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More than $50k in funding for rural water cartage still up for grabs

More than $50,000 in funding for water cartage is still up for grabs as part of the Federal Government’s $1M Drought Communities Programme (DCP).

Southern Downs Regional Council partnered with The Salvation Army in May, allocating $150,000 in funding to cart drinking water to eligible rural residents at no cost.

Rural residents who are being impacted by drought conditions and who are in need of drinking water for domestic purposes are encouraged to promptly apply for a free delivery, as the funding needs to be expended by 30 June.

The Salvation Army has already received more than 200 applications and delivered drinking water to more than 65 rural households across the region.

Residents can fill out an application form at SDRC’s Administration Centres in Warwick and Stanthorpe, and Council’s Community Contact Officers will pass them on to The Salvation Army for assessment as soon as possible.

To be eligible for water cartage applicants must:

·         Be a resident of the Southern Downs and provide proof of residence i.e. Council Rates Notice or a Drivers Licence

·         Be experiencing financial hardship

·         Not be connected to the reticulated (town) water supply

·         Submit a signed privacy notice as part of their application

To ensure applications are processed before 28 June 2019, completed forms will need to be submitted no later than close of business, Tuesday, 25 June.

The water carting service was made available as part of the $1 million in Federal Government funding Council secured through the Drought Communities Programme (DCP) in January.

SDRC engaged The Salvation Army to administer the water carting service on its behalf to provide residents with drinking quality water for their homes.

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said water cartage helped to ease the burden on rural residents who are being impacted by severe drought conditions.

“There is still quite a bit of funding to be expended before the end of the financial year and we are urging those residents who are in need of household water to ensure they submit an application for a free delivery,” Cr Dobie said.

“We need to ensure this money is being spent where it is needed most. Council decided to partner with the Salvation Army to help administer the water carting program because we want to provide rural residents with an opportunity to seek other types of assistance as well.

“Forms have now been made available at Council’s Administration Centres in Warwick and Stanthorpe as well, so applications can be processed as quickly as possible.”

SDRC will limit households to one water delivery to ensure as many residents as possible receive a delivery, and the water must be deposited into water tanks that provide water directly to households.

Residents interested in a water delivery can contact the Salvation Army on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 9am and 12pm. Salvation Army staff will assist residents apply for a water delivery over the phone.

Application forms can also be obtained at Council’s administration offices in Warwick and Stanthorpe. For more information, contact the Salvation Army on 07 4661 3617 or SDRC on 1300 MY SDRC (1300 697 372).

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