Mayor, Premier meet to discuss regions' water security
TOOWOOMBA Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio met with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to discuss water security during her visit to Toowoomba yesterday.
The meeting comes off the back of weeks of sniping between the TRC and the State Government, after Cr Antonio was seemingly blindsided by the Premier's announcement of a feasibility study for a water pipeline from Toowoomba to Warwick in November last year.
Cr Antonio said his first message to the Premier was Toowoomba would have liked to have been engaged in the discussion earlier.
"Secondly, we're here to protect the interests of the ratepayer financially and also in terms of the amount of water that would be available to the people of Toowoomba," he said.
But Cr Antonio said ultimately, the meeting turned into a discussion on a "futuristic water grid", which he said springboarded off his previous discussions with neighbouring mayors.
"We're happy with what's been put on the table with respect to a water grid and we're happy to work with the State Government to plan on the future of water for Toowoomba," he said.
"And if that includes Warwick and Stanthorpe then so be it."
Cr Antonio said from the tone of the discussion with the Premier, "we might need to build a more robust water system" to cater to increased demand of supplying water to the Southern Downs - but that nothing would be finalised until the feasibility study was complete.
Earlier this month, the Premier announced plans for the pipeline were being fast-tracked.