Seqwater has released an update on the Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline project, as the project undergoes ecological and geotechnical investigations to assist with the design development.
Both the ecological and geotechnical investigations are being completed via a combination of desktop and field survey techniques to identify and ground-truth protected plant species, important habitats, valuable waterway environments and significant or locally important street trees along the alignment.
The investigations, once complete, will help inform Seqwater which locations along the pipeline should be avoided, where possible.
EPBC referral update
As part of the environmental regulatory process, Seqwater has submitted an Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act (EPBC) referral, which is administered by the Australian Government to help protect unique plants, habitats, animals, and places.
The EPBC referral assesses a broader area than is likely to be part of the pipeline alignment, with Seqwater assessing all options for the pipeline footprint, whilst the final design is being confirmed.
Finalisation of the pipeline route is subject to ongoing discussions with Toowoomba Regional Council, Southern Downs Regional Council, and landholders, as well as engineering and environmental considerations.
To view the referral, visit https://epbcpublicportal.awe.gov.au/all-referrals/, and search for EPBC number 2023/09644.
Corridor alignment update
The Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline project is currently in the pre-construction phase and is on-track to deliver the finalised route by early 2024.
The pipeline will run along existing road reserves and easements for most of its route for safety and efficiency reasons, with Seqwater actively engaging and with affected property owners as details of the route are finalised.
While the pipeline route and design are still being confirmed, it is anticipated that the pipeline will be located completely underground, with Seqwater to release a statement regarding details once the design and route have been finalised.
Seqwater is working towards the appointment of a suitably qualified head contractor to deliver the construction phase of the project, with a market expression of interest underway.
Two industry briefings were held during early November 2023 at Toowoomba and Warwick, ahead of the planned tender release in early 2024.
Seqwater stated that the selection process for a head contractor will include Seqwater giving weighted favour to contractors that commit to engaging local subcontractors and suppliers.
The project will involve trades associated with pipeline installation, reservoir construction and pump station construction and is estimated to employ more than 400 workers during the construction phase.
Updates on the project will be released by Seqwater and can be found here.
Featured image: Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline alignment map. Image courtesy of Seqwater.