Northern leaders unite for Hinchinbrook RegenAqua Project

Mar 29, 2023

A joint partnership between James Cook University and Australian company Pacific Biotechnologies Pty Ltd has resulted in world-leading technology that organically converts waste and sewerage water to clean, healthy re-usable water and Hinchinbrook could soon be home to one of these projects known as RegenAqua.

A joint campaign by Townsville Enterprise (TEL) and the Hinchinbrook Shire Council has targeted both the federal and state governments ahead of this year’s budgets being handed down, to lobby for the projects that are essential to Hinchinbrook and RegenAqua was one of the top agenda items.

Townsville Enterprise CEO, Claudia Brumme-Smith said all the ingredients for a sustainable future are in North Queensland and RegenAqua is another project which supports the State and Federal Government’s decarbonisation agenda.

“RegenAqua is a win-win for not only the protection of the Great Barrier Reef, but for the future growth of our agriculture and aquaculture industries,” Mrs Brumme-Smith said.

“We have already seen the success of this world-leading technology in the Burdekin and with Sydney Water. We now need Government support to replicate the project in Hinchinbrook.

“RegenAqua is a practical solution to protect the Reef and support jobs and economic development in the North.”

Hinchinbrook Shire Council Mayor, Cr Ramon Jayo said the RegenAqua project would provide Council with an organic method to assist in the removal of nitrogen and phosphorus out of Ingham’s sewerage and wastewater.

“Farmers in the Hinchinbrook Shire are working towards government guidelines to improve water quality with programs such as Cane Growers BMP with the intent of reducing dissolved inorganic nitrogen.

“RegenAqua Hinchinbrook will use algae and sunlight to naturally filter wastewater to assist in the removal of nitrogen and phosphorus as well as converting the remaining by-product into a fertiliser form which can be used by farmers in the district to improve soil quality and boost production.”

KAP Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said he fully supported the advocacy of Mayor Jayo and TEL to bring this project to Ingham.

“A project such as this ticks all the boxes. Not only will it provide a great boost for local job opportunities, but the environmental benefits will be far reaching,” he said.

“We live in an area with some of the highest rainfall in North Queensland but that doesn’t mean water isn’t still our most valuable resource. If there is a way to convert dirty and polluted wastewater into an eco-friendly fresh source and also a very powerful bi-product of fertiliser, I don’t think it gets any better than that.

“I am committed to assisting TEL and the Hinchinbrook Shire Council to work with the relevant ministers and government departments to lobby for the crucial funding needed to bring this project to fruition.