Roses Gap water supply: Northern Grampians council to help reinstate pipeline

NORTHERN Grampians Shire Council is scrambling to reinstate the water supply to Roses Gap residents.

The pipeline supplying the community from nearby Beehive Falls was burnt in last month’s bushfire.

Council municipal recovery manager Greg Little said residents had been relying on water tanks since they returned to the area.

Roses Gap is not yet open to the public.

“This is a real issue for the people who rely on the pipeline for their water supply,” Mr Little said.

“It is particularly important for people wanting to get their businesses running again or access properties.”

Roses Gap Recreation Centre is the community’s most prominent business.

It was booked solid with school camps before the fire hit.

Owners Lynda and Drew Sutherland are waiting on water and power to be reconnected so they can determine how quickly the business can be back up and running.

“With power and water, we could almost be up and running,” Mrs Sutherland said.

The centre relies on the pipeline for water. Its power generator was also burnt.

Mr Little has promised the Sutherlands he will reinstate water within the next month.

“It will be the determining factor for whether people can use the centre,” Mr Little said.

He has yet to find an appropriate funding avenue for a replacement pipeline for the eight properties at Roses Gap.

The one that was destroyed was privately owned by Roses Gap residents.

“It is not eligible under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements,” Mr Little said.

The joint federal-state initiative provides financial assistance in the event of a disaster.

“It can fund public assets, run by councils or government departments, but not private property,” Mr Little said.

“We’ve raised it with the State Government as the most significant issue for Roses Gap.

“They are aware of the issue, but unfortunately it doesn’t fit within the funding guidelines.”

But he said council had a commitment to ensuring water supply was promptly reinstated.

“We are going to make it happen, one way or another,” he said.

“We’ll work closely with Parks Victoria, the landholder and GWMWater – the water supplier – to ensure it gets reinstated as quickly as possible.

“The last thing we want is for red tape to get in the way.”

He said Roses Gap residents were right for drinking water at the moment.

“But if there is a need for water in the short term, we will make it available to them,” he said.

GWMWater spokesman Andrew Rose made a similar commitment.

“We will, if requested by the Horsham Bushfire Recovery Centre, deliver water at no cost to tanks at the individual properties,” he said.

“GWMWater only became aware of the situation on Tuesday, and is working through the recovery centre to assist in any way we can.”

In addition to reinstating Roses Gap’s water supply, Northern Grampians Shire Council is assisting with the clean-up.

Mr Little said council had also started assessing damage within its jurisdiction at Wartook.

“We had our first look through the area on Thursday,” Mr Little said.

He urged people to call council’s recovery line on 5358 7599 if they needed help or support.

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