Exmouth chamber vows to keep up fight for quality water

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Fisheries minister Dave Kelly speaks to the media. PICTURE NIC ELLIS THE WEST AUSTRALIAN
Camera IconFisheries minister Dave Kelly speaks to the media. PICTURE NIC ELLIS THE WEST AUSTRALIAN Credit: The West Australian

There will be no special exemptions from increased water bills for Exmouth’s accommodation providers after Water Minister Dave Kelly slapped down suggestions heavy water users were being targeted.

The Exmouth Chamber of Commerce and Industry wrote to the State Government following the 2018-19 State Budget requesting a rethink on raising fees for water use.

It was argued Exmouth’s hotels would be unfairly hit as they had to use water-guzzling filters to bring the quality of drinking water up to an acceptable standard for tourists.

Mr Kelly said the fee hike would be across the board.

“A flat 6 per cent increase has been applied across the board for businesses, as per the price path left behind by the previous Lib-eral National Government,” he said.

“The water supply in Exmouth meets all safe drinking standards.

“However, due to naturally occurring minerals and salts, the elevated hardness of this water can affect its taste and appearance.”

VideoThe average family will pay almost $300 a year for increases to water, power, public transport and car registration

Mr Kelly said the Water Corporation was always looking for ways to improve water quality, noting chlorination and fluoridation treatment was undertaken to reduce hardness and scaling.

ECCI president Barry Sullivan said a necessity for reverse osmosis filters and water softeners to bring water to a suitable standard for tourists resulted in high water usage.

“If we were getting better quality water we wouldn’t have much to gripe about,” he said.

“The chamber will keep fighting on this one.

“We can’t give up just because the Government says ‘this is the way it is going to be’.

“We have a problem here — the North West has the same problem — and everyone should be fighting the Government over increased charges on poor quality water.”

Mr Sullivan said access to better quality water would reduce water use in the North West.

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