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April 29th 2008
Tel promotes water for industry

Townsville Enterprise is urging water intensive industries to consider setting up in North Queensland following the Queensland Government decision to rule out the proposed Burdekin Pipeline.

A 2007 report commissioned by Townsville Enterprise, Thuringowa City Council and NQ Water identified that industries representing around 20% of the national economy would be attracted to North Queensland's water supply advantages.

The "Bradfield Scheme" to pipe water from North Queensland to the South East Corner was ruled out by Minister for Natural Resources and Water Craig Wallace MP. The announcement came as Townsville Enterprise released a new publication aimed at luring investment into the region on the basis of abundant water supplies.

According to a Townsville Enterprise media release, "North Queensland is blessed with a reliable and abundant water supply and excellent water supply infrastructure. Further good news for North Queensland is that the latest predictions for the impact of climate change in Australia show North Queensland's total rainfall is unlikely to be seriously changed. This is in contrast to the predictions for southern Australia".

The latest technical report from CSIRO and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology on Climate Change in Australia predicts rainfall is likely to decrease in southern areas during winter, in southern and eastern areas during spring, and along the west coast during autumn.

Townsville Enterprise Economic Development General Manager Dr Lisa McDonald said the predictions all bode well for North Queensland's ability to service new industries.

"For 2030, there will be little annual rainfall change in the rainfall totals for North Queensland. This should be foremost in the minds of forward looking business's with a heavy reliance on dependable water supplies"

"We are mindful of the need to be sustainably using water resources at a time when much of the country is suffering from the drought. We believe bringing water intensive industries to the region is a solution - in that it will lighten the load being placed on other regions. "

According to Tel, "Townsville's favourable water supply situation gives it a competitive advantage over much of Australia. The major industrial hub, Townsville, is effectively serviced by 3 water storages that can hold a total supply of over 2 million megalitres.

"To the south of Townsville, the rich sugarcane and horticultural area of the Burdekin offers year round water supplies for agriculture at very competitive prices."

Dr McDonald said. "Our water supplies are extremely reliable, backed up by the jewel in the crown; the Burdekin Dam."

"While the Burdekin dam supports major agricultural industries in the Burdekin irrigation area; it provides a solid and reliable backup supply to Townsville's urban and industrial areas."

According to Tel, "The Burdekin is incredibly reliable for a number of reasons. One is the size of the storage area - over 1.8 million megalitres. The other is its huge catchment of over 133,000 km2, a significant part of which is in the wet tropics. This ensures good runoff into the system in most years."

"The infrastructure that connects our major water storages also offers flexibility when our urban water supplies do become low." Dr McDonald said.

Dr McDonald said, "The region also offers well located industrial land, skilled workers, great transport infrastructure and a magnificent lifestyle that provides the foundation to attract and maintain skilled workers"

It is likely that water prices will surge in large urban centres in southern Australia as economists predict a 25% decrease in water availability coupled with a 15% increase in population.

"We encourage those industries traditionally located around major urban centres in Southern Australia that rely on cheap and reliable water supplies to think about moving north," said Dr McDonald.

"There is already a hub of industrial activity in the region to provide the support services and value chain services large businesses need."

To add your comment, see below

Tel promotes water for industry
April 29th 2008
Better still, let the big water users develop more sustainable practices and stay where they are.
Bruce Williams
April 29th 2008
Cooktown was founded and flourished on a popular mineral resource. The same for Mount Carbine, Mount Morgan, Charlie's Troussers and many others. Mackay, Proserpine, the Burdekin, the Herbert, Innisfail and Cairns discovered and exploited sugar. While it lasted. That, unfortunately is the Way of the World. TEL suddenly touts the Herbert-Burdekin watery lode and invites the rusty dusty industries of Southern Australia to set up and prosper in the Deep North. Don't bother, Dr McDonald, the waterrush is inevitable. You will get your flourishing water-dependent industries whether you advertise or not. What TEL needs to do is research and promote sustainable, developmental models which permit the North to keep the baby, the water AND the Natural asset. PS:Ask Ms Schuntner to give Charlie the job of Sustainability Ambassador, and send him down south.
May 3rd 2008
Congratulations to Charlie and Bruce - spot on!
I would only add that the obscene amount of direct and indirect funding from both the State and LGA to TEL should be scrapped and the like amount transferred to research and direct project funding of sustainable H2O management.
Let TEL, that self vaunted bastion of the 'free enterprise, let the market decide' school of thought(?) make it on their own.
Taken off the public teat might be just what is needed.

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