'Water theft' from the Murray Darling Basin is a topical issue but locally Tenterfield Mens Shed members are reeling from the audacity of thieves who have stolen the group's water storage capability.
Three 1000-litre rainwater tanks stored between the new shed and the Dharnbarran Community Garden next door (a Work for the Dole project run by Best Employment) were due to be plumbed in last Wednesday, but had disappeared. The captured water was to be shared between the two entities.
Mens Shed president Rex Holley said fresh tracks, presumably from a ute, indicated that the tanks had been taken early that same morning.
The matter was reported to police who interviewed neighbours but no-one reported seeing anything suspicious.
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The tanks were 'Misty Green' in colour and Mr Holley said they would have been stacked two on the ute tray and then one above, if anyone happened to notice such a load that morning.
In addition to thwarting the group's efforts to reduce its dependency on the town water supply, making the loss even worse is the fact that the tanks were donated by a kind benefactor who had driven them down from Brisbane.
"It's pretty mean when they take it off someone like us," Mr Holley said.
He put a value of around $1000 on the stolen property.
Mr Holley said video surveillance footage is being examined to reveal the culprits. Should they experience a pang of guilt, however, they are invited to return the tanks under the cover of darkness and no questions will be asked.