Council to seek Federal assistance for rural water tanks
23 October 2019
Southern Downs Regional Council will request Federal Government assistance for the purchase and installation of water tanks for rural and agricultural properties that are affected by drought.
At today’s General Meeting, the Council voted to submit a proposal to the Federal Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management, The Hon David Littleproud MP to consider subsidising rural water tanks.
Under the proposal, Council recommends that the Federal Government meet the cost of installing one x 22,700 litres water tank per property, with connection being to the property’s internal plumbing (estimated cost of $2,500 per tank).
Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said that water tanks for rural properties had long been on Council’s radar and ongoing drought conditions had pushed the decision to a critical point.
“There has been much public interest and debate that the water tank rebate scheme is only available to households on the reticulated water network and not available rural residents,” said Mayor Dobie.
“With continuing drought and summer ahead, now is the opportune time for Council to request Federal Government support for water tanks to be installed outside the reticulated network and funded as a grant, not a loan or rebate.
“Council’s proposal to the Federal Government will sustain employment and rural investment through transporting and installing the water tanks and also supports water carters.
“The installation of water tanks to rural properties will increase the land value, boost jobs and provide an opportunity for rural residents to be more sustainable with their water supply.
“Rural properties generally have larger catchment areas so it is advantageous and beneficial for them to have access to water tanks and increase their domestic water sustainability.
“The installation of water tanks on rural properties is an effective method of facilitating resilience in the rural sector and planning for when the drought breaks, extending the capacity for rural residents to plan for and manage future droughts.”