While many parts of the nation have been affected by floods, a drought-hit Central Queensland community has been relying on truckies to bring in fresh drinking water each day.
Residents in the Rockhampton town of Mount Morgan have been on strict level six water restrictions since March 2021. They’ve had to rely on about 20 truckies to come into the town each day, carting water tankers from Gracemere.
The tankers provide approximately 160 litres of water per person, per day.
On Tuesday January 31, the Queensland Government announced a $10.8 million funding boost that will allow the Rockhampton Regional Council to continue keeping the town of Mount Morgan hydrated.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Local Government Steven Miles said the funding would keep this essential service on the road while a pipeline from Gracemere to Mount Morgan was built.
“Council has been carting water to the Mount Morgan Treatment Plant, making about 20 water tanker deliveries a day and meeting costs of about $5.7 million to date,” explained Miles.
“The Palaszczuk Government is providing a Special Assistance Package of up to $10.8 million to council to cover the cost of water carting into next year, when the pipeline is expected to be completed.
Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Tony Williams added that council has started preliminary works on this permanent solution for the region’s water security.
“While we plan and build a new water pipeline from Gracemere to Mount Morgan, this new funding will help ensure we can continue to supply drinking water to the Mount Morgan community,” Williams said.
“This is essential for the people of Mount Morgan as works progress towards a permanent water supply.
Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke also welcomed the funding. “The Mount Morgan community deserves secure access to water supply. This funding and the construction of the pipeline ensures that,” O’Rourke said.
“It also means Rockhampton Regional Council won’t be required to continue funding the carting of water.”
The funding will be available to Rockhampton Regional Council over the 2022-23 and 2023-24 financial years.