Can I pay my rates in advance?
Yes, you can pay into your rates account before your rates notice is issued. Advanced payments will show as a credit balance on your notice. Please note the account must be paid in full by the due date in order to receive the discount. Any outstanding balance after the due date will accrue interest at the rate of 11%p.a. calculated daily.
I did not receive my rates notice and did not pay my rates by the due date. Can I still get the discount?
Unfortunately, you will not be able to receive the discount under any circumstances unless payment in full is received by the discount due date.
I paid by BPay on the due date, but WTA did not receive the payment until after the due date. Can I still get the discount?
No. Payment in full must be received by the discount due date. We strongly recommend that you do not leave payment until the discount due date as we can’t take responsibility for the late processing of electronic payments by third parties.
What can I do if I cannot pay by the due date?
If you are unable to pay the amount by the due date, please contact us on 07 4030 9400 to make a payment arrangement. Please note that interest will begin to accrue at the rate of 11%p.a. calculated daily on any amounts unpaid from the first day after the due date.
How do I let the WTA know my new address?
It is your responsibility to ensure we have the correct mailing address for all notices. Change of address notification must be in writing and can be forwarded to WTA via letter, fax or email.
I am about to sell my property and there are still rates to be paid – how is this worked out?
Your settlement agent should manage this at settlement, apportioning the rates accordingly between the buyer and seller.
What are my responsibilities as a pet owner?
If you keep pets in Weipa, you will need to comply with the Animal Management (Cats & Dogs) Act 2008 as well as local laws. You can find out more about keeping animals in Weipa, please visit our Animal Management page.
What service does the WTA provide the Weipa Community in relation to Animal Management?
The WTA employs a full time Community Safety Officer, who is responsible for overseeing animal management in the Weipa community
Is the Community Safety Officer an Authorised Person? And if so where are their powers delegated from?
Yes. The Comalco Act, clause 45 provides provisions for Rio Tinto to perform the services of a Local Government. Pursuant to the legislation, Rio Tinto and WTA developed the Weipa Town Authority Management Protocol for Weipa in 2008. This document outlines the services that the WTA will provide Weipa Town in accordance with the Local Government Act. The WTA Superintendent has the delegation to appoint an Authorised Persons. Chapter 6 Administration, Part 6, Authorised persons, Section 202.
In the case of WTA, the Superintendent has appointed the Community Safety Officer under the following legislations:
- The Local Government Act 2009 – Section 202
- Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 – Section 104
- Public Health Act 2005 – Section 377 (2)
- Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2001 – Section 263 (2)
- Land Protection (pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002 – 244
- Environmental Protection Act 1994-Section 445 (2)
- The Weipa Town Authority Local Law No 1 – Part 4 Section 14(1)
Can a staff member from WTA enter my property legally?
Various acts delegate different powers in relation to entry and enforcement. The acts in which the WTA staff are authorised, include ‘Powers of Entry’ sections, allowing entry to both public and private lands to carry out required duties. To view these powers please refer to the following acts:
- Local Government Act 2009 - Chapter 5, Part 2, Division 1 Powers of authorised persons.
- Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 – Chapter 5, Part 2, Division 1 Powers of entry.
Note the WTA staff have different powers of entry depending on the legislation they are acting under.
What does ‘Under Effective Control' mean?
As a pet owner you are required to keep your animal under effective control at all times, as per WTA Local Law No.6 Keeping and Control of Animals, Section 16 (1) Animal must be kept under effective control. This includes;
- Providing a sufficient enclosure at your home to keep your animal on your property; and
- Walking your dog on a leash at all times; and
- A dog must be under the continual supervision of the owner, you are not permitted to leave your animal tethered, unattended in a public space e.g. unattended tied or caged on the back of a vehicle or in a parkland.
* Exclusions to the effective control rule is dog training and dedicated off leash areas.
Dogs wandering at large should be reported to the WTA on 4030 9400 during office hours. Outside of office hours the WTA will only respond to urgent matters, such as a dog attack.
What happens if I am found to not have my dog under effective control?
If you are found to be non-compliant with the Local Laws you may be issued with a Compliance Notice or/ a Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN).
What is a Compliance Notice?
A Compliance Notice is an official document issued to an individual/dog owner to abide by state or local government legislation within a specified timeframe.
What is a Penalty Infringement Notice?
An Infringement Notice is a ticket issued 'on the spot' or sent through the mail for offences such as speeding, parking illegally or animal offences. The Infringement Notice contains information about the fine amount and the alleged offence. If you don’t pay your fine within 28 days;
- Your driver’s license may be suspended.
- Your employer may deduct money from your wages.
- Your bank may be ordered to transfer money out of your account.
- An interest may be registered on you property.
- Your vehicle may be immobilised.
- Your property may be taken and sold.
To find out more information in regards to paying your fine, please refer to https://www.sper.qld.gov.au/
Is there an off leash area in town?
The Weipa township has four off-leash areas.
- Fenced park area on Hibberd Drive opposite Town Office (for small dogs only).
- Bushland off Northern Avenue through to Andoom Road.
- Bushland behind Nanum to Lake McLeod.
- Rocky Point Beach boat ramp and bushland through to the Albatross Bay Resort.
When accessing the off-leash areas, please ensure you adhere to the following conditions:
- Please be considerate of all other users, as well as neighbouring properties and their pets.
- Your dog must always be under effective control*
- Dog/s showing signs of aggressive or anti-social behavior are not permitted in areas and will be investigated by WTA.
- Scoop the poop.
- Restricted, dangerous or menacing dogs must be compliant with their conditions.
- Female dogs that are in season (on heat) are not permitted in these areas.
- Please report any dog attacks or concerns to the WTA.
*Effective control - your dog responds to your command and remains close to you. If your dog does not respond, do not allow it off leash.
For what reasons would the WTA impound my animal?
As per WTA Local Law No.6 Keeping and Control of Animals and Local Law No.7 Impounding of Animals, your dog may be impounded by the WTA if;
- Your animal is found to be wandering at large with no owner present (not under your effective control).
- Your animal poses a safety risk to the community.
- Your dog is suspected of being involved in an attack and/or menace.
- Your dog is a restricted breed and the WTA reasonably believes that the animal may be hidden or removed from the property.
What is the process to release my animal if it is impounded?
It is the aim of the WTA to get your animal back to you as soon as possible but there are some steps that need be to completed before your animal can be released.
- Making contact with the WTA on 4030 9400 during office hours to claim your animal.
- Completing a ‘Release Form’ at the Town Office.
- Registering your dog, if it isn’t already registered.
- Making payment of sustenance fees, if required. If your animal is impounded overnight, the sustenance fee is $35 per night per animal.
- Collecting your animal/s from the pound facility between 3-4pm on weekdays.
- If your animal is impounded and not microchipped the animal will not be released to you until you have signed a consent form for Microchipping. The WTA Community Safety Officer will then microchip your animal. There is a $30 fee for this service.
*If your animal is unidentifiable (no registration or microchipping) the WTA does have the authorisation to dispose of the animal after 3 days.
Does the WTA rehome animals without identifiable owners?
The WTA has an agreement with CAPS in relation to animals that are suitable for rehoming.
At what age am I required to register my dog?
As per the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act, Section 44, all dogs must be registered at 12 weeks of age (3 months). At present the WTA will not charge you a fee until your animal is 6 months. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in you being issued with a Compliance Notice or/ a PIN.
Is it a requirement to microchip my animals? When did this come into effect?
Yes. The Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act, Section 13, requires all animals born after 1 July 2008 to be microchipped. Contact the WTA for more information. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in you being issued with a Compliance Notice or/ a PIN. The WTA offers a microchipping service at a charge.
Can I give away or sell my animals (dog & cat) without microchipping?
No. The Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act, Section 13, requires all animals born after 1 July 2008 to be microchipped. Contact the WTA for more information. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in you being issued with a Compliance Notice or/ a PIN. The WTA offers a microchipping service at a charge.
Is it a requirement for me to de-sex my animal?
No, it is not mandatory to de-sex your animal, however it is recommended as there are numerous benefits of de-sexing including but not limited to;
- Reduces numbers of unwanted animals and therefore a cost to the community.
- Eliminates the “heat’ (reproductive) cycle.
- Reduces territorial behaviour.
- Pets are less prone to wander, fight and less likely to get lost or injured.
- Medical benefits, such as reduced risk of reproductive cancers and infections.
What is a Dog attack?
A dog attack is when your animal acts in a way as defined by the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008, specifically:
(Part 4 Regulated dog declarations section 89 (2))
- Has seriously attacked, or acted in a way that caused fear to, a person or another animal;
- May, in the opinion of an authorised person having regard to the way the dog has behaved towards a person or another animal, seriously attacked, or acted in a way that causes fear to, the person or animal
The WTA strongly recommends that you report any dog attacks to the WTA as soon as possible. Please call 4030 9400 during office hours (8:30am to 4:30pm weekdays) and 0427 406 998 afterhours. The WTA will take the following action as a result of a dog attack report:
- Secure the scene for community safety
- Commence an investigation; gathering statements and photographs from all parties involved
- Review the evidence; severity of the attack/injuries and history of dog/s involved
- WTA will then make a decision measured against the legislation and evidence, as to whether the instigating dog/s will be declared as a regulated dog (Dangerous or Menacing).
Your dog may be declare as a regulated dog if the WTA forms the opinion based on the evidence and legislation that your animal has attacked. If your animal is declared as a regulated dog, specifically a ‘dangerous dog’ or a ‘menacing dog’, you will be subjected to permit conditions, for the keeping of a regulated dog. For more information regarding these conditions, go to part 2 of the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Regulations 2009.
Who do I report a welfare concern to?
Any animal welfare concerns should be reported through to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) Phone: 132523.
Local Law Amendments
There are certain sections in Local Law No. 6 Keeping and Control of Animals that have been superseded by the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008.
These sections are;
- Division 2 Animals for which registration is required, Section 7 Requirement to register animals and 8 Obligation to register.
- Division 1 Animals in public places, Section 17 Dangerous dogs to be muzzled in public.
- Division 4 Aggressive dogs, Section 22 Attack etc dogs.
- Division 5 Dangerous dogs, Section 23 Declaration of dangerous dog.
I'm getting some plumbing work done. What is the approval process?
Any plumbing or drainage work carried out in the Weipa area needs to comply with current legislative requirements and regulations. You can find out more about categories of plumbing and drainage, and download the relevant approvals form our Plumbing Approvals page.
I would like to hold an event in Weipa. Are there venues I can hire?
Weipa has a wide range of venues that can be hired for private or community use. Fees may apply, and you will need to complete a Venue Hire form. To learn more about these facilities, visit our Venues page.
How do I join the Weipa library?
The Hibberd Library is a popular local resource and home to a number of community programs. You can join by bringing a completed Membership Application Form and your ID into the library. To find out more about the facilities, or to download an application, visit the Hibberd Library page.
How do we know that our water is safe to drink?
Weipa Town Authority (WTA) is committed to ensuring that residents have access to quality drinking water. The town water supply is treated and tested regularly to meet the requirements set out in the National Health and Medical Research Council’s guidelines for water quality, as prescribed by the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011.
Should residents be required to be notified of an issue with the town supply, the WTA will communicate updates via the WTA website, WTA Facebook page, noticeboards and electronic signage posted at key community locations, and any additional means of communications The WTA has works closely with the regulators during any quality issues.
How often does WTA test the water?
The WTA has implemented a strict water quality testing regime which exceeds the minimum recommendations for testing water quality as set out by the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. The WTA tests the water at various locations throughout the town network for chlorine (tested routinely throughout the week) and microbiology (tested twice weekly). These locations cover all suburbs, including Nanum, Rocky Point, Golf Links and Trunding.
How do I read the water testing results?
WTA posts the latest microbiological test results on its website at www.weipatownautority.com.au
The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines indicate that microbiological tests should read less than one colony forming unit (CFU) of E Coli per 100 millilitres of water ( <1.0 CFU/100mL).
The laboratory results will indicate <1 CFU/100mL where the water sample meets the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (2011) guidelines.
Who Tests the Water?
WTA engages suitably qualified personnel to collect samples from the water treatment plant and sample locations in each suburb. Chlorine tests are performed locally. Samples for microbiology testing are sent by courier to an accredited laboratory for independent testing and analysis.
Where does Weipa's Water come from?
Weipa’s water comes from a bore field accessing the shallow aquifer on the Weipa Peninsular.
The township water consists of nine bores feeding into an open dam through to the treatment plant. The water treated by adding lime (calcium hydroxide) into the water between the dam and the elevated tower to neutralise the pH whilst chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) is injected for disinfection purposes. The water then flows onto the town reticulation system for distribution to Rocky Point, Trunding, Nanum and Golf Links.
Evans Landing and Lorim Point water consists of eight bores feeding into a storage tank. From there the water is treated by adding lime (calcium hydroxide) before distribution to Evans Landing and Lorim Point.
How can I be sure that WTA are complying with Regulations?
The Water Supply Act of 2008 is set up to provide for the safety and reliability of water supply throughout Queensland. This Act requires service providers like WTA to prepare a Drinking Water Quality Management Plan which must meet the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011. This plan is approved and regularly reviewed by the Department of Energy and Water Supply, which acts as the water regulator. WTA is required to adhere to the processes set out in the Drinking Water Quality Management Plan.
Why is the WTA charging for excess water?
Water is a finite resource. Weipa draws water from bores, from aquifers, which then needs to be treated. The treatment of
water requires infrastructure, chemicals and power to run the infrastructure.
To manage the impact on infrastructure with demand from the township, our total usage needs to stabilise and decrease.
The WTA has benchmarked Weipa’s water usage against similar remote towns in Northern Australia. Results reveal that
Weipa is using more water per household than any other region. Conserving water will help to ensure we are behaving
responsibly and ensure adequate water pressure to households.
When will these charges be introduced?
Excess water charges for residential properties will be implemented mid-year 2016. The first invoice for excess water will be issued in early 2017 for the usage of the previous 6 months.
What is the residential water allowance per year? How is this determined?
Each residential property is given a residential allowance of 5.48 kilolitres (kl) per day (1kl= 1000L). This equates to 2000 kl per year. This is a generous allowance and is a greater allocation than other councils in Northern Australia allow. This allowance was calculated to ensure that the majority of Weipa residences did not attract a water excess charge. The value of this allowance may be revised in the future by WTA resolution.
How are the excess water charges calculated?
Each residential property will receive a “residential allowance” of 5.48 kilolitres (kl) of water per day at no cost. This equates to 2000kl per annum. If your property uses a greater amount of water, the water usage above the residential allowance will be charged the excess water rate of $0.49 per kilolitre. Please note that the excess water charge bill will be capped at $490.
For example: The billing period is 1 August to 31 January which is 183 days, therefore the residential allowance for the billing period is 1002kL.
Property A uses 850 kl water. This is below the residential allowance therefore that property will not receive an invoice for excess water.
Property B uses 1282 kl water. The excess water charge will be calculated as 1282kL(total usage) -1002 kl (residential allowance) = 280 kl (excess water usage) x $0.49c / kl = $137.20. (No GST charged)
What do other councils do?
Other councils in Queensland charge for water. Some charge for water as a set $ per kilolitre from the first kilolitre used. Others have an allowance for water that is included in the general water access charge plus an excess charge once you use more than the general allowance. The excess is usually determined as a $ per kilolitre charge.
How do I know if I am using above the residential water allowance per year?
To help residents prepare, the WTA is contacting property owners where their property has historically used more than 2000kl of water in a financial year. This will allow property owners and residents time to work through any leaks or other issues prior to excess water charges being implemented. However, as tenancy and usage of properties can change over time we may not know of all high water users. If you think you are a high water user please contact WTA on 4030 9400 and we can talk to you about water efficiency options.
What if I'm identified as an excess water user and I don't believe I use that much?
The WTA believes that there may be some leaks on residential properties that may be leading to excessive water usage. Those identified as high water users will be able to work with the WTA to understand if any leaks or other issues are contributing to the excessive usage.
How will I receive an invoice?
Invoices will be mailed to the address recorded on the rates notice. Invoices will be issued every 6 months.
I am a rental tenant / I am a landlord. Who will need to pay the charges?
Some tenancy agreements will allow for the landlord to pass on the cost of excess water usage to the tenant. Please contact your real estate agent, landlord or seek professional advice.
How will my water usage be measured?
Water usage is measured by a water meter on the property. The water meters will be read manually every 6 months. Where ‘smart meters’ are installed, the meters can be read without a person entering the property.
We live in a unit complex and there is one water meter measuring the usage of more than one residence. How will our invoice be calculated?
Please contact your body corporate or the WTA 4030 9400.
I don't think I have a water meter on my property, what should I do?
Please contact WTA on 07 4030 9400.
I have dogs on my property or my water meter is behind a fence so cannot be accessed easily. What should I do?
If your meter is unable to be read, your property will be noted as not having a reading. You will receive a note from the WTA requesting that you read your water meter and send us through the reading.
What are the contributing reasons for excess water usage?
Two reasons why residential properties may use excessive water include irrigation practices that are not efficient for our climate and leaks on residential properties.
What can I do to reduce my water consumption?
WTA will be offering information to residents on how to reduce their water consumption and tips for around the household and garden. Water wise tips are available on the website https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/water/use/
Why does irrigation and watering my garden use so much water? Does this mean I should not water my yard?
Watering a lawn can use 1000 litres per hour. The WTA has set the threshold of water usage at a level that allows for a residents to use water as required for living and for efficient watering of gardens and lawns and not receive an excess water charge. Residents will still be able to water their lawn and gardens but may need to install water efficiency devices or be proactive in monitoring to ensure their irrigation practices are water wise.
I thought Weipa residents already pay for water through our annual rates invoices each year?
The water access charge that is included in your rates contributes to the cost of maintaining essential water infrastructure such as bores, town dam, water treatment plant, water mains and ring mains. Essentially, this charge provides your property with access to drinking water that has been treated. Many Weipa residents will not be charged for excessive use. Those residents who exceed the residential allowance will be issued with an excessive charge.
How can I identify if there is a water leak on my property?
To identify if there is a water leak on your property, choose a time when you are not using any appliances that use water, ensure all taps are turned off and toilet cisterns are not filling, take a start read of your water meter and an hour later take a second read of your water meter. If your second meter reading is higher than the start meter reading you may have a leak. We recommend that you contact a licensed plumber to help find the leak.
There is a water leak in my garden. What can I do?
If the leak is behind the water meter and towards your property, or relates to your irrigation system, this leak is the responsibility of the property owner. Please contact your plumber to have the leak repaired. If you are a tenant, please contact your real estate agent or landlord.
There was a leak in my street. Does this mean my water meter will show a higher reading?
The water meter only reads the water that flows from the town supply to your house. A leak in your street will not impact the flow of water into your property and will not be read by your water meter.
Do water restrictions still apply?
Yes, water restrictions and watering times will remain in effect to address peak flow and usage levels to manage water demand across the township.