The Chronicle

Wivenhoe pump on list

Mayor says help needed to fund $25m project


A $25M plan to nearly double the Toowoomba region’s water allocation from Wivenhoe Dam could be among the key projects the council puts forward to the State Government for funding.

Mayor Paul Antonio said he was keen to secure state cash to build an extra pump for the Wivenhoe pipeline, identifyin­g the latest round of the $70m Building our Regions program as a source for it.

The key project would add an extra 8000 megalitres of annual capacity for the council to draw on, with the current arrangemen­t only allowing for 10,000ML per year.

It comes as the council continues negotiatio­ns with Seqwater over a new agreement for the pipeline.

Mr Antonio, who met with Water Minister Glenn Butcher to discuss long-term water security, said the project was crucial to the region in the short term as dam levels sat at just above 30 per cent.

“We have a very good asset in a pipeline from Wivenhoe to Cressbrook, and it’s only a matter of us adding an extra pump to that, which will cost us about $25m,” he said.

“That would give us water security for the short-to-medium term.

“That additional 8000ML would make a real difference to us and our medium-term water security.”

Mr Antonio also expressed concern at how the upcoming pipeline between Wivenhoe and Warwick would impact on the Toowoomba region’s water security, noting the responsibi­lity didn’t lie solely with the State Government for funding.

“The potential impact of pumping water to Warwick is of concern to us, and that’s a journey we need to go on,” he said.

“With the growth in Toowoomba, we clearly need to get this sorted.

“The Federal Government has a big role to play as well, and I’m keen to establish a meeting with the new Deputy Prime Minister (Barnaby Joyce).”

Mr Butcher said he was keen to hold an open dialogue with the council over the pipeline, with its route currently being drafted.

“We have people on the ground identifyin­g a route to get that pipeline in place, and we’re hopeful we’ll have something back next year,” he said.

“We have always had an open dialogue with the council and the mayor.”

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