The Queensland government says the state’s south-east could be drinking recycled waste water as early as next year, whether they want to or not.
Premier Peter Beattie and his deputy Anna Bligh announced the government has scrapped its controversial plans for a $10 million referendum on the issue, involving 18 councils.
Mr Beattie said south-east Queensland residents would get recycled water as the drought and subsequent low dam levels had left the government with no choice but to introduce treated sewage.
He said the fact Wivenhoe-Somerset Dam system’s water levels currently was less than 23 per cent had convinced him and Ms Bligh to abandon the March 17 plebiscite.
“Inflow to the dam system is currently 20 per cent lower than the worst on record,” Mr Beattie told reporters in Brisbane.