Pipeline on fast track for water security, says Premier
WARWICK could become part of the southern Queensland water grid as early as 2021, according to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
The route has been finalised for the 87km gravity-fed pipeline from Toowoomba to Warwick and construction can begin as soon after the project is confirmed within the 2020/2021 state budget.
The pipeline would provide a major boost to water security in the Southern Downs, connecting the drought-stricken region to larger dams such as Wivenhoe and Cressbrook.
The Premier said she planned to use the Co-ordinator General's power to move the project through as quickly as possible.
"We will not allow Queensland communities to run out of water," she said.
"It could be completed within a 12 month period, or even faster if we use the Co-ordinator General's power.
"I'm confident it will be by the end of next year."
Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said local council was very thankful for the pipeline, which would guarantee an "enormous future" for the region.
"It gives certainty to industry, we have to have permanent income," Cr Dobie said.
"30 per cent of our industry relies on agriculture so this drought has just decimated the town.
"We need a pipeline like this."
The project is likely to cost upwards of $90 million but the Premier said the water security would be worth every cent.
"It isn't cheap work but think of it in terms of the projects completed in the south east, this is just an extension of that."
The pipeline is unlikely to affect residents along the route, as early plans have "minimal land impact" and run alongside the road.
The Premier will be meeting with Toowoomba Regional Council mayor Paul Antonio in the next few weeks to discuss the pipeline.