In 2018, $195 million was promised by then LNP Candidate Phillip Thompson (who was elected in May 2019) and Prime Minister Scott Morrison, for Stage 2 of the Haughton Water Pipeline.
July 2020, after continual delays of committing to their promise, they announced the funding would be delivered, but with conditions of taxing Queensland $156M. Therefore the State Govt would only really receive $39 million for the project.
Like other major infrastructure projects across the nation in all States and Territories, the project should have been exempt from the taxing schedule.
Confused? Yep doesn't make a lot of sense to me either, just a sneaky way of getting out of a deal.
The Haughton Water Pipeline not only benefits 200,000 residents of Townsville, but those who live in the Burdekin region also. It was critical that there was no more delays on this project. Qld Government therefore declined the $195 million for this project and funded the project fully.
Herbert MP Phillip Thompson announced that the $195 million promised for Townsville, would stay in Townsville.
There are many projects in the region that would like a bite of this pie, including the upgrade to the Townsville Water Pipeline that is situated under Riverway Drive.
After scoping works for Riverway Drive Duplication Stage 2, the aging concrete water pipeline under the major road, indicated that this pipeline that delivers 70% of the water to Townsville from the Ross River Dam needs to be replaced.
In October 2020 I visited Phillip Thompson, to discuss the projected and co- committed projects in the Thuringowa Electorate, such as the Ring Road Stage 5 and Riverway Drive Stage 2.
The issue of replacing the Townsville Water Pipeline was raised, in which he states, he was unaware of.
Ironically, in December 2020 a section of this pipeline ruptured and the Capital City of North Queensland, Townsville, was subjected to a major water restriction which included 2 days where it was requested we don't shower! This section of the pipeline was fixed thankfully, however it certainly shows the impact of what could happen on a larger scale, if the pipeline under the major road ruptures.
I certainly believed that Phillip Thompson would see the upgrade to the Water Pipeline would be of critical need, however it appears that water security of Townsville is not important. It appears the water security for the Townsville University Hospital that caters for North and West Queensland is not important. It appears that water security for Lavarack Barracks, the largest Defence base in Australia, is not important.
I am calling on the Federal Member for Herbert, Phillip Thompson, to show his support to the people who elected him. Federal contribution for this particular infrastructure project is $35M. Therefore I request that $35M out of the original $195 million be apportioned to secure the water supply to Townsville.