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AUS: Householders to be charged for each flush of toilet

 
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AUS: Householders to be charged for each flush of toilet
AUS: Householders to be charged for each flush of toilet
[link to www.news.com.au]

HOUSEHOLDERS would be charged for each flush under a radical new toilet tax designed to help beat the drought.

The scheme would replace the current system, which sees sewage charges based on a home's value - not its waste water output.

CSIRO Policy and Economic Research Unit member Jim McColl and Adelaide University Water Management Professor Mike Young plan to promote the move to state and federal politicians and experts across the country.

"It would encourage people to reduce their sewage output by taking shorter showers,recycling washing machine water or connecting rainwater tanks to internal plumbingto reduce their charges,''Professor Young said.

"Some people may go as far as not flushing their toilet as often because the less sewage you produce, the less sewage rate you pay.''

Professor Young said sewer pricing needed to be addressed as part of the response to the water crisis.

"People have been frightened to talk about sewage because it is yucky stuff, but it is critically important to address it, as part of the whole water cycle,'' he said.

"We are looking at reforming the way sewage is priced and this plan will drive interest in the different ways water is used throughout Australia.''

The reform would see the abolition of the property-based charge with one based on a pay-as-you-go rate and a small fixed annual fee to cover the cost of meter readings and pipeline maintenance, Professor Young said.

The pay-as-you-go rate would provide financial savings for those who reduce their waste water output.

Professor Young and Mr McColl will promote the plan nationally through their Droplet, a newsletter whose 6000 subscribers include state and federal politicians, water policy specialists and economists around the country.

Professor Young said a sewage pricing plan, like the one proposed, was already used in the US.

"In places like the City of Bellaire, Texas (a virtual suburb of Houston), they do it and the system seems to work,'' he said.

"As nearly all of (the homes in) mainland Australia's cities and towns already have water meters, introduction of a volumetric charge, such as that used in the City of Bellaire, would not be difficult to implement.''

Mr McColl said the plan had to be viewed in the context of "the crucial issues surrounding water resources'' in Australia.

"We should be prepared for the (drought) situation we are going through now to occur again, as well as the potential impact of climate change, so we have to act now for the future,'' he said.
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The People Vs Larry Flynt
"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you've heard a lot here today and I won't try to go back over it all. But you have to go back in that room and make some decisions and there is one thing I want to make very clear to you before you do. I'm not trying to convince you that you should like what Larry Flynt does. I don't like what he does. But what I do like is... that I live in a country... where you and I can make that decision for ourselves. I like that I live in a country where I can pick up Hustler magazine... read it if I want... or throw it in the trash, if that's where I think it belongs. Or better yet I can express my opinion by not buying it. I like that right. I care about it. And you should care about it, too... because we live in a free country. We say that a lot, but sometimes we forget what that means, so listen again. We live in a free country. That is a powerful idea. That's a magnificent way to live. But there is a price for that freedom, which is that sometimes... we have to tolerate things that we don't necessarily like. So go back in that room... where you are free to think whatever you want to think... about Larry Flynt and Hustler magazine. But then ask yourselves if you want to make that decision for the rest of us... because the freedom that everyone in this room enjoys... is, in a very real way, in your hands. If we start throwing up walls against what some of us think is obscene... we may wake up one morning and realize... that walls have been thrown upin places we never expected... and we can't see anythingor... do anything. And that's not freedom. That is not freedom. So, be careful. Thank you."
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