Rocky council prepares for growing population in budget
ROCKHAMPTON Regional Council is planning ahead for population growth with funds allocated to upgrade and expand ageing sewage treatment and water facilities.
Council officially handed down its 2020/21 budget on Tuesday and The Morning Bulletin will be delving into the various components of the budget, including funds allocated for water and sewage infrastructure.
Newly elected councillor and water and environment portfolio holder Donna Kirkland was excited to share the news of the major works.
The North Rockhampton Sewage Treatment Plant will see $3 million spent on the facility for expansion this financial year.
Another $8.5 million has been allocated in 2021/22 and $10 million in 2022/23.
This is an allocated spend of $21.5 million over the next three years.
The Gracemere Sewage Treatment Plant has received $500,000 this financial year for augmentation.
In 2021/22, $2 million is allocated and a further $2.5 million in 2022/23, equating to a $5 million spend over three years.
The electrical and control network at the Glenmore Water Treatment Plant will also be renewed with $1.8 million to be spent this financial year.
Next financial year has $3.8 million allocated and $2 million will be spent in 2022/23 - a total of $7.6 million in the next three years.
While funds have been allocated to subsequent financial years, this is pending the next budget adoptions and council's financial stance in those years.
There is also a $2.6 million investment for the solar farm at the Glenmore Water Treatment Plant, to be spent this financial year.
The project is for a small scale 2.5mw ground-mounted solar system and would pay off Fitzroy River Water's hefty electricity bill.
Cr Kirkland said the solar farm will help reduce the "considerable expense that goes into electricity".
The solar farm is forecast to pay itself off in less than three years.
"Which is great for both ratepayers and our environment," Cr Kirkland said.
Cr Kirkland said the water and sewage investment is $8 million this year alone and $37 over the next three years.
"It's good news for our community, while water and sewage might not be particularly sexy they are 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year," she said.
"It secures a future for our growth we are expecting in Rockhampton."