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The business case to develop a long-term water solution for Mount Morgan has been awarded to global infrastructure firm AECOM, in a milestone step for the Rockhampton region.

Rockhampton Mayor, Tony Williams, said AECOM and Council had wasted no time in getting down to work.

“Council officers and AECOM have already gotten stuck into this body of work and I’m pleased to say Councillors could be looking at the preliminary evaluation of the options before Christmas,” Mr Williams said.

“What this process does is allow us to look at all the possible options so that we can select one to two options to take through to the business case stage and then, hopefully with funding support from other levels of government, through to detailed design.

“This body of work needs to be done now, so that when we come to other levels of government seeking funding support, they are satisfied that what we are advocating for is the best option for a range of reasons.

“The reality is that any long-term solution will require external funding and we’re hopeful we can see partnerships just like the Queensland Government has done at Stanthorpe with Southern Downs Regional Council.

“We’re hopeful to have the business case completed by April next year but it is something we are absolutely talking to both levels of government about now.”

Water and Environmental Sustainability, Councillor Donna Kirkland, said this is an important milestone and a step closer to a solution.

“Our Mount Morgan community has shown great strength and resilience especially this past year and they have been doing their very best under tough level six restrictions,” Ms Kirkland said.

“We understand that it is frustrating not to have answers straight away – but we are making progress.

“Long-term water security for the community is not possible without first delivering this business case – so we are asking the community to continue to be patient and trust in this process.”

Divisional Councillor, Cherie Rutherford, said awarding a contractor to work on the business case is the first in a series of milestones that will pave the way toward a solution.

“We are in this together with the Mount Morgan community and we will continue to keep the lines of communication open and provide updates as soon as they come to hand,” Ms Rutherford said.

“In the meantime, we need the community to keep water conservation in the front of mind, which I know is a challenge in the warmer months, but we really need to do our best to conserve that carted water supply.”

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