By Matt Male
KORUMBURRA and surrounding towns will soon have access to so much water – they’ll be right until 2058.
So, said the Minister for Water Lisa Neville last week, in pressing the button to connect Korumburra to the state’s water grid and desalination plant.
By November, Nyora, Loch and Poowong will also be connected.
And it won’t cost customers an extra buck, the minister said.
Ms Neville turned on the pumps last Tuesday, with the State Government tipping in $30m to the $43m Lance Creek Water Connection Project.
The minister said the reservoirs around
Korumburra fill quickly, but also empty quickly.
“For many years, these communities have faced water restrictions,” Ms Neville told a crew of TV reporters and local press.
“It’s made a very uncertain future, not just for the community, but businesses as well. This ensures and guarantees water security into the future.
“You’ve just come off some [water restrictions] now, and hopefully that means no more water restrictions and people can plan for the future.”
The minister said people should see an improvement in taste and smell of the water – often an issue during summer.
Burra Foods CEO Grant Crothers also spoke highly of the project.
“Running out of water is a very nasty situation; pressure on the community of one customer using a disproportionate amount of water is also difficult,” he said.
“This will wipe that clean,” he said, adding that the project underpins a more consistent water supply.
Burra Foods has worked to reduce its water usage over the past five years.
In response to questions around whether there would be increased costs for customers, South Gippsland Water deputy chair Anna Kilborn said they have a two-year pricing plan.
“Some of it will be desal [water], some of it will be from Cardinia, so it’s in effect Melbourne system water.
“So no, there will be no change there and we already have the entitlement to that water,” she said of their one gigalitre entitlement to the
Melbourne system water.
Korumburra uses around 0.6 of a gigalitre per year.
The $43m project is ahead of schedule and under budget – key points politicians were keen to boast.
The project also created 45 construction jobs, and seven permanent positions at South Gippsland Water.
As part of the project, Inverloch, Wonthaggi and Cape Paterson – who have already been connected to the state’s water grid – have had their connection tested and commissioned.