Community consultation

Full consultation promised for Tottenham water supply upgrade

There will be full Council and community consultation on the best way to secure the Tottenham town water supply, according to Lachlan Shire Mayor John Medcalf.

This reassurance, comes after an announcement of $2.3 million grant to expand the Tottenham Water Storage Facility by Member for Barwon, Kevin Humphries.

The funding was made available through the NSW Government’s Regional Water and Waste Water Program.

“The project includes the construction of a 100 megalitre storage dam, evaporation covers for the Leg O Mutton Dam and new dam, a pump station, power supply augmentation and transfer pipeline between the two dams,” Mr Humphries said.

The total cost of the project would be $4.6 million, which means Lachlan Shire Council has to find the other $2.3 million from budgetary measures.

Questions were raised by members of the community last week, as to why such a project was not put before Council and more consultation not undertaken.

More questions were raised about Mayor Medcalf’s personal involvement in the making the grant application and influencing the overall decision making process.

Mayor Medcalf was adamant, these questions and concerns needed to be addressed quickly, to avoid unnecessary angst or bitterness in the Tottenham community.

“I did not have any input into the submission for the grant prior to it being lodged. A previous Director of Infrastructure made the application,” he explained.

“As for me having undue influence over the decision making process that is untrue and unfair. I would never use my position as Mayor to improperly affect the outcome for a Shire community.

“The Tottenham water supply has never been a “pet project” of mine. And as for Council being a “one man band” that is simply false. There are nine other Councillors who sit alongside me, and will be actively involved in making decisions for the entire Shire throughout their four year term.

“I am from Tottenham, but like all other councillors I have been elected to represent the Lachlan Shire, and the best interests of residents. And I will continue to do that.”

Mr Medcalf said he wanted to assure the community of Tottenham, no such major decisions on expanding the Water Storage Facility would be made without extensive consultation and expert advice.

“We are going to be looking at all options for securing the water storage and supply at Tottenham,” he said.

“This has been a long process and Council wants to make sure we get the best outcome for the residents of Tottenham.

“Tottenham is in the top five of most vulnerable water supplies in the State according to Kevin Humphries. Decisions will have to be made on the water supply, but that will come before Council and they will explore all options available.

“I want Tottenham residents to know that options will be carefully considered and whatever the final outcome, they can be assured there will be transparency of the process.”

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