Stanthorpe faces water levy
The water supply in the Queensland town of Stanthorpe is weeks away from drying up.
The council estimates it will have to truck up to 45 loads of water in per day, at a cost of up to $2 million a month, if there is no rain by the end of spring.
The council says it will be forced charge ratepayers a levy if the Queensland Government does not step in to help.
Secretary of the Stanthorpe and Granite Belt Chamber of Commerce Amanda Harrold says many local businesses are doing it tough, so a levy could be “the last straw”.
“It goes all the way through the town through families, the retail, the shopping centres, all the way to the school, to the hospital — what services will be kept if we have a dwindling community?” she asked.
“It's not just the farmers who struggle in a drought.
“This community cannot bear the cost of this, there just won't be the money.”
“We are lucky that some tourists are coming to town, but with tourists comes the water usage, so it's a really hard balancing act.”
The Bureau of Meteorology says Stanthorpe is unlikely to receive the amount of rain it needs in the coming months.