State funds new water supply for Burdekin

Burdekin residents will have a new permanent long-term water source, and a solution for local water contamination issues, thanks to $10 million from the Palaszczuk Government.

Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham was in the Burdekin this week to announce the funds for Burdekin Shire Council to move Ayr and Brandon’s main water storage to the racecourse area in South Ayr.

“All credit to council: they moved quickly to address the issue of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) when it first was discovered in town water in 2018,” Dr Lynham said.

“But the communities of Ayr and Brandon, and council, need a permanent alternative town water supply and our Government will step up to assist.

“We will provide up to $10 million to Council, which will entirely fund Stage 2 of council’s long-term water supply solution.

“These funds will pay for three new bores, a new reservoir, associated pumps and connecting water main to allow the primary water source to be moved from the Nelson’s Lagoon bores to an alternate Ayr location.

“Burdekin Shire Council has been working hard and the Government is stepping up to join council in doing the right thing by its community.”

Elevated PFAS levels were detected in 2018 in town water, which is largely drawn from groundwater bores in Nelson’s Lagoon.

Council took prompt action to reduce demand on the affected bores and increased extraction from other aquifers, as well as commissioning a new bore in the centre of Ayr.

Burdekin Shire Council CEO Terry Brennan said the State Government contribution had further accelerated the Shire’s water security plan.

“Council has been actively working on long-term water resilience for the Burdekin, and this funding will deliver a viable solution in a much faster timeframe than would have been possible without the State Government’s support,” Mr Brennan said.

“Stage 2 of Council’s water solution will provide an alternate aquifer water supply for the Burdekin, and ensure Ayr and Brandon have a substantial water supply reservoir with the capacity to support higher reticulation pressures.

“This is in addition to the construction of a five megalitre reservoir to increase capacity and disaster resilience in the Home Hill water supply following a $1.99 million Queensland Government grant, guaranteeing greater capacity across the Shire.

“I want to thank the State Government for fully funding the new Ayr water supply, and recognise our Council staff who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to secure these long-term solutions for the Burdekin.”

Dr Lynham said council had already invested several million dollars, but the necessary changes had seen water pressure fallen in parts of the reticulation network.

“The Burdekin needs a sustainable long-term solution and these funds will support council in providing safe, clean, healthy drinking water for decades to come.”

Council now needs to provide a project plan to state government officers, who will work with council on the staged payments of the funds in line with the agreed project plan.

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