Quipolly dam facilities are ‘showstoppers’

EXCELLENT WORK: From left, Rob Hunt (general manager Liverpool Plains Shire Council), Scott Morrison (BHP 
Billiton), Greg Tory (director of works, LPSC ), Ian Lobsey (LPSC mayor) and Mick Lovely (BHP Billiton project manager Caroona Coal Project) scope out the new works. Photo: Barry Smith 110614BSA07

EXCELLENT WORK: From left, Rob Hunt (general manager Liverpool Plains Shire Council), Scott Morrison (BHP Billiton), Greg Tory (director of works, LPSC ), Ian Lobsey (LPSC mayor) and Mick Lovely (BHP Billiton project manager Caroona Coal Project) scope out the new works. Photo: Barry Smith 110614BSA07

NEW recreational facilities as part of major work at Quipolly Dam were officially opened yesterday.

Part of the Regional Water Supply Strategy, the new facilities were a real showstopper, Liverpool Plains Shire mayor Ian Lobsey said.

The whole project, with stage three already under way, will cost council $20 million, with $8 million already spent.

Part of the project included, in stage one, raising the dam wall by two metres – increasing the capacity of the dam by 70 per cent.

“Even in a roaring drought there will still be a supply,” he said.

The new facilities include tree plantings, toilets, an extension of the parking area around the facilities, and the sealing of the road and the car park.

“The council is thankful for the $93,000 provided by BHP Billiton’s Caroona Coal Project towards this community project which marks another milestone in the development of the precinct,” Cr Lobsey said.

He said the Quirindi Fishing Club had helped in on-site preparation and maintenance and said sealing of the road and car park “completes the development application conditions for stages one and two works on the project”.

Cr Lobsey said stage three works had commenced with the fabrication of a steel jetty/casting wharf under way at council’s depot. 

Work would also begin on Monday on a new car park near the boat ramp, extension of the walking path to the car park and installation of two additional picnic shelters and a gas barbecue. 

Cr Lobsey stressed that while infrastructure was being built now, no human contact with the water was 

permitted – no swimming, boating, canoeing, kayaking or sailing – until a new water treatment plant had been constructed, as the dam was first and foremost a town water supply.

“They can fish from the bank and have picnics but they can’t swim or go boating,” Cr Lobsey said.

“Once it is built, then people will be allowed to swim and go boating.”

Recent water restrictions, particularly in Werris Creek, had been necessary because until the new water treatment plant was built, water could not be treated sufficiently.

Werris Creek currently gets its water from the dam and the treatment plant will interconnect the water supply  between Quirindi, Willow Tree and Werris Creek.

“When the design plans for the new water treatment supply are completed, council will then approach federal and state government for further funding to complete the whole strategy,” he said.

“The treatment plant will make the water supply more interconnected betwen Quirindi, Willow Tree and Werris Creek.

“Once it is built, then people will be allowed to swim and go boating.”

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