Bowen’s green and growing future
THE FUTURE is looking green for Bowen, as the new recycled water network is opened, meaning greener parks and public spaces, an improvement in the towns water efficiency and a healthier reef.
At the official opening of the Greening and Growing Bowen project this morning, a $4.047 million initiative, jointly funded by the council and the Queensland Government’s Building our Regions program.
The new recycled water network will reuse water to irrigate a range of public spaces including Bowen Golf course, Bowen Cemetery, Bowen Foreshore and Mullers Lagoon Parkland.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said the 5.7km upgrade and expansion of Bowen’s recycled water network was important and aimed to make the town more liveable year round for families and boost jobs in the community.
“By using recycled water we’ve been able to put irrigation through so many of our parks so we can actually keep those greener year round,” he said.
“Bowen’s got one of the best golf courses in Australia, a nine-hole golf course, right along the beach with the Coral Sea as a background. It doesn’t get any better than that.
“If we can help by using some of our recycled water to keep that green, it’s a drawcard for the town and we can encourage more visitors as well.”
Cr Willcox said that the project prepared the town for growth in the future as well as creating job opportunities.
“The current sewage treatment plant was only designed for 5000 people. Now this new plant we’ve built is good for 14,000 so we’ve got some room for growth,” he said.
“There were 12 jobs created through the construction period and then there’s going to be ongoing jobs at our sewage treatment plant and of course we need to maintain all of the infrastructure within our parks.”
Cr Willcox said the upgrade would also be significantly beneficial to the natural environment, lowering the risks of damage to the Great Barrier Reef.
“It’s a really big win for the Great Barrier Reef. It’s treating the recycled water to a much higher level, so anything that we do have to discharge won’t have the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen in it,” he said.
Cr Willcox thanked the Palaszczuk Government for providing funding for the project, saying that the project would preserve valuable water resources by using less of Bowen’s drinking water to water public spaces, overall improving water efficiency for the town.
“This means so much for us in the Whitsundays,” he said.
“It gives us more use of our potable water so we’re not using this to irrigate all our parks, it’s a big win for the environment.
“Whereby before we used to discharge about 40 per cent from the Bowen sewage treatment plant into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, with this brand new plant we will be recycling approximately 90 to, it could even be up to, 100% of the water.”
Assistant Minister for State Development and Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert extended her congratulations to the council for their hard work and dedication on the project, saying this project was proof of how “on the ball” the Whitsunday Regional Council was.
“I know how passionate people are in this beautiful area. It’s just wonderful that the council has tapped into it,” she said.
“It’s fantastic to see in Queensland a very progressive council which you have here in the Whitsundays.
“You have your eye on the ball, looking to the future of each of your communities and looking at what it is that you need to grow them.
“Bowen just keeps kicking goals. Across the whole Whitsunday Regional Council, there are so many individual communities and each one is special in its own right.
“Everybody deserves to have that boost from their council and Bowen certainly deserves this.”