Now or never for pipeline
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.