New water restrictions will limit outdoor watering to handheld only. Photo Michaela O'Neill / Sunshine Coast Daily
New water restrictions will limit outdoor watering to handheld only. Photo Michaela O'Neill / Sunshine Coast Daily

Riverfront town moves to level 4 water restrictions

“IN TOUGH times, council makes tough decisions.”

Those were the words from Balonne Shire mayor Richard Marsh as one of the worst droughts on record forced his council to move to level four water restrictions in St George, less than three months after level 3 restrictions were introduced.

From December 16, the new water restrictions limit watering to handheld only.

“The Shire is in extreme drought, and water is critical,” he said.

“This year, with reduced water inflows and the reduced operating of Beardmore Dam, the amount of water in the St George water scheme is very low,” he said.

“While council would prefer to keep the town green, there is not enough water physically available to sustain our current usage.

“Due to the severity of the drought and below average long-term rain forecasts, Council is erring on the side of caution with no forecasted significant inflows into the system this year.”

Cr Marsh said they encouraged St George residents supplied by Council’s water network to do the right thing when it came to water usage, and ensure water is sustained for everyone.

“Council have increased water patrols, both during and after hours and are undertaking selective meter reading to understand individual’s water usage,” he said.

“Residents are reminded that the offence for individuals breaching the policy is 3 penalty units, currently $400.35.

Council avid they were committed to ensuring its water supply can be maintained for critical services such as firefighting, amenities and airconditioning.

“Council has further resolved to review its St George Water Restriction Policy, and to appoint an independent consultant to assist with the sourcing of more allocation water,” he said.

“Council is taking this matter very seriously, and will be reducing its automatic Parks and Gardens watering in the town. Strategic areas will remain watered to ensure there is still some green space for everyone to enjoy …”

The areas that will be maintained are:

  • Rowden Park Oval
  • Pool complex
  • Memorial/ Amphitheatre
  • Visitor Information Centre
  • Victoria and Grey St trees
  • Cemetery Lawn Garden
  • Lions Park playground.