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North South Pipeline delay welcomed [and] ABC transcript [and] Pipeline contractor appointed.

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THE HON DR SHARMAN STONE MP Federal Member for Murray Shadow Minister for Environment, Heritage, the Arts and Indigenous Affairs


Thursday 20th March 2008

North South Pipeline Delay Welcomed

“Melbourne Water has announced that construction of the North South Pipeline will be delayed until at least June, Federal Member for Murray and Shadow Minister for the Environment, Dr Stone said today.”

“The Advisory Panel established by the Victorian Planning Minister has said it requires more time to undertake further investigations into the environmental effects the North South Pipeline,” Dr Stone said.

“This comes as no surprise considering the quick and totally inadequate 1700 pages of the Project Impact Assessment (PIA).”

“New information also made public this week, which was not included in the PIA, stated that the taste, odour and quality of Melbourne’s water may be compromised by water piped out of the Goulburn catchment. For example there were 72 incidents reported by GMW last year that posed a risk to human health: eg chemicals, faecal material, dead animals; heavy metals.”

“I must admit I find it rather aggravating that the delicate constituents of Melbourne drinking water may be offended by these contaminants, which locally we have been expected to drink this water for years.”

“Still this is further evidence that the PIA was a rushed, poorly produced limited scope exercise.”

“I believe the many public submissions which had to be sent in by the 18 March would have exposed the many flaws and inconsistencies in the 1700 page PIA document, It openly and often states that “further investigations, consultation and design will be undertaken.”

“There is hope that the Advisory panel will acknowledge the threat the project is to the 75 threatened fauna species and 37 threatened flora species. The environmental and social and economic effects are such that in my opinion, the project should never have been contemplated.”

“The Victorian Government has tried to solve their failure to properly plan for Melbourne with their North South pipeline. Let’s hope the review panel will see this as a political fix rather than a well thought out solution to Melbourne and Geelong’s water problem.”

“I will continue to maintain the pressure on the Minister for Environment, Peter Garrett, to make sure that no corners are cut, and that every aspect is thoroughly researched and understood. That way we should see the right outcome,” Dr Stone said.

Further Media Enquiries: Dr Sharman Stone’s Office - Inga Norgrove 0417 148 110

The original source has been queried, so to clarify, please find attached a copy of the transcript from ABC Goulburn Murray news bulletin from 8.30am this morning, which included an audio grab from Melbourne Water's Pipeline Project Manager Rod Clifford, who confirmed the delay. [ABC transcript] EX-RN-WODONGA pipe delay 1 MathewsConstruction of the north-south pipeline won't start next month, as planned.

The work has been delayed until at least the middle of the year, while an expert panel assesses the environmental impact of the project.

The panel will report to both the Victorian and Federal Governments about the plan to pipe water from the Goulburn River to Melbourne.

Melbourne Water's Project Director, Rod Clifford, says they're hoping to be able to start building the pipe in June.

CART: we have to wait and see what the committee decides to do so we're, we're in their hands to some extent. so we can only forecast what we think is likely but we do believe that a construction start date in june is possible and that's what we're currently focussing on.

EX-RN-WODONGA pipe delay 2 mathews

Construction of the north-south pipeline has been delayed until at least the middle of the year because of environmental assessments.

Work was to start in April on the controversial project to bring water from the Goulburn River to Melbourne's Sugarloaf Dam.

Melbourne Water's Project Director, Rod Clifford, says they now have to wait for an independent panel to comment on the pipeline's environmental impact.

He says the Victorian and Federal Governments will both have to give the go-ahead.

CART: they'll forward their report to both the federal minister and also to the state minister. so they'll then consider the outcomes independently but it's a common process that's being followed. so yes, we'll be waiting for advice from both the federal minister and the state minister as to what conditions they'll place on the project.

[Melbourne Water]

21 December 2007


From the Minister for Water

John Holland Group will construct the Sugarloaf Pipeline, linking the Goulburn River to the Sugarloaf Reservoir, Water Minister Tim Holding announced today.

Mr Holding said John Holland was one of Australia's largest and most diverse specialist contracting businesses - with a portfolio including tunnelling and underground mining to power and water projects - which brings a wealth of experience to the project team.

"The Sugarloaf Pipeline is a key part of the Food Bowl Modernisation Project and integral in the $4.9 billion Next Stage of the Government's Water Plan," Mr Holding said.

"John Holland will work with Melbourne Water and existing alliance partners GHD and SKM, in the finalisation of plans for the pipeline construction, expected to begin as early as April 2008.

"The Sugarloaf Pipeline will be a key piece of infrastructure in the $1 billion modernisation project, which will see irrigators, the environment and Melbourne share in water savings of around 225 billion litres of water annually.

"The water savings will result from upgrading infrastructure and channels in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District. The pipeline will enable Melbourne to receive a shared benefit from the investment."

Melbourne Water Managing Director Rob Skinner said the organisation was pleased to add John Holland to the team and looked forward to rolling out a final alignment and delivering the project in the new year.

"John Holland will now assist the project team in finalising the pipeline route, completing the engineering and design efforts, and laying the new pipeline," Mr Skinner said.

"They will also be performing the reinstatement works along the pipeline alignment in close consultation with impacted landowners and Melbourne Water.

"An announcement on final alignment was expected early in the new year, following an extensive program of survey works and community consultation throughout the pipeline corridor."

Average water bills in Melbourne, currently at least 20 per cent lower than any other capital city, are expected to double over the next five years to pay for the pipeline and the desalination plant.

Earlier this week the Victorian Government announced its response to the Food Bowl Modernisation Steering Committee report.

Of the 52 recommendations from the Steering Committee, 50 have been adopted and a new body, the Northern Victoria Infrastructure Renewal Project, has been established to oversee the irrigation upgrades.

The Minister for Planning will decide before the end of the year if an Environment Effects Statement is required for the project.