Date: 08-Apr-2021

The Queensland Water Regional Alliance Program (QWRAP) has welcomed the sixth Queensland region to form a QWRAP group to investigate collaboration on water and sewerage management. The South West Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (SWQROC), Queensland’s newest ROC have agreed to form the SWQ Water and Sewerage Alliance to cooperate on urban water issues. The SWQROC is comprised of Balonne, Bulloo, Maranoa, Murweh, Paroo and Quilpie councils which share many common challenges in provision of water and sewerage services.

Simone Talbot, Executive officer for the SWQROC said “The Mayors and CEOs of the SWQROC are collaborating on a range of priority issues and acknowledging there are opportunities for beneficial cooperation on water and sewerage”.

“There is strong recognition that these urban services underpin the sustainability and future development of towns across the region and a desire to take a leading role in providing safe, secure and sustainable services in the face of common regional challenges.”

The six SWQROC group councils provide water services to twenty seven communities, some of which also have non-potable networks. The majority of supplies are sourced from groundwater with many accessing the high-temperature but extremely pure water of the Great Artesian Basin. Fifteen of the communities are sewered with a range of sewage treatment processes while the remainder have septic systems.

A Regional Water and Sewerage Technical Group has been established to prioritise issues for future collaboration. The group will receive funding from QWRAP for a part time Regional Coordinator to assist with cooperative activities. Initial discussion of the group covered a range of issues including asset management, skills development, water security, the infrastructure cliff and water quality.

As shown in other QWRAP regions, water and sewerage collaboration can benefit councils of all sizes but it can be initially time consuming and is relatively rare outside of QWRAP support thanks to funding from the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water.

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