Plans to go it alone on water

By REN LANZONnewsroom@gladstoneobserver.com.au

CALLIOPE Shire Council is planning to go it alone and set up a $19.4 million water supply system at Wurdong Heights.

At its meeting last Friday, the council decided to adopt its consultant's report for an alternative water supply scheme and forward it to the Department of Local Government and Planning to secure funding.

Currently water is piped from Awoonga Dam to the treatment plant in Gladstone then back in duplicated piping to the fast-growing Boyne Tannum area in one di-rection and Calliope in the other.

"If people thought we were gaming about this, well here it is and we are moving on it,'' council's chief executive officer Graeme Kanofski said yesterday.

"The report says it's feasible and economically viable.'' Mr Kanofski described the 70page CH2M Hill Water Supply Planning Report as "very comprehensive''.

He said the report found that even if equalised pricing remained, the alternative supply would be just as cheap as the existing system.

"With a government subsidy, we can do it for 1.7 cents a kilolitre for our customers as against the Gladstone Area Water Board equalised price of 1.11 cents a kilolitre.''

"The advantage is we will be able to control our own destiny rather than have to rely on Gladstone City Council.

"After we pay off the asset in 15 years, we can achieve significant savings for our customers.''

The project has been put on Calliope shire's five year capital works program. Council will also be seeking loan money for the projects.

Council was prompted to seek an alternative to the current system when Gladstone City Council began pressing for the shire to be made to pay for the extra distance for the delivery of water, thereby increasing the water charges.

The infrastructure would include a treatment plant and a supply delivery system.



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