Extra water charges to stay for Ellenbrook’s new homes

WATER Corporation will maintain the extra water charges applied to connect new homes around Ellenbrook until the area grows by about 20 per cent.

Currently, new home owners in Perth’s northeast corridor pay significantly more than others in the metropolitan area because it is considered a developing area.

Charges for water connection in the northeast corridor are about $5993 per block, compared to the standard metropolitan charge of $4064 – nearly $2000 more.

At $3588, sewerage connection charges are more than $2000 higher than the standard metropolitan charge of $1363.

Land developers, like LWP in Ellenbrook, pay the one-off charges when they create new lots, adding to the cost of property in the area.

The contribution is applied to developing areas to recover the cost of building water infrastructure in the area.

West Swan MLA Rita Saffioti said Ellenbrook could no longer be considered a developing area. She raised the issue in Parliament recently, and is calling for the removal of the Water Corporation’s additional headworks and connection charges in Ellenbrook. “It’s a charge that cannot continue to be justified,” she said.

“Ellenbrook has grown rapidly into a fully developed community and hub for the northeast corridor – the Water Corporations charges should reflect this.”

The charges were established by the State Government and the Water Authority in December 1993 to fund capital infrastructure in the growing area.

A recent review on the northeast corridor water charges showed there were 14,826 residential lots in the corridor and when the area reached 19,200, the additional charges would no longer apply.

Water Corporation spokeswoman Clare Lugar said charges enabled the area to develop without the need for developers to pre-fund the significant upfront cost of water infrastructure.