The Southern Downs Regional Council says it is working in partnership with the Federal Government and The Salvation Army to help rural residents across the Southern Downs access water during the drought.
In a statement released this week, the council announced it had received $150,000 in Federal Government funding and is making this available to pay for the carting of drinking water to those rural residents significantly impacted by recent drought conditions.
“The water carting will be made available to eligible rural property owners and occupiers not connected to Council’s reticulated water supply as part of $1 million in funding secured through the Federal Government’s Drought Communities Programme (DCP),” the statement said.
“The Salvation Army will administer the funding program because of the organisation’s well established referral pathways and existing frontline assessment service.
“Eligible residents interested in applying for water cartage can contact The Salvation Army on 07 4661 3617 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 9am and 12pm.
Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said water cartage will help ease the burden on rural residents who are experiencing the ongoing impacts of severe drought conditions.
“Council is thrilled to partner with The Salvation Army to ensure this vital drought relief funding is being used where it is most needed,” Cr Dobie said.
“This service will be best delivered with The Salvation Army’s existing connections, resources and highly skilled staff who can assess the needs of rural residents and also refer them to established, trusted service providers and additional assistance if required.
“The $1 million in funding from the DCP has allowed Council to fund important projects that deliver an important boost to the region’s economy and provide a much-needed helping hand to our rural residents.”
Program eligibility is subject to the following criteria:
• Applicants must be resident of the Southern Downs region
• All water supplied to the owner or occupier must be deposited directly into a water tank that services the main household
• The property is not connected to Council’s reticulated water supply
• Limit of one carting delivery per household until additional funds are made available.
The DCP stipulates that SDRC must use all $150,000 in funding for the water carting program by 30 June 2019, and council recommends that residents apply for any water deliveries by 27 June 2019.