SUNDAY mornings have now been opened to plant watering following a decision by councillors on Tuesday night to trial the measure for a month.
Effective immediately, residents will be allowed to water for one hour between 6am and 8am on Sunday mornings or between 6pm and 8pm on Sunday evenings.
But residents have been warned the current level five restrictions will not be relaxed - within the chosen hour, residents can use buckets, watering cans and drip irrigation systems, but handheld hoses are allowed for half an hour only.
Until now, residents were given between 6pm and 7pm on Sunday evenings to water.
We're all losing plants and shrubs and people are getting concerned if they miss that watering they're going to lose more.Councillor Glenn Taylor
Mayor Reg Kidd said the hour was initially chosen based on when most people were at home, but he had heard feedback from shift workers who could not be.
"This more flexible approach will give them some more options," he said.
Residents have been reminded other level five restrictions, including the banning of lawn watering, washing hard surfaces, watering new turf, and filling up or topping up swimming pools and garden features, remain unchanged.
During the meeting, councillor Glenn Taylor said residents should be afforded the chance to save their plants if the previous hour did not suit them.
"We're all losing plants and shrubs and people are getting concerned if they miss that watering they're going to lose more," he said.
Councillors also voted to allow free entry to Orange Aquatic Centre on Australia Day as thanks for complying with water restrictions.
An initial motion to make entry free for the entire long weekend was amended, with some councillors questioning whether the move was a "knee-jerk reaction" to Cabonne Council's decision to make pools free to children on weekends.
Councillor Kevin Duffy said the move would also compensate the public for pool closures during hot weather, but councillor Stephen Nugent said closures occurred "for good reason" and instead suggested a free family pass for firefighters.
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