TAKING STOCK: Lister urges SDRC to release water for animals
A BAN on livestock watering would be unnecessary according to Southern Downs MP James Lister, who said sufficient water supply options were available in Warwick and surrounding areas.
Mr Lister urged Southern Downs mayor Tracy Dobie to consider rural landholders ahead of a press conference where she will announce the council's Emergency Water Supply Plan.
The mayor asked residents to "be patient” until the plan is revealed on Wednesday.
"Our region is in a very difficult time,” she said.
"I am asking everyone to be fair and equitable in their use of water.”
It comes as rural residents express fear for the welfare of animals, saying they cannot purchase non-potable stock water anywhere in the Southern Downs.
Leyburn farmer Tammy Parrant said she was unable to find a commercial water carrier in the Southern Downs that would deliver non-potable water for her small herd of cattle and goats.
She said rural landowners were being "ignored”.
"If someone out there in Warwick is watering their plants to make them look green and I can't give my living, breathing animals a drink that is bullsh-t,” Ms Parrant said.
"Rural people are getting kicked in the guts. We are being ignored.”
After drastic de-stocking, Ms Parrant's remaining herd is the only hope she has for rebuilding life after the drought.
"She fears the cost of looking outside the region would drive carting prices through the roof.
In a letter sparked by calls of concern from rural residents, Mr Lister urged the mayor to make council water available for livestock.
"Many producers have not had any net income for more than twelve months,” he said.
"Prohibiting livestock owners from using council supplied water for livestock will accentuate the economic impact of the drought, and impose severe hardship on already struggling people.”