January 21, 2020
Toowoomba councillor Nancy Sommerfield has criticised the State Government’s plan to fast-track the construction of a water pipeline to Warwick via Toowoomba.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Monday the pipeline could be delivering water from Wivenhoe Dam to the Southern Downs and Granite Belt by the end of the year.
She said experts had already nominated a likely route using existing road and rail corridors.
“By using existing publicly owned land, there will be very little if any land acquisitions required thus streamlining the project,” she said.
A $1 million feasibility study for the project was announced in November and is expected to be concluded in April.
Speaking to Brisbane media, Cr Sommerfield said Toowoomba had again not been consulted about the project, even though Toowoomba Regional Council infrastructure would be affected by the new pipeline.
“I’m very disappointed in the announcement, because the feasibility study into the pipeline hasn’t been finished,” she said.
“SEQ Water were in touch last week and their advice to our staff is they were a long way from deciding a best option.
“You have to wonder what decision has been made without the completion of the study.”
Cr Sommerfield, who chairs the TRC’s Water and Waste committee, was very critical of the pipeline proposal – and the lack of consultation – when it was mooted in November.
At the time she said TRC had done a lot of work on its water grid “yet Southern Downs Regional Council and the State Government never consulted this Council to ask our thoughts or get any facts about our Toowoomba Regional Council-owned water grid”.