Shire blasts Water Corporation

Lauren CelenzaCountryman

Ailing infrastructure and Water Corporation inaction is being blamed for making Kulin’s water shortage worse, as the town’s water supply dries up.

The Kulin Shire wants to clean out two empty community dams before it rains but they’ve been waiting for the green light from the Water Corp for more than six months.

Even worse, Shire chief executive Greg Hadlow said the government body wanted to slug drought-riddled communities $500 just for permission.

Mr Hadlow said paying for the pleasure of cleaning out your own dam was outrageous and he refused to do it.

“It doesn’t sound like much, but that’s money that could go towards the school,” he said.

The community claims with better maintenance and by cleaning the dam water, it could be used by farmers for stock in dry years such as 2010.

But up until this week the corporation wouldn’t budge on the fee.

After the issue was raised by Countryman the corporation decided to waive the $500, claiming it was reviewed in light of the drought.

Nevertheless, the Kulin community remains angry at its inaction and says more could be done to safe-guard the shire’s water.

The town’s effluent dam has water sitting in it going to waste, while farmers struggle to obtain water from the corporation’s standpipe tanks because access is restricted by pressure valves.

“We have had to let the oval die when we could have been using the grey water and the ‘Corp’ has reduced the pressure on standpipes so farmers can’t take as much water out,” Mr Hadlow said.

“But the ‘Water Corp’ said their obligation was to the town’s people and not the farmers.

“It’s happening at Pingaring and I have heard it happening in many other towns.”

Mr Hadlow said Kulin were granted $50,000 of Federal Government money seven years ago to buy the equipment necessary to chlorinate the waste-water dam, a requirement of the Health Department.

The equipment was purchased and the corporation offered to take over the project but Mr Hadlow said years of inaction meant the Shire had to return the funds.

“The Water Corp stepped in and said they would do it, and it has been sitting there going to waste ever since,” Mr Hadlow said.

“The problem is being caused by the lack of work on their infrastructure over the years; they haven’t done the work on their pipes so they can’t handle the pressure.”

“A spokesman from the Water Corporation said negotiations were underway with the Department of Health in regards to the effluent dam and Kulin waste-water treatment facility.

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