The Queensland government will commit almost $20 million to develop critical infrastructure and lay the groundwork for a pipeline between Toowoomba and Warwick to increase water security.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the investment comes on top of $15 million previously spent in the Southern Downs region in the state’s southeast in emergency assistance for water carting due to drought.
“It’s going to be drought-proof the region and our government is absolutely committed to building that pipeline,” she said of the pipeline during a visit to Warwick on Thursday.
The funds will be split four ways with $8 million for design, surveying and geotechnical work and $4.6 million to reconnect groundwater to the town of Allora.
There will also be $1.4 million allocated to the Southern Downs regional council to move industrial users to groundwater and free up more supply for urban use and $4.5 million to increase capacity at Leslie Dam by upgrading pumps and water treatment systems.
The Leslie Dam currently is at 28 per cent capacity.
Seqwater, the state’s bulk water supply authority, will work with the Toowoomba and Southern Downs councils on the pipeline.
Areas of the Southern Downs have been ravaged by drought for more than a year and the state government has been sending up to 50 trucks a day to Stanthorpe to deliver water.
Minister for Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water Glenn Butcher will release a feasibility report on the project on Thursday.