Works have commenced on the construction of a new reservoir at Port Douglas, which will increase water capacity and encourage new residential and commercial development in the region.
Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said the $13.5 million new 20 megalitre reservoir would double local water supply storage capacity to meet the future needs of Port Douglas and Craiglie.
“I aim to build the kinds of regional communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to, and providing a secure water supply is essential for that,” Minister Nash said.
Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch joined the community for the sod turning and said the reservoir will substantially increase water security, providing confidence for the booming tourism sector.
“Port Douglas is Australia’s gateway to two of our World Heritage listed jewels: the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, attracting tourists from far and wide. It’s estimated that the new reservoir will be able to service up to 7,000 people per day in peak periods,” Mr Entsch said.
“Given the predicted acceleration in growth over the coming years, we need to make sure we’re providing adequate infrastructure and the reservoir will help to meet these challenges.”
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said increasing Port Douglas’s water storage capacity would cater for future population growth and also give local businesses, particularly the tourism sector, confidence to upgrade and expand their operations.
“Earthworks for the reservoir will start immediately, the new pipeline will be connected to the existing water main by early October, and the structure of the reservoir will be complete by mid-December ready to be tested over Christmas and commissioned shortly thereafter.
“The project-expected to reach practical completion in early 2018-is critical to boosting jobs and the local economy.”
Mayor of Douglas Shire Council Julia Leu said water security is the top infrastructure priority for the region and she is delighted to have reached this important milestone.
“Without this new reservoir, which offers double the current water storage capacity servicing Port Douglas and Craiglie, we simply wouldn’t be able to meet future water needs and certainly wouldn’t be able to accommodate sustainable growth,” Cr Leu said.
“This is a fantastic outcome for our Shire and in particular our ratepayers who would have been left with the financial burden for this essential infrastructure project if it did not receive funding from the Australian and State Governments.”
This project is jointly funded by the Coalition Government ($6,745,000), the Queensland Government ($5,000,000), and the Douglas Shire Council ($1,745,539).