$3M+ WINDFALL: Major funding to overhaul failing sewer system
More than $2 million is set to be thrown behind slowing the Southern Downs’ plummet towards an “ageing infrastructure cliff”, starting with the region’s failing sewer system.
The overhaul would come as part of the latest round of Works for Queensland funding from the State Government, with Southern Downs Regional Council receiving $3,000,050 in total.
Councillors attended a special meeting on Wednesday morning to approve the list of potential projects they would submit to the Department of Local Government, Racing, and Multicultural Affairs by Friday.
Relining sewer mains across the region was given an estimated allocation of $1.3 million, with the council report stating it would “extend the life of the infrastructure (by) up to 50 years”.
A further $1,240,000 would be dedicated to upgrading the Condamine St pump station in Warwick and the Amosfield Rd and Torrissi St stations in Stanthorpe.
“This project will … ensure the sewer system continues to meet the Environmental Authority requirements where applicable and to minimise the risk of operational failure,” the report read.
Stanthorpe Netball Association would receive $240,000 for a new clubhouse and canteen, and another $70,000 would be put towards connecting the Warwick East Bowls Club and Eastern Suburbs Junior Rugby League Club to the recycled water network.
A demountable toilet and shower block worth $200,000 would be installed at Washpool Reserve Campgrounds if the project list is approved.
Southern Downs councillors voted unanimously in favour of the proposed funding allocations, with Mayor Vic Pennisi and councillor Stephen Tancred both emphasising the importance of upgrading infrastructure.
“It’s very heartening for me to see that some of our ageing infrastructure projects are starting to get the gong. It’s critically important … new projects are great, but it doesn’t fix the old ones,” Cr Pennisi said.
The Washpool Reserve development prompted councillor Andrew Gale to question when amenities would be built closer to the Fish Stocking Association grounds, with the project to be “earmarked” in further funding rounds.
Cr Pennisi has previously stressed the need to address the “ageing infrastructure cliff” threatening the region’s $500 million in assets on several occasions, including the rates rise last November.
SDRC has reported several sewerage leaks in both Warwick and Killarney within the past year.
Approved projects are expected to be confirmed by mid-May this year, with all greenlit developments to be completed by June 30, 2024.