Tank rebate offers randomised relief for rural families
RURAL residents are invited to reap the rewards of a new $1M water tank rebate scheme offered by the Southern Downs Regional Council.
The rebate offers rural landowners 10c per litre cash back, to a limit of $2,500.
For small towns such as Tannymorel, it could be an “absolute relief”, according to resident Emma Wright, who has “gone through hell over the last 18 months”.
“It’s just been one nightmare after the other,” Mrs Wright said.
“We got very worried because we’ve only got one tank, and the other plastic one got a big split in it.
“Last year our underground water slowed to just a trickle, and we didn’t have the funds to buy more water.”
Long term resident Gloria Thompson said it was a common problem for Tannymorel residents, after the water table dried up and the creek stopped flowing.
“Most bores in the town are dry, and have been for probably 30 years,” she said.
“I’ve got one installed in a different location, and we run a line out here, so we’re lucky.
“But it is limited, and it does depend on how long the drought goes on for.”
Landholders who seek to apply for the rebate must meet strict eligibility criteria, and must be looking to purchase a tank with a capacity greater than 20,000 litres for household use only.
After filling out an expression of interest form, residents will enter a draw, leaving the eventual allocation up to random chance.
Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi said this was a necessary step to “allocate the available funds fairly and equitably”.
Director of Granite Belt Water Assist Glenda Riley said she was concerned the rebate couldn’t help low income earners.
“Some people might not be able to afford the installation, and maybe there needs to be some allowances for that sort of thing,” she said.
“I think it’s fantastic we got the rebate, but I think it would be good for cases to be treated individually.
“Not everyone fits into the same category, and there probably needs to be more flexibility because everyone’s circumstances are different.”
Speaking from a personal perspective, as an advocate for rural residents, Deputy Mayor Ross Bartley said any kind of assistance would be welcomed by the community.
“Water is critical and in terms of storage, the more the better,” he said.
“I’m sure there will be a huge take-up of the offer.”
For more information, or to apply, visit www.sdrc.gov.au before July 10.