The Australian Government has committed to delivering construction of the $195 million Stage 2 of Townsville’s Haughton water pipeline project.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack made the announcement today in a joint statement with local Federal MPs.
The project was the centre of controversy earlier this month when it was revealed an economic report by consultants Jacobs indicated the case for Stage 2 of the Haughton water supply pipeline did not stack up.
Townsville Enterprise subsequently convened a meeting where it strongly advocated for Stage 2, saying the case for it proceeding was already confirmed by the findings of the Independent Water Taskforce. (More HERE)
Mr McCormack said investing in Townsville by supporting construction of Stage 2 of the Haughton Pipeline was a top priority for the Government.
“Reliable water is something the region needs and deserves, which is why we are investing in this job-creating project for Townsville,” he said.
Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said the Government commitment to fund the delivery of Stage 1 and Stage 2 concurrently would save money.
“We have been taking the time to talk to community leaders about the findings of the business case and discuss the next steps and we recognise Stage 2 of the pipeline has strong community support,” Mr Christensen said.
“Supporting the Townsville council to deliver the Stage 2 pipeline means the agricultural channel would not be needed for urban supply and this channel capacity can be made available to irrigators. The estimated increase in value of ongoing agricultural output is $3 million per year.”
Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said Stage 2 would create an average of 691 new jobs over its three-year construction, along with a further 30 new full-time ongoing positions.
Investment in Townsville’s water security has been driven by the Townsville Water Security Taskforce with Townsville City Council, established under the Townsville City Deal.
The full business case can be found at https://citydeals.infrastructure.gov.au/townsville