LEVY A WASH: Cr Marika McNichol takes in the sad sight of Storm King Dam ahead of a proposed water levy to supply Stanthorpe.
LEVY A WASH: Cr Marika McNichol takes in the sad sight of Storm King Dam ahead of a proposed water levy to supply Stanthorpe. Contributed

RATEPAYER RAGE: Water levy faces waves of criticism

SUPPORT for Southern Downs Regional Council is drying up as struggling ratepayers refuse to pay the proposed water levy.

Six months remain until Storm King Dam runs dry and once it does all ratepayers may be expected to fund the flow of water into Stanthorpe, regardless of whether they plan to use that supply.

Comments welled up on the Warwick Daily News Facebook post as residents released their rage.

Warwick resident June Rose Ruttley-Edge proposed ratepayers "stick together and straight out refuse to be ripped off ”.

"They've stuffed up over years and years of failure and now they expect the community to pay for it all,” she said.

This sentiment was echoed by others such as Steve Rhode and Rebecca Kinsella, who declared they would not pay the levy.

Among those commenting was long-time Warwick resident Carolyn Lamb, who said she would struggle to cover payments for two properties on a pension.

"I cannot imagine any council could be arrogant enough to charge rural ratepayers for a water supply that doesn't apply to them,” she said.

"If a person has big tanks they've spent a fortune putting in, they shouldn't be charged extra for something that comes out of the sky.

"Next thing you know we'll be charged for breathing air.

"It's not council's fault there's a drought but they should have put restrictions in a lot earlier.

"They were just sitting on their hands waiting for rain.”

Mayor Tracy Dobie said the council spent a long time deliberating whether to include rural ratepayers in the water levy but ultimately decided to do so as most rural residents used town facilities such as schools.

If the State Government doesn't intervene with additional funding, residents can expect the bill to drop in April next year.