Another key milestone for the $215 million water pipeline

Date published: 18 April 2018

The $215 million water pipeline project has reached another milestone with a Cultural Heritage Management Agreement (CHMA) negotiated between the traditional land owners, the Bindal People, and Townsville City Council.

The agreement ensures the protection and management of any cultural or historical sites important to the Bindal People and includes indigenous employment and training requirements for companies that win work on the project.

Bindal Elder Eddie Smallwood said the requirement for companies that tender for work on the project to have an indigenous employment strategy would help train the next generation of workers.

“This isn’t just about the pipeline, this will skill up indigenous people for the future so they can get jobs on the next infrastructure project in the region,” Mr Smallwood said.

“It will help upgrade the skills of the traditional owners of the land and make create more opportunities for indigenous people.”

“Council has worked very closely in partnership with the Bindal people and we were very happy to reach this agreement.”

Townsville Water and Waste Committee Chair Cr Paul Jacob said the agreement showed Council’s commitment to ensuring the pipeline created as many local jobs as possible.

“The commitment to indigenous employment on the pipeline will ensure that our city trains up the next generation of the workforce,” Cr Jacob said.

“It’s a great opportunity to improve employment and training options for indigenous people and improve economic development outcomes across the Townsville region.

“The pipeline is going to be one of the biggest job-creating projects the city and it’s important that we show a commitment to providing job and training opportunities for the traditional owners of the land in which the pipeline will be built.

“The pipeline will be complete by the end of next year and will provide long-term water security for our city, which has suffered through a once-in-a-generation drought.”

The pipeline project lies within the traditional homelands and the Registered Native Title Claim of the Bindal People and consultation to address cultural heritage management for the project began earlier this year.

The next stages of cultural heritage work will be a detailed field assessment of the project corridor in May.

The assessment will record any Bindal cultural sites within the area and inform strategies to protect any areas with significant cultural findings.

Bindal Cultural Officers and their nominated Project Archaeologist will undertake the survey and walk the project area from the Haughton Pump Station to the Ross River Dam to locate any cultural sites.

There are a number of major water bodies that retain significance as cultural sites and story places, such as the Haughton River and Majors Creek that will be included in the assessment.

Mr Smallwood said he wanted to thank Townsville City Council for developing employment opportunities for the region’s indigenous community.