NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell today announced residents in the Blue Mountains, the Hunter and Southern Highlands will not be charged for water used to defend their homes during the bush fire crisis.
Customers will not be billed for water used to defend their homes in the following suburbs:
Mr O’Farrell and Minister for Finance and Services Andrew Constance said the policy will be extended to cover more households if conditions deteriorate.
“In emergencies like this, it’s vital government agencies work together to assist people wherever they can and provide practical help to households – and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“This is a very difficult time for residents in the Blue Mountains, Hunter and Southern Highlands and the last thing they need to be worrying about is how much water they are using and the impact on their bills,” he said.
“This benefit could be extended to more households depending on conditions and fire movement over the next few days.
“It’s just another example of the practical way the NSW Government is helping assist residents in bush fire areas. Yesterday, I announced we would waive the waste levy for all residents and businesses cleaning-up after the fires.
“I’m pleased Sydney Water and Hunter Water are doing their part to help in waiving excess water charges,” he said.
Mr Constance said Sydney Water and Hunter Water are working with fire authorities to identify areas affected by the fires, and credit customers’ accounts based on that information.
“Sydney Water and Hunter Water will look at an affected customer’s water consumption record from the same period last year and compare it with this year’s water consumption. The difference will be automatically credited back to the customer,” Mr Constance said.
“Residents in other bush fire areas may be supplied by local council water providers and I encourage them to consider the same benefit.
“I would also like to thank the Sydney Water and Hunter Water crews who have been working around the clock to maintain water supply and wastewater systems for bush fire affected residents.
“The organisations are working closely with fire authorities to ensure water gets to where it’s needed.
“This decision follows representations from locals MPs.”