A desire to help and a few phone calls was all it took to rally the troops to deliver a billabong - or three - of water to Port Macquarie's much loved zoo.
As part of the old Bunnings redevelopment site, a 300,000 litre water tank which was part of the fire sprinkler system needed to be emptied for upgrades. But rather than let the water go down the drain, a call from James Parkinson from FGI-FIRE PL to Club North Haven's Peter Negus has resulted in a collaboration of massive proportions.
The water isn't potable for human consumption so could not be donated to the club's Million Litre Promise - the brainchild of Andrew Pratt and Shane Globits but Mr Negus knew just where the water could go.
"It was like all the dominoes lined up and everything just fell into place with the community coming together to help," Mr Negus said.
"The day before the call about the water we had a call from Billabong Zoo asking if there was any water available for their animals. So when the water call came it was just a perfect fit."
Billabong Zoo sits on 10 acres of land on the outskirts of Port Macquarie and is an institution run by Mark Stone and his dedicated crew.
Mr Stone said it has only been in the last six months that sourcing water for the animals has reached a critical situation and the donated water will be a lifeline for the animals.
"We are just blown away by what has come from our phone call," Mr Stone said.
"It is just the typical Aussie thing of when people are in need there is always someone who can lend a hand and help.
"We have a strong focus on water conservation and making sure every last drop of water is used as efficiently as possible but lately it has been really tough.
"In a good season our billabong has over two metres of water in it but at the moment it is bone dry.
"We have never seen it this tough before and the situation is getting worse and worse by the day so things are now pretty dire.
"We have three billabongs which operate throughout our site, one is bone dry and the other two are struggling big time."
This water project is a collaboration between Club North Haven, the main contractors at the old Bunnings site AW Edwards, Hastings Valley Water Carts and First National Real Estate North Haven.
All four entities are splitting the cost of freighting the water to the zoo and AW Edwards are donating the water.
AW Edwards site manager Tom Mitchell said they were delighted to facilitate the water transfer.
"As part of the site's upgrades we needed to empty the tank of water and we are so glad that it can go to helping the animals at Billabong Zoo rather than going down the drain," Mr Mitchell said.
"The water from the tank is mostly roof run off water and the tank was full so it is a good 300,000 litres which will be going to the zoo."
It will take 20-25 trips over three days to get all the water to the zoo but Stewart O'Brien from First National Real Estate North Haven said it is worth it.
"We initially jumped on the Million Litres Promise with Club North Haven because we knew there were so many people suffering in the drought in our local community," Mr O'Brien said.
"And when we heard about this project which is very similar we didn't hesitate to chip in for the cost of freighting the water.
"Billabong Zoo is such an icon in the Hastings region and it goes to show just how bad the drought really is."
Mr Stone said the injection of water as summer is coming will ensure all the animals at Billabong Zoo can be comfortable in the hot summer weather.
"The water in our billabong is used to help cool the animals in the heat and keep the wild animals who come for a visit cool. The water is also home to our fish and eels and ensure our plants are healthy.
"We are just so grateful for everyone who has been involved in this process."
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