North East Water needs to build a new raw water offtake in Mt Beauty to replace the ageing infrastructure currently in use.
The current infrastructure is located in a hazardous area at risk of bushfires and rockslides. It is also subject to the historic supply limitations of hydro operations, and poses major access difficulties for repairs and maintenance.
Our solution is to build a new offtake that meets critical criteria surrounding bushfires, flooding, water availability, water quality, environmental impacts, access and staff safety. We will also be considering the social and economic aspects of the project.
This project is time-critical as we need to find an alternative to the current offtake arrangement which is at risk of failing at any time, leading to severe consequences for the town.
We recently completed a multi-criteria assessment (MCA) report for potential sites of the new Mt Beauty Raw Water Offtake. These sites included the five initially highlighted by North East Water, in addition to four additional sites identified by the community.
Following concern from parts of the community, North East Water is now reconsidering all nine potential sites through a new community engagement process.
We have reshaped the engagement process to build greater community ownership of the water security issues for the town, as well as the solution and potential trade-offs between sites.
A new ‘community and key agency reference group’ has been established and is being independently facilitated by Max Hardy, one of Australia's leading community engagement experts. The purpose of this group will allow members to 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 the Corporation about potential locations.
Membership the reference group is made up of 13 community members and seven representatives from key agencies including Alpine Shire Council, Department of Health, Country Fire Authority, Goulburn Murray Water and the North East Catchment Management Authority.
The group will meet at least four times over the coming months and further detail about the group can be found here.