The 4350water Blog highlights some of the issues relating to proposals for potable reuse in Toowoomba and South East Qld. 4350water blog looks at related political issues as well.

Monday, December 01, 2008

SEQ - Anna Bligh delays Gold Coast desalination plant operation ...

There will be less water to splash around after the State Government broke its promise to have the Gold Coast desalination plant operational on Sunday.

Instead, Premier Anna Bligh gave contradictory statements about why the plant would not be operational for at least another six weeks instead of yesterday's scheduled start.

Ms Bligh officially opened the $1.2 billion facility at Tugun yesterday, but the purified saltwater she and the public sampled at the gala day was only for show.

The setback was another blow for the Government, which has come under fire for its handling of water issues following its backflip last week on Traveston Dam and the introduction of recycled water.

Questioned by The Courier-Mail, Ms Bligh fudged her answers about the reason for the delay - even though she is the former infrastructure minister and the desalination plant is a major component of the Government's $9 billion southeast water grid.


Anonymous newswatch said...

ABC News:

Bligh rejects recycled water pipeline a waste of money

1 December 2008

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says taxpayers will get value for money from the recycled water pipeline even if it is not permanently used for drinking water.

Since Ms Bligh announced last week that treated wastewater will only go into the dams when they fall to 40 per cent, questions have been asked about the value of the Western Corridor Recycled Water Project.

Opposition spokeswoman Fiona Simpson says the pipeline spur into the dams has been a waste.

"The money that they put a pipeline into Wivenhoe they would have been better off putting that pipeline into industry," she said.

But Ms Bligh says the Wivenhoe option is insurance for future drinking needs.

She says the recycled water being used by industry also vindicates the project.

"$2.5 billion in our major recycled water project is money well spent," she said.

"All of that adds up to good sense, good policy."

However, Ms Bligh says it will take some effort to turn recycled water off once it has been turned on.

She says the recycled tap would stay on for a while even if the dams go back over 40 per cent.

"Gearing it up and making it fully operational takes both time and additional staffing and so you would then take some time to turn it back down and turn it off again," she said.

"Again the Water Commission will be doing some further work for Government so we make the right decision about when you'd turn it off after you've turned it on."

Desalination plant

The Opposition also says the State Government should build another desalination plant like the one on the Gold Coast.

The Tugun plant has started pumping, with water to be stored until it goes into the south-east drinking supply system in January.

The Government says its long-term water plan includes more desalination in future decades.

But Ms Simpson says the LNP would build another plant now, instead of the Traveston Crossing dam.

"There is a need for another bulk supply in Queensland in the next few years and that's why they must build another desalination plant," she said.

"We believe Bribie Island, close to the regional pipeline infrastructure, is the only way to provide that additional security."

Ms Bligh says environmentally sustainable power will be used to run the Gold Coast desalination plant.

She says the Government is almost ready to choose a company to provide the plant's energy.

"Desalinated water is a very important part of the water grid, but it is a very expensive form of water,' she said.

"It costs not only money but it's very expensive in energy terms.

"We indicated that we would be fully off-setting the energy used in this plant with green power.

"We've gone to the market and we have a number of green power providers who have tendered."

1:31 PM, December 01, 2008

Anonymous newswatch said...

Joint Statement:

Premier The Honourable Anna Bligh

Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Paul Lucas

Sunday, August 31, 2008


The State Government has appointed the companies Cardno and Beca to manage the fluoridation of water across regional Queensland.

Premier Anna Bligh said the South West Queensland Local Governments of Toowoomba, Southern Downs, Roma, Paroo, Murweh, Goondiwindi, Dalby and Balonne will progressively have their water supplies fluoridated from 2009 through until 2012.

“The regional fluoride program is on track to commence from the beginning of 2009,” said the Premier.

“The first fluoridation unit to be installed in South West Queensland will be at Toowoomba’s Mt Kynoch water treatment plant by the end of 2009.

“This will be followed in 2010 by Crows Nest, Highfields, Millmerran and Yarraman in Toowoomba Regional Council and Warwick and Stanthorpe in Southern Downs Regional Council.

“2011 will see fluoridation of water supply schemes at Chinchilla and Miles ini Dalby Regional Council, Inglewood and Goondiwindi in Goondiwindi Regional Council and Charleville in Murweh Shire Council.

“By the end of 2012 we’ll have finished the program for the region with fluoride for Cambooya, Clifton, Hodgsinvale, Pittsworth-Brookstead and Wyreema in Toowoomba Regional Council, Cunnamulla in Paroo Shire Council, St George in Balonne Shire Council and Roma in Roma Regional Council.

“Fluoridation is a safe, effective and proven preventative against tooth decay and will become one of the State’s most important investments in the future health of our children.

“It will reverse a trend that has resulted in Queensland kids having the worst teeth in the country and it will deliver dental health benefits to our future generations that other Australians have been enjoying for up to 40 years.

“Townsville has been supplying fluoridated water since 1964, the only major Queensland city to do so. Numerous studies have found substantial declines in tooth decay in Townsville children within 10 years of the introduction of fluoride.

”I am proud that my Government has committed $35 million to fluoridate Queensland’s water supplies over the next four years.

“Within two years, 80% of Queenslanders will have access to fluoridated water, increasing to more than 90% by 2012. “

Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Paul Lucas said from early 2009, the roll-out will focus on indigenous communities and major regional centres, moving through to other regional and rural areas by the end of 2012.

“Cardno and Beca will provide a strong combination of program management and fluoridation experts to undertake the project and work closely with the Government,” said Mr Lucas.

“The Cardno/Beca team will project manage a network of suppliers for the design, supply and installation of fluoridation plants across regional Queensland.”

Mr Lucas said water fluoridation would be phased into water treatment plants in the following local government areas:

2008: SEQ major water treatment plants - Mt Crosby (2 plants), Landers Shute, Molendinar, Mudgeeraba and North Pine (54%)

2009: SEQ minor water treatment plants, Indigenous communities, commencement of Cairns, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton and Toowoomba Regional. (80%)

2010: Completion of Cairns, Gladstone, Mackay and Rockhampton; Fraser, Gympie, Somerset, South Burnett, Southern Downs, commencement of Dalby (83%)

2011: Blackall, Emerald, Dalby completion, Goondiwindi, Hinchinbrook, Longreach, Mornington, Mt Isa, Murweh, North Burnett, Rio Tinto (Weipa), Tablelands, Whitsunday (92%)

2012: Balonne, Banana, Barcaldine, Bundaberg, Burdekin, Carpentaria, Charters Towers, Cassowary, Cloncurry, Flinders, Isaac, Roma, Toowoomba Regional completion (95%).

% estimated State coverage of residents on a reticulated water supply.

2:34 PM, December 01, 2008


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