Abattoir leaves $1m water bill

RATEPAYERS may be forced to pick up the tab for a new $1.1 million water storage facility in the aftermath of the closure of Killarney Abattoir.

The Southern Downs Regional Council developed the 70 megalitre off-stream storage facility last year on the understanding the additional water was critical for the meatworks.

SDRC Mayor Ron Bellingham said the council had anticipated the meatworks would be the primary user of the water facility, and as such make a major contribution to its cost.

“Killarney Abattoir had been expected to use at least 50 per cent of the water in the off-stream facility,” Cr Bellingham said.

“The water-storage facility was developed to ensure there was an appropriate supply of water for the abattoir.

“Council had also expected as primary users they would make a significant contribution to the cost of that particular reservoir.”

The facility was constructed at a total cost of $1.1 million, which included a $260,000 State Government subsidy.

Cr Bellingham said just who would pick up the tab now the abattoir had gone into voluntary administration was an issue yet to be assessed by council.

He said he was reluctant to pre-empt the council decision on whether rates would be increased to cover the facility’s cost.

“The Killarney community is already under pressure following the abattoir closure and I wouldn’t like to contribute further to that,” Cr Bellingham said.



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