- Number of people charged interest on overdue Water Corporation accounts has reduced since 2016
- Financial hardship programs offer assistance and flexibility to help pay water bills
- McGowan Government has introduced a number of new financial assistance programs
Figures submitted in State Parliament today show the number of people charged interest on overdue water accounts and the amount of interest owed has reduced under the McGowan Government's leadership.
The amount of interest owed is the lowest it has ever been in the past eight years. A total of $2.7 million in interest is owed so far this year, compared with more than $3 million in 2010, and a high of $4 million in 2016.
The number of people charged interest on overdue Water Corporation accounts is also the lowest it has been since 2013. Figures recorded in 2017 show a decrease of more than 11 per cent on the year before, and 2018 figures are tracking to be about 16 per cent lower than 2016.
Interest is charged on overdue accounts to encourage people who are able to pay to do so by the due date, but it is not charged on pensioner accounts or for customers who enter into a payment plan.
Payment plans are flexible and tailored to suit a person's individual circumstances. Before the McGowan Government introduced changes in August 2017, payment plans were either subject to the full interest amount, reduced interest, or were interest exempt. Now all payment plans are interest-free.
Since March 2017, the McGowan Government has introduced a number of new programs to help people manage their water bills, including 'Time Assist' which helps people with a previous consistent payment history, but are in short term hardship, by putting their account on hold for up to three months - without interest being charged.
The McGowan Government has also been working to reduce the number of families facing water restrictions for non-payment of water bills. In the past six months, the number of families having their water shut-off has fallen by 60 per cent compared to 2016.
Anyone experiencing difficulty in paying their account is strongly urged to contact the Water Corporation on 13 13 85 before the account becomes overdue, or go to: http://www.watercorporation.com.au/my-account/need-help-with-your-bill
Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly:
"Since March 2017, the McGowan Government has introduced a range of new initiatives to ensure those that need financial assistance with their water bills have access to help.
"These new financial assistance programs help particular customers like those with high water use medical conditions and those customers who experience a temporary loss in household income, as a result of injury or job loss.
"What today's results show, is that these initiatives are working to benefit WA families.
"We have seen a significant reduction in households charged interest and the outstanding value of that interest has decreased. Most importantly, 60 per cent fewer families now face having their water shut off today compared to two years ago."
Minister's office - 6552 6100