No flood, it's still a drought but ratepayers get a reprieve

So, where's the flood? GRC Mayor, Cr Graeme Scheu said a flood warning for the Macintre River was
So, where's the flood? GRC Mayor, Cr Graeme Scheu said a flood warning for the Macintre River was "unacceptable".

Now the weekend has brought good news, and bad.

Here's the good. It rained, a lot. But there was no flood (There had been a prediction there would be a 6m rise in the river).

Here's the bad. So, the drought still has us in a monkey grip. Which means water restrictions won't be lifted. But here's some more good news courtesy of the Goondiwindi Regional Council.

On Monday Council said it will extend its discount period for all ratepayers by four weeks to provide some relief to the many residents who have been impacted by the drought.

In its January meeting, Council resolved to extend the discount period to 31 March 2020. It also decided not to charge interest on unpaid rates until 30 June 2020.

GRC Mayor, Cr Graeme Scheu said he hoped the extension would provide some relief to those who simply could not make the deadline, and that it would complement Council's existing payment plan options.

"We realise that these measures may not assist everyone but it is a recognition of the hardship that many of our residents and businesses are facing in this unprecedented drought," Cr Scheu said.

Just under half of Council's revenue Budget comes from general rates; the majority is derived from grants, subsidies and other income.

"Council looked at a range of possible relief options, their potential costs and the impact they may have on Council operations," Cr Scheu said. "In total, these measures will cost Council in the order of $40,000.

"We wish we could do more, but waiving or reducing rates was just not possible without the State or Federal Governments providing more funding, or some services being cut.

"Cutting services has a compounding impact in that it would mean job losses and less local spending that impacts business more than they are already feeling," the Mayor said.

"Payment plans are available and if anyone is facing financial difficulties, I would strongly encourage them to contact our finance staff and put in place some payment arrangements early."

Notices will be sent in the week of 10 February and should arrive in mailboxes no later than Friday 21 February. Please contact Council if you do not receive your rate notice by that date.

GRC Mayor, Cr Graeme Scheu recording his water usage. Forms are available at every service centre which allows residents work out how much water they are using.

GRC Mayor, Cr Graeme Scheu recording his water usage. Forms are available at every service centre which allows residents work out how much water they are using.