Huge response to rural tank rebate scheme

The Southern Downs Regional Council says it has “received an overwhelmingly positive response to the Rural Water Tank Rebate”.

“Early in 2020, Council received funding from the Federal Government to assist recovery after the 2019 bushfires,” a spokeswoman said.

“Of the Bushfire Recovery Fund allocated to Council, it was determined that $1.05m would be used to fund the Rural Water Tank Rebate Scheme.”.

Mayor Vic Pennisi said the Rural Water Tank Rebate Scheme was “welcomed heartily by the community”.

“Within our region there are a large number of rural residents who are not connected to the reticulated water system, this Rural Water Tank Rebate Scheme is one way that Council is assisting these landholders,” Cr Pennisi said.

“It is important that these residents have sufficient water storage on their properties to catch rain during the good times, to sustain them through times of drought.

“While it is each landholders’ individual responsibility to ensure their property meets their needs, Council is acutely aware that the current drought has changed everyone’s thinking in terms of what is enough storage.

“As a result, we are doing what we can to support our residents.”

The council spokeswoman said expressions of Interest closed on Friday 10 July, and in that time Council received 983 eligible applications.

“Due to the high number of Expressions of Interest received, Council will now run a ballot to randomly determine which eligible applications will receive the rebate,” the spokeswoman said.

“The funding available is expected to cover almost half of the eligible applications received.

“This ballot will be run on Monday 27 July 2020.

“Funded applications will be picked at random using a computer-generated system.

“Staff kindly advise that you do not need to contact Council to find out if you will be receiving a rebate.

“Written notification advising whether an applicant was successful or unsuccessful in the ballot will be provided to all applicants.

“This notification will be by mail or email depending on the method of correspondence stipulated on the applicant’s expression of interest.

“Please allow time for these applications to be processed.

“The successful applicants will be notified first.

“Please do not order your new tank until you have received written notification from Council that your application has been successful.

“At completion of the ballot, all available funds will be allocated in accordance to the prospective tank capacity detailed on the expressions of interest, and there is no scope to increase a rebate payment.

“Due to the positive response received, Council will be investigating future options to fund a second round of applications.

“For more information on Council news, visit www.sdrc.qld.gov.au/news. Alternatively, call 1300 MY SDRC (1300 697 372), email mail@sdrc.qld.gov.au, or use the MySDRC app.”

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