Watertight decision

THE Gold Coast City Council's recent decision to revert to the hand-hosing hours of before 7am and after 4pm (on the same day) thus dropping out of the south-east Queensland regional scheme for watering from 7pm until 7am, is non-negotiable.

It stays. A majority council made this plain at last week's co-ordination committee meeting.

The controversial decision to dispense with teamwork and "go it alone" sparked the ire of a number of neighbouring councils as well as criticism among its own ranks.

The city's water supply spokeswoman, Cr Daphne McDonald said going back to hosing from 4pm, strongly promoted by Mayor Ron Clarke, was a decision on the run, and repercussions would be long and lasting.

Mayor Clarke in his break away move had been concerned over pitfalls confronted by the elderly and/or disabled when they attempted to water their gardens in the dark.

However, according to Cr McDonald, practical exemptions for those at risk would have been finalised in a matter of days.

"I am just as concerned about the problems our aged residents could face through the later hours," she said.

"I am sure common ground will be reached when the planned phone hook-up between officers and leaders of the south-east Queensland councils, especially those taking water from the drought- affected Wivenhoe Dam (Gold Coast is one of them) occurs this week," Cr McDonald said.

She is one who will participate in the hook-up.

However, according to Cr Dawn Crichlow the city council had a clear duty to adhere to its previous decision and go along with other councils including Brisbane City and stick to the 7pm to 7am watering hours.

"I've heard no complaints and I've seen many elderly people out there early in the morning enjoying time in the garden free from the mossies that descend at 4pm like clockwork," she said.

The majority of ears were deaf to Cr Crichlow's criticism.

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