29 July, 2011

Gold Coast Water secedes from AllConnex

Gold Coast City Council has decided to opt out of the Distributor-retailer Allconnex.

Allconnex Water is currently responsible for the delivery of water, recycled water, trade waste and wastewater services to more than 900,000 consumers across Redlands, Logan & the Gold Coast.

Following a protracted blame game between Councils & the State over water prices, the State Government’s announced on 7 April that it would repeal water legislation, allowing Councils to take back the control of their water utilities.

The State Government gave all SEQ Councils the choice to split with their water distributor-retailers (Allconnex, Queensland Urban Utilities and Unitywater) because of claims by some that they could provide water cheaper to ratepayers than the current structure.

The Councils were given this opportunity on the proviso that they could show they (the Council's) could deliver prices cheaper (than the amalgamated Water Utilities) to ratepayers "Gold Coast City Council and in particular the Mayor were very vocal that they could provide water cheaper if they took back their water business under the Council banner. The Gold Coast City Council now has until 1 August to provide a price mitigation plan to the State Government. This plan must be published by 1 September 2011. This price mitigation plan must include information about how a council intends to:
* moderate the impact on customers of price increases;
* assist vulnerable customers; and
* inform the community about future price increases. By 1 March 2013 - at the conclusion of the two year CPI price cap - the councils will also be required to publish a quantifiable price path for residential and small business customers. The price path must cover at least five years and truly consider the impact of price increases.

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