South Burnett Regional Council, Media Release, 16 June 2021
South Burnett Regional Council Mayor Brett Otto has welcomed the State Budget announcement regarding funding availability for local water infrastructure, saying it is the first step in protecting the community from an impending water crisis.
The State Government has budgeted $70 million over the next three years through round six of the Building our Regions programme to assist regional councils address regional water security.
Mayor Otto said the South Burnett Regional Council welcomes the opportunity to apply for funding to target water and sewerage and said it comes off the back of his recent meetings with Minister Glenn Butcher and the Office of the Premier.
Mayor Otto said, “Council is taking an active role in advocating for our water security for both our townships and agricultural sectors, given the predicament we are in with assets that no longer meet our requirements.”
“I recently met with Minister Glen Butcher and he was very understanding of our situation and I think this is reflected in the State Budget, specifically with this water announcement,” he said.
Mayor Otto said a federal funded report was prepared by prominent consulting firm, Jacobs, and highlights potential solutions for the imminent water crisis. He said we have to negotiate the costings with the federal government.
Mayor Otto said, “South Burnett Regional Council will be applying for funds and we will now be seeking a further federal commitment to ensure we can start on projects immediately to assist us with water security.”
“We are seeking meetings with Minister Keith Pitt to highlight the importance of water infrastructure for our region. I think when it comes to water infrastructure and protecting and growing our communities, we need a holistic approach which involves all levels and all sides of government,” he said.
“We need to ensure our commercial and agricultural industries have water security, and most importantly our community has drinking water,” the Mayor said.