Work on an $88.2 million jointly-funded pipeline project continues to advance, with the first pipes laid in efforts to provide long-term water security to a community in Queensland’s east.
The Mount Morgan Pipeline is jointly-funded by the State and Federal Government and Rockhampton Regional Council.
The 28km project will be a game-changer for the region after the community endured a prolonged period of drought and water restrictions.
Once complete, the pipeline and associated works will bring an end to water carting and ensure the future needs of both Mount Morgan and Gracemere are met, delivering jobs and economic prosperity for Central Queensland.
The Mount Morgan Water Supply Pipeline includes:
- Construction of a 28km potable water pipeline from the pump station at Gracemere to Mount Morgan
- Upgrade of the Old Capricorn Highway pump station
- Construction of a new reservoir and new pump station at Lucas Street Gracemere
- New pump station and small reservoir at Moonmera, which is approximately halfway along the pipeline route
- Upgrade to the Razorback Road leading into Mount Morgan while the pipeline is being laid
It is expected to deliver an economic boost to Central Queensland with approximately 50 jobs to be created and local businesses to benefit.
Significant construction is expected to begin in early 2024 and construction of the new reservoirs, pump stations and widening of Razorback Road will commence later in 2024. These works will also support projected growth in Gracemere, ensuring the community has the water security needed to grow and thrive.
The project is anticipated to be completed in September 2025.
Mount Morgan residents have been on level six water usage restrictions since March 2021 due to the prolonged drought conditions and previously low levels in Mount Morgan’s Number Seven dam.
Rockhampton Regional Council has been funding approximately 20 water carting trucks per day to deliver potable supplies to Mount Morgan for more than 30 months, with the Queensland Government contributing $10.8 million toward carting costs.
Federal Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, said that the pipeline is a critical project to ensure Mount Morgan has access to reliable water for generations to come.
“Our government is committed to water security in regional Queensland. We announced funding for the Mount Morgan water supply project late last year and so I am pleased to see work commencing.
“It’s water infrastructure projects like this that ensure Australia has a strong regional heartbeat, something that this government is proud to deliver.”
Senator for Queensland, Anthony Chisholm, said that the government is working towards delivering the key infrastructure that Queensland needs to safeguard its water supply so that regional communities can continue to be a great place to live.
“Queenslanders are well aware of the threat droughts pose to our environment and the economy, and while this summer hasn’t been as dry as first thought, we need to make sure that we’re as prepared as possible for when we inevitably encounter another drought.
Mr Chisholm said that collaboration is key when taking on such projects and the Federal Government is proud to partner with the Queensland Government and Rockhampton Regional Council to implement this crucial project.
Assistant Minister for Train Manufacturing, Regional Development and Jobs, Bruce Saunders, said that the project will not only create jobs during construction, but that a secure water supply bolsters jobs growth for existing businesses in the region and brings more businesses and families to the area.
“We have committed to maximise the use of local labour, suppliers, materials, and sub-contractors.”
Member for Rockhampton, Barry O’Rourke, said that it’s fantastic to see the region-changing project reach this important milestone.
“The pipeline and associated works will bring an end to water carting and secure the long-term sustainability and liveability of the town.”
Rockhampton Mayor, Tony Williams, said the project is a game-changer for Mount Morgan.
“We know that we simply don’t have the catchment size and rainfall to provide that vital water security the town needs over the long-term.
“The Mount Morgan Pipeline will ensure that our community can grow and share in the jobs and economic opportunities we are pursuing as a region and mean real and tangible benefits for local residents and business.”