Nyora, Loch, Korumburra and Poowong will be connected to Victoria’s water grid for the first time ever, providing greater water security and quality drinking water in South Gippsland. The $30 million investment in the 2016/17 Victorian Budget will significantly improve water security for the towns, which are currently on stage two water restrictions due to on-going dry conditions.
It will also underpin the future of food processing in the region by providing companies such as Burra Foods and GBP Exports – who currently employ 165 and 180 staff in the region respectively – with supply security and the confidence to further invest in their businesses. These communities currently rely on water from small, rainfall-dependent local dams, but the project will change this by linking the towns to the Lance Creek supply system, which provides access to Melbourne’s water supply system.
The Lance Creek system incorporates existing infrastructure that connects to the Wonthaggi Desalination Plant pipeline, meaning that water can be sent from Melbourne’s Cardinia Reservoir to the Lance Creek water treatment plant via the pipeline. The project, to be delivered by South Gippsland Water at a total cost of $43.39 million, will therefore significantly reduce the likelihood of any future water restrictions while also improving drinking water quality.
The project will consist of two pipeline sections – Lance Creek to Korumburra ($28.7 million) and Korumburra to Poowong ($8.24 million) while South Gippsland Water will construct a new dosing plant ($0.845 million) and decommission some dams ($5.6 million). Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville was in Korumburra for the announcement today.
“Communities here have been doing it tough without a secure water supply. That goes for both households and businesses. Things are about to change,” said the Minister.
“This will link Korumburra, Poowong, Loch and Nyora to Victoria’s water grid for the first time ever.”
Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing, made a promise before being elected to represent Eastern Victoria that Korumburra and district would have water security, and she has delivered.
“This project is a major win for these local communities not just because it provides safe and secure access to household water but also because of the investment certainty it provides to local food processors such as Burra Foods and GBP Exports,” said Ms Shing, the local MP.
Stage 3 coming
However, with the local water reserves at 30 per cent of capacity and falling, it seems as if nothing will save the towns from Stage 3 Water Restrictions, and worse. Minister Neville said project construction could start sometime this year but it will be up three years before water is flowing from Lance Creek into the Korumburra and district supply.