The Queensland State Government has secured a $4.5 million investment for a new Central Queensland regional water assessment (CQ RWA) from the National Water Grid Fund.
The investment is part of $11.5 million that the State Government secured from the Federal Government for collaborative strategic planning work across Queensland.
The CQ RWA is designed to ensure Queenslanders have safe, reliable and secure water in the future.
The regional water assessment will be delivered by the Queensland State Government and will look at infrastructure and non-infrastructure options in Central Queensland to unlock more water to meet future demand.
This planning work builds upon a major water infrastructure investment by the state government, including the newly-completed $568.9 million Rookwood Weir project, the Fitzroy to Gladstone Pipeline, and the Mount Morgan Pipeline project.
The CQ RWA is part of the state government’s water infrastructure planning program being carried out across the state, with assessments also being undertaken for the Atherton Tablelands, Southern and Darling Downs, Bundaberg and Burnett, and the Burdekin region.
Where detailed business cases or other studies have been completed or are underway, the CQ RWA will seek to incorporate information from those projects, including the outcomes of the Dawson Valley Water Supply Scheme and the Nogoa Mackenzie Options Analysis processes funded by the National Water Grid Fund.
In addition to the RWA, work continues on the detailed business case for a desalination plant in Gladstone, to supply water to the green hydrogen industry.
The CQ RWA will help inform future investment decisions on water projects in Central Queensland to drive economic growth and ensure water security well into the future.
As part of the assessment, a working group comprising key water users and other stakeholders will be set up to provide strategic guidance and ensure continued engagement with Central Queenslanders.
Federal Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, said, “Water is our most precious resource and it is an essential part of our everyday lives.
“We know many parts of Queensland are already in drought, with more to be declared in the coming months.
“Central Queensland is a huge producer across many industries, each of which employs local people.
“It’s got a strong economy, with room to grow, and is home for many people.
“This strategic planning work is critical in ensuring we are planning for the future in this region and investing in projects that stack up economically,” Ms Plibersek said.
Queensland Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher, said, “The Queensland State Government continues to deliver for the people of Central Queensland, this is best demonstrated by the recently completed Rookwood Weir and our investment in the Fitzroy to Gladstone Pipeline and the Mount Morgan Pipeline. These projects are part of the $5.2 billion we have invested in water infrastructure since 2015, creating 3,400 jobs across the state.
“This regional water assessment will be a careful look at the projects we need into the future. We know there will be more demand for urban, industrial and agricultural water into the future – so it’s important that we are doing the necessary planning work now to meet that future demand.
“Water equals jobs and economic growth, so we will continue to do the planning and the leg-work necessary to get projects planned and delivered to meet future needs,” Mr Butcher said.
Queensland Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga, said, “With all the jobs and opportunities coming on the back of Rookwood, I’m proud to see the Queensland State Government and Federal Government come together to plan for the future projects our region needs.”
Queensland Member for Rockhampton, Barry O’Rourke, said, “I’m pleased to see both levels of government working together to plan for the future water needs of this region. This planning work builds on the strong record of investment in water infrastructure by the Queensland State Government.”