20 November, 2020
Council welcomes grant for new water pipeline
Muswellbrook Shire Council has welcomed the announcement of $18.9million grant funding under the NSW State Government’s Growing Local Economies fund for the construction of a new water pipeline. The 11km Upper Hunter Water Security Project pipeline would supply water from Denman to Hollydeen with a further 6.5km pipeline connecting Hollydeen to Sandy Hollow opening the door for new business opportunities and delivering water security to local communities.
Council’s General Manager Fiona Plesman said the financial support for the pipeline from the State Government will provide a major impetus to investment in the Shire and unlock the potential for the development of agribusiness and the creation of hundreds of jobs associated with agribusiness opportunities - such as the proposed Yarraman Abattoir and Feedlot project.
“Council has been working with FJT Australia since 2016 when the company met the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEAR’s) for an Environmental Impact Statement from the NSW Department of Planning. Access to water and water security were identified then as a major hinderance to this and other agribusinesses, such as poultry meat, moving forward.
“I would like to congratulate council staff and FJT Australia personnel for their perseverance and belief in the project, as well as staff from the NSW Department of Planning for their assistance and enthusiasm. The need to intensify and diversify agriculture production in Muswellbrook Shire is a major focus for council as part of its diversification efforts and this development has the potential to move the dial along,” she said.
FJT Australia spokesperson Gary Williams said the Yarraman Abattoir and Feedlot had been slated as a State Significant Development and would involve the establishment of a modern abattoir and feedlot using best current practice systems in construction equipment, animal handling and environmental considerations.
“A multi-species abattoir with the capacity to process 1000 cattle or 1400 sheep per day and a 25,000 head feedlot would generate up to 600 new jobs, give the area a substantial boost and generate an enormous flow on effect for Denman and surrounding communities,” he said.
A key strategic goal of Muswellbrook Shire Council is the diversification of the economy and driving opportunities for sustainable job creation. Council has been working closely with Government agencies and industry to develop Muswellbrook Shire as a centre for high employment intensive agriculture.
The water pipeline will enhance security of water supply to local communities such as Sandy Hollow, augment resilience to manage the impacts of future droughts and support local agricultural employers, improve water connectivity to the water network of Muswellbrook Shire and the Upper Hunter, provide water security to the west and north-west areas of the shire and help to facilitate the region’s economic growth.
The Growing Local Economies fund is part of the NSW Government’s commitment to the delivery of infrastructure projects which will improve the economic growth and productivity of the state. While several approvals and conditions need to be met before the project can commence construction Council is confident these will be met, and the project proceed. Works will be carried out by specialist external service providers under Council supervision.