May 11, 2016

Labor to investigate Townsville’s water future

A Shorten Labor Government will invest $4 million to help secure the future of Townsville’s water supply, as part of our commitment to support local infrastructure and the future of our regions.

Labor will fund a major Water Infrastructure Feasibility Study, to look at potential upgrades to existing water infrastructure, including:

  • Raising the wall of the existing Burdekin Dam.
  • Duplicating the existing pipeline between Burdekin and Ross River Dams.
  • A water treatment plant to be used with the existing pipeline.
  • Other affordable water efficiency measures.

Labor will work with the Queensland Government to establish the Study within 100 days of taking office.

Townsville is a major regional city, and the largest in northern Australia.

With Townsville’s booming population growing towards 200,000 and above, examining options to maximise the use of existing infrastructure is critical in planning for Townsville’s future.

This Feasibility Study will build on the work of Townsville Enterprise in identifying possible solutions to water supply for Townsville.

Townsville has been experiencing a critical drought period over the last two years and has been officially drought declared along with surrounding shires.

Existing water levels in Ross River Dam have been 30 per cent or below, and water restrictions are currently in place.

The people who live and work in Townsville need affordable water solutions that provide for a reliable supply into the longer term.

We need smart solutions to keep down existing evaporation rates, improve connections between existing dams and look at raising the wall of the Burdekin.

The Feasibility Study would consider environmental as well as economic factors that apply to the identified options.

Labor is committed to acting now to ensure Townsville’s growth is supported by great infrastructure.