The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) draft
prices for water, sewerage and stormwater drainage services for Central Coast
households, if adopted, will see most customers in the Gosford area pay around
10% above inflation over four years.
A similar increase can be expected for flats and units in
the Hunter region, while households in the Wyong area can expect prices to
The price increases are due to a change in fixed service charges levied on residents.
PIAC’s Energy + Water Consumer Advocacy Program (EWCAP) has
welcomed the proposed prices, given that some suppliers had sought increases of
up to 53% above inflation over four years. Hunter Water had proposed small
increases of up to 3% above inflation per year.
Hunter Water customers will be given the option to use
Centrepay to manage their bills. Centrepay allows Centrelink customers to have
payments to participating organisations deducted directly from their benefits.
For several years, PIAC and other community organisations have
asked Hunter Water to introduce Centrepay.
PIAC will continue to call for Gosford and Wyong Councils to
introduce Centrepay, and ask the NSW Government to ensure that all utility
providers include access to the service.
PIAC will continue to advocate for the prices of essential
services to be kept as low as possible to ease the pressure on consumers who
struggle to pay their energy and water bills.