- Wastewater service charges deferred in Bruce Rock until June 30, 2022
- Costly wastewater scheme devised by the former Liberal National Government is the cause of community concern
- Scheme has come at a significant cost to taxpayers
Financial support has been extended to Bruce Rock residents in response to community concerns regarding the financial impact of connecting to a recently completed wastewater scheme.
The Bruce Rock Septic Tank Effluent Disposal (STED) scheme takes partially treated wastewater from household septic tanks to a central disposal pond.
Under the scheme, Bruce Rock customers are required to continue to maintain a septic tank, while also having to pay wastewater service charges.
Bruce Rock customers will also need to spend thousands of dollars to connect their septic tank to the scheme.
The scheme was conceived and contracted by the former Liberal National Government and construction commenced in March 2017.
The scheme cost taxpayers $11.8 million to construct and will service just 196 properties, at a cost of over $60,000 per property.
Most residential property owners with access to the scheme will be required to pay the maximum regional wastewater service charge of $1,219.76 per annum. Despite these charges, the scheme will run at a loss and will require an ongoing subsidy from taxpayers of over $600,000 per year.
The Water Corporation has received numerous complaints from residents in Bruce Rock concerned with the financial impacts of the STED scheme imposed on them by the former Liberal National Government.
To support residents with initial connection costs, all residential wastewater service charges will be waived for the 2021-22 financial year. This is on top of charges previously being waived for the 2020-21 financial year.
To connect to the Bruce Rock STED Scheme, property owners must first register via Water Corporation's BuilderNet system, and then contact a licensed plumber to arrange connection.
Personalised financial assistance is also available through Water Corporation's customer assistance team by calling 9273 4520.
Similar flawed and expensive STED schemes proposed by the former Liberal National Government proposed for the towns of Bindoon, Boyup Brook and Kukerin were cancelled after the election of the McGowan Government in 2017.
Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly:
"The Leader of the Opposition needs to explain why she went ahead with the flawed Bruce Rock STED Scheme when she was Minister for Water.
"The National Party's misguided attempt to win votes has come at a huge expense to the West Australian community and to the people of Bruce Rock.
"The scheme has already cost taxpayers $11.8 million to construct and will require an ongoing subsidy of at least $600,000 per year.
"Property owners in Bruce Rock will need to now pay ongoing wastewater service charges, on top of having to continue to maintain a septic tank and fork out thousands of dollars to connect to the scheme.
"To support residents in managing these costs, the McGowan Government is again waiving residential wastewater service charges to customers in Bruce Rock for the current financial year, after also waiving them in the 2020-21 financial year."
Comments attributed to Agricultural Region MLC Darren West:
"Bruce Rock residents have every right to feel angry and frustrated with this dud scheme that was delivered by the Barnett Liberal National Government.
"Sadly, we were unable to put a stop to it in time like we did in other communities.
"I thank Water Minister Dave Kelly for waiving charges for a second year to provide much needed financial relief to locals."
Minister's office - 6552 6100