Pricing structure for community and sporting groups

How were groups moved to the new structure? 

What has changed under the new structure?

How can my group join the list of designated not-for-profit community and sporting groups?

 

How were groups moved to the new structure? 

Most groups transferred to the new structure on 1 October 2013. These were designated as not-for-profit community and sporting groups by the Moreton Bay and Sunshine Coast Regional Councils. The remaining groups remained on the old pricing structure while we reviewed their water metering and billing arrangements to ensure they were not charged more than necessary.

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What has changed under the new structure?

Unitywater inherited a complex set of fees and charges from six former council areas and the approach to charging community and sporting groups varied between council districts. Under the new structure:

  • usage charges have been standardised across the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay regions;
  • charges based on the number of toilet pedestals and urinals have been scrapped;
  • access charges are based on the size and number of water meters on the property and the land use code for the property; and
  • a sewerage usage charge applies.

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How can my group join the list of designated not-for-profit community and sporting groups?

Those seeking to be added to the list of not-for-profit community and sporting groups should contact their council.

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Moreton Bay region not-for-profit community and sporting groups

 

Sunshine Coast region not-for-profit community and sporting groups

  • Usage charges have been standardised across the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay regions.
  • Charges based on the number of toilet pedestals and urinals have been scrapped.
  • A two-tiered sewerage usage charge applies.
  • Access charges are based on the size and number of meters on a property.
  • Sewerage access charges are also based on the sewerage usage percentage, which is determined by the property’s land use code.
  • Groups with large or multiple meters will be charged more than those with a single, standard meter of 25mm or less.

How are sewerage charges calculated under the new structure?

 

Why isn’t there a cap on charges for sewerage usage?

 

How were the sewerage usage percentages determined?

 

What if I don’t agree with the land use code for my property?

 

How are sewerage charges calculated under the new structure?

 

Sewerage access charges

Sewerage access charges are based on the size and number of water meters on a property and the sewerage usage percentage, which is determined by the land use code for that property. Land use codes apply under the local government planning scheme and have been provided to us by councils. These codes give us an indication of how water is being used on the property and how much metered water is entering the sewerage network. These percentages acknowledge that there is substantial variation in sewerage usage among these groups. For example, a property with large sporting fields that are regularly irrigated with town water will have a smaller percentage of metered water entering the sewerage network than a property with an office block where most of the water is entering the network via sinks or toilets.

The table below shows a complete list of land use codes and the sewerage usage percentage that applies for each category.

Land Use Sewerage usage%
Vacant Land  0%
Animal Special   20%
Plant nurseries   20%
Sportsground, Racecourse, Airfield   20%-70%
Educational including kindergarten   70%
Large home site – vacant   70%
Residential Institution (non-medical care)   70%
Special tourist attraction   70%
Child care excluding kindergarten   80%
Parks and gardens (council owned)   80%
Building Format Plan Primary Use only   90%
Community Protection Centre   90%
Guest House/Private Hotel   90%
Large Home Site – with dwelling   90%
Library   90%
Licensed club   90%
Light industry   90%
Multi Unit Dwellings (flats)   90%
Other clubs (non business)   90%
Outbuildings   90%
Professional offices   90%
Shop single   90%
Single Unit Dwelling   90%
Sports clubs/facilities   90%
Theatres cinemas   90%
Welfare home/institution   90%

*Actual % depends on how many sporting fields and particular uses at the property

Sewerage usage charges

Sewage includes everything that enters the sewerage network via sinks, drains, toilets and appliances and is therefore directly linked to water usage. There are no meters on the sewerage network so the charge is based on a percentage of metered water usage. The percentage for your property will depend on the relevant land use code. There are two tiers for sewerage usage for non-residential customers, including not-for-profit community and sporting groups. Those who use more than 740 litres per day (after the percentage for sewerage usage is applied) will be charged for usage above 740 litres at the higher, tier-two price.

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Why isn’t there a cap on charges for sewerage usage?

The cap on sewerage usage charges only applies for residential customers, where the charge is calculated as being 90% of metered water usage for all households. A slightly different model is used to calculate sewerage usage for not-for-profit community and sporting groups, where the percentage varies according to the land use code for the property. Current usage patterns indicate that the majority of these customers are unlikely to exceed tier-one for sewerage usage.

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How were the sewerage usage percentages determined?

This pricing model with sewerage usage charges calculated using a percentage of metered water usage has applied in the Maroochy region for some time. The same model and percentages now apply throughout our service area, and land use codes are maintained and updated by councils.

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What if I don’t agree with the land use code for my property?

This information has been supplied to us by your local council. Site audits were also conducted on all properties to ensure the appropriate land use code is being applied. If you believe your property has been incorrectly identified, please contact your council.

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How can our group downsize our water meter/reduce the number of water meters on our property?

Water meters are part of Unitywater’s infrastructure and any change to meters would need to be undertaken by Unitywater.

Unitywater is currently undertaking a review of existing metering arrangements for some groups to determine whether large and/or multiple meters are necessary at these sites. We are also in discussion with councils about funding for downsizing meters.

If not-for-profit community and sporting groups are not part of this review, they may still apply to have their meter downsized or to have a meter disconnected but we would need to assess each application to determine whether it is necessary to retain the existing arrangements to maintain water pressure and flow. If it is possible to downsize or disconnect a meter, Unitywater would need to undertake this work at the group’s expense. Any community and sporting group seeking to have their meter downsized should contact us.

What if our group is finding it hard to pay our water bills?

We appreciate that some groups have at times had difficulty paying their utility bills and we are happy to work with those groups to develop a payment schedule to suit their budget. Unitywater is not permitted to provide grants, subsidies or concessions to its customers under the terms of its agreement with the Noosa, Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay Regional Councils. Instead, it was decided that councils would fund any concessions by way of their own policy avenues, such as annual donations or subsidies to community groups. Unitywater encourages not-for-profit community and sporting groups to contact their local council to see if they are eligible for assistance.

    Did You Know
  • A garden hose can use 15 litres of water per minute. That's 150 litres of water in just 10 minutes!