Mayor?s hose bid slammed
By YVONNE McLEAN
THE Gold Coast City Council remains divided over its attitude to water usage - after hour upon hour of debate and repeated explanations by Gold Coast Water director Shaun Cox, and recommendations approved yet later challenged.
It been a case of bucket versus hose ? a case that will undoubtedly be solved by the Queensland government's Water Commission.
Mayor Ron Clarke made one more strong bid for all residents to be permitted to hose their gardens for one hour per week - this in lieu of the regional council of mayor's decision that only those residents who could produce medical evidence of their inability to hold a bucket may hose for one hour a week.
Cr Clarke has made it plain that because the Gold Coast now has a plentiful supply from the Hinze Dam and is no longer dependent on the diminishing Wivenhoe Dam for a back-up source, residents should not be forced to adhere to severe restrictions mandatory for areas confronting a crisis in their water supply.
The council has handed Shaun Cox authority to disconnect from Wivenhoe pipeline.
However Mr Cox told the council that although Beenleigh was now served from a pipeline from Hinze Dam, there had been problems of water quality and discolouration.
He urged the council to err on the side of caution and approve for the time being a minimal amount from Wivenhoe to the reservoir supplying Beenleigh - thus keeping open the pipeline.
Cr Ted Shepherd, supporting the mayor's move for a minimal use of hoses for all, suggested the Gold Coast become a sub-region of the south-east Queensland region - an area separate in water supply, yet part of the wider region in other matters.
But water sustainabilty committee chairman Daphne McDonald said she was surprised that as a chairman of the water committee, the mayor had not at least in- formed her of his move to seek council support for the hour watering for all.
An angry Cr McDonald told the council she would never support decisions made on the run - they were usually wrong and came back to bite.
"I was the one who originally told the Council of Mayors that restricting an hour's hosing to those with a medical proof of a disability would be hard to admin- ister. The mayors would not accept my advice, yet here we are again, despite a majority voting against the previous bid by Mayor Ron Clarke on the same lines, debating it all over again.
"It should not be forgotten that a few years ago, the Gold Coast was in drought and we depended on Wivenhoe. This time we are the lucky ones but in the future we could confront a shortage of water."