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Request to disconnect water from property

Last Post 17/03/2020 4:51:43 PM by philip.glover@hilltops.nsw.gov.au. 4 replies.
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Request to disconnect water from property

16-03-2020 02:58 PM
 
Upper Hunter Shire Council
by Upper Hunter Shire Council
Joined 01-01-0001 12:00 AM
Posts 4
Interesting scenario. Residential property is owned by a bloke who is in the middle of a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. He is no longer in the property that he owns, however the girlfriend (and kid/s) still reside there. He has called and now written to Council to request that water be disconnected from the property. I can't seem to find any specific policy or reason that Council could use to deny this from occuring, though obviously we are reluctant to cut the water off. Any advice? Do we simply have to follow the owner's wishes?

Regards, Phil Hood

Re: Request to disconnect water from property

17-03-2020 02:38 PM
 
rod.haig@lismore.nsw.gov.au
by rod.haig@lismore.nsw.gov.au
Joined 21-08-2019 11:56 AM
Posts 3
Refer the following section from the Local Government Act:
s24 Provision of goods, services and facilities and carrying out of activities
A council may provide goods, services and facilities, and carry out activities, appropriate to the current and future needs within its local community and of the wider public, subject to this Act, the regulations and any other law.
I would think that providing services 'appropriate to the current and future needs within the local community and of the wider public' suggests that continuing to supply water to the resident is consistent with the statutory obligations of Council.

Re: Request to disconnect water from property

17-03-2020 02:43 PM
 
brett.corven@esc.nsw.gov.au
by brett.corven@esc.nsw.gov.au
Joined 13-11-2015 09:54 AM
Posts 18
Would council issue an occupation certificate if the water wasn't connected? No. So this is a planning and development issue.
As a water manager, the only reason I would allow a disconnection is if the lot were vacant (no dwelling) or for non-payment of water usage charges. For people that wish to live off-the grid, I would refer the matter to our development team as other arrangements would need to be approved.
This issue is similar to a landlord wishing to move a tenant on. Make sure any Bill reminder or letters of intent are sent to the property as well as the billing address to give the occupant opportunity to pay the bill direct. Play with a straight bat and don't get involved in tenancy disputes.
Brett Corven
Eurobodalla Shire Council

Re: Request to disconnect water from property

17-03-2020 04:30 PM
 
Brendan Guiney
by Brendan Guiney
Joined 02-08-2019 03:32 PM
Posts 9
1) An application to disconnect a water meter would need to be made in the appropriate form under Section 68 LG Act (specifically in the Table - Part B, item 3).
2) An application can be refused under Section 94 (1)(b) of the Act
3) Under Section 15(2)(a) of the Local Government Regulation, matters to be considered include the protection and promotion of public health.
I would suggest that the application to disconnect the meter (if you receive one) can be refused as the dwelling is occupied, and council must have regard for the protection and promotion of public health.

Re: Request to disconnect water from property

17-03-2020 04:51 PM
 
philip.glover@hilltops.nsw.gov.au
by philip.glover@hilltops.nsw.gov.au
Joined 22-01-2019 12:05 PM
Posts 1
Some advice received from the Water Billing officer as follows
Did a ring around of a couple of agencies that deal with domestic violence. From a council perspective Upper Hunter could call the NSW Ombudsman between 9am & 4 pm tomorrow on 1800 451 524 & discuss the situation with them & they may be able to point the council in the right direction in terms of reasons for refusal - Health impact of people currently residing there etc.


In addition it would also be recommended that the occupant contact council to let them know of their occupancy of the property. Occupant could also contact Women's Legal Services NSW on 02 8745 6988

It may be worth occupant also contacting police if there is an AVO in place that excludes the owner from this property as his action to disconnect/try to disconnect the water may be perceived as threat or intimidation by the owner to the occupant.
The planning stick of a water supply for a certificate of occupancy seems very powerful.
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