BIG DRY: Mayor Matt Burnett's photo after inspecting the Baffle Creek water supply for Miriam Vale township on August 21.
BIG DRY: Mayor Matt Burnett's photo after inspecting the Baffle Creek water supply for Miriam Vale township on August 21.

’Unforgiving drought’: Support for Miriam Vale

WITH the dwindling water supplies affecting Miriam Vale residents, all levels of government have proposed solutions to how they plan to help out the region.

The Gladstone Region local government area was drought declared on May 1 last year by the Queensland Government following a significant decline in rainfall.

Baffle Creek was reported at the time to have been the most impacted by the drought conditions.

Gladstone Regional Council implemented water restrictions for Miriam Vale in August when they began to truck in water while they worked to identify a possible safe alternative water source.

This year Miriam Vale has received just 1mm of rain on January 2, compared to Gladstone which has received 38.4mm.

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said his team was proposing to establish a Queensland Dam Company to ensure the region received its fair share of funding for dams.

“This will provide an investment vehicle for the federal government to fund water infrastructure throughout our state.

“Water is the lifeblood of our region and that’s why I remain committed to delivering long-term water security that we so desperately need,” Mr Bennett said.

He said it saddened him that the community continued to suffer through this “unforgiving drought”.

“Council is keeping me informed and I will continue to work with them in the best interests of affected residents,” he said.

At a federal level there are a number of different support schemes for farmers ranging from two-year interest free drought loans, instant asset write-offs and financial counselling services.

A spokesman for Ken O’Dowd said they were working closely with the Gladstone mayor and Water Resources Minister David Littleproud to get the Gladstone Region drought declared by the Federal Government which would open up more funding for relief projects.

For full information on what funding is available through the federal government visit kenodowd.com.au/drought-support/.

Gladstone Regional Council was contacted for comment but did not respond before deadline.