AN INSUFFICIENT water supply for firefighting near Horsham has been resolved after a decade-long push.
The Grampians Group of fire brigades – encompassing Laharum, Wonwondah, Brimpaen and Green Lake brigades – advocated for a fire dam at Mockinya for 11 years.
The group believed a dam would resolve the insufficient water supply for firefighting south of Horsham.
After the cost of the fire dam increased by almost $90,000, Horsham Council’s municipal fire management planning committee proposed an alternative option.
The alternative option had two 500 kilolitre water storage tanks recently installed near the corner of the Henty Highway and Jallumba-Mockinya Road.
Grampians Group Officer Robert Kelm said the tanks were ready for use just in time for the fire danger period.
Mr Kelm said the project was a “long, drawn-out” process that should not have taken a decade to complete.
“These tanks are immensely important and it should not have taken all this time to come to fruition,” he said. “It was a long, drawn-out process and we – the Grampians Group and neighbouring brigades – are grateful.
“If we have another major incident out here we know we have 500kL of water ready.”
Mr Kelm said the new water supply at Mockinya could be used to combat fires via the road or air.
He said the tanks could load up to six tankers at once and it has the ability to load helicopters use to tackle fires from above.
“The season at the moment – it is drying out and we are going to have to be on our toes, particularly if any lightning strikes come through,” he said.
The project was funded through Horsham Rural City Council. It was the councillors’ decision to allocate the funds required for the tanks from the council’s cash surplus, if the project was unsuccessful in the state government’s Pick My Project initiative this year.
The winners of the state government’s initiative were announced in October, but the Mockinya tanks were not among the projects successful.
The council allocated about $63,000 from its cash surplus for the project at a meeting on November 26.
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