Tamworth Regional Council investigating free water for farmers

IDEA FLOATED: Tamworth Regional Council water director Bruce Logan is looking into a scheme to give water to farmers.
IDEA FLOATED: Tamworth Regional Council water director Bruce Logan is looking into a scheme to give water to farmers.

TAMWORTH Regional Council will investigate the viability of a water giveaway for farmers, however concerns have been raised around the monitoring of such a scheme.

A number of councillors said it would be worth weighing-up a scheme to give local farmers access to town water to top-up their household supply.

Councils in the Central West first mooted the notion early last week.

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Tamworth Regional Council director of water and waste, Bruce Logan, said he is looking into it and admitted there would need to be stringent measures, and added expenses, to go with any program council rolled-out.

“We’d have to put in more than one of those filling stations,” he told The Leader.

“They’re about $40,000 each.”

Mr Logan also floated concerns about the duration of a free water scheme and how council could stop people from other shires coming to town and topping-up on Tamworth’s water.

“If we put one in and it’s well used, that’s great, but when the rains come again, no one will use it anymore, it’ll sit there with cobwebs on it until the drought comes again,” he said.

“How do you police it, how do you say who can get it, who can’t.

“What’s to stop people from Gunnedah coming over.”

He said he hadn’t heard of such a scheme in his time in local government.

Last week, chair of the local NSW Farmers branch Kevin Tongue said it was a good idea with the region’s producers hit with added expenses as dry conditions continue.

An online poll conducted by The Leader found the majority of voters were in favour of giving away water to farmers.

More than 120 people voted in the poll and about 71 per cent of respondents said we should give the farmers any support we can.

About 21 per cent said there needed to be guidelines set down beforehand, while more than five per cent didn’t believe it was a good idea.

Would a scheme like this benefit you? Get in touch at jacob.mcarthur@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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