Council Rate Rises

It is that time of year again, when the rate bills are being sent out, and we compare to what we paid last time, and it never seems to go down !

My first Redlands rate bill was in 2003 when we moved to this area.

The September 2003 quarter bill was: $408.22 consisting of:

$226.29 Council Rate
$150.05 Water Access
$17.11 Water Use
$41.85 Waste/Recycling
$27.08 discount

In comparison, Eight years later, in 2011, it is now $764.84 (up 87.36%) consisting of:

$329.09 Council Rate – Up 55.08%
$242.51 Water Access – Up 72.34%
$121.24 Water Use – Up 655.60% !!!!
$ 72.00 Waste/Recycling – Up 83.46%

I have annualised these increases, for each segment of the rates bill, and allowed for the discounts that we used to get.
The actual annual rate of increases, averaged out over these eight years, are:

5.64% Council Rate
7.04% Water Access
28.75% Water Use
7.88% Waste/Recycling
8.16% TOTAL

Compared to the changes in average wages, the council rate section is actually not that bad, with an average annual increase of 5.64%, compared to the 4.62% increase in the average Australian Male Full Time wages for the same period.

We are still behind, by that 1% per year difference, but as far as the council general rate is concerned, it isn’t a massive difference.

However, we now look at the water cost…  Up 655.60% for my water use cost….  Scary at first glance, but then I remembered in 2003 there were only 3 of us in the house, in 2011 there are now 6.  But even so, even if I halve that increase, it is still about 325% increase.

Looking at my 2003 rates bill I see that we used 46 kl in that 2003 quarter, so to compare to my 2011 usage, I look at my 2011 rates bill, but of course it doesn’t say any more.  That flaming Allconnex page that says INFORMATION ONLY – DO NOT PAY, does not get kept because it isn’t a bill. Fortunately, I record the details in a spreadsheet, so I can check that.

We used 111kl this last quarter, although having said “this quarter”, I noticed that the reading period was not the normal 90 or so, days, (13 weeks) it was 114 days (16 weeks).  That stuffs up my statistics !

Anyway, the bottom line, for my own peace of mind about our own water consumption:

  • 2003 we used 164.9  litres per person per day
  • 2011 we used 162.3 litres per person per day

Not as bad as I was fearing, when I first saw the increase in the water charges.  So I ask myself, what is the $ cost per person, and how has that changed…

Adding the Water Access and Water Use charges together, and dividing by the number of days and the number of people, I got:

  • 2003 $0.62 per day per person for water.
  • 2011 $0.53 per day per person for water.

Well that was a pleasant surprise, but more to do with spreading the access cost between twice as many people, rather than an actually price drop.

I would like to do a similar comparison for someone whose houshold numbers have not changed, to get a REAL idea of the changing costs per person per day of water in the Redlands.

On another note about Water, it seems I can congratulate ourselves.  Before I hit the ‘post’ button, to make this information public to the world, I had to check what the water restrictions state these days, and to my relief I found:

Permanent Water Conservation Measures set out by the Queensland Water Commission.
This means that our target is 200 litres per person a day.

We are around 165 litres per person, per day, so at least we are under the target, and won’t get contacted by council 😉

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