The wait for water to be delivered can be up to eight weeks.
The wait for water to be delivered can be up to eight weeks.

Bulk water deliveries should pass on Council’s fee waiver

ACCESS to water is an essential human right Councillor Maggie May said at the last Kyogle Council meeting for this year.

Cr May put forward the motion to waive the fee for bulk water supplies as the need to buy water was adding to the financial burden of families already struggling due to the effects of the drought.

She said a saving of $34 would mean a lot to affected families and showed the council was sympathetic to the difficulties people were facing.

The waiver of $34 will be for a three month time period.

Nimbin Water Bearers said they were experiencing unprecedented demand for water and mainly used water from Nimbin but sometimes from the Kyogle LGA.

"It's chaotic at the moment," a company representative said.

"We would certainly pass on the saving of $34 to the customer."

Nimbin's water supply is due to run out soon, they said, and we're likely to need to fill up in Kyogle.

Richmond Valley Water Supplies didn't answer the phone and the recorded message said there was an eight week wait for water delivery and the waiting list was long.

The council plans to write to all registered professional water carters accessing Kyogle Council's water supply requesting they pass on the saving in full to their customers.

Mayor Danielle Mulholland stressed that the service fee did not generate a profit for the council, rather it covered the cost of providing the service to the community.

However, she said Council recognised that waiving the fee temporarily was going to help struggling drought affected residents.

"The communities in our area are under a lot of pressure and accessing clean drinking water should be any government's highest priority," Cr Mulholland said.

"Thirty four dollars may not seem like a huge amount, but it will mean a lot to residents on fixed incomes who are facing real financial hardships due to the ongoing drought."

The fee waiver will come into effect immediately, will cover all water sales over 100 litres, and will be reviewed at Council's March 2020 meeting.