Edition 5 - Spring 2008
beyond the letterbox
Incentives to Feedback can be sent to:
be GreenSmart and Communications and Marketing
Department of Housing and Works
own your own home 99 Plain Street
East Perth WA 6004
The Department of Housing and Works’ home loan scheme, Keystart, is now providing an added incentive for people to
This will be in the form of an increase of up to a $1,000 in the loan available to people building a house that meets specific
environmental sustainability criteria.
The house must meet the Housing
Industry Association’s GreenSmart
design and construction benchmarks
Do you have
which cover: an unsterilised
cat but can’t
• indoor air quality management afford the
• construction process
• construction materials sterilisation
down” and a first litter is the main
• landscaping and noise abatement.
fees? source of cat overpopulation.
The Keystart GreenSmart loan can be Seven out of 10 kittens are
used by owner occupiers to build a The Cat Sterilisation Society will destroyed and many are left to
new house and is available to first or offer low cost de-sexing of your fend for themselves, adding to
subsequent home buyers. cat if you are on a low income or the feral cat population, which
are a concession or pension card is growing each year. Kittens of
For more information on the holder. both sexes need to be sterilised at
GreenSmart Home Loan and for approximately five months of age.
information on other Low Deposit, Uncontrolled cats mating and
Low Cost home loans available contact fighting at night are a major So do the best thing for your cat
Keystart today. source of noise complaint from and the environment and sterilise
neighbours and unsterilized cats now!
Keystart Home Loans mark their territory by spraying on
doorways creating an unpleasant Please ring the Cat Sterilisation
Level 6, 218 St. Georges Terrace odour. Society on 9397 5062 Monday
Perth WA 6000 to Wednesday, 10am to 4pm for
Telephone: 1300 KSTART Your cat will be a healthier, more assistance or with any inquiries.
1300 578 278 companiable pet when de-sexed,
Website: keystart.com.au less inclined to wander, get into For more information, visit the
fights or be killed on the road. website:
It is a myth that a female cat
needs a first litter to “settle it
Water Use – Do you want to save
$ $ an d water fo r your future?
Did you know that the following can help you save water and money?
• Wait for a full load of clothes or dishes before using washing machines or
dishwashers as a half load is a huge waste of water.
• Don’t run water continuously when shaving or brushing teeth, only use water
• Take shorter and less frequent showers as every minute less in a conventional shower can save 10
litres of water.
• Educate children on the use of the dual flush toilet, only use the full flush for solids, otherwise use
the half flush.
• Keep a container of cold water in the fridge to prevent wasting running water until it gets cold.
continued on page 3...
How can we improve our ser vice?
The Department of Housing and Works is committed to providing a quality of service to all of our customers.
Since implementing a Customer Feedback and Complaints System in September 2006, we have received a total
of 277 complaints, 51 compliments and 47 suggestions which have been recorded on our central data system.
Below is a breakdown of feedback we have received to date:
The Customer Feedback and Complaints System provides you with an opportunity to make complaints or compliments
on the Department’s products and services and provide suggestions on how we can improve our service.
continued on page 3...
Beyond the Letterbox 2
...continued from page 2
• Report leaking taps to your DHW Office as soon as the problem becomes evident and
remember to check garden taps for leaks on a regular basis by disconnecting the hose or
reticulation and monitoring the water meter.
• Use mulch on gardens if you can as 7-10cm reduces water evaporation and reduces water
consumption by up to 70%.
• Water your garden at the correct times and hand water where possible.
• Use trigger nozzles on hoses, so that you only use water when you need to on the garden or
• Monitor your water meter on a monthly basis, this will help you to notice variations and
report a leak to your DHW Office.
• You should alter your water use to suit your budget.
• You can pay your water bill off in small regular payments to assist budgeting.
If you would like to learn more about the Water Corporation’s water saving initiatives,
please see their internet site: www.watercorporation.com.au
....continued from page 2 The Department of Housing and Works will assign an
independent officer to investigate your complaint
If you have any feedback, suggestions, complaints and provide you with a response.
or compliments about our service, staff or products
we would like to hear from you. Please discuss your You will also be given the opportunity to provide
complaint first with the office concerned but if you are feedback on our response and how your complaint
still not satisfied then please lodge your feedback. was handled. Your complaint will be used as part
of business planning process to improve how we
Why we need to know provide our service and products to you.
Your complaints, compliments and suggestions are
important as they help us improve our services as Can I remain anonymous?
well as telling us what we are doing well. You may choose to submit complaints, compliments
How to make a compliment, suggestion or or suggestions without providing your name and/or
complaint: contact information. However if you do not provide
• Complete the feedback form on the either of these the Department will not be able to
Department’s website at www.dhw.wa.gov.au; provide you with a response to your complaint. If
you choose not to be identified then the action
• Telephone or visit a DHW office; taken may also be limited.
• Mail a letter or feedback form addressed to -
Customer Service Coordinator, Department of Complaints do not include:
Housing and Works, 3rd Floor, 99 Plain St, East • General enquiries;
Perth WA 6004;
• Requests for information regarding a service or
• Call the Customer Service Coordinator on product;
1800 257 677 (toll free);
• Request for advice;
• Send an email to -
email@example.com. • Appeals against decisions or maintenance
requests or complaints regarding anti-social
If you are unable to lodge feedback personally you behaviour;
may wish to nominate someone to act on your behalf. • Requesting a service and contractual disputes.
What happens next? Feedback can be given regarding the above if the
The Department’s Customer Service Coordinator will customer is either satisfied or dissatisfied with the
send you an acknowledgement of your feedback policy or procedure.
within five (5) working days and will advise you of a
date by which you can expect a reply.
Beyond the Letterbox 3
HOW YOUR WATER METER CAN SAVE YOU MONEY
The facts about water meters Remember every drop counts Spare a thought for
the meter reader
During the year, Water Corporation Using water wisely not only protects the
representatives will need to gain access to State’s vital water resource, but it also saves
It only takes a few
your property to read your water meter. you money.
moments for us to
You can help meter readers do their jobs, as The Water Corporation uses a tiered read your water meter
well as keep track of the amount of water structure for water charges, which means but this simple job is
being used by members of your household. the more you use, the higher the price you sometimes made difficult when we don’t
pay. have easy access to the meter.
How to read your meter
The biggest residential water guzzler is 1. A clear space of at least 300mm
Read from left to right. You only need to almost always your garden, which means around, and 1200mm above, your
read the black numbers which measure the way you design your garden and use water meter is required. Please clear
the kilolitres. The red numbers represent your reticulation system can have a big sand and mulch and prune overgrown
litres. The Water Corporation only bills impact on your water bill. plants.
for kilolitres consumed. (1000 litres = 1 Example: Using a watering station with six 2. If you have a dog, please display a sign
kl.) Reading your water meter regularly fine spray popup sprinklers for 15 minutes and keep the dog secured away from
and keeping a simple record of your can consume around 800 litres of water. the meter area. All we need is a few
consumption can help you alter your Multiply that by the number of watering moments each year to read your meter.
consumption habits to suit your budget. stations in your reticulation system and
consumption can skyrocket. 3. We respect your right to safeguard
It can also help you detect possible leaks. A
your property by locking entrance
simple check involves turning off all water Simple things, like grouping plants gates. Sometimes, however, meters
consumption devices and taps and looking according to their water needs and using are in the backyard or down the side
to see if the water meter is still recording. catch cups to identify how long you really of a house - depending on where the
If it is, you may wish to consult a licensed need to use your reticulation, will make a water main is located. If no-one is
plumber to investigate and carry out big difference. home, we will leave a card asking you
repairs. Call the Water Corporation on Advice on how to save water both inside to call us and make suitable alternative
13 13 85 if and outside your home is available arrangements. If you intend installing
you would like from 8am to 5pm each weekday via the a lock, please consider a WASlock
a free Meter Waterwise Information Line 13 10 39 or you (Western Australian Services Lock). For
Monitoring can visit the Water Corporation’s website: more information about the WASlock
card. www.watercorporation.com.au scheme, call the Water Corporation on
13 13 85.
MONITOR YOUR WATER CONSUMPTION AND SAVE MONEY
Date of meter Meter reading Number of Water Average daily Notes on water use
reading (kilolitres) days between consumption consumption
readings (kilolitres) (kilolitres)
1. Read your meter regularly (at least once a month). It is only necessary to record the black
2. Note down the number of days between readings.
3. Calculate the consumption by deducting the previous reading from the current reading.
4. Divide the consumption by the number of days to calculate the average daily consumption.
5. Compare average daily totals. Consumption will generally increase in summer when you are
watering your lawns and garden.
6. Adjust your garden waterings and other water use to suit your budget.
For further assistance, please contact the Water Corporation on 13 13 85
Water saving tips and information courtesy of the Water Corporation.
Beyond the Letterbox 4