Diviner in­ter­ven­tion

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - VIC­TO­RIA NU­GENT

QUEENS Gar­den’s aviary is set to un­dergo a ma­jor re­ju­ve­na­tion with Townsville City Coun­cil to push for­ward with a mas­ter plan.

It will look at op­tions such as a cafe, the pos­si­ble re­lo­ca­tion of the aviary on the grounds and an over­all re­ju­ve­na­tion to es­tab­lish the his­toric gar­dens as a more pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion.

A to­tal of $ 50,000 will be al­lo­cated to­wards the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, de­sign and mas­ter plan.

In­fra­struc­ture Ser­vices Com­mit­tee chair­man Cr Mark Mo­lachino said the aviary was a much- loved com­mu­nity fa­cil­ity.

“It’s clear that the cur­rent struc­ture was in dire need of an over­haul but this mas­ter plan is big­ger than that – it looks at the op­por­tu­ni­ties that ex­tend be­yond just the aviary it­self,” he said.

“This is an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity to re­think the fa­cil­ity and how the com­mu­nity uses it and we’re happy to have com­mu­nity and stake­holder in­put.”

It comes af­ter a num­ber of birds had been eaten by snakes with the coun­cil hav­ing to tem­po­rar­ily move them to wildlife car­ers.

The fa­cil­ity has been closed since May.

The pro­posal will now be tabled at coun­cil’s meet­ing later this month for ap­proval. FOR Ro­man Du­bin­chak, Townsville’s wa­ter woes were a rea­son to move north.

Mr Du­bin­chak had run his own bore drilling busi­ness in Her­vey Bay for about three years when he learnt of Townsville’s dwin­dling dam level.

“I used to do work out west a cou­ple of months a year drilling for wa­ter but I never re­alised how bad the drought had been in Townsville un­til last year,” he said.

“I also found out the ex­ist­ing com­pa­nies of­ten have a six- month wait­ing list. It was sort of about go­ing where the work is.”

Ross River Dam lev­els are sit­ting at 21 per cent, with pump­ing from the Bur­dekin Falls Dam set to start again once they drop to 15 per cent.

Mr Du­bin­chak, who made the move in Oc­to­ber last year, said un­der­ground reser­voirs could be Townsville’s so­lu­tion to cur­rent wa­ter is­sues.

“In some sub­urbs like Kir­wan and An­nan­dale there’s a large amount of wa­ter un­der­ground,” he said.

“With the bores I’m do­ing in Townsville, they’re do­ing any­where from half a litre to three litres of wa­ter a sec­ond. On av­er­age we drill down be­tween 18 and 30m to find it.”

So sure is he that the wa­ter is there to be tapped that Mr Du­bin­chak is even telling cus­tomers that they don’t have to pay if they don’t hit wa­ter.

The 27- year- old also knows how to di­vine for wa­ter us­ing a piece of wire.

“It is con­tro­ver­sial and most peo­ple are a bit un­sure about it,” he said.

“It’s not a guar­an­tee but it’s an ad­di­tional op­tion.

“It in­creases your chance of find­ing wa­ter.”

NQ Drilling di­rec­tor Chris Sheedy said Townsville’s pro­longed dry spell had meant some south­ern com­pa­nies had moved up but he wel­comed ex­tra play­ers in the mar­ket.

“A few years ago there were two or three con­trac­tors, now there’s prob­a­bly six to 10 drilling con­trac­tors,” he said.

“The com­pe­ti­tion is there, mak­ing it more af­ford­able for peo­ple.”

Me­te­o­rol­o­gist Doug Fraser said cli­mate out­looks for the rest of win­ter and spring were neu­tral.

“We’re no longer look­ing at an El Nino which is bet­ter for us – it’s look­ing bet­ter now than it was a cou­ple of months ago,” he said.

FLUID BUSI­NESS: Ro­man Du­bin­chak drilling for wa­ter in the Townsville en­vi­rons yes­ter­day. Pic­ture: SCOTT RADFORD- CHISHOLM

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