A Queensland council is prioritising water security, voting to investigate two key security measures for its community.

Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) will investigate the possibility of increasing water capacity of Cressbrook Dam as part of the critical Dam Safety Improvement Project, in addition to supporting a comprehensive investigation of the potential Emu Creek Dam by the Queensland State Government.

TRC Water and Waste Portfolio Chair Councillor, Rebecca Vonhoff, brought forward both motions to the Ordinary Meeting and said that future water security is one of Council’s top strategic priorities.

Cr Vonhoff said that TRC recently appointed Seymour Whyte and SMEC Australia as alliance partners on the Cressbrook Dam Safety Improvement Project while also finalising a project budget of $270 million.

“Now is the time for Council to build on advocacy with Federal and State Governments as well as explore the potential for the project to increase water capacity in Cressbrook Dam as part of the project,” Cr Vonhoff said.

“The motion Council endorsed regarding the potential Emu Creek Dam signals to the State and Federal Governments that Council wants Emu Creek Dam to be seriously considered as a water source.

“This is important as the Water Moreton Plan is currently being reviewed and plants a flag for future councils of Toowoomba Region,” Cr Vonhoff said.

The two resolutions endorsed by TRC were as follows:

Proposed revised advocacy plan for Cressbrook Dam Safety Improvement Project

That a revised advocacy plan for the Cressbrook Dam Safety Improvement Project be tabled at the Water and Waste Committee meeting of May 2024 for Council’s consideration and endorsement. 

The revision of the plan should include identification of suitable activities to:

  1. Highlight the Cressbrook Dam Project’s strategic alignment to the Australian Federal Government National Water Grid Fund – including the potential of increasing water capacity in Cressbrook Dam as part of the project
  1. Best enable the Queensland State Government to prioritise Council’s Project in applications made to access the Fund

Emu Creek Dam

  1. Council supports a comprehensive investigation into Emu Creek Dam as a water source for Toowoomba Regional Council.
  1. Council requests that the State Government apply for National Water Grid Funding for this investigation.
  1. Funding Council’s request to the State Government (estimated by officers to cost $50,000) to be considered at Budget Review 2.

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