WA houses hit with a $440 hike to bills and fees as Government attempts budget repair

Power bills will rise $169 a year for the average West Australian household as part of a suite of increases to fees and charges announced by Treasurer Ben Wyatt today that will see households fork out almost $440 a year extra in total.

Water, sewerage and drainage fees will also be hiked by 6 per cent, an average increase of $266 per annum.

Those reliant on public transport will be hit with a $133-a-year increase.

The McGowan Government flagged household fee hikes in Opposition but had categorically ruled out any new taxes, or increases to existing taxes.

The Treasurer has since refused to repeat that line.

In another cost-saving measure, the Government announced it would slug mining companies with a 17 per cent increase in shipping fees at the Dampier and Port Hedland ports by October.

Fremantle Port’s fees will increase by 2.5 per cent, Broome’s by 2 per cent, and ports in Albany, Bunbury and Esperance will rise by half a per cent.

WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the move would save the Government $95 million over the next four years.

Last week West Australian Council of Social Service (WACOSS) chief executive officer Louise Giolitto warned the state’s most vulnerable people were at risk of not being able to pay their bills.

“We know there’s a lot of people doing in tough in Western Australia. We already have over 240,000 people living below the poverty line,” Ms Giolitto said.

Source: WA householders hit with a $440 hike to bills and fees as Government attempts budget repair – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)