Melbourne Water and the Victorian State Government

Melbourne Water has recently imposed a "Metropolitan Drainage Charge" on 160,000 rural properties surrounding Melbourne. What many people do not know is that this was achieved by amending the MMBW Act (now repealed) to include large areas of rural Victoria in the definition of "Metropolitan" Melbourne. Areas more than 70km from Melbourne CBD were declared part of the metropolis.

The charge ranges from $38pa upwards, and may be increased in years to come. Many properties who have been charged will receive no service at all. Melbourne Water has marketed the charge as a "Waterways charge" spinning that it is aimed at helping the environment.

Under the Essential Services Commision Act it is actually defined as a "Metropolitan Drainage Charge". The rationale for the original imposition of a drainage charge on metropolitan properties (way back in the 1920s - when the only good river was a concreted one) is that in built-up areas run-off is increased by sealing surfaces (such as for roads, footpaths and driveways).

As a result Melborune Water provides drains to remove this excess water and dispose of it mostly to sea. This rationale does not work for rural areas, where much of the run-off flows into reservoirs. Melbourne Water then sells the water collected in these reservoirs. The run-off does not impose a cost on them - in fact they make a profit from it.

This is not a charge for a service - it is another Victorian State Government tax.

All the 160,000 property owners who have been hit with this charge for the first time this year should protest now by signing the petition. Bear in mind that there are rumours that the government may sell off Melbourne Water assets as part of the Desalination deal - and this would now include many of our rural water ways.

The charge is also imposing a cost on many people who are water self-sufficient (ie living on water they collect in water tanks) - in order to subsidize those in Melbourne who are water hogs. This is not about sustainability, helping the environment, or providing incentives for water-saving lifestyles. It is a tax.

Sign Now!! Stop the Victorian Government tax grab - say no to the Melbourne Water Metropolitan Drainage Charge being forced on rural property owners.

We the undersigned protest to the imposition of a metropolitan Drainage Charge on non-metropolitan properties.

We ask for the charge to be restricted to those properties defined as part of the metropolis of Melbourne as defined in the MMBW ACt prior to November 2005, and as defined in Melbourne 2030 and other relevant planning documents as outlined below:

The 31 metropolitan municipalities that make up the metropolitan region: Banyule, Bayside, Boroondara, Brimbank, Cardinia, Casey, Darebin, Frankston, Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong, Hobsons Bay, Hume, Kingston, Knox, Manningham, Maribyrnong, Maroondah, Melbourne, Melton, Monash, Moonee Valley, Moreland, Mornington Peninsula, Nillumbik, Port Phillip, Stonnington, Whitehorse, Whittlesea, Wyndham, Yarra and Yarra Ranges.

We the undersigned strongly oppose the imposition of the Melbourne Water Waterways charge/Metropolitan Drainage Charge on properties outside of this area.

GoPetition respects your privacy.

The Say No to Melbourne Water Waterway charges in rural areas petition to Melbourne Water and the Victorian State Government was written by Alison Joseph and is in the category Government at GoPetition.