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Mt Beauty water project reference group closes

30 June 2022

North East Water’s (NEW) community and key stakeholder reference group for the Mt Beauty Raw Water Offtake project has now concluded its work.

Following five reference group meetings, two technical meetings and site visits, members provided their advice to the Corporation about potential locations for this crucial new water infrastructure.

NEW Managing Director Jo Murdoch said the group has recommended two sites be considered by the Board.

“These sites include Embankment Drive near the outflow of the pondage and a location near the top of tail race pumping from the West Kiewa and the tail race”, Ms Murdoch said.

“Directors will now visit each of these preferred sites and meet with reference group members for further discussion, before making a final location decision during the July Board meeting.

“I want to sincerely thank each of the community members and stakeholders who volunteered their time and commitment to be a part of this important group.

“Together they developed criteria that they felt was important to them including water security, maintenance safety, aesthetics, amenity, managing risk, water quality, cost, and waterway health.

“The reference group also discussed other things like weir and river safety, river access, flood zones, bushfire impacts, environmental regulation and AGL operations.”

“In addition, a working group made-up of five reference group members with specialised water and/or engineering expertise, analysed each of the nine original potential sites, along with several other possibilities, in greater technical detail.

Ms Murdoch added, “We also completed a poll at the completion of the reference group where nine people supported Embankment Drive (site 2) and eight people supported the top of the tail race (sites 9A+B).

“The poll also showed that most people thought it was worth the effort being involved, they learned useful information during the meetings, the process highlighted the complexities of choosing a site, and the meetings were facilitated fairly.

“On behalf of the Board, we are extremely grateful for their participation and we look forward to announcing the location decision in coming weeks.”

Project information including results of the reference group poll, is located here.