The Honourable Glenn Butcher, Qld Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water, Media Release, 30 September 2021
Water security for the Southern Downs region is being bolstered thanks to the Palaszczuk Government, with early works underway on projects to unlock new water sources and upgrades to critical water infrastructure.
Water Minister Glenn Butcher said the works were all part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $20m investment in a drought resilience package for the region.
“The Southern Downs drought resilience package is about two things – bringing urgent relief to one part of Queensland hit hardest by drought, and securing a sustainable future for Southern Downs residents,” Mr Butcher said.
“The funding allows immediate actions to unlock new sources of water for the region, upgrade critical water infrastructure and lay the groundwork for building the Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline.”
The funding released for the works includes:
- $8.1 million in preparatory works for the Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline, including detailed design, surveying and geotechnical works;
- $4.6 million in upgrades to reconnect groundwater available to the Allora township freeing up to 350 megalitres of additional Southern Downs urban water supply annually;
- $1.4 million to support Southern Downs Regional Council to move a range of industries from using precious urban water supplies to groundwater – including local businesses such as food processors and industrial users with hydrologists on the ground to scope options soon;
- $4.54 million to increase Leslie Dam’s usable water capacity by upgrading pumps and water treatment systems, increasing usable storage capacity by an additional 1700 megalitres by the end of 2022; and,
- $700 000 to support Southern Downs Regional Council investigations into local groundwater supplies for Warwick, Allora and Stanthorpe, and to support Sunwater’s efficiency and innovation investigations at Leslie Dam.
“These immediate measures could deliver up to an additional 13 months of water supply for the Southern Downs communities and industries, alongside works to implement long-term solutions including the pipeline,” Mr Butcher said.
“In addition, the Palaszczuk Government has started the $3 million Regional Water Assessment for the Southern and Darling Downs to explore even more options to bolster water security for the region and ensure regional development opportunities, jobs and growth into the future.”
“Investment in water security is a high priority and once again the Palaszczuk Government is getting on with the job of building water infrastructure to help our state bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than ever.”