expanded in 2013, in-
creasing the full supply level from 2263ML
to 4463ML, essentially doubling its size
and allowing Westernport Water to capture
Mr Quigley said Candowie Reservoir was
now at 50 per cent of 4463 ML, which was
equivalent to the old full supply level and
was equal to about 14 months of water re-
maining, providing there was no rain.
“Had we not upgraded Candowie Reser-
voir, our storage levels would be running
low and water restrictions would be in
place,” he said.
However, Mr Quigley said the commu-
nity needed to continue to adopt sustain-
able water practices, with permanent wa-
ter saving rules in place across the region.
“We need to be constantly vigilant. It’s a
limited, precious resource, no matter what
time of year, and we need to use it efficient-
ly and carefully at all times.
“We should never take it for granted.”
Desal water for
Householders hit with water costs
The Phillip Island RSL has taken delivery of a demilitarised armoured personnel carrier that served
ON TUESDAY, February 23, you
would be forgiven if you thought the
army was coming to town!
Instead, the Phillip Island RSL
took delivery of a demilitarised Viet-
nam era M113A1 armoured per-
sonnel carrier to add to its impres-
sive array of military memorabilia.
Phillip Island RSL was success-
ful in its bid to the Defence De-
partment to acquire the vehicle in
November 2015 up against other
Australian historical organisations
and RSL clubs.
The M113A1 armoured per-
sonnel carrier weighs over nine
tonnes, and travels at a top speed
It carried a crew of 11 soldiers
and two crew when in service in
Tank rolls into town!
A GRADE 6 student at Newhaven Pri-
mary School who lives in Cape Woola-
mai, believes he was followed for part
of his journey to school last Wednesday
morning (March 2) at about 8.30am.
The student was alone and on his bike
in the Cape Woolamai area and became
aware of a white van with two thick red
stripes on the side and roof racks which
he thought was following him.
The student rode onto a laneway
where the van could not follow him and
he did not see the van again.
Newhaven’s principal reportedly called
police when information was circulated
on social media about the incident, un-
beknownst to him.
The school that posted the Facebook
alert was outside of Phillip Island.
Snr Sgt Teer of the Wonthaggi Police
said that based on the information pro-
vided to police, no offence had been
However, police are happy to receive
any information in relation to this ve-
hicle and they will speak to the owner/
driver about what he was doing at the
time, he commented.
“We would be happy to hear about any
other incidents that have not been re-
He reassured worried parents by stat-
ing that “at this stage, it is just a van
driving around Cape Woolamai at a slow
speed and nothing for concern unless
other information comes to hand.”
on way to school
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