Water Minister Mark Bailey is looking over a report that claims Queensland faces water hikes due to sustainable building regulations were dumped last year.
Water Minister Mark Bailey is looking over a report that claims Queensland faces water hikes due to sustainable building regulations were dumped last year. Emily Smith

Department asked to explain about damning report

WATER Minister Mark Bailey has sought a departmental briefing on the findings of a report that warns south-east Queensland households face massive increases in their water bills following the dumping of sustainable building regulations late last year.

The report headed by former Victorian chief scientist Peter Coombes warns that the loss of requirements for rainwater harvesting and water-efficient fittings would add $7.3 billion to the cost of water by 2050.

Dr Coombes said the need to increasingly rely on the water grid, Tugun's desalination plant and western corridor waste water recycling plants would add considerably to households' fixed connection costs of $800 annually.

In comparison, Sydney residents pay $400 and those in the NSW Hunter region pay $300 because they aren't saddled with the added infrastructure costs.

A spokesman for Mr Bailey said the information report had been shared with the Department of Housing and Public Works, which would be the lead agency in setting policy on sustainable building.

The spokesman said the Rainwater Harvesting Association of Australia, which commissioned the report could also make a submission to Seqwater's Water for Life water security program that is now open for consultation.

Where does your water come from?

This poll ended on 29 November 2015.

Current Results

From the town water supply.

53%

Tanks, bores, creeks and/or dams.

24%

A combination of the two.

21%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Mr Bailey said urban water resilience was a key challenge for Queensland.

"We need to develop plans that meet water needs well into the future,'' he said.

"The advantage we've got in south-east Queensland after building the water grid is we don't need new major sources of water until beyond 2030, so we have time to get this right.

"Engaging with communities about water supply challenges and potential solutions is a crucial factor in gaining support for water supply options, whether it be introducing demand management measures or planning water infrastructure.

"This was a critical factor in south-east Queenslanders halving their daily water consumption during the millennium drought.

"This engagement is continuing with Seqwater's consultation with the community about future options for the region through its Water for Life program."


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