Water in Canberra the most expensive in Australia

By 11 April 2008 31

The ABC have This story that our water prices are set to become the most expensive in Australia.

It closely mimics the recommendations of the 2007 report reported here

Incriminatingly, the rate rises will help pay for expensive infrastructure, that it would seem the Government is going to purchase for ACTEW. Benny Hill just turned in his grave, for somebody just started playing his soundtrack really loudly in Canberra.

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31 Responses to
Water in Canberra the most expensive in Australia
Skidbladnir 4:47 pm
11 Apr 08

Oi, Mods:
Some posts need proofreading and linkfixing before you hit the Approve for Viewing button…

Mælinar 4:53 pm
11 Apr 08

That is html gayness. the mce_href… stuff seems to be inherited after you post – I can assure you the proof didn’t read like that.

Wide Boy Jake 5:00 pm
11 Apr 08

WTF is all this about? The language of this site is English in case you’ve forgotten.

Thumper 5:01 pm
11 Apr 08

Linkies didn’t work….

barking toad 5:03 pm
11 Apr 08

You just back from lunch Maelinar?

perview should be your friend :)

Joe Canberran 5:31 pm
11 Apr 08

If Maelinar wasn’t just back from lunch it seems the mods are. Links seem to now be fixed and the html uglies are gone.

caf 5:45 pm
11 Apr 08

ACTEW is wholly owned by the ACT Government.

madman 6:36 pm
11 Apr 08

Caf…. You’re WRONG!

madman said :

“ActewAGL is made up of two partnerships, one retail and one distribution. ActewAGL Retail is a joint venture equally owned (via subsidiary companies) by AGL Energy Limited and by ACTEW Corporation Limited. ActewAGL Distribution is a joint venture equally owned (via subsidiary companies) by Singapore Power Limited and by ACTEW Corporation Limited.”

“The board of ActewAGL is made up of three members appointed jointly by the AGL Energy-owned partner and by the Singapore Power-owned partner and three appointed by the ACTEW-owned partners.”

It is half owned by Singapore Power Limited in conjunction with Alinta GCA Pty Ltd and the other half with the ACT Government.

Jazz 6:43 pm
11 Apr 08

There you go mael, all fixed now. I didnt check them closely before as i figured you’d done that enough times to get it right ;)

poppy 9:21 pm
11 Apr 08

Based on my own water bill (maybe roughly $800 per year, including supply charges), $150 per year is a lot higher than 3%. I would have thought I was fairly average, so somebody is not adding up right?

Ari 9:31 pm
11 Apr 08

madman said :

Caf…. You’re WRONG!

Madman, ummm, no.

Your own quote explains the situation. There are two quite distinct entities … ACTEW and ActewAGL.

Deano 9:33 pm
11 Apr 08

Did you know that even if you totally disconnect from the ACTEW water supply mains you still have to pay an ‘unconnected charge’, just for the privilege of having the pipes run past your house.

Deano 9:39 pm
11 Apr 08

poppy said :

Based on my own water bill (maybe roughly $800 per year, including supply charges), $150 per year is a lot higher than 3%. I would have thought I was fairly average, so somebody is not adding up right?

No, the increase in on your total water and wastewater bill.

el 9:56 pm
11 Apr 08

The “HTML gayness” has the ‘ACTEW’ link pointing to

poppy 10:06 pm
11 Apr 08

“No, the increase in on your total water and wastewater bill.”

Sorry, Deano, it still doesn’t add up to me. My water bill of roughly $800 per year ($200 per quarter) includes water and sewerage supply charge, and water usage, for a 3 bedroom home with backyard, 2 people living there. Even if the average person uses a lot more water than us, $150 per year is much more than 3%. Something is wrong.

If $150 was 3%, that would mean a yearly water bill of around $5000. No ordinary household pays that much, even if you include supply charges, sewerage charges etc.

miz 10:07 pm
11 Apr 08

What’s REELY annoying is that the price hikes, “this allegedly justifiable price for water was based on the absurd hypothesis that users should pay again at today’s prices to have the benefit of the water infrastructure they have already paid for! – to quote the Marsden Jacob report “what should be the full or total cost of water supply in each city if we had to replace or replicate the entire system”. ” Cited from excellent article here on water economics, Canberra style . . .

(For some reason ‘make link’ won’t work, sorry guys)

Deano 10:22 pm
11 Apr 08

poppy said :

Even if the average person uses a lot more water than us, $150 per year is much more than 3%. Something is wrong.

From the ACTEW press release:

“The ICRC says that its decision means an average household consuming between 250 and 300 kilolitres of water a year can expect their total water and wastewater bill to increase by around $3 per week, or 15% in 2008/09. For the following four years, the average household bill should increase by around 3% per year in real terms.”

poppy 10:51 pm
11 Apr 08

Thank you Deano. So the news article is not very clear – it is actually 15% in the first year not 3%. That is quite an increase!

Mælinar 1:45 am
12 Apr 08

My apologies – I was sober when I posted the story, but I’m drunken now. Good html to follow…

@el – that was a bit of a leftover of me trying to bold the .com in the – which basically means that they ARENT a Government entity.

hax 3:30 am
12 Apr 08

When i play monopoly i get to charge more when i own all the utilities :)

Hypothetically if tomorrow everyone produced their own electricity / water / etc we’d somehow still be expected to pay for infastructure we didn’t even use? Nice one. And if you didnt they’d probably ‘get’ you for tax evasion or something. LOL

captainwhorebags 8:59 am
12 Apr 08

I was paying $200 a year for water and sewerage to a block of land without a house on it. I rang ACTEWAGL and they told me that it was part of the lease conditions, so I can just pay it thanks very much. I joked with my family that I should have taken a bucket of sewerage to their office and said “I’m paying you to get rid of this, here you go”

Six months down the track, my builder also had to pay ACTEWAGL several hundred dollars for the privilege of connecting to a network I’d already been paying for.

Oh, and ACTEW might be government owned, but my water bill says “ActewAGL Retail Ltd, acting as agent for ActewAGL Distribution which operates the assets of ACTEW Corporation”. Sounds fairly complex for a simple government operation, no?

Thumper 9:49 am
12 Apr 08

Mr Toad,

perview should be your friend

Hehe… Indeed ;)

RuffnReady 4:03 pm
12 Apr 08

So this is to pay for the Cotter Dam improvements?

I still don’t understand why we need to build a bigger dam when the ACT govt could surely make an agreement with Snowy Hydro to use Tantangara for some portion of Canberra’s water supply. The water could be released from Tantangara and pumped out of the Cotter to Googong, with the added benefit that you could do it seasonally and improve the health of the upper tract of the river.

RuffnReady 4:04 pm
12 Apr 08

“…to ensure the security of the water supply.”

That’s a bloody laugh! Dam capacity is not the problem – the problem is not enough rain falling in the catchment! lmao

RuffnReady 4:16 pm
12 Apr 08

BTW, I just read the Terry Dwyer paper and I’m very surprised by it – the ACTEW Future Water Options paper suggests that the ACT region has enough water for a million people, and that we only use 4% of our total available water!? How then have we had a wet, cool La Nina summer and only added about 7% to the dams while under stage 3 water restrictions? It just doesn’t add up.

cranky 8:27 pm
12 Apr 08

Simple, Ruff,

Sonic in his infinite wisdom decided the fish in the Murrumbidgee were far more important than the people of the ACT, and emptied about 70% of our storage down the river over the last 5-6 years.

The time is fast approaching when these clowns will be held accountable for their lunacy.

Bring on an election with some sensible candidates.

RuffnReady 9:00 pm
12 Apr 08

Environmental flows are important to rivers as you can see from what has happened to the Snowy River (it has all but disappeared as it gets less than 5% of it’s original flow due to the Jindabyne Dam), and all the problems in the Murray system (eg. salt water from the ocean continues to move upriver due to lack of flow). There is a lot of science behind decisions on environmental flows. Do you have a source for that 70% figure is have you just pulled it out of the air? I’d be very surprised if that were true.

Actually, the real reason probably relates to use of the water further downstream by irrigators.

cranky 9:32 pm
12 Apr 08


Have seen reference to that figure in previous reports.

Sonic has released water from the Corin, Cotter, and Bendora system, simply to top up the flows from the Murrumbidgee. We should have first call on this storage – repeat STORAGE – not the bloody fish. A vast investment being literally peed down the river at the whim of our local dictator.

I don’t think our investment is being used to our advantage.

smokey4 12:12 pm
14 Apr 08

Of course Canberra water should be the most expensive. Everything in Canberra costs more. Canberra is part of the Murray Darling basin which has very limited access to water. Water passes through Canberra. It does not belong exclusively to Canberra but to the Murray Darling basin.

la mente torbida 2:47 pm
14 Apr 08

“Bring on an election with some sensible candidates” – an oxymoron if ever I met one

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