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Council defends Agnes Water desal plant

By Alyse Edwards, Friday March 15, 2013 - 15:22 EDT

The Gladstone Regional Council says building a desalination plant at Agnes Water has not been a waste of money, even though the central Queensland region is no longer in drought.

Councillor Rick Hansen says the plant is on track to begin pumping water to Agnes Water and the Town of 1770 from July.

He says recent flood events have reignited tensions within the community.

"There's still some concern that the council didn't need to build the plant," he said.

"But at the time we were going through a very dry period and we had estimations on population figures for Agnes Water and 1770 - we had to secure a reliable water source for the region.

"Of course, with the rain events we've had in the last few years, the aquifers are full again but there was a chance those could dry up and that was why the plant was built."

Cr Hansen says $40 million has been spent on the project to provide water security for the region in future droughts.

He says long-term planning is essential.

"We can't rely on rain events like we've seen in the last couple of years to be with us all the time," he said.

"We'll go through periods of drought and it's essential we build this infrastructure to carry us through those times.

"It hasn't eventuated - that population explosion we were expecting down there - but we're expecting the area to grow gradually and we have to plan and be ready for the future."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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