Task­force says lo­cals should build pipe­line

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - DOMANII CAMERON

THE con­tract for the con­struc­tion of a new Haughton pipe­line could be di­vided up to give Townsville firms a fairer chance com­pet­ing for work against larger com­pa­nies. The $ 200 mil­lion pipe­line du­pli­ca­tion will be built from steel and guar­an­tee Townsville’s wa­ter sup­ply for more than 15 years. The pipe­line would be de­signed and con­structed within the next two years and be ready for fur­ther ex­pan­sions and up- scaled pump­ing ca­pac­ity to meet the re­gion’s de­mands over the next 50 years. Task­force chair­man Brad Webb said he wanted lo­cal busi­nesses on the job. “We want to break the con­tract up into smaller con­tracts so that our lo­cal con­trac­tors – which have the abil­ity – ( and) don’t ever get con­fused about the Townsville con­trac­tors,” he said. “I could name five or six in this town that could do this in one or bro­ken up into smaller sec­tions.”

TOWNSVILLE’S wa­ter pump­ing costs would be off­set by em­brac­ing green en­ergy and in­stalling 5MW so­lar pan­els un­der a pro­posal by the Wa­ter Task­force.

Chair Brad Webb yes­ter­day handed the task­force’s In­terim Re­port to Min­is­ter As­sist­ing the Premier on the North Co­ralee O’Rourke at Ross River Dam.

The re­port cited that while rais­ing the wall of the Bur­dekin Falls Dam and con­struc­tion of a dam at Hell’s Gate were op­tions, build­ing an ad­di­tional 1800mm di­am­e­ter steel pipe­line was more vi­able.

It would have a ca­pac­ity of 234 ML/ day and be pumped from Haughton Pump Sta­tion with the chan­nel also up­graded.

The pipe­line is rec­om­mended to be con­structed within two years.

Mr Webb said the State Gov­ern­ment’s Bud­get com­mit­ment of $ 225 mil­lion would be enough for the job.

“This project will go ahead and straight away,” he said.

“It’s an in­te­gral part of the long- term 50- 60 year fix.”

The task­force rec­om­mended that within the next three to 15 years, a pipe­line be con­structed to con­nect the Haughton Pipe­line to Clare with a new ded­i­cated 364ML/ day ca­pac­ity pump sta­tion built at the site.

“But that’s not re­quired at the mo­ment,” Mr Webb said.

“This is the most in­te­gral part. At the mo­ment we have a small, low- cost emer­gency pipe­line.

“We can start off small and put smaller pumps and a so­lar farm at the end.

“Then as de­mand comes up we can build up the pump sizes and the pres­sure.”

Mr Webb said the so­lar farm would be con­nected to the main grid.

“We might be able to do some­thing like run so­lar dur­ing the day, not pump, and then run it in the off peak,” he said.

“A grav­ity- fed ( pipe­line) would cost be­tween $ 1.2 and $ 1.4 bil­lion. With the cost of so­lar and renewables, we be-

lieve we don’t need grav­ity, how­ever, we’ve de­signed the pipe­line in our rec­om­men­da­tion so that it could, if ever needed, be grav­ity fed.

“I’ve spo­ken to Trea­sury and they said they will bring the $ 225 mil­lion for­ward and make it hap­pen.”

Ms O’Rourke said the re­port de­liv­ered wa­ter se­cu­rity.

“We’re ready to go, the money is on the ta­ble,” she said.

“Brad said he’s keen to go to­mor­row and we will work very closely with coun­cil to make sure this hap­pens as soon as pos­si­ble.”

Mayor Jenny Hill said while coun­cil had “a cou­ple” of prop­erty own­ers that needed to be ne­go­ti­ated with, the cor­ri­dor was “very much in place”.

“It’s a good so­lu­tion. It re­ally is about what we can af­ford to pay,” she said. “Whether peo­ple like it or not, we need to en­sure the wa­ter we sup­ply the com­mu­nity is af­ford­able and they have come up with a low cost way.

“This ba­si­cally means we don’t have to bor­row money, which was a big thing.”

Wa­ter for Townsville Ac­tion Group’s Linda Ash­ton said it was great news. “We’ve only been to­gether for seven months,” she said.

“There’s no way we thought in June 2017 we would have an an­nounce­ment like this.

“The move from not hav­ing a wa­ter prob­lem to now is just mirac­u­lous.”

PPi­ic­ct­tuur­ree:: WEESSLLEEYY MONTTSS

SOLUTIION:: Townssvi­il­l­lle MP Sc­cotttt St­te­war­rtt,, wi­itth Br­rad Webb and Cor­rallee O'' Rour­rke att tthe Rossss Ri­iverr Dam yesst­ter­r­day..

SHORT TERM: 0- 3 years MEDIUM TERM: 3- 15 years LONG TERM: 15- 50+ years

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