24.9°C 03:00 pm

Project moves along

Friday, 9th February, 2018

Pipes being unloaded in Broken Hill. Pipes being unloaded in Broken Hill.

By Emily Roberts

The Wentworth to Broken Hill pipeline project is in its preliminary stages after starting four weeks ago.

Social Performance and Communications Manager for the project Glenn Pfluger said the project was moving along with a number of targets being met.

“We’ve engaged with local businesses to store pipes and machinery in areas on Pinnacles Road and Kanandah Road.

“We’ve begun preliminary works which includes clearing and grading the road just outside of Wentworth along the Silver City Highway.”

To date, 25 kms of clear and grade work within the road reserve has been completed.

Currently 56 people have been employed in the project, 27 of which are locals.

“The number of workers will continue to grow over the coming weeks as work ramps up and more people are required on the project,” Mr Pfluger said.

“The project will have a peak workforce of about 500 people.

“Since starting work on January 3, there has been in excess of $370,000 spent in the local communities of Wentworth and Broken Hill in the areas of accommodation, meals, fuel, hire cars, office space and supplies and furniture.”

Mr Pfluger said the camp contract had been awarded to QCV.

“The two camps will be located out of Wentworth and Broken Hill.

“The camp contractor will deploy camp construction crews.”

There will be two offices established as a point of contact for locals in Wentworth and Broken Hill.

The Wentworth office is up and running and the Broken Hill office is close to being open.

Mr Pfluger wanted to allay concerns about the clear and grade process in terms of environmental damage.

He said that once the project was completed they would rehabilitate the area.

“Part of the process is the rehabilitation program.

“We aim to return the area to how we found it. The top soil and vegetation will be returned.”

While there are many locally who oppose the construction of the pipeline, one local, RSL President Des Kennedy, believes it is time to embrace it.

“I’ve been all over the cotton area of Australia and cotton is too big a business to compare with 17,000 of us,” he said.

“We’re going up against millions of dollars. The Government won’t listen to the little people.

“It’s all about big business.

“Years ago we had unions, but they don’t fight for us now.”

Mr Kennedy believed the pipeline was being installed for two reasons.

“The reason for the pipeline is two-fold; there is a new mine coming from Carpentaria, which is about 70 km from Broken Hill,” he said.

“That will need water. So the government is putting in the pipeline for us and for the mine.

“The government supports business not people.

“They don’t care about Menindee, Wilcannia and Bourke.

“We’re not enough to change their minds. They won’t tell us this.

He said there were many positives to the pipeline.

“The pipeline will mean we have a good water supply,” Mr Kennedy said.

“The pipeline from Menindee Lakes to Broken Hill is very old and it’s easier and quicker to have this new pipeline.

“It does need replacing, but we would have to fight to get any money for that.

“By Christmas we will have fresh water.

“There won’t be any more problems and we will get jobs out of it.

“Once we get a secure water supply, we can put our efforts into helping Wilcannia, Menindee and Bourke.

“You’ve got to get on the winning horse.

“It’s wrong but if we want to save the river, we have to take the pipeline and fight once it is done.”

© Copyright 2020 Barrier Daily Truth, All Rights Reserved. ABN: 38 684 603 658