FILL ‘ER UP: Water tanks are necessary for rural residents, such as Paul Maher.
FILL ‘ER UP: Water tanks are necessary for rural residents, such as Paul Maher.

Less than half of rural tank rebate applicants to benefit

CLOSE to 1000 Southern Downs rural residents applied to the council's $1 million rural water tank rebate scheme, but only a lucky few will receive the assistance they need.

Due to the overwhelming response, the 983 eligible entries will enter an electronic ballot, from which successful funding applications will be selected at random on Monday, July 27.

Those who are chosen will receive 10c per litre cash back on the purchase of a new water tank for household use, to a limit of $2500.

The Southern Downs Regional Council advises that less than half of the eligible entries will benefit from the scheme.

Rural resident Paul Maher likened "winning" the rebate to winning the lotto.

"It's a good idea, if you spread it across the board," he said.

"I think a lot more people would get a lift if that million dollars was shared to as many people as it could be."

Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi said while it was the responsibility of landholders to ensure the sustainability of their property, "the drought has changed everyone's thinking in terms of what is enough storage".

"We are doing what we can to support residents," he said.

Mr Maher agreed, reflecting on the change in attitude towards water tanks across the region.

"Looking back, there was a time that every house in town had a tank, but once we got treated town water everyone sort of frowned on new houses with tanks," he said.

"It's gone full circle, the wheel gets reinvented sometimes."

Due to the popularity of the scheme, council staff will be investigating their options to run a second round of applications later in the financial year.



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