RESIDENTS fed up with paying the state’s highest water fees have been urged to sign a new petition expressing their disgust.
The Peel Valley Water Users Association is seeking at least 500 signatures in order to force a response from the state government.
Under State Water’s current pricing structure, Peel Valley locals pay up to 17 times more for their water than users in other parts of NSW.
But that gap could grow even wider on July 1, if the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) approves fresh rises of 30 per cent over three years.
Peel Valley Water Users Association president Ildu Monticone said the “perverse” pricing discrepancy affected not just irrigators, but all water users in the valley.
“All the residents in the (Tamworth Regional Council) area are paying, on council’s own figures, nine times more for their water than in Albury or Wagga Wagga,” he said.
“So it’s not just the irrigators at all.”
The petition calls upon the Legislative Assembly to introduce a “fair and equitable” method of charging for water that does not disadvantage locals.
Mr Monticone said the once a petition reached 500 signatures it meant the relevant minister would have to respond in writing.
“They will at least have to respond and they will at least realise that there’s 500 people here who are concerned about it,” he said.
The petition can found at Bearfast, Capitol Glass, Water Dynamics, Tamworth Chainsaw and Mower Centre, Davidson Bros Electrical and Hazells Farm and Fertiliser Services.