Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall inspects Malpas Dam south-east of Guyra. A pipeline to the town would offer one solution for improving water security and quality.
Monday, 27 February 2017
HIGH level talks are underway to ensure Guyra has a water supply to secure the growing town’s future and improve quality, Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said today.
Mr Marshall said the town had more than 1,500 residents connected to the urban reticulated water supply network, however the current system had little capacity for continued population growth or ability to cope during extended dry periods.
“Water security and quality is a necessity for any community that hopes to grow and thrive,” Mr Marshall said.
“I have been approached by many locals wanting these issues resolved to provide certainty for the future and give the community more growth potential for business and industry.
“It’s very tough to attract new residents to any community that has an unreliable water supply or has quality issues. Guyra has a lot to offer newcomers – but first, we need to ensure we have the capacity for the town to grow.
“I want this project to get started as quickly as possible and I think we may see a breakthrough soon.”
Mr Marshall said ‘secure yield’ guidelines suggested the Guyra’s existing water supply dam could provide 390 million litres per year at most, but the town has an average annual usage of 440 million. With a 50 million litre deficit, dry periods threaten tight water restrictions or worse.
Options such as raising existing water supply dam walls or the construction of a new pipeline from the nearby Malpas Dam have long been raised as a possibility – however with cost estimates in the $7-10 million range, council has historically lacked the funds for any progress.
Discussions are underway between Mr Marshall and Armidale Regional Council with Mr Marshall requesting council to prepare detailed plans on the options available so he can get started seeking support and funding from the state government.
“When council completes its Integrated Water Management Plan, it will provide the means for the entire region to be assured of available, quality water in drier times,” Mr Marshall said.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the detailed plans so that I can go to work securing funding to get the project started and the water flowing for Guyra.”
In addition to Guyra’s residential population, water security is hugely important for industry. The local Tomato farm employs 500 people, and is dependent upon having a reliable source of potable water.
Mr Marshall says he’s already exploring options for funding while council completes its plans.
“The NSW Government views water security as a priority, particularly for smaller towns like Guyra. I’m in constant contact with Ministers and council to work how we can make this project a reality,” he said.
“Recently, we’ve seen towns like Ashley, Biniguy, Bogabilla, Glen Innes and Toomelah have significant water security projects funded. I believe Guyra should be next on that list.”