Unitywater chairman Jim Soorley.
Unitywater chairman Jim Soorley. Cade Mooney

Water initiatives have been created

TONY Riddle may have unintentionally misled your readers by not disclosing the truth of his personal history with Unitywater in his opinion piece in the Sunshine Coast Daily on February 19.

Was he abusing his position as chairman of Regional Development Australia to talk about his own personal affairs?

He used the piece to share great detail about a Narangba business that experienced an increase in its annual water and sewerage bill.

Your readers may have wondered exactly how he came to know so much about this particular business and its financial affairs.

Mr Riddle was referencing a major project Unitywater rolled out, called tariff reform.

This project was completed in 2016.

The primary driver for tariff reform was to standardise fees and charges so that they

were fairer across the board.

Some customers were paying significantly less than others.

Tariff reform fixed that and the majority of customers were actually better off when it came to their water and sewerage bills.

As chairman of Regional Development Australia, Tony Riddle should be delighted with this outcome.

For the one-third of customers who had price increases, we made it our priority to work closely with them to ensure they were heavily supported in the transition.

We wrote to all affected customers to explain the change.

We mobilised specialist customer service teams to make personal contact with these customers, often arranging on-site visits and meetings.

We created a number of initiatives to help customers lower their bills, including a program encouraging business customers to undertake a subsidised review to determine if their water meter could be downsized, thereby lowering access charges.

Mr Riddle is well aware of this process.

Indeed, he has benefited from it on the many occasions we have worked with him to address the matter and with a significant adjustment to his Unitywater account that he failed to mention.

We are committed to keeping prices as low as possible for our customers.

We value the business community and are always willing to work together with anyone to resolve any billing issues.

JIM SOORLEY

Unitywater chairman


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