A new $3.5 million wastewater treatment plant is among several projects aimed at improving water infrastructure for an Aboriginal community on Great Palm Island on the Great Barrier Reef in North Queensland.
Queensland Deputy Premier and Ministerial Champion for Palm Island, Jackie Trad, said the new plant was essential community infrastructure that would benefit the long term health of residents.
“We have been assisting council with their plans to build new housing subdivisions, with a further 160 homes expected over the next three years,” Ms Trad said.
“The plant will provide a cost-effective, environmentally conscious solution to a sewerage system required to cater for the increasing population.
Residents will also benefit from a groundwater drilling project, which will help secure a long-term solution for local water supply problems.
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the State Government had been working closely with the Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council to match the growth of the island with important new infrastructure projects.
“Our government is committed to securing a long term water solution for the community on Palm Community,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Drilling for groundwater will potentially supply a third of the island’s current water demands, and work and is scheduled to start mid-October with the drilling of three to four bore holes, over two to three weeks.”
Palm Island Mayor, Alf Lacey, said planning for future growth by meeting the Palm Island community development needs was vital to the well-being and health of residents.
“We welcome the Queensland Government’s proactive plan, which is delivering cost-effective and sustainable long-term water security and wastewater treatment solutions for Palm Island,” Mr Lacey said.
“These new projects along with the council’s action to upgrade the water treatment plant will hold the community in good stead for the future and provide real liveability to Palm Island residents.”
In February 2016, the Queensland Government approved work to install a temporary desalination plant and other emergency measures for the community to tackle the recent water supply shortages.
However, heavy rainfall in March 2016 brought Solomon Dam back to capacity and Banbarribarra Dam to 65 per cent, allowing the opportunity to explore long-term solutions.