Now or never for pipe­line

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Ararat project lead­ers have urged land­hold­ers to reg­is­ter their in­ter­est in con­nect­ing East Grampians Ru­ral Pipe­line be­fore the end of Septem­ber.

Ararat Ru­ral City Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Tim Har­ri­son said land­hold­ers needed to ex­press their in­ter­est in join­ing the project as soon as pos­si­ble.

Dr Har­ri­son is also chair of the pipe­line project’s cus­tomer con­sul­ta­tive com­mit­tee.

“The project is build­ing mo­men­tum and it could be a case of now or never for some land parcels if the pipe­line route is de­signed too far away from their prop­erty to make a con­nec­tion vi­able in the fu­ture,” he said.

The East Grampians Ru­ral Pipe­line will be de­signed to se­cure the fu­ture of the dis­trict by pro­vid­ing a con­sis­tent, re­li­able and se­cure sup­ply of high­qual­ity wa­ter.

“If there are land­hold­ers out there who are sit­ting on the fence, now is the time to make the call,” Dr Har­ri­son said.

“We’re also en­cour­ag­ing those who have al­ready been through the process to re­turn their Heads of Agree­ment doc­u­ments and take ad­van­tage of the early sign-up in­cen­tives avail­able.”

Peter Od­die, who farms 3000 sheep and cat­tle 30 kilo­me­tres south-east of Ararat, is among landown­ers al­ready com­mit­ted to the pipe­line project.

He said al­though he had rea­son­able ac­cess to bore wa­ter, when pres­sure in­creased dur­ing dry sea­sons, re­li­a­bil­ity

of sup­ply could be­come an is­sue and wa­ter cart­ing be­came too ex­pen­sive.

“For us it’s about in­creas­ing re­li­a­bil­ity for the farm into the fu­ture,” he said.

“We’ve got one chance to make sure that the scheme works and that pipe­line route can ser­vice our prop­erty.

“I en­cour­age oth­ers to re­ally con­sider what the fu­ture has in store, bear­ing in mind that with cli­mate change we don’t know how much wa­ter is go­ing to be avail­able in the fu­ture.”

Gwmwa­ter project di­rec­tor Graeme Dick said a pre­lim­i­nary de­sign process would start in the next month and work would in­clude defin­ing a route for the pipe­line net­work.

“We use the in­for­ma­tion from ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est to de­velop an ini­tial draft and then we start ex­clud­ing ar­eas where we haven’t got com­mit­ments from land­hold­ers to sign up to the project,” he said.

“We want to start con­struc­tion in mid-2020 as orig­i­nally planned, so land­hold­ers who have com­mit­ted don’t have to wait too long for wa­ter to start flow­ing.”

Land­hold­ers who sub­mit an ex­pres­sion of in­ter­est be­fore the end of Septem­ber and sign up be­fore the date spec­i­fied on their con­tract will have the choice be­tween dis­counted wa­teruse tar­iffs for two years or a $1000 tank re­bate.

Peo­ple seek­ing more in­for­ma­tion can visit web­site www.gwmwa­ter.org.au/ egrp or call Gwmwa­ter on 1300 659 961 dur­ing busi­ness hours.

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