Water bill shock for CWA

Declan BushAugusta Margaret River Times
Margaret River CWA treasurer Janette Hartnett, secretary Brittany Hartnett, and president Lynn Jones. The club faces $6000 in water bills.
Camera IconMargaret River CWA treasurer Janette Hartnett, secretary Brittany Hartnett, and president Lynn Jones. The club faces $6000 in water bills. Credit: Declan Bush

Margaret River’s Country Women’s Association has copped a shock $6000 water bill traced back to a leaky hot water system at its subdivided town-centre block.

CWA treasurer Janette Hartnett said she discovered the group’s water bills had been sent to the wrong address since 2014, during which time they climbed from about $30 to more than $2000 per period.

Ms Hartnett said the water system “literally fell apart”.

“It was the neighbours who noticed that, who told us about the water,” she said.

The CWA’s Townview Terrace hall has stood for more than 60 years and is leased out to yoga, dance, church and ballet groups during the week.

Ms Hartnett said she contacted the Water Corporation with doubts the hot water system could have leaked the 2.6 million litres of water lost, but was told it was possible.

The group had inquired if the hall’s plumbing could have been accessed during previous nearby major development works, but the Water Corporation confirmed the water system was to blame.

Ms Hartnett said the water bill would be a big hit to the club’s finances.

“We’ve still got to pay our rates and insurance and everything else,” she said.

“We’re a small branch… trying to work with four people to do what we’re trying to do, it’s impossible.”

Ms Hartnett said the group would apply for an interest-free CWA loan to pay the water bill and hold fundraisers to help with the cost.

Water Corporation South West regional manager John Janssen said the Water Corporation would contact the CWA.

“Concessions and individual payment arrangements can be made depending on the circumstances, and these are assessed on a case-by-case basis,” he said.

Mr Janssen said any customers having difficulty paying their bills should contact the corporation.

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