In July 2008 the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) began the process of determining the price of water, wastewater and stormwater services for Gosford City Council and Wyong Shire Council from 1 July 2009. PIAC made a submission to the issues paper and also appeared at the public hearing. IPART then released its Draft Determinations and Report that suggest households in Wyong that consume 200kL of water per annum will pay an extra $215 each year for water by 2013 and households in Gosford with the same level of consumption will pay an additional $166. In its submission to the Draft Determinations and Report, PIAC expresses concern that low-income and other disadvantaged residents of the Central Coast will experience difficulty paying their water bills as a result of these determinations. PIAC advocates that the NSW Government and Gosford and Wyong Councils provide access to an adequate pensioner rebate, hardship program and industry complaints scheme to assist consumers to cope with the projected price hikes. PIAC also offers observations on the appropriateness of the initial price increase, fixed charges, and return on assets.
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