Our perspective for this submission is drawn, in particular, from financial counselling and relationship counselling services as well as residential aged care, disability and carer support services. We also have a developed public policy and advocacy interest in utilities policy and regulation due to the impacts on the costs of living for low income people, including people living in poverty.

Why is Uniting Communities interested in Water Allocation?

Uniting Communities is interested in the question of water allocation because of the impact on regional communities, including economic activity. We are also particularly concerned about effects on low and modest income households, through impacts on their water bills and consequently their cost of living.

Water Prices for South Australian Households

We wish to highlight the realities of water pricing for South Australian residents over recent years. As the Figure 1 from the attached document shows average residential water bills for South Australian consumers 2008/9 and 2012/13 and demonstrates the significant increase in average residential water prices experienced over this five year period. These significantly rising water costs, on top of increases in other utility costs coupled with much more modest changes in income, have meant that growing numbers of households are under serious financial stress. Indeed financial counsellors are now seeing households whose rent plus utilities costs are in excess of two thirds of their disposable income.

Please see attached the document to read the full text.


Water allocation in Dry years (2)

We wish to highlight the realities of water pricing for South Australian residents over recent years. As the Figure 1 from the attached document shows average residential water bills for South Australian consumers 2008/9 and 2012/13 and demonstrates the significant increase in average residential water prices experienced over this five year period. These significantly rising water costs, on top of increases in other utility costs coupled with much more modest changes in income, have meant that growing numbers of households are under serious financial stress. Indeed financial counsellors are now seeing households whose rent plus utilities costs are in excess of two thirds of their disposable income.

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