“Tens of thousands of families have been wrongly billed $177 in desalination plant charges.
“One of Melbourne’s most respected lawyers, David Galbally, QC, said the charge was illegal and debt collectors should instead be visiting water authorities.
“Mr Galbally has issued a template letter of demand for customers to send, asking when and how they will get back their share of the $306 million that has been mistakenly gouged from Victorians.
“The boot might end up being on the other foot, and the debt collectors might end up chasing them (water authorities),” Mr Galbally said.
“Customers have no debt. The behaviour of the water companies is appalling and, if that is symptomatic of people who are in authority running these things, we live in a very bad society and it is high time our community stood up against these organisations.
“I don’t know how they can remain in the position of CEOs when they have overcharged customers and they don’t care less about it.”
“Melbourne’s water authorities have confirmed they will take action against customers who refuse to pay an overcharge for the Wonthaggi plant, including those who underpay their bills as a protest at the average $177 fee.
“The threat of debt collectors comes after it was revealed Melbourne Water is paying executives up to $18,000 in cash bonuses while telling some ripped-off customers they may never see their money again.”
Read more: Herald Sun