CUT OFF: The Southern Downs sporting club has been left out of pocket by tourists stocking up their water supply without leaving compensation. Picture: Brett Wortman
CUT OFF: The Southern Downs sporting club has been left out of pocket by tourists stocking up their water supply without leaving compensation. Picture: Brett Wortman

Sporting club targeted by water-guzzling thieves

A SOUTHERN Downs sporting club is calling out for community assistance after travellers repeatedly used their water without compensation.

The Allora Tennis Club is accustomed to visitors stopping by and using their facilities as they make their way between Warwick and Toowoomba.

However, club president Mandy Mutch wasn't expecting to be faced with more than one hefty excess bill after tourists funnelled water into their caravan without paying up.

"It's happened a few times, and we just don't know what to do - the (SDRC) has reduced our rates, but we still had an excess of $400," Ms Mutch said.

"I believe everyone's entitled to water, and we live in a country where we don't need to go thirsty, but it's a bit crazy when people pull up their caravans and just sit there, filling up for free."

With the club left to foot the bill in these circumstances, Ms Mutch said the tennis association had turned to the Allora and Southern Downs communities for advice and assistance.

Residents responded to the call for help with a number of suggestions via social media.

"That's just not right … an expensive solution would be to fence around the boundary and install security cameras," one resident wrote.

Another resident suggested, "Put a donation box and a sign … asking for contribution for using the water?"

Ms Mutch said the club would need to seriously consider its options, as the ongoing drought meant there was little foreseeable increase in water security.

"Whenever we have an excess bill, we have to raise funds to cover that, but I don't want to increase fees for the little kids or raise the costs of court hire," she said.

"I want a very affordable and active lifestyle for our community, but when we get those kinds of water bills, we don't really have another option."

 

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