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New spending for Central Queensland water infrastructure

Central Queensland’s Isaac Regional Council (IRC) has committed $4.9 million into water and $4.2 million for wastewater upgrades in its 2021-22 budget, with significant rehabilitation projects planned for major assets across the region.

Mayor Anne Baker said the projects in the IRC 2021-22 budget are about strengthening water and wastewater services for the community.

“Many of the issues that we continue to work through are historic in nature and by working together, we will be able to deliver a more efficient, cost-effective and sustainable water and wastewater network,” she said.

“We are dedicated to achieving long-term outcomes which meet the expectations of our communities through the improvement of infrastructure, service delivery and products, including drinking water quality and recycled water opportunities.”

One of the biggest investments is the $1.7 million upgrades to Dysart’s wastewater services, and IRC Manager Planning & Projects Linda Roberts said there are a number of projects involved.

“One of the more significant is the electrical package, which includes updating the existing SCADA system on site and new main switchboard,” she said.

“There’s also the rehabilitation of two civil assets which contain the trickling filter process of the wastewater plant. The filter media will be removed to allow the civil assets to be repaired and remediated.”

Roberts said the majority of IRC’s capital program is renewals focused, including sewage pump station program across three townships.

“There has been a program type of approach over the last few years, completing upgrades in sewer schemes. IRC has six sewage schemes across the region with the focus this year being Middlemount, Nebo and Glenden,” she said.

“Predominantly, these works will be a mixture of electrical, civil and mechanical upgrades on each of the sewage pump station sites. The scoping will be site specific dependent on need.

Investment in dams

Another interesting capital project will be the installation of a floating off-take structure at Clermont Theresa Creek dam.

“There is an existing off-take tower with four different levels for extracting raw water out of the dam. The new floating off-take structure has been fabricated and will be installed to allow access to better quality water further out into the dam,” Roberts said.

“The 400 megalitre raw water dam in Moranbah requires rehabilitation in order to reinstate full storage capacity.”

Roberts said the council is now focusing on its assets from more of a whole-of-life costing perspective.

“We cover such a large area; managing assets across the Isaac region can be a challenge,” she said.

“Packaging our upgrade projects is important; that’s why we do upgrades to various asset types collectively. We stage it over a couple of years so that we spread that impact on our budget.”