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The Federal Government has committed $107.5 million to its promised Cairns Water Security Stage 1 project, delivering a new Water Treatment Plant, reservoirs, and distribution network for greater sustainability and reliability for the Queensland township.

Once complete, the new water treatment plant, water reservoirs and distribution network will provide a modern, integrated and long-term water security solution to service Cairns now and into the future. 

The project will deliver a new drinking water supply to the region by enhancing existing supplies from Copperlode Falls Dam, Behana Creek and smaller rural intakes across the region. 

Federal Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, said ageing infrastructure, population growth, and climate change had necessitated urgent works to secure water services in Cairns.

“Water is our most precious resource. But there are risks to Cairn’s future water security due to population growth, aging infrastructure and climate change,” Ms Plibersek said.

“We know water security and availability is crucial for families, and for economic growth. The population of the Cairns community in far-north Queensland continues to grow, and planning for the future is now more important than ever. 

“The Government knows that every community needs a secure water supply – and Cairns will have one with the delivery of this joint-funded project.”

The investment comes as part of the Federal Government’s expansion of the National Water Grid Investment Framework to allow funding for a wider range of water supply projects including essential town water projects in regional and remote communities. 

Early works are expected to start next year following completion of the business case in late 2022, with construction anticipated to commence in 2024.  

The project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments and delivered in partnership with Cairns Regional Council.

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