Council sharpens water security focus

Townsville City Council has maintained its focus on water security in its 2022/23 Budget to support residential, commercial and industrial growth for a sustainable future.

A record $214.9 million will be invested in the next 12 months to continue work on critical water infrastructure projects across the city.

Mayor Jenny Hill said water was fast becoming one of the world’s most valuable commodities and, with a focus on population and industry growth, continued strategic water management was essential.

“In the past 12 months, we have worked through the necessary planning, design and consultation for major projects like the Haughton Pipeline, the Ross River Dam to Douglas Water Treatment Plant pipe duplication and the city’s new recycled water treatment facility,” Cr Hill said.

“With much of the necessary planning works nearing completion, the rubber is set to hit the road in 2022/23 as we move to the construction phase on these critical and necessary projects.

“Council has committed $34.9 million to the pipe duplication project between Ross River Dam and the Douglas Water Treatment Plant, which is partially funded by the Queensland Government.

“The budget also commits an investment of $22 million for the progression and commissioning of our innovative recycled water treatment facility.”

Townsville Water and Waste Committee chairperson Russ Cook said Council invested a large portion of its budget in major infrastructure because it was essential to supporting homes, businesses and industry both now and into the future.

“In 2021/22, we made appropriate investment to upgrade our underground water networks across the city and that work will continue in this budget,” he said.

“It is expensive infrastructure that people don’t see, we can’t hold an event to open or showcase it, but it is critical for our homes, businesses and local industry.”

With the support of the Queensland Government, a further $9.6 million has been allocated to finalise the installation of two new clarifiers at the Douglas Water Treatment Plant. Council will continue works on time and to schedule for Stage 2 of the Haughton Pipeline Project.

“Townsville is one of the most arid regions in Australia, which is why water supply and management will continue to be one of our biggest areas of strategic investment,” Cr Cook said.

“This record investment in water security is vital both to bringing the community through inevitable droughts and to meet the anticipated future demand in the Townsville region.

“These are region-changing projects and this investment highlights our ongoing commitment to water security for our community.”

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