Firm push for pipeline work to stay in North
TOWNSVILLE businesses are adamant they can build the Haughton pipeline duplication.
Water Taskforce chairman Brad Webb and the Townsville City Council are championing local businesses as Mayor Jenny Hill presses for a 2019 completion date for the project.
The Townsville Water Security Taskforce recommended a duplication of the existing pipeline from Burdekin Dam to Ross River Dam to ease Townsville’s water woes.
And Mr Webb wants to see contracts for work on the project go to Townsville businesses.
“I’ve spoken to them ( businesses) and they’re really keen to get in front of the council,” he said.
TOWNSVILLE businesses have both the capabilities and competitiveness to manufacture the Haughton pipeline duplication, according to Water Taskforce chairman Brad Webb.
Mr Webb and Townsville City Council have pledged to maximise opportunities for local contractors in the construction of the pipeline.
“( The) council is putting a huge effort into trying to ensure that the money comes to Townsville,” Mr Webb said.
“I’ve spoken to them ( businesses) and they’re really keen to get in front of the council.”
Mr Webb said much like the North Queensland Stadium, the region could construct and manufacture the steel for the pipeline.
“It’s a big job but the benefits could be enormous,” he said. “Everyone is talking about local, this isn’t just construction, it’s manufacturing the pipe.
“It hasn’t been done and it’s something that should be done.”
Mayor Jenny Hill wrote to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Monday requesting their Budget commitment of $ 225 million be fast- tracked to allow the pipeline to be constructed by 2019.
Mr Webb said meeting this time frame was vital as the current pipeline was in dire condition.
“There is a risk that the pumps will fail,” he said. “It’s 30- year- old infrastructure.
“If it’s managed very carefully we should hopefully get through without any catastrophic failures.
“It’s like driving an old truck to Brisbane every day, eventually it’s going to let you down.
“You need to have good equipment.” TEi Services in Townsville is currently manufacturing a chimney which is larger than the 1.8m diameter of the proposed pipeline.
General manager Richard Parker said the family- run business had operated since 1968 and was “very keen” to apply for the pipeline contract once it was announced.
“It’s a big job but the capacity is certainly in the town,” he said. “TEi has manufactured projects not that length but it’s similar to a chimney we’re doing now. We’d have to have a look at the scope of the tender documents when they come out.
“If we have to team up with other businesses we would.
“I’ve spoken to Brad ( Webb) about it.”
Cr Hill said the council wanted to see as much work as possible on the new pipeline stay local.
“The council is already looking at how the project can be broken down into smaller work packages to maximise local content and local jobs,” she said.
WORK FLOW: TEi Services general manager Richard Parker beside a section of the steel chimney his business is building. He is keen to apply for work on the Haughton pipeline project.