Council may cop huge hike in power costs

p2295-pool-foodsBy ERWIN CHLANDA

 

The Town Council may be facing a 25% increase in electricity costs, by about $100,000 to $545,000, when the NT Government owned Power and Water drops its subsidy, as it has done in Darwin and Katherine.

 

Tomorrow night’s meeting (Monday), which will be dealing with reports from council committees, will consider obtaining a subsidised or a negotiated electricity rate.

 

“If it happens this would mean a whopping increase,” says Deputy Mayor Steve Brown.

 

“P&W is passing off their inefficiencies to the ratepayers.”

 

He says the increase would equate to a 1% rate rise, says Cr Brown.

 

Also, P&W, which now owns the street lighting, has signalled it wants to hand it over to local government.

 

Another issue tomorrow will be giving healthy foods and drinks at the town pool canteen a green light while “energy dense, nutrient poor foods and drinks” may get a red light.

 

“The council has a responsibility to be a role model in the community and lead by example … more green foods and less red foods should be available,” says the report.

 

In a nutshell these are the guidelines for a “traffic light system” displayed in the canteen: Green will signal foods and drinks “generally low in saturated fat and/or added sugar and/or salt. Examples include: breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles; vegetables; fruit; reduced fat milk, yoghurt and cheese; lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and legumes” – and water which “should always be available free of charge (e.g. tap water, bubblers).”

 

Amber will mean”choose carefully” because of “considerable amounts of sugar, salt and/or saturated fat. They may still contain valuable nutrients. Examples include muesli bars, processed meat and some ready to serve meals.”

 

Red will denote “foods that should be consumed only sometimes and in small amounts. Examples include soft drinks; high fat, high sodium (salt) snacks, such as crisps; lollies and chocolates; deep fried foods.”

 

The Town Council also will tomorrow night consider widening the Ilparpa Road because the present seal is in bad repair and is too narrow, considering the use by many heavy vehicles and bicycle riders.

 

The cost of six options to be discussed range from $1.6m (widen from six to eight meters but not including bicycle lanes) and $9.3m.

 

Most of the 11.4 km road is six metres wide while the council’s policy for “rural living access and collector road” is 11 metres.

 

PHOTO: “As you can see by the pictures below the Alice Springs Aquatic and Leisure Centre has a wide variety of ‘red light’ foods on offer to patrons” says a town council report.

 

 

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