Free water on offer
A Queensland town is offering free water to struggling communities, if they can come and get it.
Richmond Shire Council Mayor John Wharton has proposed a “water run” to assist towns in Queensland or New South Wales which are running dry.
He said his community received a shipment of hay during the February flood to feed starving cattle, and now it wants to give back.
“We're talking water for consumption so those businesses and communities can carry on,” he told reporters.
The water is being offered from the town's bores, which draw from the Great Artesian Basin, not the Flinders River.
“We have water available that we would be very happy to provide for free to those communities, the only thing would be the cost of getting it there,” Cr Wharton said.
“You know, it's concerning because a community has to have water or it closes down.
“Down there [NSW], they need rain for water supply.
“The wet season up here is rain for grass, we don't need rain for water supplies.
“We had hay come up here during the floods from New South Wales.
“Maybe there's a possibility that Queensland Rail for the State Government could sponsor a train with water tanks on it?
“We could fill those water tanks and it might just carry those communities through until the rain comes.
“We would be happy to provide any amount of water that they like.”
Cr Wharton said anyone who organises their own transport and needs the water can have it.
“This is water out of the Great Artesian Basin, they're good flowing bores we've got up in this country and we'd be happy to share this water with a community or local government that was interested,” he said.
The Great Artesian Basin is the largest underground water resource in Australia, covering approximately 22 per cent of the country beneath Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory.