Talks behind doors on water

COUNCILLORS will meet with senior officers next week to discuss whether it's possible to switch off the water pipeline to the Capricorn Coast.

But the public will be excluded from the workshop which will also address continuing fears that drinking water drawn from the Fitzroy River could be harmful to health.

Cr Bill Ludwig has been campaigning to reinstate the coast's "pristine" supply on the grounds that water being piped from the Glenmore Water Treatment Plant was tainted with high salt content and other chemicals.

He has maintained for years that the original plan for the $50 million pipeline was that it should augment the supply from Waterpark Creek to drought-proof Yeppoon, Emu Park and Keppel Sands and provide environmental safeguards for the coast's supply.

"It was never the intention to replace the coast's water with supplies from the Fitzroy River and it has been a source of constant frustration that the population on the coast has been forced to drink FRW water when it isn't necessary," he said yesterday.

The workshop, on Tuesday, has been called for councillors to discuss the practical issues involved in meeting what Cr Ludwig calls the valid expectations of those who live on the coast.

The issue has been brought to a head by the continuing high saline content in the Fitzroy and the perception that the water is the cause of health problems. In the council chamber this week Cr Ludwig said people in Yeppoon and Rockhampton were complaining that they were suffering violent reactions to the water.

"They say it is causing vomiting and diarrhoea and they are not happy with the water.

"We are constantly assured by Queensland Health that there is not a problem but there needs to be a reality check.

"Large sections of our community are convinced that things are not right.''

Cr Greg Belz, who chairs the council's water committee, said Queensland Health was responsible for public health and it had repeatedly stated that there were no medical problems that could be attributed to the water.

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