Water security and manufacturing boost thanks to billion-dollar State Budget

  • More than $1.7 billion locked in for water infrastructure and planning
  • Burdekin Falls Dam raising and improvement project progressing
  • Paradise Dam improvement project funding locked in
  • Increased investment to deliver Rookwood Weir
  • Fitzroy to Gladstone Pipeline powering new industries and water security
  • Supporting more manufacturers through Made in Queensland

Funding is flowing for major Queensland water projects, after investment in water security and good jobs was a focus of the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s 2023-24 Budget.

Communities across Queensland are set to benefit from the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s more than $1.7 billion investment in water infrastructure and planning – providing more water security and good jobs.

In the north, a further $440 million, on top of the $100 million already committed, is locked in to progress the upgrade and raising of the state’s largest water storage asset, Burdekin Falls Dam.

Raising the dam by two metres will future-proof Queensland’s largest dam by providing up to 150,000 megalitres of new water allocations, locking in water for agricultural irrigation, groundwater recharge, aquifer management, and supplementing urban use, while powering industries and jobs in North Queensland.

This budget ensures the Paradise Dam Improvement Project will progress, providing $116.4 million this year to continue pre-construction activities prior to major construction works commencing late next year.

This work will deliver long-term water security for the Bundaberg region by restoring the dam’s capacity and improving the dam’s resilience against major and extreme weather events.

In Central Queensland, the Palaszczuk Government is increasing the investment in Rookwood Weir to $568.9 million with $156.7 million to be spent this year.

This increased investment will keep the project on track for construction completion by the end of the year.

Costs have increased due to a range of pressures including six wet weather inundation events, escalating material, workforce and fuel costs, and supply chain issues.

The Queensland and Australian Governments have contributed $183.6 million each to the total spend, and Sunwater is funding the remainder.

The largest weir built since World War II is on track for construction completion by the end of 2023, with commissioning by early 2024.

A more secure water supply for the Southern Downs is a step closer, with the Toowoomba to Warwick Pipeline project to spend $13.4 million this year to support pre-construction, which is only part of the more than $300 million commitment to water security in the region.

In addition, Toowoomba Regional Council will receive $15 million over four years to deliver treated water to the communities of Cambooya, Greenmount, Nobby and Clifton.

The Gladstone Area Water Board will spend $548.5 million for the construction of the Fitzroy to Gladstone Pipeline, an important investment in water security recommended by the Bradfield Regional Assessment and Development expert panel, to support better urban water security and new job creating industries coming to Gladstone.

As part of our Path to Treaty, the Palaszczuk Labor Government is allocating $11.7 million over three years for a First Nations Water Strategy, for stronger engagement with First Nations communities, and more culturally inclusive water planning.

This follows passing the Path to Treaty Bill earlier this year, where the Palaszczuk Government outlined a firm commitment to build stronger partnerships with First Nations Peoples.

Safe and secure water supply across Regional Queensland is a key focus of this year’s budget, with the following investments also confirmed:

  • $2.6 million for an Urban Water Risk Assessment to better understand drinking water and water security risks across regional and remote communities, working with water service providers, local governments and other Queensland Government agencies.
  • $8 million over two years has been allocated for a detailed assessment of the water requirements for the hydrogen industry in Gladstone.
  • $22.8 million to continue the 15 per cent irrigation price discount.
  • $7 million for Cloncurry’s water supply through the Community Service Obligation.
  • $10.8 million as part of Queensland’s $40.4 million contribution to the Mount Morgan Pipeline.
  • $300,000 to the State Council of River Trusts to continue to support the important work of River Improvement Trusts across the Queensland.

Building our Regions will continue to strengthen and improve water and sewerage infrastructure and planning projects throughout the state with a $28 million investment this year, part of the $70 million Round 6.

This vital, though unglamorous, work ensures Regional Queenslanders have efficient, reliable water and sewerage infrastructure now and in future.

The hugely successful Made in Queensland Grant Program continues with $32.2 million invested in Queensland manufacturers, helping with new technology adoption, international competitiveness, productivity and innovation.

Made in Queensland has created and supported more than 5,400 jobs, and the investment in this budget will ensure even more manufacturing jobs are made in Queensland.

The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Hub will receive $7.2 million over four years to continue its vital work in leading edge robotics for manufacturers.

This ARM Hub had a stellar year, it celebrated its third birthday and even helped a local startup manufacturer send their product into space – the sky isn’t the limit, it’s just the start for Queensland manufacturers.

Quotes attributable to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk:

“We know water is precious and vital resource and this Budget is further proof of our commitment to water protection and security.

“In the state’s north, a further $440 million has been locked-in to future-proof Queensland’s largest dam.

“In the Wide-Bay, Central Queensland and Southern Downs we’ve funded the next steps in major infrastructure that will provide long-term security for regional Queensland.

“In recognition of the landmark Path to Treaty bill that was passed, we’ve made a firm commitment to support better engagement with First Nations communities, and more culturally inclusive water planning.”

Quotes attributable to the Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick:

“I’ve said cost of living is the focus of this Budget and that includes supporting our irrigators.

“The extension of the irrigation and horticultural water rebates are an important measure for regional communities, using our publicly-owned water providers to support our producers and consumers to keep costs low.

“We committed to utilise the uplift in royalty revenue to fund productivity-enhancing investments across regional Queensland and that’s just what we are doing with important investments in the Burdekin Falls Dam and the Fitzroy to Gladstone Pipeline.

“The boost to the manufacturing sector will make sure we continue to see jobs on the ground across Queensland.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher:

“Regional Queensland is a big focus of this budget, investing in job creating projects that deliver regional economic development in communities from Maryborough to Mt Isa.

“This budget continues to deliver water security for Queensland, building the infrastructure communities need across the state, and providing secure jobs in the process.

“Jobs in manufacturing are good, secure and well-paid. That’s why this budget continues our manufacturing support programs, ensuring this critical industry continues to create more jobs across Queensland.

“We are prioritising our work with First Nations Peoples, building capacity and ensuring First Nations Peoples are part of decision-making on the allocation and management of water resources.”

/Public Release. View in full here.