PREMIER Campbell Newman said councils can opt out of paying $10 per ratepayer towards his $80 water rebate.
Mr Newman, speaking to a crowd of 250 at Capalaba Sports Club this morning, said his government had done the “lion’s share of the lifting” to cut water bills and it was now time councils “put some money on the table”.
“But this is as a request,” Mr Newman said.
“If the councils can’t find the money – that’s fine, I’m not on a jihad against them but we will be putting more than $10 on the table and that will show up in people’s bills.”
Mr Newman said the state gave council water companies “savings” to the tune of $30 per ratepayer after it amended the law to allow water distribution companies, such as Redland Water, to cull “unnecessary” staff.
He said his government had also amalgamated state bulk water authorities, shortened the timeline for paying off infrastructure debts and written off non-performing assets.
Redland City mayor Karen Williams, also at the breakfast meeting, said she was looking forward to speaking with the premier on the issue but said Redland should not have to pay $10 towards a state government rebate.
“We have already passed on all savings from the return of water back to our ratepayers,” Cr Williams said.
“Ratepayers are paying 22 per cent more for bulk water prices and we have capped our retail prices at 1.3 per cent according to legislation and passed on all savings to ratepayers.
“Under Allconnex, Redland was subsidising Logan and the Gold Coast and is now being asked to subsidise a state government election promise.
“This council is committed to keeping the cost of living low and looking forward to working with the premier and his government to do that.”
Under Allconnex, Redland City Council was receiving an 11 per cent return for contributing 14 per cent to the water retailer’s revenue.