Logan City Council freezes water charges, but says state government hikes are out of its control

State of the art: Council will spend $18 million on its biosolids gasification project, which aims to turn solid waste into energy.
State of the art: Council will spend $18 million on its biosolids gasification project, which aims to turn solid waste into energy.

Logan City Council's water charges will be frozen for the fourth straight year, but it says it cannot do anything about a state government increase.

Mayor Darren Power said council's decision would be welcome news for Logan households still battling to overcome the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown.

It comes as part of the 2020-2021 budget

But the state government's bulk water charge will increase by 3.5 per cent (higher than the Brisbane CPI March rate of 1.8 per cent) - a cost that is out of council's control.

"Our water business continues to focus on efficiently delivering vital infrastructure and providing quality drinking water to our community," he said.

"That's why we are able to maintain our component of water charges at the same rate for a fourth consecutive year."

City Infrastructure Committee chair Teresa Lane said council was committed to helping drive down costs for ratepayers in challenging times, and would only apply an increase of 0.8 per cent for wastewater charges.

In addition to shielding residents and business from a water price hike, council will continue to invest in its water and sewerage network, with $119.1 million being spent this year.

Council will spend $43 million to upgrade and improve the Loganholme Wastewater Treatment Plant, including $18 million towards completing the Logan City Biosolids Gasification Project.

The Biosolids Gasification initiative aims to turn solid waste into energy through a gasification process.

The process will reduce the volume of waste by 90 per cent and produce a charcoal suitable for agricultural applications. The facility should be fully operational by July next year.

Council will also spend $35 million to replace and refurbish infrastructure its water and wastewater networks.

Council will continue the rollout of the $1.27 million smart water meters program, and undertake a $1.26 million upgrade of security around critical water infrastructure.

Smart water meters give real-time access to water use data for customers, provide detection of leaks, and awareness of water conservation.

"It is a remarkable achievement for Logan Water to embark on something as ambitious as the Biosolids Gasification project while delivering another water charge freeze," Cr Lane said.

"It's even more remarkable when you consider the challenges our growing population puts on our existing water and sewerage network."

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