Council to fight for water security in new alliance
SOUTHERN Downs residents could be set to reap the benefits of a “formal” water alliance between councils across southeast Queensland.
The collaboration would see Southern Downs Regional Council team up with Toowoomba Regional Council, Western Downs Regional Council, and Tenterfield Shire Council to work towards long-term water security.
Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi said the new motion would only formalise a pre-existing partnership between the councils, which began under predecessor Tracy Dobie’s leadership.
“We’ve been talking together for some time, and at the very first Regional Organisational Council meeting of this term, we had a conversation and we have some common issues,” Mr Pennisi said.
“We all have water issues, so it’s looking at whether there is the ability to start an alliance or a future in it, but I think it is a sensible way forward.
“We’ll even explore a waste alliance as well, whether there’s a way we can collectivise waste as a group, and water is no different.”
The initial proposal for the formal alliance was tabled at the TRC’s ordinary meeting on Tuesday, with hopes of obtaining better water security for residential, agricultural, and commercial uses.
At the meeting, Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio said there could be potential to expand the partnership to other councils in the future.
“We have a number of towns doing it extremely tough, and our council isn’t alone in this position,” Mr Antonio said.
“There are a number of councils in the same boat and having a cross-collaboration approach to water security by a group of councils, rather than an individual council, will no doubt hold much more weight with the State and Federal Governments.”
SDRC councillors will vote on the proposal at the ordinary meeting on Thursday, August 27.