Retirement villages’ association prove their pulling power – winning support for SA Government inquiry into water rates
The new Liberal Government led by Steven Marshall has promised to set up a Parliamentary Select Committee to investigate changes that may lead to increases of up to 700 per cent in water bills for 8,000 village residents after lobbying from the South Australian Retirement Villages Residents Association (SARVRA).
According to SARVRA, the State Valuation Office began assessing retirement village units separately three years ago. Previously, villages were assessed as a single site just like a shopping centre or block of flats.
The result? When the first annual water bill arrived at one village, their charges increased from $2,123 to $16,516 – a 680 per cent jump! That’s before they were even billed for the cost of water.
The Government and SA Water made an agreement for the state to pay the difference, but this will end in 2025.
SARVRA now hopes the issue will be settled. “It’s the only decent thing to do,” president Bob Ainsworth said.
We have to agree.