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The Water Corporation has announced that it will no longer be proceeding with the construction of a Septic Tank Effluent Disposal (STED) scheme in Bindoon, which was planned, designed and funded as part of the State Government's Infill Sewerage Program.

A preliminary plan of the proposed works was released in February this year and discussions with Council and property owners have been underway for the past eighteen months.  However, following the preparation of detailed engineering designs, it appears that the Bindoon scheme significantly increased in cost from the originally estimated $4.8m to $12.1m.

In recent correspondence, the Water Corporation reported that it had been advised by its Minister that due to the challenging economic situation the West Australian Government is facing, the Government does not have the capacity to incur this additional expenditure and the Bindoon project will not go ahead. 

In response to this advice, the Shire CEO, Alan Sheridan, met with representatives from the Water Corporation late last week and it was confirmed that the State Government has decided that it will not be proceeding with four proposed schemes, including the one in Bindoon.

The Shire President has expressed Council’s concern regarding the decision.  Cr Houston said that “aside from the State apparently ignoring the fact that the proposed STED was being installed to alleviate known environmental issues associated with the current in-ground disposal of effluent in Bindoon, the Great Northern Highway will bypass the town in the not too distant future and Council and local business was relying on infrastructure such as sewerage services to enable the town to grow.”

Without sewerage services, Bindoon only has limited growth potential.  It is recognised that to have more people living in and around the town to enable it to grow and prosper once the bypass is in place will be absolutely essential.

Cr Houston said “It is absolutely inconceivable that a growing town within an hour’s drive from the centre of Perth, does not have reticulated sewerage provided by the State Government.  We are not living in a third world country, but it certainly seems that way.”

Cr Houston believes that the decision is short sighted and ignores the very real needs and challenges facing the Chittering community. “Like the other Councils facing this backflip, we can only take from the announcement that the State Government does not rate the environmental or economic needs of the State’s small communities against higher profile projects in the metropolitan area.”

“While Council intends to vigorously pursue the State Government to have the decision reviewed, it has also asked the CEO to investigate alternative options.  Contact has already been made with an industry-leading operator to assess cost effective, environmentally suitable, decentralised wastewater treatment and re-use solutions which might be suitable for our needs”.

“The CEO will also be liaising with the other impacted Councils to ascertain their position on this matter and to offer the Council’s support and involvement with any representations to the State Government.  We are again being placed in a position where we have to consider how we tackle what should be a State Government issue by ourselves”.

“Despite this decision, we look forward to finding an appropriate and cost effective solution that is supported by both the Water Corporation and the State Government and we will look forward to their assistance in delivering such an outcome”.

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For further information please contact Alan Sheridan, Chief Executive Officer on 9576 4600 or via chatter@chittering.wa.gov.au.  This media statement has no regulatory value.

Category: Media Releases