Drought projects nearing completion, new fire water storage tank to be installed

TANK: Tatiara District Council Mayor Graham Excell (left), Western Flat Community Sport and Recreation Secretary Monique Moore, Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin and Western Flat Community Sport and Recreation Treasurer Danielle Francis standing next to Western Flat's fire water storage tank.
TANK: Tatiara District Council Mayor Graham Excell (left), Western Flat Community Sport and Recreation Secretary Monique Moore, Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin and Western Flat Community Sport and Recreation Treasurer Danielle Francis standing next to Western Flat's fire water storage tank.

Tatiara District Council received $1 million from the Federal Government's Drought Communities Programme in 2019 to spend on local projects.

Since then, 10 of the 15 projects have been completed, with the rest aiming to be completed by the June 30 deadline - a new fire water storage tank might also be installed before the cut-off date.

Director of development and environmental services Rocky Callisto said two projects need minor works to be undertaken, while the remaining three will take a little longer.

The new cricket nets at the Bordertown Cricket Club are expected to be completed in early February, with concrete pitches completed, and posts and fencing also installed.

New shower facilities at the Mundulla Showgrounds' RV parking site are nearly completed, with all that's required is paving, gas bottles and a metal cage to be installed.

Padthaway Football Club's facility upgrade, Keith Golf Club's bathroom renovation, and Tatiara Karting Club's lighting upgrade are likely to be completed closer to the June deadline.

Mr Callisto said council has managed to save some money on a number of projects, resulting in a nett saving of $19,400.

Described as an "excellent outcome", council now plan to install an additional CFS fire water storage tank in the north of the district.

"Council indicated that if there was surplus funding available another fire tank should be installed in the northern portion of the district," Mr Callisto said.

"In consultation with the CFS group officer, the CFS is very keen to have a tank installed at the McCallum Fire Shed, as there is a shortage of static water available in this area."

The newly proposed fire water storage tank at McCallum will join previously installed tanks at Western Flat, Padthaway, Willalooka and Wolseley.

Mr Callisto said a bore will need to be installed before the new tank is delivered, something the CFS has discussed at length.

With the summer resulting in the increase of grassfires, CFS brigades have had to use some of the newly installed tanks.

Tatiara group officer Daryl Napper said the CFS have already used the tanks located at Western Flat and Wolseley, with it taking around three minutes to fill a truck.

All the feedback from brigade members has been "extremely positive", and the installation of an additional tank at McCallum will further safeguard the district from future bushfires.

Mr Callisto said the nett cost to install a 110,000 litre tank with the approved CFS fittings is in the vicinity of $20,000.

At council's January meeting, councillors agreed to allocate surplus funds from the Drought Communities Programme to install an additional fire water storage tank at the McCallum Fire Shed,