In an effort to maintain water security for the growing region, Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) will request an immediate upgrade of the Wivenhoe pump station and investment in future water infrastructure upgrades.
As part of a mayoral motion at the Ordinary Meeting of Council, TRC Mayor, Paul Antonio, called on the Queensland Government to fund the upgrade of the pump station to the maximum pipeline design capacity.
Council will also engage with the Queensland Treasury Corporation to model financial scenarios of upgrading the pump station at Lake Wivenhoe to increase its capacity.
“The Toowoomba Region is experiencing a period of significant growth and is seen by business as an ideal location for the development of new industry,” Mr Antonio said.
“While this is welcomed, the ongoing success of the region is reliant on being open for business. Recent interest by investors suggest this may have a higher demand on water in the short term.
“Toowoomba’s Wivenhoe pipeline has been critical in the current drought and is the only immediately available water source capable of providing capacity for growth within the Toowoomba Region.
“The Wivenhoe pipeline was originally designed for a capacity of 18GL/a (Gigalitres per annum) however our current allocation is for 10GL/a.
“In order to secure the future growth of the region we need to increase the capacity of this pump station.
“To achieve this goal, we’ll be writing to the Queensland Premier seeking 100 per cent funding of approximately $25 million towards the upgrade of our pump station and also to relocate it above the Wivenhoe flood capacity level.
“In addition to this, we’ll be asking for the State Government to fund any further infrastructure upgrades that are required with constructing a pipeline from Toowoomba to Warwick.
“While Council has not yet considered its position on the Warwick pipeline, it’s crucial to myself and this community that if the pipeline were to proceed, that it has no financial disadvantage to our ratepayers and no adverse impacts on our water security.
“The Warwick pipeline proposal has delayed our plans to connect the regional centres of Cambooya, Greenmount, Nobby and Clifton to Council’s Bulk Water System.
“These towns are also facing a drought, just like Warwick, however, while Warwick’s dams have now filled, our southern regional centres are still in drought with pressure on the aquifers remains.
“While we await further announcements on the Warwick pipeline, Council has drilled a Great Artesian Basin bore at Clifton to address short-term supply issues and to cease expensive daily water carting to Clifton.
“We ask the State Government to help pay for that bore and its water treatment as well as our water carting costs to Clifton.”
The decision was unanimously endorsed by Council on 21 September.