New community approach to Mt Beauty offtake project
31 January 2022
North East Water (NEW) has promised to work more closely with the Mt Beauty community to find the right solution to secure the town’s water supply.
The Corporation needs to build a new raw water offtake to replace an ageing pipeline that is located in a hazardous area, at risk of bushfires and rockslides.
New Managing Director Jo Murdoch said she was open to discussing all options with the community ahead of a final decision on the location being made around the middle of 2022.
She said a new independently facilitated ‘community and key agency reference group’ would be established to provide advice to NEW about the location of the new water infrastructure.
“Community members will be able to work more closely with us to understand the water security issues for the town, share expertise and knowledge, discuss opportunities and risks and provide advice to NEW about potential locations,” Ms Murdoch said.
“For those not on the reference group we will continue to have online and in-person opportunities to understand the issues and provide feedback, which can then be considered by the reference group and project team.
“The final decision for the location of the new water infrastructure will ultimately rest with the NEW Board after it has considered both community and agency feedback, and technical advice.”
Ms Murdoch said a priority in her new role had been to understand the criticality of the infrastructure, to review the multi criteria assessment and read all community feedback. She also visited the site of all nine location options including those suggested by the community.
“I want to thank everyone who has provided feedback to date. Through this we’ve heard the community supports the need for the new water infrastructure however wants more involvement in finding the right location for it.
“We genuinely want this too and believe the new reference group will enable greater community involvement going forward.”
Applying to join the reference group
Expressions of interest for the reference group are now open with the aim of having a cross section of residents, business and community groups make up 10 community positions. In addition, key agencies such as Alpine Shire, CFA, North East Catchment Management Authority and Department of Health would also be invited to participate.
The community can lodge an expression of interest to join the reference group here.