Tender released for Townsville’s $274M Haughton Pipeline stage two project

Ross River, Townsville. Photo by Danny Poole on Unsplash.

The Haughton Pipeline stage two project between Haughton River and the Burdekin River in Queensland is a step closer to construction with first tender for the project announced today by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill.

The Queensland government is providing up to $195 million in funding for the project – aiming to provide better water security for Townsville by delivering more water to Ross River Dam water catchment to “top up” water levels during periods of very low rainfall.

The design for stage two of the Haughton pipeline will involve construction and installation of approximately 30 kilometres of 1.8-metre pipeline, development of pump station and power supply options to extend the existing stage one pipeline from the Haughton River to the Burdekin River in the vicinity of Clare.

“Stage two of the Haughton Pipeline project will go a long way in ensuring Townville water security for decades to come,” Premier Palaszczuk said.

“My government knows how important this project is for Townsville’s future and that’s why we are providing $195 million in funding. This project will also support hundreds of jobs during construction, boosting North Queensland’s economic recovery.”

Townsville City Council has formally signed off on a detailed road map for the project, including approving increasing the budget to $274 million, which includes an appropriate contingency allowance.

Mayor Jenny Hill said a considerable amount of planning had been undertaken by Council officers and specialist consultants in the past 12 months.

“Completing the second stage of the Haughton pipeline will give Townsville the water security it needs as it grows over the next 50 years,” Cr Hill said.

“It realises the recommendation made by the Townsville Water Security Taskforce’s final report of November 2018 that a pipeline be constructed between the Ross River Dam and the Burdekin River near Clare to enable the dam level to be managed to best deliver water to the city.

Cr Hill said Council would fund all costs above the $195 million provided by the state government.

“The council is committed to securing Townsville’s water security and this project will do that,” she said.

“It will mean that Council will need to provide up to $79 million to fund this vital investment in our city’s long-term future.

“We will manage the risks in this project closely to put downward pressure on costs, but we are not going to cut corners. This piece of infrastructure will provide water security for the next 50-80 years and we will do it right.”

Minister for Resources and Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the project would provide a substantial economic boost for the city.

“Stage two of the Haughton Pipeline will deliver water security, but it will also deliver jobs,” Mr Stewart said.

“The project is expected to support hundreds of jobs in the region. This couldn’t come at a better time as Townsville and North Queensland continue to recover from COVID-19 global pandemic.”

Stage one of the pipeline was funded by the Queensland Government, which provided $225 million to Townsville City Council to improve water security in Townsville.

Detailed design work for the pipeline and pump station will now be finalised with delivery partners.

The tender for long lead items, such as pipes and pumps, will be released by the end of 2021, while the tender for the construction of the pipeline will be released in early 2022.

Construction of the pipeline and pump station is expected to be complete by the end of 2024 with testing and commissioning to be finalised by March 2025.

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