LGAQ calls for $500m state fund to fix water infrastructure
The Local Government Association of Queensland has called for immediate investment of $500 million over the next five years in a Regional Water Quality and Wastewater Protection Fund to prevent the State’s water and wastewater services “falling off an infrastructure cliff.”
In a recently released proposal, LGAQ warned that “many Queensland communities risk a public health emergency if water and wastewater infrastructure failure becomes more common or known issues remain unaddressed.”
“Access to essential water and wastewater services is currently at risk in many of Queensland’s regional communities, placing in jeopardy the health of households and the commercial viability of businesses. These communities are facing an ‘infrastructure cliff’: a steep and unavoidable decline in water and wastewater service standards due to the deterioration of ageing infrastructure and/or the use of infrastructure that is no longer ‘fit-for-purpose’ given the population it serves.”
The proposal stated that immediate Queensland Government support, both financial and technical, was needed for councils to continue to provide essential water services to their communities.
“The LGAQ is proposing that the Queensland Government invest $500 million over five years in a Regional Water Quality and Wastewater Protection Fund, as part of the transition to a new grant funding model that includes ‘security of essential services’ as one of its objectives.”
Local government owns and operates around $37 billion of water and wastewater assets that provide services to 4.3 million people across 370 communities.
The LGAQ proposal is available here.