Queensland families will have safer, more secure and more affordable water with the launch of WaterQ: a 30-year strategy for Queensland’s water sector.
Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle said it was a strong plan that delivered on the Queensland Government’s election promise to provide better infrastructure and planning.
“Queensland’s history, climate and growth demonstrates the critical need to properly plan for and manage drought and flood so families can continue to grow and prosper,” Mr McArdle said.
“South east Queensland suffered under the poor planning of the former Labor government and almost ran out of water just seven years ago.
“Every family and business is still paying for Labor’s panicked response, wasting billions of dollars on water infrastructure, which included a desalination plant that now sits empty and unused.
“Labor deliberately passed the costs onto Queenslanders through higher prices in its 10 year bulk water price path.
“Our strong plan will be an insurance policy against a future water supply crisis, creating a brighter, more secure future for our children and grandchildren.”
Mr McArdle said WaterQprovided a long-term vision for a water sector that supported increased productivity, economic growth, healthy communities and the environment, by focusing on seven (7) key priorities:
- Empowering customers and educating the community;
- Providing equitable and affordable water;
- Promoting efficient and productive water use;
- Encouraging responsible and productive water management;
- Developing a skilled and sustainable workforce;
- Developing smart regulation that encourages private sector investment; and
Adopting innovative technology and infrastructure.
“We have reduced Labor’s prescribed bulk water price increases, and will continue working with Queensland families, businesses, community and industry groups to make improvements,” he said.
“A one-size-fits-all policy and planning approach to water supply will not work for Queensland.”
Mr McArdle said two expert groups would be established to ensure the strategy’s initiatives are carried out and new solutions were developed to meet customers’ needs.
A Strategic Advisory Committee will oversee and provide strategic direction on the implementation of WaterQ including regular reviews, while an industry-led innovation panel will also be assembled to foster practical solutions to the challenges facings Queensland’s water sector.
WaterQ is available at www.dews.qld.gov.au or by phoning 13 QGOV (13 7468). For regular updates on the strategy, you can access the ‘Water Queensland’ Facebook page or follow @WaterQld on Twitter.