Jacobs public forum on the South Burnett water feasibility study.
Jacobs public forum on the South Burnett water feasibility study.

Burnett water study offers new weir, more irrigation water

THE major $2 million Burnett Water Feasibility Study has completed the important second stage.

The study was funded to identify the long-term water needs of the region and develop a potential shortlist of options to meet those needs.

The Australian Government, through the Queensland Government, provided funding towards the North and South Burnett Feasibility Study through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund (NWIDF).

The Queensland Government entered in an agreement with the proponents, both South Burnett Regional Council and North Burnett Regional Council to complete the feasibility study.

Through the assessment phase of the feasibility study both councils co-ordinated stakeholder engagements and public consultations.

The recommendations of the study reflect an independent assessment by Jacobs of options to increase water supply and security across the two local government areas.

South Burnett Mayor Brett Otto is pleased to announce the culmination of this stage of the study in the release of the Option’s Analysis Report.

Following a high-level assessment which confirmed all options for the South Burnett as feasible, detailed assessment was used to rank and order the projects, with a number of short-listed projects being carried through for more detailed consideration.

These projects were further considered against issues such as social impact, environmental parameters, sustainability and economic benefits.

This work recently completed by the project Consultants, Jacobs, addresses project cost and benefit as well as job creation of each of the projects.

The key recommendations of the Options Analysis

are:

  • Construct a re-regulating weir on Barambah Creek (Barlil Weir);
  • Referral of efficiency measures to the Queensland Government for review aimed at optimising water access rules in order to support agricultural supply chain improvements; and
  • The South Burnett Integrated Water Initiative.

This last recommendation has a number of components, including:

1. Investigate a permanent transfer of high priority water from the Tarong power station to secure an urban water supply for Kingaroy;

2. Securing a combination of private and public investment for the construction of a water recycling plant at Swickers facility in Kingaroy;

3. Examining the viability and process of converting Gordonbrook Dam from urban to irrigation use;

4. Securing additional water for irrigators in Blackbutt, to be transported through the Wivenhoe pipeline.

Mayor Otto said further work was needed in the new year.

“Council supports these recommendations and as the next phase of the project, proposes to jointly fund the preparation of a 25-year Economic Roadmap to provide strategic direction for the South Burnett, preparing and managing strategic water opportunities,” he said.

“This next phase of the Burnett Water Feasibility Study programmed for early 2021 is also planned to support advancement of the recommended projects.”

South Burnett

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