Miriam Vale's The Shop owner Sue Thorne with former and current employees Jess Riley and Catherine Castle.
Miriam Vale's The Shop owner Sue Thorne with former and current employees Jess Riley and Catherine Castle.

Water returns to drought-hit town

Sue Thorne owns Miriam Vale's general store The Shop, and says the streets are like a ghost town.

Today Gladstone Regional Council advised that water for the township is once again coming from Baffle Creek after supplies had to be trucked in from late August last year.

It's good news for the community that's adjusted to life on water restrictions, but with the local hotel closing earlier this week due to nationwide shut down measures, any celebrating will be done at a distance.

For some, the new measures mean an end to standing invitations that have lasted decades.

"There's a bunch of oldies in this town that get together every Friday to have their beer," Sue said.

They're all aged between 65 and 90, and the social distancing rules designed to keep them safe mean an end to that tradition for now.

Residents are doing a good job sticking to the 1.5m distancing measure and Sue's directed staff to keep chatting at the registers to a minimum.

"People are being really great, really mindful," she said.

Stocks of toilet paper, flour and hand sanitiser are down, but there's plenty of pumpkins and potatoes.

It's a close, supportive community and Sue said people would soldier on.

"You always just deal with whatever is in front of you," she said.

Council CEO Leisa Dowling thanked the Miriam Vale community for their adherence to water restrictions that were implemented on September 1 last year.

Despite drought restrictions being lifted for the Miriam Vale township, she encouraged residents to keep adhering to water wise practices.

Since council commenced weekly measurements in March 2019, the water level at Baffle Creek has risen 1.5m.

Extensive testing of the Miriam Vale Water Treatment Plant was conducted prior to switching back to the Baffle Creek water supply.

The treatment plant will operate Monday to Friday, with the trucking of water occurring only on weekends until council completes an upgrade to a segment of the plant, expected to be completed by July.