Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Dr Mike Kelly MP

Member for Eden-Monaro

Pipeline secures water supplies for Bega Valley Shire

Joint media release
29 August 2012

Bega Valley Shire residents will benefit from an improved water supply following the completion of the 20km Bega to Yellow Pinch Dam pipeline and pump station.

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water Senator Don Farrell said the Australian Government had provided $10 million in funding towards the $24 million pipeline project, which began construction in 2010.

"The new pipeline and pump station means up to 20 million litres of groundwater a day can be transferred to the Yellow Pinch Dam for later use," Senator Farrell said.

"The groundwater will be extracted from the Bega bore fields during high flow events on the lower Bega River, which recharge the groundwater accessed by the bores. This provides the Bega Valley Shire with an additional, secure water supply. It reduces water extraction from Tantawanglo Creek, which will protect environmentally important low flows."

Officially opening the project today, Federal Member for Eden-Monaro Dr Mike Kelly said the pipeline would be an important part of the long-term water supply strategy for the Bega Valley Shire.

"The pipeline not only provides improved water supply security for urban areas in the south of the Bega Valley Shire, it also means the projected water demands of the Shire to the year 2045 will now be met," Dr Kelly said.

"In addition, the project provides greater flexibility and water availability for landholder extraction in the upper catchment."

Dr Kelly congratulated Bega Valley Shire Council, which contributed $13 million to the landmark project, on delivering a long-term solution to meet the region's water demands.

"This project did not eventuate without considerable time and effort, as well as the understanding and flexibility of a number of landowners I congratulate everybody who has devoted themselves to seeing this project through to completion," Dr Kelly said.

Bega Valley Shire Mayor, Cr Tony Allen said while the Bega Valley had experienced two years of good rain, planning for future dry spells and the effects of climate change was critical.

"This pipeline will provide more operational flexibility needed to manage the projected impacts of climate change, and will also provide a source of water to refill Yellow Pinch Dam during the high river flows experienced here at Bega," Cr Allen said.

"With any major capital project, a number of essential elements need to be brought together these elements include community acceptance, political will, leadership, technical expertise, financial capability and last but not least, a strong project team. Our thanks are particularly directed towards the Australian Government for its generous financial support of the project."

The Bega to Yellow Pinch Dam pipeline project was funded by the Australian Government's Water for the Future initiative through the Water Smart Australia program.