WATER director Bruce Logan has defended the decision to hire the services of external communications unit to hone its messaging as drought tightens its grip in Tamworth.
Tamworth Regional Council approved a spate of new water sustainability measures at its most recent meeting as level five emergency restrictions loom over the city.
It the saw the water sustainability budget bolstered by more than $18,000 a month which included a "communications framework" drafted by specialist agency GHD Australia.
Russell Webb was not a fan of decision and bit his tongue when he said it wasn't what the council should be doing.
"I think we are wasting the money," he said.
"There's enough smart people in water and communications in this organisation already."
However, Mr Logan argued for the spend "designed to maximise community buy-in" and said the council's communications unit were not necessarily focused on water issues "day-in, day-out".
"If you feel we've got the skills to develop a communications strategy for a city of 55,000 moving towards a diminishing water supply, I appreciate that, but I don't necessarily agree," Mr Logan said.
"We needed to get people who specialise in this sort of community engagement.
"It will be a document for the future which we can refer to, we won't have to do it again, but for the first time, we need someone to help."
Once the GHD report is handed-over, the council will second a member of its communications staff into the water directorate on a "month-to-month basis whilst the drought continues".
"Specialist communication advice and skills are now considered necessary to ensure council is effectively communicating with the general public," the report to council said.
The water department will pay for the services of the seconded staff which will allow the communications team to back fill the seconded employee.