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$70 million to build Queensland regions

Queensland’s latest budget will support regional councils to improve water supply and security with $70 million committed to a new round of Building Our Regions works.

Regional councils will be able to bid for funding for works to improve their water and sewerage systems over the next three years.

Minister for Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water Glenn Butcher said the further funding for the program will be integral to ensuring water security and community development in the coming years.

“This will build on a history of successful water supply improvements Building Our Regions has already funded across our state since 2015, from Weipa to Warwick and from Toowoomba to the Tablelands,” Butcher said.

Since 2015, the Queensland Government has committed almost $1.9 billion to bulk water infrastructure, including Rookwood Weir and the Haughton Pipeline projects.

Located on the Fitzroy River, 66 kilometres south-west of Rockhampton, the Rookwood Weir project began in-river construction earlier this year.

Once complete, the weir, more than 16 metres high, will enable a transition to higher-value agricultural land use and facilitate new industrial business opportunities in the region.

Further, the Haughton pipeline project involves an extension of existing pipeline from the Haughton River to the Burdekin River near Clare, with the construction of around 30 kilometres of pipe, a new pump station and high-voltage power supply infrastructure.

“But water security happens at a small scale too, in the water treatment plants, reservoirs and water and sewerage systems of our towns and cities,” Butcher said.

“Building Our Regions (Round 6) will deliver critical job-creating projects in regional communities that will improve water supply and security, improve liveability and economic conditions.”

Launched in 2015, the Building Our Regions program has focused on improving local infrastructure across Queensland, while also supporting employment across the region’s communities.

“Building Our Regions has a long and impressive history delivering infrastructure improvements, economic opportunities and jobs for our regional communities,” Butcher said.

“The first five rounds of the program have seen over $348 million approved towards 271 projects across 67 councils. It’s also leveraged over $539 million in additional funding from other sources for a total capital expenditure of over $887 million, supporting more than 2700 construction jobs.

“My department is now working to establish the systems for this round of Building Our Regions grants and prepare guidelines for applicants, which will be released soon.”