October 11, 2017
Swickers will get four months’ relief from its current water tariff after the company told the South Burnett Regional Council its costs were blowing out.
The Council will reduce Swickers’ tariff from Level 6 to Level 1 from September 1 to December 31.
It will also review the situation in January and consider a further six-month extension if the situation has not improved.
Recent dry weather had severely impacted the company’s internal water supply, Wednesday’s Council meeting was told.
This meant Swickers had to rely on the town water supply to maintain their business.
The cost of water under the current tier structure could affect the sustainability of their operations unless the Council granted the company some temporary relief.
However, Swickers’ predicted extra water consumption would largely offset the relief the company was requesting, so there would be little impact on Council’s Budget.
Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff said she had always supported a non-tiered system.
“The idea that the more (water) you use, the more you pay is something I struggle with,” Cr Duff said.
“The Proston Water Supply Scheme doesn’t have a tier structure, and I think we need to look at this in the future.”
Council CEO Gary Wall said there were already plans to discuss the current tier structure as part of next year’s Budget deliberations, but he cautioned it was not likely to be a simple process.
“There must be a way through this,” Cr Terry Fleischfresser said.
“We don’t want water to be a barrier to attracting new industries.”
Mayor Keith Campbell said he agreed with both Cr Duff and Cr Fleischfresser, and noted Swickers were the South Burnett’s largest employer and provided a significant economic benefit to the region.
Councillors granted the temporary relief measure unanimously.