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Trees in the pipeline

Friday, 12th April, 2019

The trees knocked down for the pipleline will be replaced two for one. PICTURE: Emily McInerney The trees knocked down for the pipleline will be replaced two for one. PICTURE: Emily McInerney

By Callum Marshall

With Murray River water now making its way into local homes from the Wentworth to Broken Hill pipeline, WaterNSW said preliminary work was underway to replace the trees destroyed in the pipeline’s construction.

“A local firm has been contracted to implement a five-year project to replace the trees affected by the pipeline,” said the WaterNSW spokesman, Tony Webber.

“For every tree that’s been removed, two trees will be replaced.”

Mr Webber said that early response to the River Murray water had been good and that, in conversation with Essential Water, it was understood the water quality was much better than that from the Darling River.

“The provision of urban water is a matter for Essential Water but during the visit (to Broken Hill), and just anecdotally, we’re hearing a great response to the improvement of water quality,” he said.

“I’m sure Essential Water will confirm what they told us, which is that some of the chemicals and the additives they’ve had to use for the Murray Water is much lower than it had previously been for the most recent Darling water.”

On whether graziers between Broken Hill and Menindee had been left behind with the new pipeline, Mr Webber said the old pipeline will be retained. 

“I understand that’s an Essential Water asset, and to the best of my knowledge it’s going to be retained to supply landholders along the Broken Hill-Menindee route that currently rely on it.”

Mr Webber said the new Broken Hill pieline had been a “real success story”, and not just in the short term.   

“It’s worth noting that that project created 150 jobs in the local economy, not just in Broken Hill but Wentworth as well.

“It generated $50 million for those local economies, involved over a million man-hours without any lost time to injuries and came in on time and under budget.

“It’s a real success story, and that’s the short term success. 

“The fact is that water security is no longer an issue for Broken Hill.

“Those benefits are going to roll out when you talk about water availability for parks and gardens, beautifications and sporting fields. That water’s guaranteed now into the future. 

“It’s a wonderful project in its own right but the flow-on benefits are limited only by our imagination.”

Essential Water was invited to comment.

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