Australian Government confirms funding for Haughton Pipeline Stage 2

The Australian Government will fully deliver on its commitment to provide up to $195 million for the construction of Stage 2 of Townsville's Haughton Pipeline project.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said construction of Stage 1 of the pipeline was nearing completion and the Government is committed to delivering the Stage 2 pipeline to support Townsville's access to a reliable water supply well into the future.

“The Government's first priority is to invest in Townsville by supporting construction of Stage 2 of the Haughton Pipeline which will create hundreds of jobs and provide greater agricultural benefits,” Mr McCormack said.

“Reliable water is something the region needs and deserves, which is why we are investing in this job-creating project for Townsville.”

Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said it was another example of the Morrison Government working with the Townsville Council and the Queensland Government to deliver on the Townsville City Deal.

“The successful collaboration across the three levels of Government continues and Townsville is reaping the benefits,” Mr Tudge said.

“It is expected that more than 600 construction jobs will flow from this project – that is a great result for Townsville.”

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said the Government commitment of $195 million towards the capital costs to deliver Stage 1 and Stage 2 concurrently, will save money.

“We have been taking the time to talk to community leaders about the findings of the business case and discuss the next steps and we recognise Stage 2 of the pipeline has strong community support,” Mr Christensen said.

“Supporting the Townsville Council to deliver the Stage 2 pipeline means the agricultural channel would not be needed for urban supply and this channel capacity can be made available to irrigators. The estimated increase in value of ongoing agricultural output is $3 million per year.”

Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said Stage 2 would create an average of 691 new jobs over its three-year construction, along with a further 30 new full-time ongoing positions.

“A key benefit of Stage 2 is that it would provide single ownership for Townsville City Council of infrastructure between Burdekin River and Ross River and would allow the council to make all decisions with no reliance on a third party for its water supply,” Mr Thompson said.

“Water projects such as Stage 2 will provide jobs for Townsville, enhancing business opportunities and potentially increasing investment, while securing the city's long-term water supply.”

Investment in Townsville's water security has been driven by the Townsville Water Security Taskforce with Townsville Council, established under the Townsville City Deal.

The Stage 2 business case, funded by the Australian Government, will provide the project steering committee with the economic and engineering information that Townsville City Council need to   construct the pipeline. Townsville City Council will be able to realise the full savings that have been identified with concurrent construction of stage 1 and 2 of the pipeline.

These savings, in addition to the Australian Government's $195 million commitment and the delivery methods and risk management refined by Townsville City Council for stage 1, are critical factors in getting the construction of Stage 2 to proceed.

Infrastructure Australia will also be providing independent advice on the business case of the proposed project.

The Townsville City Deal—signed in 2016—is a 15-year agreement to transform the city's economy and central business district. The Australian Government has committed more than $380 million to Townsville through the City Deal.

The full business case can be found at citydeals.infrastructure.gov.au/townsville.