The desalination plant at Tugun.
The desalination plant at Tugun.

Qld to decide what to do with botched $4b water 'assets'

THE Queensland Government will decide what action to take in the coming months on multi-billion dollars worth of water infrastructure projects which have rarely been used since their completion.

Premier Campbell Newman said on Thursday the government had to make some tough decisions about what to do with the $2.6 billion Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme and the $1.2 billion Gold Coast Desalination Plant.

He said the two mothballed water infrastructure projects are costing Queenslanders $150 million a year in interest repayments and $33 million a year in care and maintenance costs.

"Over coming weeks Cabinet will be looking at options for the future management of these failed Labor water projects," he said.

"That could mean keeping one or both of these water projects for times of extreme drought, or investigating alternative uses and even sale opportunities.

"We are committed to proper planning and we will assess all the costs and benefits before developing a solution that is in the best interest of Queensland taxpayers."

Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle said the two botched water projects were symbolic of the previous government.

"Labor borrowed billions to build these two water infrastructure projects in a mad panic and they have barely been used," he said.

"South-east Queenslanders' water bills are so high today because we are all continuing to pay for failed Labor projects that are currently not even producing a drop of water."

Local Partners