The new reservoirs will ensure farmer like Gary Murphy and his Talwood community will have water security. pic David Martinelli
The new reservoirs will ensure farmer like Gary Murphy and his Talwood community will have water security. pic David Martinelli

Southern Downs towns secure ‘long-term’ water plans

THE small Southern Downs towns of Talwood and Yelarbon will see their water supply more secure, with new infrastructure construction coming just as election debate gears up.

Sate Government grants, worth $738,000, were acquired to create three new reservoirs for the towns, ensuring sufficient residential supply during dry periods

In particular, Yelarbon construction would triple the town’s supply of drinking water from 144kl to 400 kl.

Goondiwindi Mayor Lawrence Springborg said it was “imperative” council could deliver on services like this across to “more rural communities”.

“As I’m sure we’re all well aware, the Goondiwindi region has been drought-declared since 2014,” he said.

“The increased water storage here at Yelarbon will better secure the town’s supply and reduce the risk of disruption during periods of high demand or prolonged drought,” he said.

Supporting the announcement for the Talwood construction, Labor Candidate Joel Richters took the chance to promise more localised water infrastructure, if elected.

“This funding is excellent for our region, and it goes on top of more than $23 million of water and drought related funding to support our region through our worst drought,” Mr Richters said.

“I will continue to advocate for the water infrastructure we need for our future”

GREATER WATER SECURITY PROMISED THIS ELECTION

In his promise, Mr Richters brought up one of the most contentious electoral issues for our local area — the need for greater water security.

Talking to the Warwick Daily News, Mr Richters said if elected he would continue to see extensive funding for water infrastructure roll through our region, including the $13.6 million for Emu Swamp Dam and $4 million to replace pipelines from Storm King Dam.

“Whether it’s kickstarting the new Emu Swamp Dam, contributing to pipelines at Storm King Dam and Warwick or rejuvenating bores and fixing leaks, the Palaszczuk government is delivering for Southern Downs,” he said.

“I am passionate about water security for the Southern Downs and want to be part of the Palaszczuk Labor team that delivers on this critical issue.”

PIPELINE: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last visited the region with former mayor Tracy Dobie to discuss a Warwick pipeline grid.
PIPELINE: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last visited the region with former mayor Tracy Dobie to discuss a Warwick pipeline grid.

Meanwhile, member for Southern Downs and LNP candidate James Lister has said he would run on a bevy of water projects, most notably the establishment of a dedicated corporation for progressing Queensland dams, Queensland Dam Company.

“I have fiercely fought for dams and water security for our farmers and residents, and last year I successfully defended Warwick farmers from an outrageous attack on their water rights. “If I am re-elected, I will continue to fight for new water for us – not just water pumped from someone else’s supply – but new water,” Mr Lister said.

“The LNP will create a dedicated agency to bulldoze through Labor’s red and green tape, and get cracking on dams for towns and farmers all over Queensland.”

One Nation candidate Rosemary Moulden had similar objectives.

Committed to implanting the North Queensland Bradfield Scheme, Mrs Moulden said she would support Emu Swamp Dam construction locally.

“The Emu Swamp Dam is a Southern Downs water project which is funded by state, Labor, LNP and private investment. The water is therefore steering towards the irrigation sector. One Nation supports the concept of Dam building to supply water and to provide jobs for local agriculture and complementary industries,” she said.

Emu Swamp Dam plans. The thin blue line indicates where the outline of the dam will be.
Emu Swamp Dam plans. The thin blue line indicates where the outline of the dam will be.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (SFFP) candidate Malcolm Richardson did not name specific policy, instead calling for widespread dam creation.

“The SFFP position is simple. We need to capture every single drop of water that falls from the sky and without immediate and significant investment in the infrastructure to hold it will all go to waste and we will not have changed a damn thing,” he said.

“Instead of hiring a dozer to take a photo at the Emu Swamp dam, I will put it to work.

“The solutions are not that hard. The only hard thing about it is the government paying the bill, clearing the red tape and get on with it.”

NOTE: Legalise Cannabis Qld candidate Deborah Waldron was also contacted but failed to meet the Warwick Daily News’ deadline.



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