Govt de­ci­sion on sew­er­age ‘dis­grace­ful’

Great Southern Herald - - News - Saskia Adysti

Af­ter more than 20 years of on­go­ing work and di­a­logue, the State Gov­ern­ment has de­cided to abol­ish the Kuk­erin Sew­er­age project due to a lack of fi­nance.

The Kuk­erin Sew­er­age project re­ceived fund­ing ap­proval in 2015, when the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment planned to ex­tend the State’s in­fill sew­er­age pro­gram

Kuk­erin strug­gles to keep its sewage water un­der­ground and away from res­i­den­tial ar­eas due to the im­pen­e­tra­ble clay-like soil that sur­rounds the town.

The Shire of Dum­b­leyung has been in con­stant ne­go­ti­a­tion with the Gov­ern­ment for more than 20 years to find a so­lu­tion.

Dur­ing the fund­ing an­nounce­ment, former Water Min­is­ter Mia Davies said Kuk­erin had been wait­ing for a sew­er­age so­lu­tion since 1999.

Cur­rent Water Min­is­ter Dave Kelly, how­ever, said a re­cent bud­get eval­u­a­tion showed the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment un­der­es­ti­mated the to­tal cost of the sew­er­age pro­gram.

“This mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar cost blowout of the in­fill sew­er­age pro­gram is dou­ble original es­ti­mates and is not some­thing that the State Bud­get can ab­sorb at this time. There­fore projects in Bin­doon, Boyup Brook, Kuk­erin and Leonora will not go ahead,” he said.

The Kuk­erin project was un­der­es­ti­mated by $1.9 mil­lion, mak­ing the to­tal cost $6.7 mil­lion.

Dum­b­leyung Shire pres­i­dent Gor­don David­son said he was dis­ap­pointed to see the com­mu­nity’s sew­er­age funds taken away to fund the cur­rent Labour Gov­ern­ment’s Metronet rail project to ex­tend the Joon­dalup and Thorn­lie line.

“The smaller towns are the ones who al­ways suf­fer,” he said.

“You’ve got raw sew­er­age over­flow­ing un­der the ground and into the street of Kuk­erin — es­pe­cially when there is a big sport­ing event, they have to be con­stantly plug­ging them out — it’s dis­grace­ful.

“I don’t know what to do with this Gov­ern­ment be­cause they haven’t fin­ished with us.

“They hit our di­rect road and that’s $10 mil­lion al­ready, and we still haven’t even had the Bud­get just yet, so I don’t know what fur­ther cuts we might need to deal with.”

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