State Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries has released a statement about Cobar’s water quality.
“It is clear the Cobar Council needs to replace at least part of its water reticulation scheme. Some pipes have bad internal corrosion,” Mr Humphries said.
“It is also clear that Cobar Council has never kept appropriate infrastructure records.
“In fact some of the pipe system we know could have been laid over 100 years ago or in fact 10 years ago. Recently unearthed diagrams by Council in effect are most likely useless.
“Despite water reticulation being a local government responsibility, it is clear the Council has recently struggled to support a way forward, given the lack of historical record keeping and the fact that staff and councillors don’t often have to face or deal with such an issue. So finally, it is clear outside help and support is needed, on top of the $15 million the NSW Government has provided to upgrade water treatment for the town.
“Last week, NSW Public Works were finally contacted by Council, after too much dithering and internal arguing, to undertake a full Water Network Analysis which will provide the roadmap and scope of works needed to resolve the issue,” Mr Humphries said.
“Public Works have discussed and reviewed initial findings with Council and have indeed made preparation over some weeks in lieu of the problem.
“I am happy to say that Public Works have finally been contracted by Council and will commence this detailed work in the coming week. Government cannot respond in detail with any financial or additional support until the actual scope of works is clearly identified.
“Speculation by Council and others on the cost of the project is purely that – speculation – and if Council needs funding assistance to solve what is a local government responsibility, it needs to be based on actual findings and a detailed submission,” he said.
“Everyone knows there is a problem with sections of the water reticulation and I would ask that Council works together on this issue in following a process that will lead to a positive outcome. I have requested that Public Works outline their work to date, and scope of works to follow, with the community in the near future so everyone knows what and where the water rehabilitation project is up to.
“This information session/workshop will include an invitation to all Councillors so they can make an informed comment on behalf of their community,” Mr Humphries concluded.