Airlie Beach will have better water supply after $14m in upgrades.
Airlie Beach will have better water supply after $14m in upgrades.

Jobs to flow from $14m+ Whitsunday water security project

A MULTI-MILLION dollar water project is set to start in weeks and will bring water security, stability and jobs to the Whitsunday region.

On Tuesday it was announced that Whitsunday Regional Council had been successful in obtaining $5m through the State Government's Building our Regions program for the Airlie Beach Sustainable Water Project.

The funding joins $9,364,216 earmarked for the project by the council and is set to bring about 47 jobs to the region.

Whitsunday Water chief operating officer said the project was part of a larger plan to develop the Airlie Beach and Proserpine water services for future expansion.

Works will consist of the installation of an 8.8km pipeline built from the Proserpine Water Treatment Plant to Airlie Beach, serviced by a new pumping facility, and a 2.5km raw water main linking bore sites to the Proserpine plant.

(L to R) Whitsunday Regional Council Division 6 councillor Mike Brunker, Division 5 councillor Gary Simpson, Division 2 councillor Al Grundy, Mayor Andrew Willcox, deputy mayor and Division 3 councillor John Collins, Division 1 councillor Jan Clifford and Division 4 councillor Michelle Wright. Picture: Jordan Gilliland
(L to R) Whitsunday Regional Council Division 6 councillor Mike Brunker, Division 5 councillor Gary Simpson, Division 2 councillor Al Grundy, Mayor Andrew Willcox, deputy mayor and Division 3 councillor John Collins, Division 1 councillor Jan Clifford and Division 4 councillor Michelle Wright. Picture: Jordan Gilliland

"The main thing is the pipe from the Proserpine Treatment Plant to Cannonvale - there was a bottleneck before and we had trouble meeting demand," he said.

"What this project does is upgrade the pipes to a larger 525mm diameter and lets it get there much quicker.

"But there's also 2.5km of pipe in Proserpine which will connect existing bores and send it back to the treatment plant."

Mr Pettiford said the project would also build back-up generators at the treatment plant, which in the case of a natural disaster, would allow water and sewerage services to be maintained.

A telecommunication conduit system would also be installed along the pipeline to enable future equipment upgrades and save money on operational fees.

Mr Pettiford said the conduit system would connect the Proserpine council office to the Cannonvale office and likened the connection to an "ethernet cable between two computers".

 

"It will save money in the long run as instead of having to go through Telstra for the telecommunication services, it will be in-house - it made sense to do it while we were digging," he said.

Mr Pettiford said pipes had already been laid out along the route, with work set to begin on June 8.

Construction would be completed by about March next year, however, with weather permitting it could be finished as early as Christmas.

Assistant Minister for State Development and Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the Airlie Beach Sustainable Water Project would double local supply capacity.

"An expected 47 jobs will be created during the construction period, which will come as great news to many local workers and their families," she said.

"This is a commitment to secure industry and employment in Airlie Beach, to help the region grow and thrive."

Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said the pipeline would help the Whitsundays build sustainability to assist critical economic recovery in the event of a natural disaster.

"The current water supply demands of Airlie Beach are expected to increase with the fast-growing population and industry requirements through to 2036," Cr Willcox said.

"This fantastic project will enable the region to meet this emerging demand successfully."


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