Council closes tap for farmer-pays system
The West Wimmera Shire will not fork out to buy water for drought stricken farmers.
Farmers in the region had been getting their water for free, leaving the council to pay.
However, upgrades to the water infrastructure have now led to the introduction of a new user-pays system.
A motion had been moved at a recent council meeting that would have seen the shire continue paying for water if farmers could not get the money they needed from hardship grants.
But this week, councillors decided that they need more information about other forms of financial help before putting in.
“I would hope that it wouldn't be off the table but obviously that would have to go through council,” Cr Jones said.
“We'll have to get information about the hardship grants and try and work out how easy it is to access those grants and out of that it will become apparent whether it's something that council needs to keep providing that support to farmers.
“There was a variety of opinions around the table and it really is let's just hold our horses and see what the information is that comes back.
“The idea was that it's all very well getting information but agreeing to provide financial support was a step too far and we'll wait and see the information that comes back first.”