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Bulk water purchases capped with water restrictions

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Bulk water purchases capped in line with water restrictions in Goondiwindi region

Rural residents who purchase bulk water from Goondiwindi Regional Council will be restricted to 250L per person per day from 1 November 2019 in line with the new medium level target for domestic water use.

The changes come as the region continues to be racked by the worst drought on record. The Goondiwindi region is currently reliant on water from dams for its town and bulk water supply – and that supply is drastically limited.

“The reality is that there is no more water to come until we get rain,” Mayor Graeme Scheu said.

“If we don’t sensibly manage our water use now, we will be facing a major problem come the new year. It is fair to say we will have to implement the final level of water restrictions [high] if we don’t get good rain by then,” the Mayor said.

Council is currently supplying bulk water to local rural residents at the same cost rate as town residents. Like the town supply, the bulk water is for domestic household use only.

The new cap on bulk water supply will bring it in line with water usage targets introduced by Council in its October meeting. Under medium restrictions, this will be 250L per day for every person in the household. For example, a four-person household would be entitled to 1,000L per day and would be able to purchase 20,000L for a 20-day period.

“I’m sure that the majority of our rural residents will already be rationing their water and so these consumption targets will be easily achievable,” Cr Scheu said.

“However we’ve unfortunately had cases where I think the system has been abused and the water has not just been used for household purposes. This is what we’re cracking down on – we’re all in the same boat and so it has to be the same rule for one as for the other,” he said.

Residents can apply for bulk water on the Council website. Applicants must allow 24 hours for approval and must be able to provide proof of residence. Bulk water can be collected from the Council depots in Goondiwindi, Inglewood and Texas - approval and payment are required before collection.

Cr Scheu said Council is continuing to explore all options to ensure the supply of drinking water to its residents and businesses and recently commissioned an external report to update its Drought Management Plan. It is continuing to advocate to the Federal and State Governments on issues like domestic water freight subsidies.

“Council is currently preparing a postal campaign to all rural residents that will outline the changes to bulk water supply and will also list some key drought support resources and services that our residents can access.”

This information will also be made available at Council’s Customer Service Centres.

“The big message is not to suffer in silence,” Cr Scheu said. “Several of the big Government subsidies have recently lowered their eligibility criteria and our farmers and related small businesses may be entitled to more than what they realise.

“We need people to reach out for this support and funding to ensure it gets to where it’s needed.”

 

For more information, please contact:

Councillor Graeme Scheu
Mayor
Goondiwindi Regional Council

Mobile: 0427 718 877

Email: mayor@grc.qld.gov.au

Published: October 31st 2019