NO PIPEDREAM: A Lowood to Fernvale recycled water pipeline is one of the projects being planned.
NO PIPEDREAM: A Lowood to Fernvale recycled water pipeline is one of the projects being planned.

WISH LIST: Funding bid for pipeline, road upgrades

COMMUNITY endurance is the focus of new projects being planned for the Somerset region.

The Somerset Regional Council is hoping to secure a share of the latest round of the Building Better Regions Fund which aims to support drought-afflicted areas.

“If you look at the numbers, only 128 councils are eligible,” said the council’s director of finance, Geoffrey Smith.

“Now’s our opportunity to make the most of this program.”

Four council projects are considered sufficiently shovel-ready to apply for the funding.

The first project is an estimated $10,530,000 of strengthening and widening upgrades to Lowood-Minden Rd, which would improve connectivity to the Southeast Queensland Trade and Enterprise Spine.

This route would also offer an alternative to parts of the Brisbane Valley Highway.

“We know SH17 is dysfunctional, so these works would provide another option,” Mr Smith said.

To further support the community in the ongoing drought, another project under consideration is a Lowood to Fernvale recycled water pipeline, which would cost an estimated $1,290,817.

The pipeline would make use of Class A treated wastewater produced by the Lowood Sewerage Treatment plan.

“I’m really pleased with some of these options,” Councillor Sean Choat said.

“We’ve seen enough this year to know these initiatives are very important to ensuring community resilience.”

Another possible project is the installation of LED lighting for sports fields in Fernvale, Esk, and Kilcoy to help cut down on electricity costs for those sites.

Installation of pavements and concrete surfaces on problem parts of the rail trail from Fernvale to Esk is also being considered, which aims to encourage more visitors from north of Fernvale to make use of the trail.

At the meeting last week, Somerset councillors agreed to submit applications for all four potential projects.


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