Clunes resident Beryl Barron, with Jessie, fears she won’t live long enough to see a new sewerage system installed to replace her village’s failing on-site septics.
Clunes resident Beryl Barron, with Jessie, fears she won’t live long enough to see a new sewerage system installed to replace her village’s failing on-site septics. David Nielsen

Clunes wait ten years for sewerage

LONG-TIME Clunes resident Beryl Barron has been waiting for the ‘imminent’ connection of town sewerage to her village home for about 10 years.

The 88-year-old pensioner is now convinced she won’t live to see it.

On Tuesday night, the Lismore City Council effectively voted to defer the Clunes wastewater project for the second time in three months.

The new timeline won’t be known until after March, after earlier being deferred to mid-2013.

Mrs Barron said she had lost all confidence in the council.

“All they do for me is collect my rubbish bin once a week – that’s it,” she said yesterday.

After almost 10 years of designing what would have been a state-of-the-art sewerage system, council gave the final go-ahead early last year.

However, after Clunes rate payers forked out about $400 to help pay for the system, it was put on the backburner at a December meeting to allow council to focus on the desperately needed southern trunk sewerage line.

Still, Mrs Barron is one of the lucky residents – at least her septic system isn’t about to fail.

A council inspection of Clunes’ ailing on-site septic systems, after it became clear the council would defer the project, paints a worrying picture.

Of the 198 systems inspected, 10 per cent were identified as ‘critical failures’ requiring immediate work to reduce the threat to public health.

A further 34pc were identified as ‘potential failures’, with many of these diverting their grey water to relieve pressure on the systems.

Clunes Progress Association president Peter Taylor said the latest delay was frustrating and would slow the village’s growth.

“I have no confidence whatso-ever in the upper echelon of Lismore City Council,” he said.

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