On the 21st of October 2019, Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio discussed the region’s future water security options with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack in Australia’s capital, Canberra. The meeting was arranged by Federal Member for Groom, Dr John McVeigh.
The Mayor and Toowoomba Regional Council CEO Brian Pidgeon outlined the region’s water saving actions and argued a range of benefits around the idea of future water resources for southern Queensland and northern New South Wales. “In addition to highlighting our household water-saving initiatives and the tightening of residential water restrictions, Council can show how we are investigating the integrity of our extensive water supply network,” asserted Mayor Antonio.
Mayor Antonio said he would raise water issues that were discussed at the Darling Downs and South West Queensland Council of Mayors’ meeting before the upcoming Queensland Local Government Association annual conference in Cairns. “There is greater scope to start using manufactured and treated water for industrial, commercial and some household uses, (for garden watering and in toilets) and save our precious drinking water supplies for human consumption,” he said.
Likewise, Mayor Antonio claims that the meeting was timely due to the federal government’s announcements about the newly established National Water Grid Authority and its plans for water diversion and storage proposals among other future water infrastructure requirements. “It is imperative that we seek assistance from the federal and state governments to provide regional solutions that also help communities across state borders that are battling a crippling drought. While the Wivenhoe pipeline offers the Toowoomba Region a secure water supply for the foreseeable future, we must start the discussions and planning now for new water supply sources for our long-term future.”
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