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Determinations/Other as made
This determination amends fees and charges for water and wastewater charges on Christmas Island and replaces the Water and Sewerage Services Fees and Charges (Christmas Island) Determination 2014 No. 2.
Administered by: Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications
Registered 01 Jul 2015
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR10-Aug-2015
Tabled Senate10-Aug-2015

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

 

Christmas Island Act 1958

Utilities and Services Ordinance 1996

 

            Water and Sewerage Services Fees and Charges (Christmas Island) Determination 2015

 

Section 3 of the Utilities and Services Ordinance 1996 (the Ordinance) authorises the Administrator to make provision for the supply and use of utilities and services in relation to, amongst other things, water and drainage and sewerage in the Territory.  Section 4 of the Ordinance provides that the Administrator is to impose a fee for the provision to a person, or the use by a person, of such utilities and services. 

The Water and Sewerage Services Fees and Charges (Christmas Island) Determination 2015 (the Determination) amends fees and charges for water and wastewater charges on Christmas Island and replaces the Water and Sewerage Services Fees and Charges (Christmas Island) Determination 2014 No.2.

It is Australian government policy that wherever possible there should be parity between the prices charged in the Territory and those charged in Western Australia. Fees and charges for water and sewerage services are calculated based on the category of land. Section 6 of the Determination defines the categories of land that are mentioned in Schedules 1 to 5 of the Determination. 

 

As in WA, fees and charges for water and sewerage services are set annually and aim for full cost recovery. Full cost recovery includes all costs; cost of depreciation plus a return on assets.  However in recognition of some high cost, small customer base schemes, only partial cost recovery occurs in the Christmas Island Territory. 

 

The fees set in the Determination are similar to those rates and charges that apply in Western Australia and these charges are considerably less than the cost of supply.

 

Schedule 1 Fixed Charge for Water

A fixed charge is imposed for the provision of water services. For Commercial, Commercial/Residential, Industrial, Mining, Shipping and Government land use the fixed charge is based on the size of the meter on the water supply.

 

Fixed charges will increase 4.5% in line with WA changes.

 

The fixed charge for water by Institutional/Public; Charitable purpose or Local Government customers remains Nil.


Schedule 2 – Fixed Charges for Sewerage

Residential - Wastewater

An annual service charge is applied to all residential land based on the Gross Rental Value (GRV), which is supplied by Valuer-General. The fixed charge for sewerage is calculated by multiplying the GRV by a ‘rate in the dollar’ and is subject to a minimum and maximum charge. The minimum charge increases 4.5% and maximum annual charge increases 14.5% in line with WA.

 

A ‘rate in the dollar’ is calculated by estimating the cost to operate the scheme and includes such things as estimated operating costs, depreciation on assets and return on assets. The maximum ‘rate in the dollar’ remains at $0.12 in the dollar.

  

Non-residential – wastewater

The minimum annual fixed charge for sewerage increases 4.5% in line with WA charges and where vacant land is held for future residential use the maximum annual fixed charge increases 14.5%.

 

Schedule 3 – Quantity Charges

Customers are encouraged to save water and quantity charges are adjusted each year to reflect the real cost of providing water.

 

Residential

Water consumption is calculated from regular meter readings and then multiplied by a charge per kilolitre according to the ‘class’ appropriate to the area. Like WA a ‘class’ of water use charge (1 to 5) applies to the Territory based on the total cost to provide water to the local scheme.

 

To encourage the careful use of water, the charges are structured so that the price per kilolitre increases as more water is used. Each year Water Corporation reviews these costs and allocates the scheme to a ‘class’. Where the costs change significantly, the scheme is moved up or down a class progressively until it reaches the appropriate class.

 

Christmas Island residential land remains at Class 5 - Water use price north of the 26th parallel and the Determination reflects these changes to the cents per kilolitre charged.

 

The quantity charge for residential land increases 4.5% in line with WA.

 

Non-residential

Similar to WA each scheme is classified according to the cost to operate the scheme. The scheme is classified and quantity of water use imposed according to Band 1-15 Non-residential water consumption rates.

 

Due to the cost to operate the scheme Christmas Island non-residential categories have been reclassified as Band 14 Non-residential water rates from Band 13 the Water and Sewerage Service Fees and Charges (Christmas Island) Determination 2014 No 2. Changes will continue each year until Christmas Island charges reach Band 15.

 

The quantity charge for categories listed in Item 2 (Commercial, Industrial and Government), Item 3 (Commercial /Residential) quantities over 150kL, and   Item 4 (Government Commonwealth) increase 14.3%.

 

As in WA the quantity charge for sewer volume discharge applies and encourages customers to look at ways to minimise discharge to sewer (e.g. water efficient appliances, dual flush toilets, low flow shower roses and taps). This charge increases 4.5%.

 

Schedule 4 – Building Application Fees

Building Application Fees increase 2.6% in line with changes to comparable WA fees and charges. Building Application fees for Building plans for other than residential and multi-residential units (construct new building/alter existing building) remain unchanged.

 

Schedule 5 – Other fees

These fees increase 2.6% in line with changes to comparable WA fees and charges.

 

Consultation

The delivery of water and sewerage services in Christmas Island is provided under a service delivery arrangement with the Water Corporation of Western Australian and water and sewerage services fees and charges are similar to those applying to country WA customers. In WA changes to the fees and charges were announced as part of the state budget process. The fees and charges specified in this Determination were set in consultation with Water Corporation.

 

The Determination commences on1 July 2015.

 

 

Approximate rates of increase in the various fees from the previous Determination are described below:

 

2014
- Carbon Tax

2015

% Increase

 

SCHEDULE 1 – FIXED CHARGES FOR WATER

 

 

1

Residential

$215.46

$226.05

4.5%

 

 

 

2

Commercial, Commercial/Residential, Industrial, Mining, Shipping and Government -

 

 

15 or 20mm meter or un-metered (minimum)

$215.46

$226.05

4.5%

 

25mm

$336.66

$353.22

4.5%

 

40mm

$861.85

$904.24

4.5%

 

50mm

$1,346.63

$1,412.86

4.5%

 

80mm

$3,447.38

$3,616.92

4.5%

 

100mm

$5,386.53

$5,651.44

4.5%

 

150mm

$12,119.69

$12,715.74

4.5%

 

 

 

3

Institutional/Public, Charitable purpose or Local Government

Nil

Nil

0%

 

 

 

4

Vacant land

$215.46

$226.05

4.5%

 

 

 

5

Fire service

$215.46

$226.05

4.5%

 

 

 

6

Strata-titled Commercial or Industrial property sharing a water service

$215.46

$226.05

4.5%

 

 

 

 

 

SCHEDULE 2 – FIXED CHARGES FOR SEWERAGE

 

 

 

 

1

Residential

 

$ per $ of GRV

0.12

0.12

0%

Minimum charge

$347.74

$364.84

4.5%

Maximum charge

$866.46

$996.07

14.5%

 

2

Commercial, Industrial or Mining

 

First major fixture

$808.73

$848.50

4.5%

Second major fixture

$346.19

$363.21

4.5%

Third major fixture

$462.31

$485.05

4.5%

Subsequent major fixture

$502.74

$527.46

4.5%

 

Minimum charge

$808.73

$848.50

4.5%

 

3

Vacant Land

 

$ per $ of GRV

0.12

0.12

0%

Minimum charge

$228.82

$240.08

4.5%

Maximum charge (only for future residential use)

$866.46

$996.07

14.5%

 

4

Institutional/Public, Charitable Purposes or Local Government

 

First MF

$217.28

$227.97

4.5%

Subsequent MF

$95.60

$100.30

4.5%

 

 

5

Government

 

First major fixture

$808.73

$848.50

4.5%

Second major fixture

$346.19

$363.21

4.5%

Third major fixture

$462.31

$485.05

4.5%

Subsequent major fixture

$502.74

$527.46

4.5%

 

6

Strata-titled Commercial / Industrial

$502.74

$527.46

4.5%

sharing a major fixture

 


 

 

SCHEDULE 3 – QUANTITY CHARGES

 

 

1

Residential or Vacant Land held for Residential Purposes

$/kL

 

 

0 – 350kL (350kL)

$1.447

$1.518

4.5%

 

351 - 500kL (150kL)

$1.928

$2.023

4.5%

 

501 - 750kL (250kL)

$3.944

$4.138

4.5%

 

Over 750kL

$6.781

$7.114

4.5%

 

2

Commercial, Industrial, Mining, Shipping or Vacant land not mentioned in item 1.

 

 

$5.719

$6.534

14.3%

 

3

Commercial/Residential

 

 

0-150kL

$1.447

$1.518

4.5%

 

Over 150kL

$5.719

$6.534

14.3%

 

4

Government Commonwealth

 

 

$5.719

$6.534

14.3%

 

5

Institutional/Public (non-government schools, churches, community facilities etc), Charitable purposes or Local Government

 

 

$2.058

$2.159

4.5%

 

6

Commercial government  or Industrial discharge to sewer

 

 

0-200kL per property (allowance)

Nil

Nil

0%

 

Over 200kL

$2.9722

$3.118

4.5%

 

The number of kilolitres is calculated by multiplying the water used by the assessed discharge factor to determine discharge to sewer

 

 

SCHEDULE 4 – BUILDING APPLICATION FEES

 

 

1

Building plans to construct a new residential building or alter an existing residential building (charge is for each residential unit).

$119.90

$123.02

2.6%

 

2

Minor building fee for approval of an outbuilding to a single residential property, includes pools, garages and pergolas (in sewered areas only).

$35.00

$35.91

2.6%

 

 

 

3

Building plans for multi-residential units

$119.90

$123.02

2.6%

 

/ unit

/ unit

 

4

Building plans for other than residential and multi-residential units (construct new building/alter existing building) at a cost of —

 

 

Up to $22,500 (sewered area only)

$25.00

$25.00

0%

 

Over $22,500 but not over $200,000

$85.00

$85.00

0%

 

$200,001 but not over $500,000

$330.00

$330.00

0%

 

$500,001 but not over $1,000,000

$550.00

$550.00

0%

 

 

 

And where the cost exceeds $1,000,000 —

 

 

First $10,000,000

$0.90 per $1,000

$0.90 per $1,000

0%

 

 

Over $10,000,000                                    

 

$9,000 and

$0.25 per $1’000

 

$9,000 and

$0.25 per $1,000

 

0.0%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCHEDULE 5 – OTHER FEES

 

 

1

Relocation of service

actual/quoted cost

actual/ quoted cost

 

 

 

2

Water service  disconnection or reconnection

actual/quoted cost

actual/ quoted cost

               

 

 

 

3

Special meter readings for change of ownership/tenancy -

 

 

Within 7 days

$16.18

$16.60

2.6%

 

Within 2 days

$54.35

$55.76

2.6%

 

 

 

4

Advice of sale requests —

 

 

Electronic advice – standard

$42.95

$44.07

2.6%

 

Electronic advice – urgent

$81.02

$83.13

2.6%

 

Manual advice – standard

$73.69

$75.61

2.6%

 

Manual advice – urgent

$111.45

$114.35

2.6%

 

 

 

5

Meter Tests -

 

 

20mm to 25mm meters

$103.81

$106.51

2.6%

 

Over 25mm meters

actual/quoted cost

actual/ quoted cost

               

 

 

 

6

Restoration of service after restriction between 7:00am and 4:00pm any day except Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays

$148.61

$152.47

2.6%

 

Any other time

$236.14

$242.28

2.6%

 

 

 

7

Sewer connection charge

actual/quoted cost

actual/ quoted cost

 

 

 

8

Installation of sewer junction

actual/quoted cost

actual/ quoted cost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

Water and Sewerage Services Fees and Charges Determination 2014 (amended)

This Legislative Instrument is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

 

 

Overview of the Bill/Legislative Instrument

 

The Legislative Instrument sets the annual fees and charges for water and sewerage services within the Territory of Christmas Island.

 

Human rights implications

 

Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) requires that Australia ensure the availability, adequacy and accessibility of food, water and housing for all people in Australia in providing an adequate standard of living.

 

The right to water also includes the protection against arbitrary and unlawful disconnection of water and access to a minimum amount of safe drinking water to sustain life and health.

 

The range and standard of services provided on the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) are similar to those provided in remote Australian communities with similar characteristics, particularly demographic characteristics or service provision needs, recognising any special needs of the IOT. 

 

Under a Service Delivery Arrangement with the Department, the Water Corporation of Western Australia provides water and wastewater services to the communities of the non-governing Territories of Christmas Island  The Water Corporation operates under the applied Water Services Act 2012 (WA)(CI) and maintains similar standards and conditions that apply to regional WA.

 

Water Services Act 2012 (WA)(CI), the applied Act, and the Water Services Code of Conduct (Customer Standards) 2013, the Code, protects the customer against the arbitrary and unlawful disconnection of water and provides customers with access to a minimum of 2.3 litres each minute of safe drinking water to sustain life and health.

 

Information about the applied Act and Code is publically available and provides for assistance to customers experiencing financial hardship and establishes procedures for dealing with complaints about water services.

 

The Water and Sewerage Fees and Charges (CI) Determination 2015 sets the annual fees and charges for water and sewerage services for the Christmas Island Territory. As the Water Services Act 2012 (WA)(CI) and the Water Services Code of Conduct (Customer Standards) 2013 protect consumers, this Determination does not engage any applicable rights or freedoms and so is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.

 

Conclusion

This Legislative Instrument is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.