Joint media release: First pipes laid for $88.2 million Mount Morgan Pipeline

24 January 2024

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water
Senator Anthony Chisolm, Senator for Queensland
Mr Bruce Saunders, Queensland Assistant Minister for Train Manufacturing, Regional Development and Jobs

  • The first pipes have been laid for the Mount Morgan Water Supply Pipeline Project
  • The joint-funded pipeline will deliver long-term water security for Mount Morgan, supporting jobs and growth in the town
  • The Project will deliver approximately 50 jobs as well as economic benefits to Central Queensland communities 

The first pipes for the $88.2 million Mount Morgan pipeline have been laid along Kabra Road. 

The 28km potable water pipeline will provide long-term water security to Mount Morgan, providing certainty and prosperity to the community. 

This vital project will be a game changer for the region after the community endured a prolonged period of drought and water restrictions. Once complete, the Pipeline and associated works will bring an end to water carting and ensure the future needs of both Mount Morgan and Gracemere are met, delivering jobs and economic prosperity for Central Queensland. 

The Mount Morgan Pipeline is jointly-funded by the Albanese and Miles Labor Governments and Rockhampton Regional Council. It will deliver an economic boost to Central Queensland with approximately 50 jobs set to be created and local businesses to benefit.

The project includes: 

  • Construction of a 28km potable water pipeline from the Pump Station at Gracemere to Mount Morgan 
  • Upgrade of the Old Capricorn Highway pump station 
  • Construction of a new reservoir and new pump station at Lucas Street Gracemere 
  • New pump station and small reservoir at Moonmera, which is approximately halfway along the pipeline route 
  • Upgrade to the Razorback Road leading into Mount Morgan while the pipeline is being laid

Significant construction will soon progress. Construction of the new reservoirs, pump stations and widening of Razorback Road will commence later in 2024. These works will also support projected growth in Gracemere, ensuring the community has the water security needed to grow and thrive. 

The project is anticipated to be completed in September 2025, weather permitting. 

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek: 

“Our government is committed to water security in regional Queensland. We announced funding for the Mount Morgan water supply project late last year and so I am pleased to see work commencing today. 

“This is a critical project to ensure Mount Morgan has access to reliable water for generations to come. 

“It’s water infrastructure projects like this that ensure Australia has a strong regional heartbeat, something that this government is proud to deliver.” 

Quotes attributable to Senator for Queensland, Anthony Chisholm: 

“We’re getting on with delivering the infrastructure that Queensland needs to safeguard our water supply so that regional communities can continue to be a great place to live. 

“Queenslanders are well aware of the threat droughts pose to our environment and the economy, and while this summer hasn’t been as dry as first thought, we need to make sure that we’re as prepared as possible for when we inevitably encounter another drought. 

“Collaboration is the key when taking on projects such as these and the Australian Government is proud to partner with the Queensland Government and Rockhampton Regional Council to implement this crucial project.” 

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Train Manufacturing, Regional Development and Jobs, Bruce Saunders: 

“Not only is this project creating jobs during construction but a secure water supply bolsters jobs growth for existing businesses in the region and brings more businesses and families to the area. 

“The Albanese and Miles Labor Governments are supporting Rockhampton Regional Council in the delivery of safe and reliable drinking water for Mount Morgan now and into the future. 

“We have committed to maximise the use of local labour, suppliers, materials, and sub-contractors.” 

Quotes attributable to Member for Rockhampton, Barry O’Rourke: 

“It’s fantastic to see this region-changing project reach this important milestone.

“The Pipeline and associated works will bring an end to water carting and secure the long-term sustainability and liveability of the town.” 

Quotes attributable to Rockhampton Mayor, Tony Williams:

“It is great to have reached this significant milestone and to see the first pipes being installed. 

“This project is a game-changer for Mount Morgan. We know that we simply don’t have the catchment size and rainfall to provide that vital water security the town needs over the long-term. 

“The Mount Morgan Pipeline will ensure that our community can grow and share in the jobs and economic opportunities we are pursuing as a region and mean real and tangible benefits for local residents and business.” 

Further Information: 

Mount Morgan residents have been on level 6 water usage restrictions since March 2021 due to the prolonged drought conditions and previously low levels in Mount Morgan’s Number 7 dam. 

Rockhampton Regional Council has been funding approximately 20 water carting trucks per day to deliver potable supplies to Mount Morgan for over 30 months, with the Queensland Government contributing $10.8 million toward carting costs.