General News

17 April, 2024

Green light for urgent work

A NEW $16.4 million water intake to future-proof the Douglas shire is expected to be operational in three years.

By Nick Dalton

Green light for urgent work - feature photo

Councillors at their post-election meeting on Tuesday approved an application for funding from the National Water Grid’s “Water Infrastructure for Sustainable and Efficient Regions” (WISER) fund in partnership with the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water for an alternative Mossman water intake.

The council committed $6.4m over two years as its contribution while the state and federal governments are being asked to chip in $5m each.

A council report said currently the Mossman water treatment plant took water from Rex Creek which at times came up short during the dry season and increased demand during the tourism season.

“The Mossman River intake location is a reliable water source which in the dry season contains very low turbidity water of high clarity, which is unlikely to contaminate the intake over time,” the report said. 

“This alternative intake allows for downtime of the Rex Creek intake for critical maintenance and repairs such as completing critical repairs to the intake and single raw water main. 

“The objective of the Mossman River intake project is to establish a more reliable and resilient water source in response to this impact, and forms part of the water supply security strategy and implementation plan.”

The report said the recent disaster events in December 2023 has “intensified the urgency” of the water plan.

Under WISER eligibility criteria, work has to start on the intake by June 30, 2025 and be delivered by June 30, 2027.

Cr Roy Zammataro said it was critical that the project go ahead because of the problems the shire had with water in recent events.

Cr Michael Rees said the council had to take advantage of government funding to “shore up our water security”.

Cr Abigail Noli said the new intake proposal was not the result of the floods – the council had been working on the proposal since 2010 with a concept plan submitted in January last year. She said it was now an opportunity to “fast-track’ the work with funding now available and $6.4m was “not a problem at all”.


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