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Mt Beauty Raw Water Offtake Update

31 October 2022

North East Water is progressing its plan for an independent project assurance review of the shortlisted locations for critical new water infrastructure in Mt Beauty.

Managing Director Jo Murdoch said North East Water had developed a scope for the review in consultation with the community Technical Working Group. The Corporation is now ready to issue an expression of interest to secure an independent consultant to undertake the work, she said.

“The project’s technical assessment and estimated site costs will be reviewed and validated, and also what additional site assessments might be required to give the Board assurance prior to proceeding with determining the project’s location,” Ms Murdoch said.

Ms Murdoch said, at the request of the community Technical Working Group, all the information on the additional options for site 9 (in addition to 9a and 9b) that was discussed at the community technical reference group would also be provided to the independent assessor. The review will consider these options and whether they are a feasible option to consider further.

“I want to once again thank members of the community technical reference working group and North East Water’s staff who have contributed to the project to date,” Ms Murdoch said. “Once an independent assessor is appointed, members of the broader Mt Beauty Community & Key Stakeholder Reference Group will have an opportunity to meet with the assessor to gain an understanding of the process and to convey their views.”

Ms Murdoch said North East Water remained committed to finding the best solution to improving water security for Mt Beauty. In March 2022, following on from earlier engagement, North East Water established the Community & Key Stakeholder Reference Group which met five times to share their expertise and knowledge, discuss opportunities and risks, and provide advice on potential locations for a new raw water offtake. 

In July 2022 Board Directors visited the shortlisted sites in Mt Beauty and also met with members of the Reference Group to personally hear their views and better understand the project complexities both from a technical and social amenity perspective. Following this the Board resolved to undertake an independent project assurance review on the two shortlisted locations ahead of making a final decision on the location of the critical water infrastructure.

The shortlisted sites, put forward by the Community & Key Stakeholder Reference Group, include (site 2) Embankment Drive near the outflow of the pondage and (sites 9a and 9b) two locations on the tail race pumping from the West Kiewa and the tail race.

More information and background on his project can be found here.