Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Tracy Dobie has spoken about what her council intend to do to support drought stricken farmers. Discussions will take place at the next council general meeting on August 22.
Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Tracy Dobie has spoken about what her council intend to do to support drought stricken farmers. Discussions will take place at the next council general meeting on August 22. File

Council plan drought discussions

WITH drought plaguing most of Queensland, Southern Downs Regional Council plans to use this month's general meeting to discuss how it can help.

Mayor Tracy Dobie said councillors would take time in the next week to see what they could implement to help battling landowners.

"The first priority from council's perspective is to restrict the use of our urban water supply,” Cr Dobie said.

"So we've already brought in medium-level restrictions and that helps everyone.”

SDRC has also ceased day time irrigation of parks and gardens, given out low-flow shower heads, timers and sprinklers, begun using recycled water for construction, dust suppression and sporting fields and started giving away garden mulch.

"We've looked at a range of (other) initiatives that council will be discussing next Wednesday,” she said.

"More what we can do now for those directly impacted by the drought because it starts to affect not just those on the land but other businesses as well.”

Cr Dobie encouraged her council compatriots to put any idea on the table.

"We can look at anything, any possibility but we just have to say 'are the consequences of that manageable'.

"We have to look at this from two sides - it's not just managing this drought but also working with landowners to drought-proof their properties to prepare themselves better for next time,” she said.

In order to co-ordinate efforts, SDRC will liaise with other groups to discuss the possibility of starting a taskforce as well.

"We need to get all those around the table saying how can we work together rather than each of us working individually,” Cr Dobie said.

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