Liverpool Plains Shire Council finally receives $10 million from NSW government for Werris Creek project

CASH SPLASH: Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen, Liverpool Plains mayor Andrew Hope and Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson on top of the Werris Creek water treatment plant. Photo: Supplied.
CASH SPLASH: Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen, Liverpool Plains mayor Andrew Hope and Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson on top of the Werris Creek water treatment plant. Photo: Supplied.

THE state government has finally splashed out $10 million for the Liverpool Plains Shire Council to upgrade Werris Creek’s water treatment plant.

Council has badgered the state government for close to 12 months to come to the party with funding for the project.

The federal government pledged $10 million towards the upgrade last year and council also stumped up $7 million for the project.

The town’s current treatment plant has been in operation since the 1930s and mayor Andrew Hope has said the ageing facility hasn’t been able to cope with Werris Creek’s needs for some time.

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Werris Creek has been kept on water restrictions, despite an abundance of supply, because the plant cannot treat enough water quickly enough to keep up with the demand.

Cr Hope said the $10 million water windfall “drought-proofs the entire shire”, following on from projects in Wallabadah, and Willow Tree as well as an upgrade for Quipolly Dam.

While council had to wait for the state’s contribution to the project, Cr Hope was still “extremely pleased” by the announcement.

“We can’t complain about the assistance of the state government,” he said.

“We’ve received a nice slice of funding and we are seeing some money being put into the regions.

“It’s better than it has been in previous years.”

The mayor said it would be two years before the new treatment plant would be up and running.

While the council pushed concertedly for the state government to match the federal input, Cr Hope there were more projects on the horizon which would need more funding, including an upgrade to local sewerage treatment plants.

The mayor said the project had its fair share of “detractors” and thought a “dependable water supply” was “wonderful legacy to leave future generations”.

Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said was a “rigorous” process for funding applications to go through, particularly for water projects.

“It takes so long because water infrastructure has been neglected for so long,” Mr Anderson said.

Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen said the funding would drought-proof communities in the region like Werris Creek and Quirindi.

“These works will see improvements in water quality, storage and transportation across the Liverpool Plains region,” Mr Johnsen said.