AT A LOSS: Mt Larcom residents have lost access to the standpipe unless they hold an ABN and public liability insurance. Pictured: A standpipe in Miles. Photo: Alasdair Young / Chinchilla News
AT A LOSS: Mt Larcom residents have lost access to the standpipe unless they hold an ABN and public liability insurance. Pictured: A standpipe in Miles. Photo: Alasdair Young / Chinchilla News

WATER WOES: Supply cut without warning

A COUNCIL policy not implemented correctly has left Mt Larcom residents at a loss when one of their water supplies was cut off without warning.

On November 29 community keys to the Mount Larcom Standpipe were deactivated due to not being in line with the Gladstone Regional Council’s Metered Standpipe and Hydrant Usage policy.

The standpipe was used by residents who do not have access to reticulated water to purchase bulk water and was usually used to feed livestock.

The policy gives limited access to customers with an Australian Business Number and public liability insurance of $10 million through keys.

However in Mt Larcom residents had access to the keys from the Mount Larcom Rural Transaction Centre where they would pay for metered usage.

The loss of access has made resident Kim Harrison have to consider selling her livestock.

Mrs Harrison and her husband David run 15 cattle, two horses and a number of chickens at their Mount Larcom property.

They require about 600 litres of water a day.

As they are not primary producers they are not eligible for an ABN.

For the first time in 20 years the creek on their property has run dry and they are unable to install a rainwater tank or bore until February.

“We’ve had no water in that for three or four weeks and we’ve only been accessing the standpipe since then,” Mrs Harrison said.

She said she didn’t understand why they could not continue to use the water while the policy was being reviewed.

Mayor Matt Burnett said the council would consider a variation to the existing policy at its General Meeting on Tuesday.

“Considering the current drought conditions, the Officer’s Recommendation is to allow community access to fixed standpipes across the Gladstone Region by access key through an individual Credit Agreement not requiring an ABN,” Cr Burnett said.

“Following this, a comprehensive review of the policy will occur that will consider the full implications of the current policy on community users.”