Funding for water bores in Surat and Yuleba
SECURING a future water supply for the Maranoa's outlying towns was the Maranoa councillors' top priority at the first meeting of 2020.
Two new bores, at a cost of $1 million, will be drilled after council decided where to allocate funding from the Australian Drought Communities Program.
Last November, the Australian Government announced a further range of drought measures, including that it would provide $128 million under the Drought Communities Program Extension to 128 councils.
The Maranoa Regional Council is one of the councils to receive $1 million to complete local infrastructure and other drought-relief projects.
Councillor Schefe put forward a motion to use the funding to drill two new bores - one in Surat at a cost of $630,000 and one in Yuleba at an estimated cost of $370,000.
A Maranoa council coordinator of grants suggested to the councillors the funding could be used to upgrade the Mitchell multipurpose courts, Injune park and Basset Park kitchen upgrades which had been affected by the drought.
However councillor Cameron O'Neil said it was paramount water supplies were secured for ratepayers.
"From my perspective this is an absolute no-brainer, the two water projects are first and foremost," he said.
"The argument that Dave has put forward is the right argument - this is drought funding and we don't have communities unless we have water.
"While I think these other projects deserve to be funded, we are going to have to find money in other ways and we have to allocate the drought funding towards the water projects."
Councillor Wendy Newman added that water supplies was the number one issue raised by her division.
"A water bore for Surat has been a prime issue raised by the community because it takes one chemical spill at the bridge and we have no water," she said.
The councillors voted unanimously to fund the two bores which are expected to be completed by December 31 2020.