Water security a top priority for Team Eden

Media Release 24 January 2024

Securing Cairns’ drinking water supply against future severe weather impacts and to meet the demands of a growing population will be prioritised under a successful Team Eden following the upcoming Cairns Regional Council election.

“We live in one of the wettest regions in Australia, but that doesn’t make us immune to water shortage,” Mayoral Candidate Amy Eden said. “The recent floods demonstrated how easily we can become vulnerable to a lack of clean drinking water, and how vital it is to have a diversity of water supply.”

Cairns’ population has more than tripled since the construction of Copperlode Falls Dam as the city’s major drinking water supply. However, infrastructure has failed to keep pace with that growth and it has been estimated that demand will outstrip supply within the next few years.

“We’ve all been guilty of taking our water for granted at times. But when it’s in short supply, even for a short time, we suddenly become aware of its true value,” Ms Eden said.

Team Eden will prioritise delivery of the long-awaited Southern Water Treatment Project, which includes construction of a new water intake on the Mulgrave River and treatment plant at Gordonvale.

“Letting this project lag for so long has already caused a cost blowout that will only get worse the longer it takes,” Ms Eden said. “We need to continue working with other levels of government to secure additional funding caused by the cost blowout of this delayed vital piece of infrastructure”.

“We also need to be continually looking at options to capture and dispense the water that is available to us, to further reduce pressure on our drinking water reservoirs. Things like expanding the use of Class A recycled water to all Council-owned and managed parks, gardens and reserves, and developing a Recycled Water Demand Management Strategy to determine how best to use this resource in the future.

“We’ll also review Council’s current water pricing strategy to make sure it’s fair, appropriate, and rewards those who use this precious resource responsibly”.


Amy Eden. Team Eden Mayoral Candidate, Cairns Regional Council

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