Nanango’s standpipes on Tuesday … public anger over a move to increase usage charges by 150 per cent has prompted a call by Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington for councillors to reconsider the decision
Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington

June 23, 2020

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington has called on the South Burnett Regional Council to reconsider a 150 per cent increase in standpipe water costs.

At its June meeting, the Council voted to raise standpipe charges from $4.10 to $10 per kilolitre – a move that provoked widespread anger among standpipe users.

In a letter to South Burnett Mayor Brett Otto, Mrs Frecklington said she understood Council’s concerns about the cost of repairing vandalised standpipes and the need to discourage water carriers from outside the region using the facilities.

However, she believed using Western Downs’ standpipe price of $17.90 per kilolitre for a price comparison was not a good benchmark.

Mrs Frecklington said Toowoomba Regional Council’s charge of $3.79 per kilolitre or the North Burnett’s $4.90 per kilolitre should also be used as benchmarks.

“I agree with the community’s concerns that the large increase during drought conditions and the COVID-19 pandemic is poor timing,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“On behalf of ratepayers who rely on the standpipes, I request Council reconsider this decision.

“Water is an essential service and increases such as these place an unnecessary burden on property owners who need access to water during drought.”

A petition calling on the Council to reconsider the decision has been prepared.

Signed copies of the petition can be dropped off to Jane Erkens at Nanango Real Estate in Drayton Street, Nanango.

The petition can be downloaded here to be printed out (86kb PDF).

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South Burnett Mayor Brett Otto has said he is willing to discuss standpipe water prices with anyone who wants to raise the issue at his weekly public meetings.

The Mayor will be holding his next meeting on Monday, June 29, at the Country Bakehouse and Cafe at 76 Drayton Street, Nanango; the following Monday, July 3, at the Bunya Nut Cafe in Coulson Street, Blackbutt; and Monday, July 10, at the Maidenwell Trading Post in Pool Street, Maidenwell.

All meetings will run from 7:00am to 1:00pm.

“The truth is that council faces a lot of financial challenges and I’m working hard to address these, as I said I would, including through internal budget cuts and by accessing more government funding,” Mayor Otto said last week.

“I am happy to discuss this issue further with any resident. Please call me. My contact details are on my mayor’s Facebook page.

“I’m going to hold public meetings on this in Nanango and Hivesville next week. (I) will let everyone know details of date and venue.”

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6 Responses to "MP Calls For Water Review"

  1. Abigail Andersson  June 24, 2020

    The decision only showed one thing and that is the council is out of touch with the cost of living in this area, they are taking any attractive reason to stay and stamping it out. I do believe Mayor Otto said one of his main reasons for standing was to encourage people not to leave for the city and to stay here, however he is not making it easy on those that have hobby farms or any sort of lifestyle property. Water is life and it looks to be a dry winter ahead.

  2. Alan Bowering  June 24, 2020

    It should be the same price as town water. I use town water for my animals when required.

  3. Barbara  June 24, 2020

    We moved from the Gold Coast and built here in the South Burnett 12 months ago. We rely heavily on the water station at Blackbutt to get water for our animals and fruit trees. We have not been able to fill out tanks since we built. I cannot understand why it is such a huge price rise. We pay almost as much for our rates as we did at the Gold Coast. I would like to see where all the money goes and why the South Burnett Council has such financial challenges.

  4. Be The Difference  June 24, 2020

    These are the sort of decisions that make you wonder if there is any value in having local councillors. They come in with big promises and within a short period of time they seem to be unable to or even want to impact on the bureaucracy. We need stability, accountability and value for money from not only our elected councillors but also from the bureaucracy they represent. I am no expert but my gut feeling is that it is easy to take the pats on the back while smiling for the camera but when the time comes to actually deliver they hit a bureaucratic brick wall… insert toothless tiger here…

    Happy to be proved wrong.

  5. C. Sando  June 24, 2020

    You don’t have to drive 50km to pick up your water, Alan

  6. Brett Otto  June 24, 2020

    I’m looking forward to hearing the community’s concerns and proposals at Nanango on Monday morning. I encourage residents to come along and share their views. I have invited my fellow councillors and also welcome Mrs Frecklington to join us.


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