Southern Downs Regional Council staff are installing security cameras to stop people stealing warer from an outlet at the Warwick Water Treatment Plant on Glen Rd.
Southern Downs Regional Council staff are installing security cameras to stop people stealing warer from an outlet at the Warwick Water Treatment Plant on Glen Rd. Marian Faa

WATER HEIST: Neighbours sympathise with 'desperate' thieves

DOZENS of large trucks have reportedly been using the cover of darkness to steal water from the Warwick water treatment plant, prompting urgent measures to secure public infrastructure to prevent further theft.

A Southern Downs Regional Council spokesman yesterday confirmed trucks had been accessing a standpipe on Glen Rd to illegally siphon untreated water from Connolly Dam.

Council officers inspected the site after a tip-off from neighbouring properties on Friday.

They found a lock and chain missing from the standpipe.

Residents in the area reported a flood of large tanker trucks that had reportedly been taking water from the facility for a number of weeks.

"They have been coming at force," said a witness, who asked to not be identified.

"Sometimes they come as late as 11pm or midnight."

He said the noise of trucks, which could be in the dozens, had been disruptive to his family late at night. He estimated they had been coming for at least three weeks.

On Tuesday night around 9 o'clock, the Warwick Daily News also sighted a large red truck parked next to the standpipe.

 

Southern Downs Regional Council staff are installing security cameras to stop people stealing warer from an outlet at the Warwick Water Treatment Plant on Glen Rd.
Southern Downs Regional Council staff are installing security cameras to stop people stealing warer from an outlet at the Warwick Water Treatment Plant on Glen Rd. Marian Faa

A SDRC spokesman said the council was investigating the issue.

"People have been going in late at night and taking water when they are not supposed to," he said.

"No one has permission to take water from that facility; that water is intended for council."

Gled Rd resident Johnno Felton said he could sympathise with people who were pushed to the absolute extreme as the precious commodity becomes increasingly scarce.

"I would be doing the same thing as these blokes if I had a herd of dairy cattle or a crop of tomatoes that were drying out," Mr Felton said.

"There will be more people pinching water as this drought gets worse."

Mr Felton called on the council to tighten security. measures around public infrastructure.

"The council is doing all these patrols catching people watering their garden but who is keeping an eye on them?" Mr Felton said.

 

Southern Downs Regional Council staff are installing security cameras to stop people stealing warer from an outlet at the Warwick Water Treatment Plant on Glen Rd.
Southern Downs Regional Council staff are installing security cameras to stop people stealing warer from an outlet at the Warwick Water Treatment Plant on Glen Rd. Marian Faa

A SDRC spokesman said council officers yesterday installed a mobile CCTV surveillance camera and new padlocks on the standpipe to prevent further theft of water.

He said the council was not investigating any internal staff in relation to the water theft.

"The council has no evidence to suggest that SDRC staff have acted unlawfully," he said.

Mr Felton called on residents to band together and help each other out.

"We are all in this together and we seriously need to start putting some things into place. We need to activate our contingency plans."



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