February 3, 2021
Current water restriction levels will get more exposure next year if the South Burnett Regional Council presses ahead with a plan to raise their profile.
At Wednesday’s Infrastructure Standing Committee meeting, Councillors debated a proposal to spend $25,000 in next year’s Budget on new water restriction signs.
The signs would be erected in all regional towns connected to a water supply scheme, next to Council water outlets such as standpipes, and at the tourist parks at Boondooma and Bjelke-Petersen dams.
At present, current water restriction levels are advertised online and in Council newsletters, but in few other places.
One aim of the new signs would be to make it easier for residents to find out the current restriction level.
Another would be to raise community awareness that water needs to be managed responsibly.
The South Burnett has operated under Level 3 water restrictions since March 2017.
This level prohibits the use of sprinklers at any time, and only permits hand held watering from 7:00am-8:00am and 5:00pm-6:00pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for odd numbered houses and Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays for even numbered houses.
No residential watering at all is permitted on Mondays.
Since the current restrictions were introduced the Council has considered raising them to Level 4 on several occasions.
However, seasonal rain replenished dam levels enough each time to leave current settings in place.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Cr Kathy Duff said she agreed with the idea of making current water restrictions more visible.
However, she thought many residents did not know what rules applied to each restriction level and believed Council should make this information more widely available.
Cr Kirstie Schumacher said she was concerned a promised “wet summer” from weather forecasters had yet to materialise, and asked if there might be any way to accelerate the sign roll-out of the signs.
CEO Mark Pitt suggested if Councillors wanted to accelerate this, the item could be discussed when Council conducted its third quarter Budget review to see if funds were available.
After other Councillors said they also agreed with the proposal, the matter now seems likely to come back on the agenda in April after the quarterly Budget review.