Edenhope’s Friends of Lake Wallace group has urged West Wimmera council to create a business study for a pipeline extension.AN EDENHOPE lake lobby group fears a state government proposal to extend the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline could be lost because of the electorate is asafe seat.
The state government invested $1 million into a feasibility study, which will look at extending the pipeline to West Wimmera and Ararat municipalities.
Friends of Lake Wallace has urged West Wimmera council to commit to thestudy and spend to create a business case.
The group’s Andrew Farran said water authorities seemed supportive of a pipeline extension to Edenhope.
“To ensure that those authorities will support a pipeline that is sufficient enough to restore and sustain Lake Wallace, a business case is strongly recommended,” he said.
“This should be done professionally and could cost about$50,000.”
The group’s Trevor Domachenz said the pipeline extension project might come downto the state government choosingbetween West Wimmera and Ararat, seeing asboth councils were part of the feasibility study.
“We are a marginal seat and Ararat isn’t, so I wantto know how we can present our case when it’s between us and Ararat Rural City,” he said.
Mayor Annette Jones said council had allocated$15,000 in the 2016-17 budget for a business case.
She said council hadlobbied extensively for the pipeline.
“Every opportunity we get, we refer tothe water situation in our shire and the need for apipeline,” she said.
“Even though it’sraining now, we can’t let this project die –it needs to bespoken about.
“We arenot just sitting on our hands with this.”
Cr Jones said council would not have a role in the decision making.
“We will work to build as good a case as we can,” she said.Chief executive David Leahy said only the state government could decide about the future of the pipeline.
“This is a process steered by state government and weare a player in it,” he said.
“We can’tdetermine how the government will spend its money, we can only advocateto ensure all opportunities are explored.”
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