In June 2012, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s (IPART) published an initial issues paper for its review of prices for water, sewerage and stormwater services to Gosford City Council and Wyong Shire Council. In this submission, PIAC responds to both that issues paper and the pricing proposals made by both Councils to IPART. PIAC raises a number of concerns with the pricing proposals of each Council, both of which contain significant increases (53% and 45%, in real terms, over four years). PIAC also recommends that both Councils make changes to their customer assistance programs, including allowing the use of Centrepay, developing emergency payment assistance schemes and reporting on customer hardship performance. PIAC further notes that consumers are being asked to bear considerable costs associated with the creation of the Central Coast Water Corporation, and submits that consumers should receive benefits in proportion to these costs as soon as possible.
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