Budget delivers for Townsville water security
The Palaszczuk Government’s 2017 Budget will deliver improved water security for North Queensland, with a $225 million commitment over four years to implement the findings of the Townsville Water Security Taskforce led by prominent Townsville businessman Mr Brad Webb.
Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland and Mundingburra MP Coralee O’Rourke said Townsville was experiencing one of its driest periods on record, which, coupled with higher water demands has resulted in Townsville’s primary local water source Ross River Dam falling to its lowest level in recent years.
"Our community needed action on water security. As local MPs and as a government we listened and acted," Ms O’Rourke said.
“The Premier, having travelled to Townsville many times in the past two years, heard from residents who identified water security as their number one concern in Townsville.
“The Premier has listened to our community and is funding a water security solution for our city.
“Our $225 million investment will not only provide Townsville with water security but will create jobs and opportunities to expand as a reliable supply chain hub.
“The Water Security Taskforce is expected to finalise the solution in coming weeks.
“The Palaszczuk Government's investment will ensure medium and long term water security can be implemented.
“We don’t want to wait around for the Turnbull Government to stump up funding for this key infrastructure. The Palaszczuk Government has our money ready to go so, following the Taskforce’s recommendations, we can get on with securing Townsville’s water future.”
Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark Bailey said there were a number of measures that could improve water security for Townsville.
“This funding can be used to assist the progression of a number of these, including demand management and infrastructure,” he said.
“The Taskforce’s role is to provide advice about potential water security options, with its Interim Report due to be presented at the end of June.
“This commitment adds to our $236 million committed as part of the Powering North Queensland Plan to upgrade Burdekin Falls Dam and fund the proposed hydro-electric power station, an investment in water supply and sustainable energy generation in the North.
“We are serious about our commitment to the North and our commitment to regional Queensland, and a secure water supply will support our communities and provide confidence for the continued expansion of industries that support jobs,” Mr Bailey said.