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News items from October 2007

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25 October 2007

Williamsdale Road sealing to commence early in 2008

At a meeting of Palerang Council held in Burra, General Manager Peter Bascombe announced that work would begin on sealing and straightening a part of Williamsdale Road early in 2008. February or April have been nominated as the most likely start dates for the project.

The section of Williamsdale Road from Burra Road to Macdiarmid Road will be sealed using S94 Developer contributions. The bend in that section of road will be straightened to realign the road with the causeway at Burra Road. The re-alignment work will be funded under the Federal Roads to Recovery Program.

Planning for the roadwords is underway but the commencement date will depend on the timing of the finalisation of the design. If the design can be finalised early, a February start date will be scheduled. However, if the design work is delayed, the roadwork will be delayed until April while Palerang Council's road crews are occupied on contract work outside of the Shire.

The section of Williamsdale Road to be straightened and sealed, work commencing early in 2008

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25 October 2007

A community hall for Royalla?

Palerang Council General Manager, Peter Bascombe, advised a Council meeting at Burra that discussions with Queanbeyan City Council about the construction of a Community Hall at Royalla will recommence.

Prompted by a question from the floor by a Royalla resident, Mr Bascombe said that S94 Developer contributions from the Royalla development had been set aside for the construction of the community facility. QCC would also contribute to the project since some of the Royalla development were transferred to the Queanbeyan during the 2004 Local Government boundary changes.

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24 October 2007

Murrumbidgee-Googong water pipeline recommended by ACTEW

The ACT Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, has announced a range of initiatives in response to ACTEW's recommendations for securing the ACT's water supply.

Among the recommendations is a proposal to extract water from the Murrumbidgee River and transfer it via a pipeline to the Googong Dam. This option, referred to as the Murrumbidgee-Googong Transfer (or MGT), is likely to require the construction of:

  • either a small weir on the Murrumbidgee River or a submerged pump (similar to that at Cotter pump station) from which water can be extracted;

  • a pumping station adjacent; and

  • a pipeline to the Googong Reservoir.

This option is an expansion of what ACTEW has referred to as the Angle Crossing option whereby water is transferred from the Murrumbidgee River, at a location near Angle Crossing, to Googong Reservoir.

Proposed route

Three route options for the pipeline are under consideration. One of the routes is through Burra, generally following the Williamsdale Road until it meets the Burra Creek near Burra Road. The pipeline would then take a generally northern route, presumably through the Googong reserve land along the Burra Road already managed by the ACT Government.

The pipeline would be constructed, as far as possible, along the road reserve avoiding private property along its route. The outfall would be at the southern end of the Googong Dam.

The two other options proceed northwards along the Monaro Highway, with an outfall at the northern end of the Googong Dam.

Recent work undertaken by ACTEW has indicated that other sites in the south of the ACT, such as Point Hut Crossing, may also be suitable as alternative extraction points. Speaking on ABC666 radio on 24 October, ACTEW Managing Director Michael Costello said that the Point Hut extraction point had some advantages over the Angle Crossing Option. The Point Hut extraction site is downstream of the Gudgenby and Naas River conjuctions with the Murrumbidgee and would make a greater volume of water available for extraction. The Gudgenby and Naas Rivers are the rivers that would be dammed if the Tennant Dam option was ever to be considered. According to Mr Costello, extracting water out of the Murrumbidgee at Point Hut Crossing would give access to the waters of these rivers without the financial and environmental costs of constructing a dam. According to Mr Costello, operating costs at the Point Hut Crossing site would be lower.

The final details selected, including extraction site, infrastructure size and pipeline alignment will have a significant impact on the final capital and operating cost. The Williamsdale Road route has a highpoint of 880 metres, while the northern Monaro Highway route has a high point of 806 metres.

A map detailing the proposed routes is available from Factsheet No 6: Decision: Murrumbidgee – Googong Transfer (PDF 463 KB) and on page 32 of the full report.

Project details

The report, Next Steps to Ensure Water Security for the ACT Region (PDF 1.1 MB), reveals that the MGT would provide a pump and pipe capacity of up to 100 ML/day (up to 36 GL/year) but this is likely to be constrained by river flow, quality and storage capacity. The MGT is expected to yield about 12 GL/year on average, although the yield would ultimately be highly dependent on the future climate.

The timeframe for the project is 3 years, which includes planning, obtain approvals, design, construct and bringing on-line.

Costs for the Murrumbidgee-Googong Transfer are based on estimates for the Angle Crossing option, which is estimated to cost $70 million in capital, and $2 million/year in operating costs. Funding is being sought from the Australian Government’s Water Fund via the National Water Commission to assist with the infrastructure costs of this option.

Environmental issues

A number of environmental issues will require further investigation as part of the development approval process. For example, there may be impacts on the water quality of Googong Reservoir, due to the transfer of water from the Murrumbidgee River. For example, if the water from the river is turbid and contains higher levels of nutrients, the risk of eutrophication of the Reservoir could be increased. Further, a fish virus of concern (EHN) is known to exist in the Murrumbidgee River and the Googong Reservoir, however it does not exist in the Burra Creek upstream of the Reservoir.
This will be an important consideration in the final design of the pipeline route. Other issues may include construction impacts.

There is evidence of the Pink Tailed Worm Lizard (which is listed as a Vulnerable Species under the Commonwealth EPBC Act) on the Williamsdale Road; a possible pipeline route. This should be taken into account in determining the pipeline alignment so that the survival of this species is not jeopardised. Referral under the EPBC Act may be required, but this is not expected to trigger assessment under that Act.

The next steps

The recommendation of the Water Security Taskforce and its Advisory Panel to the ACT Government is that the MGT be progressed and ACTEW be requested to:

  1. continue detailed design and secure the relevant approvals to achieve the MGT, with an extraction point
    to be determined as part of this process (and in doing so, broaden the support it gave to ACTEW in
    June 2007 for progressing the Angle Crossing option);

  2. undertake a health risk assessment in close consultation with ACT Health as part of the detailed design
    to determine whether there is a need to upgrade the Googong Water Treatment Plant. This should
    include hydraulic modelling of Googong Reservoir;

  3. report to Government, on a regular basis, on progress on the above; and

  4. seek the approval of the ACT Chief Minister, Treasurer and Deputy Chief Minister to commence
    construction once all approvals are secured.

According to Michael Costello (ACTEW Managing Director), ACTEW will make a recommendation regarding the preferred route of the pipeline to the ACT Government within six months.

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17 October 2007

Public comment sought: Googong Foreshores Draft Plan of Management

The ACT Government is inviting public comment on the recently released Googong Foreshores Draft Plan of Management.

The Draft Plan and some additional information is available from the Department of Territory and Municipal Services (TAMS) website.

The Googong Foreshores Draft Plan of Management is the first comprehensive management plan prepared for the Googong Foreshores area.

The plan does not cover the Queanbeyan River catchment (including Burra and Tinderry creeks) upstream of the Googong Dam area. This is NSW land managed by NSW state and local government.

The purpose of the Draft Plan is to:

  • provide guidance for the responsible management agencies in the ACT Government;

  • set out arrangements for management responsibilities (e.g. fire management);

  • clearly define management policy to the community and NSW state and local government.

The central focus of the Draft Plan is the management of activities in the Googong Foreshores to ensure that they do not
impact adversely on the area’s primary purpose of providing a potable water supply.

Submissions and comments should be received by TAMS by COB on Tuesday, 13 November 2007. Information about submitting comments is available from the website link above.

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8 October 2007

Palerang Council to meet in Burra on 25 October

Palerang Council will hold its second October ordinary meeting in Burra. 

Council meets on the second and fourth Thursday in the month and alternates meetings between the Council Offices in Bungendore and Braidwood.  However, on this rare occasion they have agreed to hold their 25 October 2007 meeting in the Burra Hall.  The meeting will commence at 6.00pm. 

Members of the public are allowed three minutes each to address Council.  You can either address Council on a specific agenda item, or on a general matter.  If you intend to address Council, you will need to be there at the start of the meeting (ie 6.00 pm, or very soon thereafter) to register your intention if you wish to speak.  

The Burra Urila Residents and Ratepayers Association urges local residents to take this opportunity to attend and speak directly to your elected representatives about any matters of concern or interest.

The agenda for each Council meeting usually appears on Council's website a few days before the meeting.  To look up the agenda for the 25 October meeting, visit the Palerang Council website and follow the links Your council>2007 Meeting Business Papers>  and click on the item for Meeting No 22, 25 October 2007.

Update: Business Papers for the 25 October Council meeting are now available on the Palerang Council website. Subcribers to our RSS feed have been notified. For more information about subscribing to our RSS feed, visit our RSS page.

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5 October 2007

Public comment invited on draft Sydney-Canberra Corridor Regional Strategy

Thumbnail of map depicting the Sydney-Canberra CorridorThe NSW Department of Planning has released the draft Sydney-Canberra Corridor Regional Strategy and is inviting comment from the public.

The regional corridor extends from the southern highlands and tablelands of NSW to the ACT border - an area of approximately 25 000 square kilometres. It is clearly identified by the Hume and Federal highways and the region is characterised by a classic rural countryside and an array of regional centres, historic towns and villages. It also features major city drinking water catchments.

The main purpose of the Regional Strategy is to support and manage prosperity and growth while ensuring that the rural and environmental settings that characterise the region are not compromised.

The NSW Government's 25-year land-use strategy aims to:

  • Provide up to 25 200 new homes for the 44 200 additional people expected to be living in the region by 2031.

  • Increase the amount of housing within existing centres and the choice of housing for smaller households and an ageing population.

  • Manage the environmental impact of settlement by focusing new urban development in identified growth areas such as Bowral, Goulburn and Queanbeyan.

  • Ensure an adequate supply of land to support economic growth and provide for the projected 27 800 new jobs that will needed, particularly in the areas of manufacturing, transport and logistics, business services, health, aged care and tourism.

  • Protect important primary industry resources, water resources, environmental diversity, scenery and heritage, which give the region its character and potential

Once finalised, the strategy will guide local planning in the six local government areas of Wingecarribee, Goulburn Mulwaree, Upper Lachlan, Yass Valley, Palerang and Queanbeyan.

The draft strategy is on display until 7 December 2007. Public comments on the strategy are sought. For further information, visit the NSW Department of Planning website. The draft strategy, maps of the area under consideration, and factsheets about how the strategy will influence the six local government areas can be downloaded from the site. Phone inquiries can be made to the Department of Planning Information Centre on 1300 305 695.

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Last updated: 14 March, 2010

© 2007 Burra Urila Residents and Ratepayers Association Inc