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11 April, 2022

Mayor welcomes continued support FOR THE CAIRNS WATER SECURITY

CAIRNS Mayor Bob Manning has welcomed comments from Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch supporting Council’s plans to secure the city’s drinking water supply.


Despite the Cairns Water Security – Stage 1 project not being named explicitly in the 2022-23 Federal Budget, Cr Manning said he was heartened by recent comments from Mr Entsch that “... there is funding in there that will certainly do this …”. * 

“We certainly welcome Warren’s continued support for our project,” Cr Manning said. 

“The Federal Government delivered a budget focusing on easing cost-of-living pressures,” Cr Manning said. 

“If we don’t secure State and Federal funding for our project, Cairns water users face having to fork out $226 every year for 30 years ($6,800 in total). 

“So, if Warren is able to secure a federal commitment on this, it would certainly deliver a significant saving to cost-of-living for Cairns residents.” 

Cr Manning said it was time for governments to work together to “get the job” done. 

“When we’re talking about an issue as critical as water security, I think the people of Cairns just want to see their leaders come together to solve the problem. 

“So we’re certainly not going to get into a tit for tat battle over the minor details here,” Cr Manning. 

“In fact, on the key points, I’d say Warren and I are united. 

“Firstly, we’ve long maintained that water security for Cairns and Far North Queensland is a priority issue that needed attention. 

“Secondly, we both backed Nullinga Dam, and when that project didn’t proceed, we both said the water security issue didn’t evaporate with it – it still needs to be dealt with. 

“Thirdly, we both support the Cairns Water Security – Stage 1 Project as the best solution to our imminent water needs. 

“And finally, we both want to see a prosperous future for Cairns.” 

Cr Manning reiterated that Council had been prudent in developing a project that delivered economically and environmentally. 

“With billions of dollars in State and Federal water funding commitments being made, our ask is a drop in the ocean. It’s not unreasonable, and working together, we can get this done,” he said. 

“So Warren has reconfirmed his support for the project – which we welcome – and his determination to get funding for it. 

“We also welcome that Labor candidate for Leichhardt Elida Faith has expressed her support provided the project ‘stacks up’. 

“Our years of planning and business case reports tell us the project does stack up, so it’s now time to see Federal Labor’s financial commitment on this ahead of the election. 

“And there is no question that the State has a role in this as well, and with a State budget less than 90 days away, it’s time to convert the letters of support from our local State members into real dollars.”


* Quote from Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch on ABC Far North radio interview 30 March 2022: “… there is funding in there that will certainly do this, I have argued very strongly for it, I am quietly confident we will get the support that we need.”


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