Emergency water funding has been granted by the Queensland Government for drought and fire-affected Stanthorpe, ensuring secure drinking water until 2020.
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the government has allocated enough funding for infrastructure and the ongoing cost of carting water for residents.
“My government will help the Southern Downs Regional Council ensure Stanthorpe’s residents have a secure drinking water supply until 2021,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“These emergency funds will cover $2.4 million worth of water infrastructure, as well as costs to cart water.
“Around 34 truckloads of water per day will be carted from Connolly Dam to Storm King Dam, while it’s needed. That’s an estimated $800,000 per month to cart 1.6 million litres of water each day.
“If the drought lifts and the wet season delivers enough water, then the carting will no longer be needed.
“With bushfires following the prolonged drought, Stanthorpe will not be left to battle through this alone.”
Minister for Natural Resources, Dr Anthony Lynham, said government officers have been working closely with the local council for months on its water security strategy and contingency plans.
“Critical level water restrictions have been in place since last weekend, and bushfires have further impacted water supplies,” Dr Lynham said.
“There is no doubt that Stanthorpe is doing it tough, which is why we’re stepping in with financial help.
“I encourage charities and others interested in supporting council with drinking water supplies, to contact council, as donations need to be coordinated and meet drinking water quality standards.”
The Southern Downs Regional Council has already started work on infrastructure to access Connolly Dam water, and pipe it from Fred Rodgers Reserve near Stanthorpe to Storm King Dam. Minor works are also required at Stanthorpe’s water treatment plant.
The State Government has already joined the council with drought assistance measures including:
- $13.6 million to kick start the new Emu Swamp Dam
- $3.939 million replacing pipelines between Storm King Dam and Mount Marley Water Treatment Plant
- $950,000 to the Southern Downs Regional Council to progress water security projects related to new and rejuvenated bores and fixing leaks in the reticulation system
- $600,000 in freight subsidies
- $300,000 in Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Assistance to 56 producer
A further $2.87 million has been provided to the council in 2019 under the Works for Queensland program.