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.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

SEQ water grid - We don't want water power: Ipswich

Brisbane Times:

We don't want water power: Ipswich

29 May 2009

Ipswich City Council faces a shortfall of almost $400 million to put in place crucial water infrastructure through fast-growing areas.

The lack of funds means Ipswich has refused to support a Council of Mayors proposal for councils to retain control of the distribution of water.

Other mayors, including Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman, had argued this would ensure control of water stayed closer to consumers and made it easier for complaints to be handled.

But it's understood Ipswich's stance will sink the proposal.

Ipswich's population of 160,000 is expected to more than double to about 340,000 over the next 20 years, of which an expected 50,000 homes will be built in the largely rural Ripley Valley.

The State Government has been assuming control of council water assets since 2007.

They prefer one large company, jointly-owned by the councils distributing water to three council-run water retailers.

Ipswich City Council City Works Committee chairman Cr Trevor Nardi said after a Council of Mayors meeting this morning that Ipswich could not afford to take on the responsibility for giving the Ripley Valley water.

"You need size and you need clout to be able to afford that infrastructure," Cr Nardi said.

"It can't be done by Ipswich on its own, and it can't be done by Ipswich, with a couple of smaller councils.

Under the Council of Mayor's alternative model, Ipswich is linked with the smaller Scenic Rim council.

"Ipswich's view is that the current model proposed by the State Government is the ... best model," Cr Nardi said.

"Now, if you come back and you start divvying it up and breaking it into groups, some of the bigger councils may do very well out of it, and it may not - in the long run - be better for a lot of the smaller councils."

Cr Nardi said Ipswich was well aware that it had to bear the lion's share of the population growth around South-East Queensland.

"If you look at the forward projections for water and sewerage and all those types of things, we don't believe that a smaller model has the capacity to finance the amount of infrastructure required going forward.

"It would cause delays to the program if you wish to accommodate more people into the South-East Queensland region."

Natural Resources Minister Stephen Robertson this morning confirmed the State Government was prepared to listen to the Council of Mayor's alternative.

See - Brisbane Times - We don't want water power: Ipswich.

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