After years of anticipation, construction of the Murrurundi Water Pipeline commenced on Sunday, 11 August with the first pipe laid in O'Connell Street, that will eventually transport water over forty kilometres from Scone to the residents of Murrurundi (with water reticulation later available to Blandford, Wingen and Parkville).
It is expected that it will be completed in mid 2020 and the pipeline will no longer be so much a pipe dream as a reality.
The cost of the pipeline is over $14 million and is being funded by the NSW Government and Upper Hunter Shire Council.
The approvals process for this essential infrastructure has been arduous and complex and I thank residents for their eternal patience whilst each of the approvals was sought and won.
Council awarded the construction contract to Leed Engineering, experienced specialists in water infrastructure.
One of their recent local projects was the installation of the Quirindi to Willow Tree pipeline and I am sure that we can expect the same level of efficiency and quality our neighbours experienced.
Whilst many residents will not be satisfied until the pipeline is in and transporting water to their homes, it is important to reflect on the sterling effort people have made in observing the harsh water restrictions that have been in place for the best part of two years.
The town has made sacrifices in their gardens, their lawns and the ability to put on a load of washing without thinking about what can do without a wash this week.
This discipline has been exercised for so long, it has become something of a habit, and all the while we drive through other parts of the region to see vibrant lawns and gardens that have received a good dose of water.
Residents have Murrurundi's town water usage close to the target of 188 kL per day and it is a credit to each and every one.
On behalf of Council I extend my great personal thanks to Murrurundi's townsfolk for their resilience, understanding and sacrifice during this period and I would hope that after this summer, we will once again be able to enjoy access to water that so many others simply take for granted.