The Curlewis Pipeline Project is now a reality after the federal government announced funding for the multi-million dollar project.
On Wednesday, Member for Parkes Mark Coulton visited Curlewis to announce Gunnedah Shire’s Council had been successful in their bid for $2.6 million for the project.
The money has been allocated in the latest round of the Building Better Regions Fund and will finance the construction of a 15.8-kilometre pipeline from Gunnedah and two 0.5ML reinforced concrete reservoirs.
The pipeline will provide quality water to 600 residents and businesses in Curlewis within the next 18 months.
The $5.2 million project is the result of an ongoing push to fix issues with the Curlewis water supply, which stem back as far back as 2011 when consultants GHD provided a water security assessment.
GHD identified key risks, including future capacity shortfalls, the reliability of current infrastructure, supply security relying on a single groundwater supply and climate change.
“The reason I’m supporting it is I think it has the potential to promote the economic growth of the region,” Mr Coulton said.
“With a better water supply, there’s potential for Curlewis to grow, but also the potential for intensive industries to use the water around Curlewis, like agriculture.
“At present the current drinking water supply to the township is supplied by bores and the quality does not meet Australian Standards for drinking or hardness. This means residents are forced to use unsuitable water, rely on tank water from rainfall or buy-in water by the truckload.”
Mr Coulton said the project will also create new jobs – 25 during construction and more than 20 following construction.
Gunnedah Mayor Jamie Chaffey said the pipeline was good news all round and would “drastically improve the liveability of Curlewis”.
“Curlewis is an area with high potential for residential and economic growth and it is critical these projects help us deliver what the residents and businesses need now and for future growth,” he said.
“We have consulted with Curlewis residents over a long period of time, most recently during our Community Strategic Plan community engagement, and this is a great outcome.”