I see in Monday night's Council Agenda that the Council is recommending that hundreds and hundreds of ratepayers in Lithgow, should receive a small rebate of up to $20 for the excess water they used whilst fighting the town's catastrophic bushfire that took place on the weekend just before Christmas Day.
$20? How much more will it also cost for the additional paper applications and internal Council administrative processing for all these water rebates?
Given the bushfire devastation that has occurred right across NSW and what our own community has recently been through, for me it a case of let's not haggle over the piddling cost of scarce water for bushfires.
Because for me even as a pensioner, if it had not been for that $20 of Council water being available on that momentous weekend to hose down bushfire embers, my house, my next door neighbours houses and many, many other houses scattered across the bottom of the foothills surrounding Lithgow, would have all burnt to the ground along with all my treasured personal belongings and family memories.
For me, it's pretty clear that everyone using their $20 worth of Council water on that weekend, is actually what saved Lithgow from the bushfire devastation of some towns and villages that we have seen destroyed on the North Coast and South Coast of NSW.
If we really are a compassionate community, we don't need to haggle over a small amount of money but instead we should be collectively grateful given that many other Councils and communities across NSW are in drought, have severe water restrictions or no water at all.
It was after all, our Council who was on a day under a State of Bushfire Emergency, able to provide sufficient water to the many NSW Rural Fire Service trucks, tankers and helicopters, our own town brigades and the many State Fire Strike Teams vehicles along with us ratepayers and residents using our garden hoses.
We should also not forget our good fortune that on that same weekend, not one life was lost?
My neighbours and I agree that it may be more appropriate for the Council to keep our $20 water rebate and put it towards the poor souls who sadly found their homes destroyed.
We don't know if it's possible but maybe the Council can put all these hundreds and hundreds of $20 water rebates together and compensate those 17 ratepayers for all their Council rates and charges over the next 12 months, given that they are unlikely to be living on their properties during this time.
For those who still want to recoup their $20 of water, can I suggest that over the next six months they may wish to start having shorter showers, putting buckets in their showers and using this water on their gardens and as my grandchildren tell me, "Nan, if it's yellow, let it mellow; if it's brown, flush it down".