Wellington Shire Council is partnering with local water authorities and water carters to deliver household water to drought affected families.
Council was successful in an application for $1 million from the Commonwealth’s Drought Communities Program, which is targeted at drought affected communities.
Part of this funding will be used to cart potable water to farming households who rely on rainwater for their household water supply.
In addition to the free cartage, Gippsland Water and South Gippsland Water have also come on board to provide the household water to those farmers at a reduced cost.
Council is writing to primary producers about the scheme, which will enable them to receive up to two deliveries of household water and only pay a reduced rate for the water. Cartage will be free.
Wellington Shire Council Mayor Alan Hall said local farmers had told Council that paying for water cartage for household consumption was yet another financial burden of the drought.
“The actual cartage of the water is the most expensive component of a water delivery,” Cr Hall said.
“This scheme, funded through the Commonwealth, will cover the total cost of cartage for two deliveries of water.
“Council is also thrilled that Wellington’s local water authorities, Gippsland Water and South Gippsland Water, have also acknowledged the dire situation this drought has caused and have agreed to heavily subsidise the cost of the water being delivered.
“This is a fantastic example of multiple levels of government working together for the needs of our communities.”
The Drought Communities Program supports local community infrastructure and other drought relief projects for communities impacted by drought. There are specific guidelines for the funding, which means infrastructure and projects must:
Council is also working on other infrastructure and projects that will provide indirect support to the wider business community.
Primary producers interested in taking advantage of the offer are asked to contact their local Wellington shire-based water carting contractor.
To find out more about the scheme, contact Mark Coleman, Business Development Officer 0437 841 104.