Councillors have criticised Bathurst Regional Council’s communication skills in regards to implementing water restrictions.
On November 26, water restrictions were imposed on people in the Bathurst region after Chifley Dam failed to reach 75 per cent capacity two weeks prior to that.
Nearly a fortnight later, residents have received reminders about their responsibilities through social media, council’s website and Bathurst’s media outlets.
However, it wasn’t until Thursday that a letterbox drop to households began.
Deputy mayor Bobby Bourke questioned at Wednesday night’s policy committee whether a letterbox drop would even be done, which was when the start date was revealed.
He said that he had received calls from frustrated residents, confused about what was expected of them.
“We need to clarify what we’re doing with the water restrictions and if [a notice] is going out tomorrow (Thursday), then that’s good,” Cr Bourke said.
Cr Ian North also slammed the notification process, saying council hadn’t done enough community education before restrictions were imposed.
“It’s something I’ve been saying in here for 15 years, I think our communication does stink at council,” he said. “These fliers should have been ready to go when we were ready to go.”
Cr Jacqui Rudge also spoke during the meeting, with the purpose of clarifying the water restrictions for the public.
She explained that council adopted level three restrictions to prevent going to more critical actions at a later point, and that a review of the Drought Management Plan was due for consideration in the 2019-20 budget.
The advice Cr Rudge had received, however, was that it was best to not do a review while the city was in drought.
“I suggest those residents who are seeking assistance go to the council website and seek advice on water saving techniques, or if you do fit the criteria for a special case there is an application for review and possible exemption,” she said.