Mildura Weekly : Friday May 22 2015 Vol 9 No 28
06 NEWS MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2015 By VINNIE RODI WENTWORTH Mayor, Cr Don Mc- Kinnon, moved to ease the con- cerns of Pooncarie residents this week, saying the Shire would to do whatever it takes to keep water flowing into the town. Councillors were briefed about issues raised at a recent open meet- ing of residents in Pooncarie at this week’s Council meeting, with residents fearing that the security of town water and the ability to keep the town and private gardens watered was in jeopardy because of reduced flows down the Darling River. Concerns were raised after it was reported that flows from Weir 32 on the Lower Darling River had ceased on May 1 due to a severe lack of inflows into the Menindee Lakes system. Pooncarie’s current water usage is typically 190 kilolitres (190,000 litres) a day, which includes supply to the water treatment plant, with filtered water usage around 25 kilo- litres (25,000 litres) a day. Direct pumping costs have been calculated to be 5.4 cents per kilolitre. Wentworth Councillors voted to cart water from Wentworth as identified in Council’s Drought Management Plan this week, with Cr McKinnon saying that carting raw water – to be pumped into the water reservoirs available for the water treatment plant – would maximise the amount of water stor- age available, and mitigate the risk and requirement of carting potable water. Funding for the carting effort will be available for domestic sup- ply (household use only), and equates to one truck-load of water (25 kilolitres) a day. The estimated cost to Council based on current NSW Office of Water subsidies would be $46.50 a day, with the estimated actual cost $500 a day. Garden watering would not be allowed under the arrange- ment. “We went up to Pooncarie and spoke to the residents, and in- formed them that it doesn’t really matter if we don’t get subsidies or not, Pooncarie is a town that we supply water to, so it’s our respon- sibility to continue to supply that water,” Cr McKinnon said. “At the moment we don’t have to rush a decision, as there is still enough water in the Pooncarie weir pool to serve the town. “However when we do have to move in we have the plans and con- tingencies in place to start doing that, which includes carting water from Wentworth. “Residents can rest assured that they will have drinking water, and that we are going to do our best to help.” This is not the first time Poon- carie’s water supply has been threat- ened by lack of river flow, with the town’s water supply holding up in the past due to sufficient supplies in the weir pool. Councillors agreed that due to the duration of the current cease to flow event being unknown, it was important to assess options for al- ternative supplies. Cr McKinnon said Wentworth Shire was also exploring the pos- sibility of constructing a bore to supply fresh water to the township should the situation become dire. The cost is estimated at $250,000, and would be able to supply enough water for the town- ship. Cr McKinnon said the possible cost of a bore was significant, as it was not known where a suitable lo- cation would be, or how deep the bore would need to be. • Continued Page 16 Council answers Pooncarie SOS on water supply crisis WENTWORTH Shire Council is set to enter the fray in the race to secure a piece of the $1billion Na- tional Stronger Regions Fund, with the Shire to submit funding applica- tions for two vital infra- structure projects. Council will submit applications as part of the second round of the feder- ally-funded initiative, and will be looking to secure support for a $3million project to seal the main runway at the Wentworth Aerodrome and a $2mil- lion redevelopment of the Midway Centre in Gol Gol. The National Stronger Regions Fund has been developed to support in- vestment in “priority eco- nomic and infrastructure areas,” with the major focus to strengthen econ- omies in regions by im- proving productivity, em- ployment and workforce skills. Grants ranging from $20,000 up to $10million are available, with funding needing to be matched on a 50/50 basis under selec- tion criteria. Council already has funding put aside for both projects, however neither were scheduled to begin this year according to the Shire’s 2015/16 Opera- tional Plan and draft bud- get. Both projects are con- sidered “shovel ready,” with Councillors agreeing they had “nothing to lose” by submitting an applica- tion, as there was still time to amend the 2015/16 Op- erational Plan and draft budget if required. “We have space in the budget to shift it around if we have to,” Wentworth Mayor Don McKinnon said. “And if we are unsuc- cessful the funding is al- located for next year any- way.” Wentworth in National Stronger Regions airport funding push Photo: PAUL MENSCH Elders Mildura 5018 6800 97 Lime Avenue Mildura, Victoria 3500 Elders Wentworth 5027 3411 34 Darling Street Wentworth, NSW 2648 Elders Robinvale 5026 3050 19 Moore Street Robinvale, Victoria 3549 Real Estate eldersmildura.com.au Auctions & Clearing Sales Marty Deacon is Sunraysia’s most recognised auctioneer with years of experience specialising in; • Plant & Machinery Auctions • Deceased Estates • Goods & Chattles Auctions Contact Marty on 0429 953 365 or 03 5018 6800 for a professional and competitive discussion AUCTIONS MADE EASY MILDURA DAY CELEBRATIONS REGISTER YOUR INTEREST: Phone (03) 5018 8311 Email email@example.com www.thechaffeytrail.com.au Sunday 31 May: Carnegie Centre, 74 Deakin Avenue 11am – 2pm On 31 May 1887 the Chaffey Brothers, the Victorian Government and the Queen signed an Indenture formalising Mildura as Australia’s first irrigation colony. Based on WB Chaffey’s Town Planning and the early influences of people, horticultural industry, and development of services, businesses and environment, the story of how the vision of the Chaffey Brothers unfolded will be retold. 11.15am: Commence complimentary historic Deakin Avenue walk with local historian Glenn Miller - Auslan interpretation will be provided throughout the tour Welcomed by Mildura Brass Band | Model Steam Engines | Plaque Unveilings Lions BBQ outside Carnegie Centre and Cardross Progress Assoc. making Little Normies and other healthy snacks available.
Friday May 15 2015 Vol 9 No 27
Friday May 29 2015 Vol 9 No 29