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.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pressure mounts on Toowoomba Regional Council over wastewater treatment plant ...

The Chronicle:

Pressure mounts on council

20 July 2009

Pressure is mounting for the Toowoomba Regional Council to explain why it has failed to seal a $900,000 land deal for a wastewater treatment plant at Westbrook.

Former Jondaryan Shire Council CEO Noel Cass and former councillor Annette Frizzell slammed the council last week for not proceeding with the sale, which the former shire council approved in 2007.

A Toowoomba Regional Council spokeswoman said the arrangement with the landholder was subject to Environmental Protection Agency, now the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM), approval.

“Approval for the Wastewater Treatment Plant as proposed on the land was not forthcoming and the arrangement is at an end,” the spokeswoman said.

However, David Darvall from the DERM said the department’s role was only to provide advice to council.

“The decision to proceed with the sewage treatment plant or not, rested solely with the Toowoomba Regional Council,” he said.

Mr Darvall said DERM provided a number of conditions to the council before it made its decision.

“These conditions addressed a number of environmental factors associated with the site including shallow soils and groundwater, poor drainage and the adequate leaching of salts from the soil profile.

“DERM also had some concerns with the site’s ability to recycle and release adequate water during periods of wet weather and during periods of minimal irrigation demand.”

Lawyers have been hired by the owner of the land to negotiate with council over the failed contract.

Mr Cass has labelled the failure to buy the chosen site an “absolute disgrace” and a “complete waste of public money”.

He said “well over $1 million on planning, studies and consultants” was spent.

See - The Chronicle - TRC under pressure.


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