Done and Dusted - Last Link in Cloncurry Pipeline Connected

27 Nov 2009

The last pipe in a 38km water lifeline for Cloncurry was lowered into place today, marking the end of construction for the $42.5m drought-proofing project.

Honours to lower in the last pipe were handed over to Member for Mount Isa Betty Kiernan and Cloncurry Shire Mayor Andrew Daniels, who have long championed the much-anticipated water infrastructure project.

Mrs Kiernan said the State Government had delivered on its promise to bring much-needed water security to Cloncurry.

“A year ago the Bligh government made this pipeline a priority and committed to drought-proofing Cloncurry by providing a vital future water solution,” Mrs Kiernan said.

“Recognising the urgent need for a reliable water supply in Cloncurry, this pipeline project has been fast-tracked with construction completed in less than four months – ahead of schedule and under budget,” Mrs Kiernan said.

Mrs Kiernan said SunWater, the project developers, would now commence commissioning of the project ahead of the wet season and expected water to flow to Cloncurry by March.

Mrs Kiernan said in addition to delivering a guaranteed water supply, the pipeline project provided economic benefits for Cloncurry.

“The construction of the pipeline has created employment for about 20 people locally, sustained employment for approximately 40 project contractors and injected around $3m into the local economy,” Mrs Kiernan said.

Cloncurry Shire Mayor Andrew Daniels said the pipeline’s fast-tracked construction ensured Cloncurry will never have to worry about drought again.

“Today we are one step closer to being able to turn on the tap and have a guaranteed water supply that we can not only use around our homes, but we can also drink - and that is something that all Cloncurry residents are looking forward to,” Mayor Daniels said.

“This time last year, the Cloncurry Shire was suffering at the hands of the most severe drought. The pipeline not only ensures the community will never have to do so again, it also gives Cloncurry the confidence to move forward.

“The water security the pipeline provides gives the region the confidence and certainty it needs to attract and support future industrial population growth.”

With the capacity to deliver up to 900 megalitres per year, the pipeline will deliver water to Cloncurry from Lake Julius, via connection to SunWater’s 110km North West Queensland Water Pipeline and Julius Dam.

Project background

  • The town of Cloncurry was experiencing a severe water shortage from effects of an extended drought.
  • The Cloncurry Shire Council requested assistance from State Government for a construction of a new 38 km pipeline from SunWater’s North West
  • Queensland Water Pipeline to augment its existing water supply infrastructure.
  • On Thursday 28 August 2008, the Premier announced in State Parliament that SunWater would prepare a business case by October 2008 for CBRC review of the proposed water pipeline to the township of Cloncurry.
  • The proposed new pipeline would provide a more reliable water supply for the town from Lake Julius, via connection to SunWater’s 110km North West Queensland Water Pipeline and Julius Dam.
  • On Monday 8 December 2008, the Premier announced that SunWater was selected to build the pipeline at a cost of $42.5 million.
  • At the time, Cloncurry’s water supply was transported to the town via rail and necessitated a tight time frame to deliver the project and to minimise possible delays over the upcoming wet season.
  • To achieve this, SunWater undertook a preliminary works program, to ensure the earliest possible delivery of the pipeline.
  • Since that time, floods in the region have reduced the urgency of project delivery time frame.
  • Construction of the pipeline commenced in mid-August 2009.

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