WATER STOUSH: Sam and Amy Gunnlaugsson with Tye and Shelby Gunnlaugsson.
WATER STOUSH: Sam and Amy Gunnlaugsson with Tye and Shelby Gunnlaugsson. Matthew Purcell

Row over water lock-up

RESIDENTS have snapped back at Southern Downs Regional Council's reasoning for locking a water outlet at a truck wash facility.

The public-use facility is utilised by residents to fill water pods and wash vehicles.

"SDRC has secured the 50mm camlock connection at the truck wash following some members of the community misusing the facility,” a council spokesperson said last week.

"For now, residents will still be able to use the smaller, 20mm hose.”

According to mayor Tracy Dobie, the 'non potable' water from the facility was never intended for domestic or agricultural purposes.

But some stock owners are being left with little choice.

"I think if they didn't intend for people to use it for stock or to fill up their pods, before just completely cutting it off, they should have given some warning,” Amy Gunnlaugsson said.

"We've got 10 horses and no water. Our dams are dry. Doing this is all the water they have at the moment.

"I've had to sell several horses that I never would of dreamed of selling.”

Sister-in-law Sam Gunnlaugsson said she'd heard of a rural fire truck having to wait three and a half hours to fill up.

"Probably would have been half an hour with the bigger tap. That's people's lives in danger with the fires at the moment,” she said.

Brent Hansen said he'd faced the same issues.

He said on a good day you would get 1000 litres for the $1-$2 charge - but other days that would jump tenfold.

"It's on a meter and the meter is stuffed,” he said. "One day it'll cost you $4 bucks to get 1000L, another day it'll cost you $15-16 depending on if you've been the first one there.

"I still haven't quite figured it out yet.”

He said his family used it to live on.

"I don't know if council has noticed but it hasn't rained in a while,” he said.

"We have six in our family so we go through the water.

"We'd go through 1000L a day and, if you do the math, and if the meter is deciding to play up - you say $15 a day over seven days and that comes out to be $105 bucks.

"I'm not paying that. The cost of living in this town is already through the roof.

"They're hiding behind the fact that there's no back flow prevention device so therefore it's not potable water. It's a load of crap.

"Take away that hose and it's compliant.

"If they haven't got enough water in this town then that's their problem.

"They haven't done a thing about Storm King Dam in who knows how long.”

- Matthew Purcell, Stanthorpe Border Post

Stanthorpe Border Post

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