Celebrity gar­dener to front city’s wa­ter- wise cam­paign Durie duty call- up

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - VIC­TO­RIA NU­GENT EX­CLU­SIVE vic­to­ria. nu­gent@ news. com. au

CELEBRITY gar­dener Jamie Durie has been signed up as the face of a $ 10 mil­lion cam­paign to get Townsville res­i­dents to cut their wa­ter use.

Townsville City Coun­cil’s cam­paign had been funded through the State Govern­ment’s $ 225 bud­get com­mit­ment to ob­tain­ing wa­ter se­cu­rity for Townsville.

The scheme, known as the Com­mu­nity Wa­ter Tran­si­tion Sup­port Pack­age, will in- clude fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives for res­i­dents tak­ing wa­ter- sav­ing mea­sures such as in­stalling wa­ter- ef­fi­cient gar­dens and ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems, dual- flush cis­terns and pool cov­ers.

De­tails for the cam­paign, due to start later this year, are yet to be fi­nalised but Mayor Jenny Hill said it was in­spired by wa­ter- sav­ing mea­sures used in Bris­bane dur­ing the drought in the mid- 2000s.

“As of next week peo­ple will be able to move from … pur­chas­ing a set al­lo­ca­tion to go­ing to­ward user- pays if they wish,” she said.

“That’s al­ways been avail­able to res­i­dents but ob­vi­ous- ly when you’re in a drought, some peo­ple think it’s a much bet­ter op­tion.

“The idea of the $ 10 mil­lion is for us firstly to ed­u­cate and then to pro­vide fund­ing that will al­low peo­ple to un­der­stand how they can man­age their wa­ter bet­ter.”

Pre­mier Annnasta­cia Palaszczuk said the cam­paign de­liv­ered on a key rec­om­men­da­tion of the Townsville Wa­ter Se­cu­rity Task­force in­terim re­port.

“We have al­ready com­mit­ted $ 225 mil­lion for wa­ter se­cu­rity mea­sures for Townsville,” she said. “How­ever, we know new techno- lo­gies and bet­ter aware­ness mean we can make the wa­ter sup­ply we have go fur­ther and bet­ter en­hance our re­sponse to the Townsville Wa­ter Se­cu­rity Task­force Re­port.

“I know Townsville res­i­dents al­ready un­der­stand the im­por­tance of be­ing wa­ter­wise and they have proven this by their av­er­age daily use for the year never go­ing above the wa­ter re­stric­tion tar­get of 100 me­gal­itres.

“This is about let­ting the com­mu­nity know about mea­sures and ap­proaches to wa­ter they may not have pre­vi­ously con­sid­ered and en­cour­ag­ing the com­mu­nity to adopt those mea­sures.” Durie’s ap­point­ment comes af­ter the coun­cil flew him to Townsville ear­lier, where he worked with the Pure Projects team to plan bet­ter green spa­ces for the city.

Durie met with coun­cil­lors, lo­cal ex­perts and wa­ter au­thor­i­ties in Townsville in the first of a se­ries of about 10 work­shops to de­velop a pro­gram re­lat­ing to wa­ter- ef­fi­cient gar­dens and streetscapes.

“This is not about sac­ri­fice, this is ac­tu­ally about in­spir­ing peo­ple to have a whole new look at the way they treat their gar­dens,” he said.

WA­TER WAR­RIOR: Jamie Durie and Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk at the Rowes Bay Sus­tain­abil­ity Cen­tre. Pic­ture: ZAK SIMMONDS

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