FINALLY: Seqwater Project Manager Matt Malos at the Linville Water Treatment Plant site with Vimal Soni of Practical Engineering. Construction on the plant is set to begin, nearly a decade after the old plant was knocked out.
FINALLY: Seqwater Project Manager Matt Malos at the Linville Water Treatment Plant site with Vimal Soni of Practical Engineering. Construction on the plant is set to begin, nearly a decade after the old plant was knocked out. Contributed

The 'forgotten' town left with no water for nearly a decade

"WE'RE just forgotten about here."

Linville might only be two hours from Brisbane, but according to local shop-owner Gail Rae, it might as well be in another country.

The Linville Store owner said the general feel in the town of 400 residents was people had simply had a "gut-full" of a lack of action by governments.

The town's water treatment facility, built in 1970, was knocked out in 2013 floods - and still hasn't been fixed.

The state government yesterday announced demolition of the old plant and construction of a new facility was set to begin.

Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said demolition would take two weeks, with construction to follow.

"The new plant will deliver a more reliable, effective drinking water supply to the 400-plus people of Linville," Dr Lynham said.

"It's creating jobs as well, with a local contractor and six sub-contractors working on the project."

But this announcement came more than six months after the government first announced a new facility would be built, and six years after the plant was knocked out.

Ms Rae said the announcement of the plant's construction meant little to residents, who had "given up".

"They've given up on the water treatment plant, they've given up on local government and government all together," Ms Rae said.

Since 2013, water has been trucked into the township daily from the Kilcoy Water Treatment Plant.

Ms Rae said the plant was simply another item on a long list of issues locals felt let down by, including mobile coverage and crime issues.

Construction was initially scheduled to begin in July this year, but when this came and went without action, locals weren't surprised.

"They didn't really expect it was going to happen in the first place," she said.

The lack of interest from all levels of government is slowly killing the town.

Ms Rae said the Linville population now included just two children, with many families leaving.

"In the last 12 months there have been a number of people that have left," she said.

The new facility is expected to be operational in early 2020, seven years after the floods.

A spokesman for Seqwater said the delay in construction begning was due to "necessary" upgrades to the electrical switchboard and automation programs at the site for safety reasons.

The spokesman said the cost to tanker an average of 12-13 loads of water to Linville is approximately $80,000 a year, and this had been the most economical solution following the the 2013 floods.

"Seqwater had the option to tanker water which has been the most cost-effective way to continue a secure and reliable supply of water to the community," the spokeman said.

"As the community grows though, in the long-term it is more economical, reliable and effective to re-build the Linville plant and ensure local water supply security well into the future."

He added no additional costs to Linville residents over and above the current bulk water price as a result of using tankers, and the tanker water provided to Linville continues to meet the stringent Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.   



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