Residents of Ravenshoe and other Atherton Tableland towns have been living off boiled water since the start of the year. File picture
Residents of Ravenshoe and other Atherton Tableland towns have been living off boiled water since the start of the year. File picture

The regional Qld town that can't drink its own water

QUEENSLAND'S highest town may as well be on Mars.

Residents of Ravenshoe and other townships on the picturesque Atherton Tableland have been living off boiled water since January.

Schoolchildren have been banned from using the bubblers, instead being supplied with bottled water. Mothers can't bath babies or make formula with what comes out of the tap.

There are fears that the area will be shunned by tourists, particularly grey nomads, given visitors are greeted with signs emblazoned with "BOIL WATER BEFORE USE".

If such a catastrophe was occurring in West End or Ashgrove, you could guarantee that the State Government would have fixed it months ago.

The Tablelands Regional Council told residents in January that ­consuming the water could cause "nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and a general feeling of being unwell".

It is not uncommon in wet seasons for this to occur. However what is ­uncommon is how long this has now dragged on for.

While the council insists the water has returned to normal condition, state regulators insist it no longer meets improved standards.

Now the council faces the prospect of having to install a new treatment process at a hefty cost, causing a stand-off.

Local MP Shane Knuth reckons water bottles are piling up and people are livid.

"It is imperative that the Government takes responsibility to resolve this problem before the next wet ­season further drags this problem out," he said.

Government rushing to fix a problem? Now that sounds a bit alien.