Hikes in water bills, car registration, and ride-share fees

By Our Reporter
Representational Photo by Melissa Walker Horn on Unsplash

Effective today, residents of Melbourne and Victoria will see various increases in government fees, fines, and charges as the new financial year begins. According to The Age, the average water bill in Melbourne will rise by $34, car registration fees will increase by at least $20 across Victoria, and the statewide charge on every ride-share trip will also see an uptick.

The government has announced a 2.75 per cent increase in fees, fines, and charges, aligning these with annual inflation rates. Consequently, most annual car registrations in Melbourne, excluding the outer suburbs, will rise by $24.10, bringing the total to $901.

The value of fee units and penalty units, used to determine charges for accessing services or penalties for infringements, will also increase. The fee unit will now be $16.33, and the penalty unit will be $197.59. For example, drivers caught by cameras for mobile phone use will now face a fine of $593, up by $16, while low-range speeding penalties will rise to $346, an increase of $9.

The state budget forecasts an additional $249 million in revenue for the Department of Justice and Community Safety for the 2024-25 financial year compared to 2023-24. This increase is primarily driven by anticipated revenue from traffic cameras, due to more vehicles on Victoria’s roads and the introduction of new cameras that detect mobile phone use and seat belt violations, The Age reported.

Additionally, the commercial passenger vehicle levy on ride-share and taxi journeys will increase from $1.15 to $1.21 per trip. This levy, introduced in 2018 to support taxi license holders affected by industry deregulation, generated $61.1 million in revenue in 2022-23.
Water bills will also see an increase. In Melbourne, the average annual water bill will rise by $34 to $1070. In regional Victoria, the average bill will increase by $51, reaching $1295.

The Age, quoted Marcus Crudden, the Essential Services Commission’s director of price monitoring, who has advised residents struggling with payments to contact their water providers for assistance.

“Across the state, customers will benefit from increasing investment by water businesses to maintain service quality and reliability, and to address key challenges such as climate change,” he said.

In a positive development for households, electricity bills are expected to decrease from 1 July. The Victorian default offer, a safety net for those not seeking competitive deals, will reduce the typical household bill by $100 to $1655 per year. While not the cheapest option, this benchmark will indicate the reduction in more competitive offers, the report further said.

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