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The Queensland Government, in collaboration with Townsville Council, has released the first tender for Stage 2 of the Haughton Pipeline, with construction soon to begin on the major project. 

Detailed design work for the pipeline and pump station is now set to be finalised with delivery partners.

The tender for long lead items will be released by the end of 2021 and tender for construction of the pipeline will be released in early 2022.

Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said her government was providing up to $195 million in funding for the project.

“Stage 2 of the Haughton Pipeline project will go a long way in ensuring Townville water security for decades to come,” Ms Palaszczuk said. 

“My government knows how important this project is for Townsville’s future and that’s why we are providing $195 million in funding.

“This project will also support hundreds of jobs during construction, boosting North Queensland’s economic recovery.”

Townsville City Council has formally signed off on a detailed road map for the project, including approving increasing the budget to $274 million, which includes an appropriate contingency allowance.

Townsville Mayor, Jenny Hill, said a considerable amount of planning had been undertaken by Council officers and specialist consultants in the past 12 months.

“Completing the second stage of the Haughton pipeline will give Townsville the water security it needs as it grows over the next 50 years,” Ms Hill said.

“It realises the recommendation made by the Townsville Water Security Taskforce’s final report of November 2018 that a pipeline be constructed between the Ross River Dam and the Burdekin River near Clare, to enable the dam level to be managed to best deliver water to the city.

“I thank the Premier and her Ministers for their willingness to work with Council to deliver this game-changing infrastructure for our city.”

Ms Hill said Council would fund all costs above the $195 million provided by the State Government.

“The Council is committed to securing Townsville’s water security and this project will do that,” Ms Hill said. 

“It will mean that Council will need to provide up to $79 million to fund this vital investment in our city’s long-term future.

“We will manage the risks in this project closely to put downward pressure on costs, but we are not going to cut corners. This piece of infrastructure will provide water security for the next 50-80 years and we will do it right.”

Queensland Minister for Resources and Member for Townsville, Scott Stewart, said the project would provide a substantial economic boost for the city.

“Stage 2 of the Haughton Pipeline will deliver water security, but it will also deliver jobs,” Mr Stewart said.

“The project is expected to support hundreds of jobs in the region. This couldn’t come at a better time as Townsville and North Queensland continue to recover from COVID-19 global pandemic.”

Member for Thuringowa, Aaron Harper, said the Queensland Government had stepped up when the Federal Government failed to deliver on its commitment to fund the project.

“Investing in Townsville’s water security is a priority of the Palaszczuk Government – that’s why we stepped in and committed $195 million to the project,” Mr Harper said. 

“This project will secure Townsville’s future.”

Member for Mundingburra, Les Walker, said Phillip Thompson and the Federal Government failed to deliver.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to working with Mayor Jenny Hill and Townsville City Council to get this vital infrastructure built,” Mr Walker said. 

“Water infrastructure projects like this one are a key part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.”

Townsville Water and Waste Committee chairperson, Russ Cook, said Townsville City councillors were recently briefed on the project.

“Anyone who has built major infrastructure like this knows it simply doesn’t happen overnight, and this stage of the project has presented a variety of different challenges compared to the Stage 1,” Mr Cook said. 

“Construction of the pipeline and pump station is expected to be complete by the end of 2024 with testing and commissioning to be finalised by March 2025.”

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