New funding program to offer water bill relief
  • Wednesday 25 August 2010

Sunshine Coast Council will offer up to $1 million in community grants to help not for profit organisations pay their water bills.

Council today agreed to set up a Water and Sewer Funding Program in a two pronged recommendation which also includes a request that Unitywater extend the interest free bill payment period for community and sporting groups while the program is rolled out.

Sunshine Coast Mayor, Bob Abbot said that up until the creation of the new water entity, the current council and the three pre-amalgamation councils had provided reduced water and sewerage charges for public sporting grounds and various not for profit organisations.

“These reductions were in the forms of rates reductions and community service obligations,” Mayor Abbot said.

“However, Unitywater has made it very clear that it will not continue to provide these concessions to the not-for-profit sector.

“This has potential serious consequences for the affected groups and the also the potential to derail the good work these groups do here on the Sunshine Coast.

“Council acknowledges the impact that increased water charges will have on the ability of these groups to continue to operate successfully in our community.

“Today’s decision and commitment from council will provide some relief to these groups.”

Mayor Abbot said a detailed report will now be prepared for council’s consideration and outline how the program will be administered over the coming financial year.

“The report will outline the application process and criteria, set the upper limit or capped amount for each individual grant, ensure a consistent approach is applied across the Sunshine Coast, and look at ways groups can adopt affordable and sustainable water measures,” Mayor Abbot said.

“Any consideration for the program to be extended beyond this financial year will be considered as part of the annual budget process and deliberations.”