Letter: MidCoast Water response to Nino Lani letter

In response to Letter to the Editor published in the Manning River Times, on Friday, May 5, 2017 from Mr Nino Lani.

 MidCoast Water would like to provide some information in response to Mr Lani’s claims.

Firstly, the proposed changes to developer charges he refers to are currently on public exhibition for community comment. The proposal, if adopted following the exhibition period, would result in reductions of between 10 and 43 per cent per equivalent tenement (standard residential property) depending on the particular scheme in which the development is taking place.

The proposed changes are explained in the Draft Development Service Plan that is currently being exhibited and is open to submissions from the public and interested stakeholders 5pm, Friday, June 2, 2017.The document can be viewed www.midcoastwater.com.au or at MidCoast Water customer service centres in Forster or Taree.

Secondly, the statement that the Nabiac Inland Dune Aquifer Water Supply Scheme has been abandoned is untrue. Work is currently underway on the construction of a water treatment plant for the scheme. This is the final stage of the overall project with construction of the bore fields, pump station and trunk infrastructure already completed. The $35 million project, which will provide a secondary water source and greater resilience against drought, will be operational in early 2018.  It has been supported with Federal funding of $9.6 million under the National Stronger Regions Fund and State funding of $2.5 million under Restart NSW.

The need for water treatment was evidenced in engineering investigations as early as 1999, and MidCoast Water’s plans for Nabiac are also guided by decades of experience with the operating a similar groundwater sourced town water supply at Tea Gardens.

Finally, MidCoast Water’s financial statements are all available on our website for the public to peruse at any time. While MidCoast Water has a large debt, this has been incurred through early investment in water and sewerage infrastructure that has improved water quality, reduced nutrient discharge to the environment and provided additional capacity to enable further development and growth. The debt has reduced from a peak of $250 million in 2012 to $185 million in 2017 and will further decrease as the additional capacity that the debt provided is taken up.