Recycled water vote correct

IT has been five years since the historic day Toowoomba said no to recycled water.

On July 29, 2006, more than 60 per cent of residents voted in a referendum to oppose the treating of sewage for drinking water.

The outcome was a resounding victory for Rosemary Morley, co-ordinator of Citizens Against Drinking Sewage.

Half a decade later, Mrs Morley has no regrets about her fight against recycled water.

She said the fact Toowoomba’s dams were full today was proof Toowoomba did not need the alternative water source.

“We never needed it. We still don’t need it and quite frankly I’m dumbstruck so many people said it would never rain again.”

Snow Manners used the popularity earned as a prominent “no” campaigner to win his way on to Toowoomba Regional Council.

Mr Manners said during the water debate “all eyes were on Toowoomba”.

He said the water debate had been more than a local issue, with others keen to use Toowoomba as a precedent for similar sewage treatment schemes.

“Roll over one city and you could roll-out recycled water in cities around the world.”

Water services spokesman Deputy Mayor Paul Antonio only came to Toowoomba Regional Council once the water debate had run its course.

Cr Antonio said there was never a need to revisit the debate post-amalgamation.

He said he had no regrets about the decision to abandon recycled water and instead pursue the $187 million Wivenhoe pipeline.

“Toowoomba has a water supply now that is very complete and has a lot of safety in it,” he said.

“I’m pretty proud of that.”



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