Victorian water reforms make Melbourne a top location
Melbourne residents will see a dramatic change in their water bills come July 2014 with the implementation of the Victorian coalition government's Fairer Water Bills initiative. The plan, which requires water corporations to find savings for customers by reviewing their financial management, asset management, procurement practices and shared services, will be put into motion over three years. It will save households $100 annually over the next four years, said Premier Denis Napthine.
"The Victorian Coalition Government's Fairer Water Bills initiative is delivering more than $1 billion of savings that will be made across Victoria's urban water sector over the next four years," Dr Napthine said. This will no doubt be good news for anyone looking to buy or rent a house in Victoria.
Minister for Water Peter Walsh stressed that the program will ease pressure on households which have been squeezed by rising prices in recent times.
"A typical Melbourne household using 165 kilolitres of water per year has seen bills go from around $500 to around $1,200 per year," he said.
The program will also review the regulatory framework of the Victorian water sector, looking to reduce red tape and cut back regulations on water corporations. It is being guided by an independent reviewer, Professor Graeme Samuel AC, the former chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
It comes on top of a series of initiatives aimed at lowering the cost of living in Victoria, Dr Napthine added, such as flexible electricity pricing, cheaper public transport, and increasing the first home buyers stamp duty concession. All of this stands to make Victoria, and Melbourne in particular, a more habitable location for ordinary rate-payers and homeowners in tough economic times.
The Fairer Water Bills initiative is part and parcel of recent measures aimed at improving Melbourne and wider Victoria's water sector. In July last year, Mr Walsh released a draft strategy for a more sustainable and affordable water system for Melbourne named Melbourne's Water Future. This year, the community of Rochester received a $7.6 million upgrade for its water treatment plant, with another $9 million upgrade of its water reclamation plant due this July.
With these changes set to improve the standard of living while also bringing down its cost in Melbourne and wider Victoria, now could be the perfect moment for those considering getting a slice of residential real estate there. Speak with a real estate specialist at LJ Hooker about your options.