Standpipes group to take action

By Country News

Concerned farmers from the north of Mitchell Shire have formed the Standpipes Action Group, and will hold a public meeting to discuss the need to upgrade standpipes across the shire.

Standpipe Action Group member Colin Davidson from Tallarook said the standpipes were installed in the aftermath of Ash Wednesday, as part of a Victorian Government grant.

“The maintenance has been the responsibility of the Mitchell Shire and the bores and the standpipes are degrading,” Mr Davidson said.

“Things like pump repairs have been covered by the shire, but we're getting to the situation where the demand for use is greater, because they provide a water source for landholders in times of drought.

“There is a great need out there and at times there are five-plus vehicles queued up at the standpipes.”

Mitchell Shire did not qualify for the recent $1 million in Federal Government drought funding as part of the Drought Communities Program.

The shire covers from Kilmore to Seymour to Tooborac, with each region varying in weather conditions.

Mitchell Shire Council has agreed to upgrade the standpipes at Seymour and Whitegate Rd, but the community has contacted state and federal MPs to seek funding through long-term strategies.

The meeting will provide an opportunity to share a common understanding of the issue of limited water during times of drought, and the purpose of the standpipes as a critical resource.

The meeting will be held outside the Broadford Community Hall on Saturday, March 14 at 11 am.