The Federal Government has committed up to $200 million to secure Townsville’s long-term water supply, with $195 million to fully fund Stage 2 of the Haughton Pipeline extension and $5 million to compile the project’s business case.
Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack said work would start immediately on the business case.
“Over the past 18-months the Townsville Water Security Taskforce—initiated through the $250 million Townsville City Deal delivered by this Government—has been examining options for delivering Townsville’s water security,” he said.
“Stage 1 and Stage 2—coupled with the recycled water, demand management, leakage and pricing reforms which the taskforce recommended be implemented by council—will provide Townsville a long term, reliable and cost-effective water supply system.”
Funding committed through the City Deal for the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor’s (TEARC) development would be re-allocated to enhance opportunities for Townsville’s development, including to support Stage 2 of the Haughton pipeline, he said.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill welcomed reports that the Federal Government and Opposition had committed to fully fund Stage 2 of the new water pipeline.
“I welcome both the Prime Minister’s and Opposition Leader’s commitments to fund Stage 2 of the pipeline,” Cr Hill said.
“I’ll back any proposal that will ensure the recommendations in the independent Townsville Water Security Taskforce’s final report are delivered for our community.
“However, it’s important to point out that only the Opposition’s commitment to fund Stage 2 has no strings attached and will guarantee the $55 million in savings by doing both stages simultaneously.”
Work is already underway on Stage 1 of the pipeline – from Ross Dam to the Haughton Channel – with the aid of $225 million in funding from the Queensland Government. This upgraded 1.8m diameter pipeline will allow 234 ML to be pumped per day – up from the current pipeline’s maximum capacity of 130 ML per day.
Stage 2 involves extending the pipeline through to the Burdekin at Clare, which would increase the capacity further to 364 ML per day.
Townsville City Council announced last week that NQ Excavations and CivilPlus Constructions had been appointed to install the first sections of pipeline for the Stage 1 Haughton Pipeline Duplication Project.