Drought, lack of water and bush fires

Fri 15/11/2019 9:36 AM
  • editor@theweekly.net.au

To the Editor

What do you think of this?

I have not had running water since last December. Both my creeks have been bone dry for a year. I have two small rainwater tanks. There is nowhere to put a bigger one and anyway I couldn’t afford it, I am on the Age Pension.

When my tanks ran low, my daughter and I went from 2 buckets to shower and wash our hair to just one and now half a bucket. Terrified at not having a drop of water I have been keeping clean with baby wipes and we buy our drinking water. Tyalgum village had showers in the toilets in the park. I drove the 26 kilometres there and back to have a cold shower and wash my hair, only to find the ladies shower is not working.

I wrote a letter to Mr Scott Ousby to ask for the shower to be fixed. He informed me that the shower has purposely been decommissioned. But the men’s shower was not. When I asked in at Tweed Shire Council why men need a shower and women don’t, I was met with hostility. I was put on the phone to Mr Ousby who said that he didn’t know that the men’s shower was working. I told him that I would be showering in the men’s shower. I went the next week to shower only to find that the tap has been removed and plugged up. This was done deliberately to spite me, as he had no idea there was a shower till I told him.

On the phone, he informed me that there was a drought. How could he possibly think that I didn’t know that? I told him that I had rung the General Store and they said there were no water restrictions. Guess what. Tyalgum suddenly went to Level 2 Water Restrictions. That is 144 litres per person per day and watering garden for one hour only every other day. If we are in drought, why wasn’t Tyalgum already on Water Restrictions?

I have left posts complaining about the situation on Tweed Shire Council Facebook page and I have written to the Mayor Katie Milne. Mr Ousby told me that as a property owner it is my responsibility to provide myself with water. The first letter he sent me had a list of water carriers, as if I could find that for myself. My driveway is one kilometre long, 4WD only very narrow and in bad repair. No water truck could get up and they wouldn’t come to fill my tiny tanks.

I live on 245 acres of forest and I am prepared for a fire. I have been trying to find out ahead of time where the bush fire evacuation centre is for me. It’s the Hall in Tyalgum, a weatherboard building. My house is solid brick. I went to the Show Grounds to see if the Murwillumbah one was there. No, even if I am evacuating I still have to pay $25 per day to pitch a tent. I feel shame, having paid my rates on time every time for the past 40 years and they don’t even provide rubbish removal.  P.S I am 77 years old.

Please ReTweet and Share

I have just received an email from the editor from The Weekly and they asked me if I could go to Murwillumbah on Monday.


I am so sorry for your situation and I hope everything is going okay.

If possible I would like to arrange Monday to get a photo? Would that be possible?

Thank you,


Editor TVW 0447300258 (02) 6672 4443

My reply:

Hello Jonathan,

Two years ago I loved my house and property. I’ve had a Prize-Winning garden, both the Tweed Shire Council for Environmentally Friendly Garden and the Murwillumbah Garden Club coming second to The Youngblutts in Country Garden. Now my garden is rubbish from the drought and the last 4 summers were too hot and humid for me. I have craniofacial hyperhidrosis. I have not had any visitors for 4 years. My daughter became homeless last year when her rent went up $100 from $180 to $280 and so had to move back home with me. She brought with her a two-bedroom unit of her belongings. Consequently, my house is in turmoil. Plus having no water has been difficult to keep clean.

Hey again,

Sounds like quite a battle.

I’d like to come to you if possible?

Thank you,


Hello again,

I’ve been thinking about my situation and I really appreciate that the Weekly is interested in my plight; however my letter was to find out how people think about the Tweed Shire Council’s treatment of my situation and not an emphasis on my situation. That’s why I headed it What do you think of This?

I don’t want the story to be about me when over 300 houses have been lost and 4 people have died. I want the story to be about Tweed Shire Council and their lack of humanity and care for a 40 year long rate payer, their slack running of the water crisis and lack of empathy for my situation. I want people to know who Mr Scott Ousby is and what he is capable of.

Please just print my letter to the editor on the letters page. That would be really good. Thanks

About eleanawi

Hi, I am Eleana Winter-Irving, a very youthful 79 year old. I own land and work hard. I built my own 4 bedroom house with a little help from my friends and I still regularly use a chain saw, fell weed trees and chop firewood. I keep fit by working hard and I also love dancing. If I am not out dancing I am at home, not anything old fashioned like waltzes, lol. I am a freestyler. I read a lot, love photography and going to places I haven’t been to before. I have travelled extensively all over the world to more than 30 countries and lived in 6 different countries. I have 2 children, both girls and both happy with long term partners. I became a grandmother in 2012. I can’t say the same for myself. I seem to be unlucky with men. I am very warm and affectionate with the ‘right’ person. I have New Age leanings, but not over the top. I am a Gnostic, so I don’t follow any religion. Religion is for those who are lost and can’t rely on their conscience to guide them. Yes, I am different from most people, especially women my age. If you dare to follow my blogs you will quickly notice that they are usually controversial. That’s me, I am controversial. I date guys in their twenties and thirties. They find me attractive and I find them attractive. I won’t date someone I am not attracted to, though it doesn’t matter for friendships. I am not into sport at all, though I was hockey and netball captain at school year after year. I like most music, except for heavy metal, rock ‘n’ roll, country and western, hip hop and rap. I do like some hip hop and rap, depends on what they are saying. I was born in India, educated in England and Australia and now live permanently in Australia. I have no claim to academia, though I consider myself intelligent, not intellectual. If you can’t think of anything to comment on about any of my blogs, that’s fine with me. I know it’s difficult when a subject is unusual. I write to get people thinking and of course if you do have something to say, I am all ears, lol. One thing, I doubt you will be bored with any of my posts. Eleana
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s