STATE BUDGET FUNDS FOR WATER SAVINGS AT MAJOR VENUES

The Beattie Government will allocate $1.95 million in next month's State Budget for new water saving initiatives at major venues such as Suncorp Stadium and the Gabba.

Premier Peter Beattie today said venues of the Major Sports Facilities Authority had already achieved water savings of almost 20% over the past 12 months and this new money would help achieve even further savings.

The MSFA are responsible for Suncorp Stadium, the Gabba, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre, Sleeman Sports Complex, Dairy Farmers Stadium in Townsville.

"Water savings to date at these venues would fill approximately 40 Olympic sized swimming pools," Mr Beattie said.

"To further reduce consumption at these venues the Government will allocate $1.95 million to the MSFA in the 07/08 budget to invest in new water saving initiatives which will return an additional 20% in water savings.

"I have asked the MSFA to proceed with the planning and design of these works so that work can commence as quickly as possible."

Mr Beattie said water tanks would be installed at the Gabba, QSAC, Dairy Farmers and the Sleeman Sports Complex.

"The Gabba's tank will be located within the grounds of the East Brisbane State School and I thank the Principal and the P&C Committee for their cooperation," he said.

"The water captured in the tank will be used to water both the field of play at the Gabba and also the School's playground.
"Other initiatives will include the installation of dual flush or restricted flow toilet systems, the retro fitting of restricted flow taps and showerheads and waterless urinals (Dairy Farmers)."

Mr Beattie said the water saving initiatives implemented to date had produced good results but further savings were expected in the coming year.

"The initiatives used to reduce consumption so far have included:

  • the use of wetting agents on the fields of play to reduce the volume of irrigation water required to keep the field safe for players (Gabba and Suncorp);
  • turning off water supply to amenity blocks on non-event days;
  • ceasing watering of precinct areas around the venues;
  • staff stopping all non essential use of water; and
  • the use of waterless urinal systems (Gabba and Suncorp).

"We will continue to save as much water as possible at these venues while ensuring that Queensland's elite athletes still have fields that are safe for the conduct of their competitive games and the Queensland public can continue to enjoy sport of the highest standard," he said.

"Smart watering of these venues means the venues are still in a condition suitable to host major national and international events while water savings are achieved.

"In the past 12 months these venues have hosted upwards of 150 events in total ranging from the Bledisloe Cup and the Ashes Test to major concerts and school athletic and swimming carnivals.

"It is important to ensure these venues have a field of play which is acceptable for the sports played at these stadia."

Mr Beattie said SKILLED Park, currently under construction at Robina on the Gold Coast has been designed with smart water consumption in mind.

"The MSFA has instructed the managing contractor to install only dual flush toilets and urinals activated by sensors to ensure a minimal amount of water is consumed on event days," he said.

"Water Tanks will also be installed to collect rainwater via the roof of the Stadium as occurs at Suncorp Stadium and the MSFA has had discussions with the Gold Coast City Council regarding accessing recycled water supplies to water the field and for other non-potable uses."

Mr Beattie said the Brisbane Aquatic Centre at the Sleeman Sports Complex, recently installed additional water saving devices which will further reduce water consumption.

"The majority of the upgrades are mechanical in nature and will not be visible to patrons who are regulars at the venue," he said.

"For example filter and valve components have been replaced which will deliver long term operating efficiencies.

"In addition a micro filtration system is to be installed to recycle the pool's filter backwash for reuse in the pools. This initiative alone has a potential saving of over 3 mega litres a year."

Deputy Premier and Treasurer Anna Bligh said while she applauded the effort of the venues to date there was still much to be done in ensuring every appropriate avenue to conserve water is investigated.

"It is important that all businesses and households reduce, reuse and recycle where possible," she said.

"The MSFA like other businesses has made some significant savings by a combination of changing operating practices and installing water saving devices while still being able to carry out their core business of presenting the best stadia for players and spectators alike.

"Like all Queenslanders they have to play their part to help tackle the worst drought on record."

Ms Bligh said water would be a strong feature of her second State Budget to be delivered on June 5.

14 May, 2007
Further inquiries: Premier's Office: 3224 4500