16 May, 2023
Funding boost for water, sewerage infrastructure
FAR Northern regional councils have received nearly $4 million from the State Government to pay for improvements to critical water and sewerage services as well as other public infrastructure.
Round 6 of the Building Our Regions funding have been granted to Mareeba Shire Council ($2.28 million), Tablelands Regional Council ($402,000) Douglas Shire Council ($938,947) and Cook Shire Council ($2.25m).
Mareeba Mayor Angela Toppin said the latest round of funding would assist council with upgrading the Mareeba Water Treatment plant filtration system, with $2 million awarded for the project which has an overall cost of $7.6 million.
The project involves the construction of a new filtration system consisting of six dual media filters and associated equipment. Additional funding of $287,990 was granted for other improvements to the water treatment facility.
Tablelands Regional Council has received funding for its water demand strategy and to contribute to the improvements being undertaken for the Ravenshoe area’s water supply.
Cr Annette Haydon said $300,000 in funding had been provided to assist in the design of a water treatment facility near the new Ravenshoe reservoir (pictured) as part of the overall water quality improvement project which would cost in the vicinity of $16 million.
“Now that the reservoir and other infrastructure is complete, we can start working on the next phases of the project,” she said.
“We approved the awarding of a contract at the March ordinary Council meeting for the design and construction of a water treatment facility near the new reservoir, and construction of a new water main from Ravenshoe to Millstream.
“This project costs more than $16M and, while it’s fantastic to see this work continuing, we are dis-appointed that the cost of the project is substantially higher than initially indicated.
“Work on the project will start in May and will continue for around 18 months.
‘When the project is completed, the residents of Ravenshoe and Millstream will have a year-round clean, reliable and high-quality water supply and boil water notices will be a thing of the past.”
Cr Haydon said plans to connect the 74 properties in Bellview Estate and Cassowary Heights to the scheme had to be delayed because of the significant costs of providing the pipeline.
“We will continue to work towards a solution for these areas and will update the community as plans progress,” she added.
Meanwhile, the council will press ahead with a water demand management strategy (DMS) which attracted $102,000 from the Building Our Regions round six grants.
Infrastructure and Environment general manager Mark Vis said the developing the DMS was one of the recommendations from council’s Water Strategy and was aimed at lengthening the life of, and delaying the need to upgrade, infrastructure as well as reducing the amount of water being drawn from the environment.
“The DMS will be a more detailed business case that forecasts the projected costs, and financial and positive benefits of implementing demand management strategies,” he said.
The objectives of the DMS are to develop, assess and plan a suite of demand management initiatives such as water efficient fixtures, permanent conservation measures, system leakage reduction and an education campaign as well as developing a detailed business case for the introduction of smart metering.