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Gosford City Council has welcomed the announcement of new water, sewerage and stormwater drainage prices for the next four years from NSW’s Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), saying “it allows us to get on with the job of maintaining and improving water and sewerage services for the community”.

The new prices will result in a gradual price increase of 28.0 percent or $297 over the four year period from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2017, for a typical residential bill.

Council’s Director Water and Sewer Rod Williams said the new prices will help council continue to make multi-million dollar system improvements for approximately 70,000 properties currently using its water supply, sewerage and stormwater networks.

“These charges cover the cost of harvesting, treating and delivering safe drinking water to over 68,000 properties through 1,000 kilometres of water mains.

“During this pricing period council will be delivering major improvements to the water supply system including a $7.9 million Somersby Water Treatment Plant upgrade that involves the replacement and renewal of assets to improve their reliability, efficiency, safety and performance.

“Plus, there are extensive, on-going efforts to replace ageing water mains to help reduce main breaks and maintain the quality of the city’s drinking water.

“The prices also ensure we transport and treat sewage from over 66,000 properties through 1,500 kilometres of sewerage mains and 185 sewage pump stations to protect public health and the environment.

“In the next four years over $36 million will be spent on refurbishments and renewals for aging sewerage infrastructure to minimise sewage overflows and odours and reduce risk to the environment and public health.

“Major upgrades will be completed at Kincumber and Woy Woy Wastewater Treatment Plants, with $16 million spent to improve the treatment process and ensure we continue treating the community’s wastewater to the required environmental standards.

Mr Williams noted that reports from the National Water Commission show the bill for a typical Gosford household has remained below the national average in recent years.

“We understand any price increase can be a concern for residents and we will always strive to deliver services that provide value for money,” Mr Williams said.

“Residents can play a role in keeping their bill down by maintaining their commitment to water conservation, which has been a highlight of the commission’s reports for some years now.”

IPART has considered the submission made by Gosford City Council, as well as the public submissions to determine the final prices.

Following council resolution, new charges will come into effect from 1 July 2013.

Council recommends that residents seeking more information about the price increases view the final determination online at www.ipart.nsw.gov.au

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