The State will step in if the region runs dry
SHOULD Stanthorpe run out of water by December, the State Government will act.
With the likelihood that the Granite Belt could run dry by the year's end increasing by the day, talks between the Palaszczuk government and Southern Downs Regional Council grow more pressing.
The council says it may be forced to cart water into the area if Storm King Dam were to dry up.
"We are estimating something between half a million dollars to a million dollars per month just to cart water,” Mayor Tracy Dobie has previously said.
A State Government spokesperson said the government would work closely with the council over the coming months to safeguard the region.
"While water supply is primarily the responsibility of the affected Local Government Authority, the Palaszczuk Government is acutely aware of the water issues faced by the Southern Downs Regional Council,” the spokesperson said.
"Both the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy will continue to work closely with the council to address its water issues, including contingency plans.
This includes $950,000 to audit and assess water and waste-water infrastructure and to investigate the possibility of new bores or rejuvenating existing bores.
"DNRME also contributed to the combined councils' water-wise campaign launched last week,” the government spokesperson said.
Member for Southern Downs James Lister has urged the government to "give a good deal to drought stricken towns and to assist the council with the cartage of water”.
"I could see this was going to come,” Mr Lister said.
"They've said they stand ready to help.
"If they don't, I'll be banging my fists on that table.
"I think that we produce an enormous amount of food and wealth for the state in our neck of the woods.
"If it comes to the point where we do run out of water, that is a disaster. That is the sort of thing that the State Government would pitch in to look after us.
"No one can make it rain. It is an act of God.
"If we had had our ducks in a row years ago we could have Emu Swamp Dam now and council could be availing itself of emergency water out of the dam.
"I just want to see we do learn from this.”