Pouring money into water campaign
By YVONNE McLEAN
THE Gold Coast City Council will spend $350,000 on an intensive, full-on campaign to inform the community about where today's, tomorrow's and the future's water supply is coming from.
The campaign will explain, in terms easy to understand, about options in water supplied including dams, pipelines and de-salination, and emphasise the role the community must play in the escalating urgency to save water.
The campaign was outlined to the council by Gold Coast Water director, Shaun Cox.
Mr Cox said long and extensive research had revealed that although the Gold Coast was acknowledged as a leader in water conservation initiatives, council had failed to properly inform and involve the community regarding its water supply plans.
"Our marketing strategies have not gone well at all, surveys reveal promotions have been too complex, so we need to develop a new concept, evoke emotions that will resonate well throughout our community, most of whom want to contribute to our vital task of saving water," Mr Cox told council.
The new concept will be well publicised in all media, on billboards, bus backs and wherever possible throughout July and August, and will feature a little child named Katie with the caption "When Katie is old enough, will we have enough water?"
Then there is an illustration of a hand, with the words "Together we can ensure our water is in safe hands."
Mr Cox said the future follow-ups could follow Katie as she grows up.
He acknowledged the estimated cost of the campaign was high, but asked council to consider the need to saturate the community with water supply information.
"The community is an integral part of water usage and conservation," he said.
Mr Cox also emphasised that the input of councillors was essential before planning moved too far ahead.
"We need to have the campaign buttoned-up, ready to go over the next couple of months," he said.
Council's water sustainable chairperson, Cr Daphne McDonald, said when the previous drought gripped the Gold Coast as it had much of Queensland, council had in some respects been caught on the back foot.
"Another drought could be looming but now we are prepared and in all our planning in the near and longer-term future, we must involve the community because without that support, our water-saving measures could be down the drain," she said.
The full council meeting being held today is expected to approve the new campaign, and the cost of it, without reservations.