It is the sixth year in a row the utility has frozen water and sewerage usage charges.

Recognising the financial challenges faced by many local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, Unitywater is also waiving trade waste permit fees for the next six months.

This will save small and medium business owners, predominantly food and retail businesses, up to $1,625. It will be provided to any business customers eligible for JobKeeper payments.

Unitywater Chairman Jim Soorley said the new measures bolster existing Coronavirus customer support measures it announced in early April, which include an extra 30 days to pay and no interest on overdue bills.

“We’re committed to doing everything we can to support our customers during this time,” he said.

“We hope that these measures will provide some stability and relief to local residents and businesses, during what has been, and is still for many, a stressful and challenging time.

“Local businesses are the foundation of our regional community and economy, and we’re backing those that have been affected by COVID-19 restrictions, to relieve some of the pressure on operating costs so these businesses can focus on recovery.”

Price freezes will come into effect from 1 July 2020 for 12 months, and the waiving of trade waste permit fees will apply from 1 July 2020 for 6 months.

“We know that some customers are facing financial pressure and encourage any customer who may have trouble paying their bill to contact us as soon as possible so that we can help them,” Mr Soorley added.

Customers may see an increase on their total bill due to the State Government Bulk Water charge, which is increasing by 3.49% in Moreton Bay and 5.72% in Noosa and the Sunshine Coast.

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