No free flow from Gumma Rd standpipe

TERMINATED: Free potable water from the Gumma Rd standpipe will cease on Friday. This does not apply to fire-affected residents, who should contact council directly
TERMINATED: Free potable water from the Gumma Rd standpipe will cease on Friday. This does not apply to fire-affected residents, who should contact council directly

The free potable water that has been 'flowing' from the standpipe outside the council's Gumma Rd Works Depot since the Kian Rd fire in November last year is set to be turned off ... or 'terminated' as they say in the official jargon.

What this means is that it will no longer be free to just anyone, as has been the case so far.

At their extraordinary meeting on January 23, Nambucca Valley councillors voted to end the current self-service arrangement, which has proved so popular and seen a burgeoning of self-haul plastic 1000 litre 'cubes' around the shire.

Cr John Ainsworth said that many had availed themselves of the service, "although they were not really entitled to it".

"How can we make sure those who really need it will get it?" Cr Ainsworth said.

Cr Rhonda Hoban added there were also many people whose tanks were low due to the drought.

"There is a lot of summer still to go and people need full tanks," she said.

Councillors wanted to ensure that fire-affected residents still have access to the free water, saying those residents should contact the council's Bushfire Recovery coordinator directly.

Fire affected residents should contact the council's Bushfire Recovery coordinator, Rhiannon Treasure-Brand on 0418 296 748.

They also voted that residents who lost their water tanks during the Kian Road bushfire and have yet to get them replaced, will be given a rebate on the cost of the water to fill them.

Those residents should also contact the council.

The standpipe and its free water will be turned off this Friday, February 7.

In his report, General Manager Michael Coulter wrote the demand for the self-haul arrangement seen during the drought indicated a clear need and recommended a filling station be installed at a location to be decided.

Cr Janine Reed asked if there could be more than one station and Cr Anne Smyth requested solar-operation be investigated.

The councillors voted to make provision in the 2020/2021 water budget for filling stations at a number of locations.

The stations would be metered and card-operated.

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