Frustrated Mount Morgan residents want a long-term solution to their dwindling town water supply in central Queensland, as carting water is costing them $70,000 a week.
- Rockhampton Council says the dam water is safe to drink but has poor “taste and odour”
- Frustrated residents say long-term water security has been an issue for decades
- Rockhampton Mayor says he has written to the state government for funding support
About 140 residents attended a community meeting on Tuesday night to vent their concerns about the quality of the dam water, and offer feedback on six long-term options proposed by Rockhampton Regional Council.
With the town on level-six water restrictions, 3,000 residents are reliant on an emergency supply of up to 22 water trucks a day.
“Having to explain to the kids that they can’t play under a sprinkler when they see people in Rocky able to do that – it’s the hardest thing because they’re so young,” resident Jessica Geiszler said.
“Ever since the water’s been so low, multiple health conditions have arisen and also getting sore bellies from drinking the water – something needs to be done asap.”
Town’s water at 8 per cent
Mount Morgan No.7 Dam, is sitting just above eight per cent and the Rockhampton Council’s long-term solutions include; treated mine-pit water, a new dam, a 26km Gracemere pipeline, excavation of Fletcher Creek, a dam capacity increase, or a Stanwell Renewable water supply.
John Steinberger, president of Mount Morgan Promotions and Development, who has lived there for 38 years said water has “always been a problem,” and he hoped the council was “fair-dinkum” about solving it.
But he was left disappointed on Tuesday night.
“[I’m] not too impressed with analysis of subjects, no indication on any timelines to come to any conclusion to establish priorities,” he said.
But Rockhampton Mayor Tony Williams said the council was committed to solving the issue.
He said until good rainfall filled the dam, they would need state Government support and he was in contact with Queensland’s Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher.
“The community are very patient and nervous and frustrated and we get that,” Mr Williams said.
“We’re working with them now to look at a long-term, sustainable water supply.
“The next step will be a feasibility study, I haven’t got any indications on timelines but that’ll be something that we can work on.”
‘Water is the new gold’
Former mayor Gavin Finch has lived in Mount Morgan for 21 years and said a solution was overdue.
“We’re heading into the winter months now, which is the dry season and we’re going to be looking at 20-30 trucks a day just so that we can use the minimal amount of water that we can,” Mr Finch said.
“We drive 25 minutes away and they’ve got beautiful green lawns and all the things that you get from…