THERE is a sense in Ray Walsh House that the feelings of fear and complacency in the community aren't in tune with the reality of the city's short-term water situation.
Juanita Wilson aired some concerns at Tuesday's ordinary meeting and suggested the council needed to do a better of job of communicating the state of affairs following an "almost startling" revelation.
It was pronounced during recent discussions with community groups looking at the council's initial plans to reach a milestone population, 'blueprint 100,000'.
"One thing I noticed having the community groups looking at the blueprint 100,000 was it demonstrated fragmented perceptions of our water situation," she said.
"Some of the groups, which should have been well-informed, were displaying some level of animosity and had different messages coming across."
She said there was sense the community didn't know whether the city's supply was secure or not.
"Some think it's going to run out next week, some think there is plenty," she said.
Cr Wilson called for some clear and strong messaging to be run alongside the council's latest range of water sustainability measures, approved at the meeting.
The new measures include parachuting in a specialist communications team, GHD Australia, to help residents get the message at a $10,000 price tag every month.
Her call was shot down as the mayor and directors said there was "a lot of balls in the air" hinting at impending decisions from the state government.
Deputy mayor Phil Betts said the council had to delineate its messaging about water security and population.
"It's a different strategy altogether," he said.
He stressed the council was focused on securing enough water to get through this drought and getting a bigger dam before forging ahead to 100,000.
Russell Webb condemned the council's decision to bring an outside communications outfit and argued it had the smarts in house to deliver a plan.
A remark which was refuted by water director Bruce Logan who commented this was the first time this kind of engagement strategy had been done by the council and specialists were needed.