Council held a meeting in Murrurundi on Monday last with twenty or so concerned local community members to have a chat about the current water situation and the fixes that Council has in play.
The questioning was strong, well-structured and impressive so I was very pleased to have senior council officers, Manager Water and Waste Phillip Hood and Pipeline Project Manager Chris Agosto, and Murrurundi Town Water Supervisor James Davis in attendance to competently and confidently answer all that was asked of them.
There is no doubt that there is considerable angst amongst Murrurundi residents but even with this tension in the room, community members accepted the responses given and the sometime unwelcome news that there were no immediate quick fixes.
That said, we were able to share some good news that the Office of Environment and Heritage last week issued Council with the long awaited Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit allowing us to set the geotechnical team to work on the Murrurundi Water Pipeline Project. Their report in the next two weeks will allow us to put the detailed design and construction works out for tender – another major milestone. Council can then select and sign off on a supplier who will hopefully start work early next year. All of this is pending some fine tuning of the pipeline route, dependent on some final easement agreements, Native Title Claims and land purchases that are the subject of thorough negotiations as you read this.
The other piece of good news is that of the three test bores drilled recently, the best of which looks to be potentially enough to cover needs and is currently being reamed to create a supply bore. After testing of water quality and quantity, one and possibly two new bores will be linked up to our water infrastructure to supplement the town supply.
This will not lift restrictions on water use but it will negate the need for water carting to Murrurundi which in itself will be a huge relief on funds and resources.
I thanked the residents that were present but would like to extend the Council’s thanks to all Murrurundi residents for their adherence to the very tough water restrictions that have been placed on you. You have extended the life of the current water supplies because of your discipline and you have done it with a minimum of fuss and complaint – for this you are to be commended.