Council votes to pay part of elderly man’s $7000 water bill
COUNCILLORS were split as to whether they should pay 25 per cent of a Western Downs man’s $7304.56 water bill after a pipe leak went undetected.
At the Western Downs Regional Council’s general meeting on September 23, six of the nine councillors agreed to use ratepayer’s money to pay off an additional 25 per cent of the man’s bill, totalling $1821.
The man racked up an enormous water bill after an ongoing leak went undetected.
In accordance with council’s water meter policy, council had already paid $1826.14 to go towards the bill, with an interest free payment period of 12 months.
However councillor Carolyn Tillman moved the motion to grant a further concession of $1826, which was seconded by Cr Peter Saxelby
Cr George Moore said he felt great sympathy for the elderly man and urged other council members to have compassion for his difficult circumstances.
Mayor Paul McVeigh, Cr Andrew Smith, and Cr Ian Rasmussen all voted against council providing the man with additional financial support.
Cr Smith went as far as to issue a foreshadowed motion stating, “if the motion on the floor failed, he would move, that council do not provide any further concession for the water consumption charges.”
The incident sparked all councillors to agree on an information session to look at council’s water policy in regards to concessions and water levels.
The motion was again put forward by Cr Smith stating, “that an information session be held to update councillors on council water meter policy, outlining the history and precedents used in forming this policy”.
The motion was seconded by Cr Kylie Bourne, and carried with all councillors on favour.