Having paid a recent Central Highlands account for $501, l contacted them to complain their charges are excessive. The Waste Water Access and Water Access fees amount to some $361 out of the $501, l was told there were several reasons for their charges; 'new technology' (one water meter in 40 years), and new infrastructure. l was also told that l would receive an email to 'educate' me on why the charges are as high as they are. The email has still not arrived. It's not rocket science to work out that the administrative charges are excessive. I was also told the Essential Services Commission approved Central Highlands Water to keep increasing their water rates according to CPI. How many of us in the salary and wage bracket get on-going CPI pay increases? At least the Ballarat City Council was able to see fit to not go ahead with a CPI increase in our property rates. Could Central Highlands Water having a commonsense re-think? With the same 40 year old pipes and water treatment plant, l believe continual rate increases are not warranted, especially in relation to the cost of water actually used.
Darryl Trewin, Mt Helen.
Malcolm's response to the trauma caused by the super-storm is a grandiloquent declaration of Australian resilience. Bill, too, is short on an adequate response. We have always had summer incursions of tropical moisture with flooding here and there along the east coast; but occurring in winter and of unprecedented severity and geographic extent, Superstorm Malcolm certainly results from the global warming/climate change which his government denies. Instead, he makes parsimonious statements about Australia reaching its emission targets, at the same time cutting Australia's renewable energy targets, and sacking the irritating climate scientists who proclaim the truth about worse to come as the globe continues to warm.
Since the early Howard years, Australian politicians, by caving into sectional interests, have helped blunt the international resolve to effectively reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. It is time for those who have previously denied the changing climate to now acknowledge its reality and its cost.
Neil Gordon Cameron, Meredith
I need to address some of the misleading claims made by Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) - (Ballarat Courier, Aged Care a key issue, 8 June.) The most important point to note; Commonwealth funding for the delivery of aged care in the region is not being cut. I can also assure local aged care residents and their families that a re-elected Turnbull Government will continue to provide funding for their care, with the highest levels of funding allocated to those with the highest need, which is the way it should be. Allow me to state a few facts. Since the 2013 election of the Coalition Government: funding to Aged Care has increased by more than $3 billion; the number of residential care places has increased to over 204,000; and an additional 23,524 home care packages have been made available. The number of beds and packages is increasing every year in line with a population-based planning ratio, with funding for the overall aged care sector continuing to grow by a further 7% per year. Our changes in the budget aim to bring expenditure back towards what has been forecast for residential care. It responds to a $3.8b blow-out in funding, largely attributed to provider claiming-patterns for complex health care, yet not clearly supported by any measurable increase in the frailty of residents. Like LASA, the Turnbull Government's desire is to improve standards, equality and efficiency within the age services sector, but we can only deliver this through responsible economic management which will ensure we can meet the demands of our ageing population.
Sarah Wade, Liberal Candidate for Ballarat
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.