Population puts Ballina in the poo

MORE than $70 million will be spent on sewerage works in the Ballina Shire over the next 18 months as the council prepares for a population boom.

About two-thirds of that money, or $43 million, will be spent on much-needed upgrades to the Ballina Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Another $9 million will go towards the Lennox Head plant, which includes the provision of dual reticulation to ease the pressure on the potable water supply.

Civil services group manager, John Truman, said the works were necessary tocater for future growth.

“This sewerage capital works program is seven years in the making,” he said.

“By upgrading both plants the council will be able to provide the ultimate capacity for the planned growth.

“This will ensure our sewerage system uses the most modern treatment standards and this will have significant environmental benefits.

“We are going to be using the most up-to-date technology available.

“And this is something that will support our population for the next 20 years.”

Mr Truman admitted the upgrades would place a burden on ratepayers.

The residential sewerage charge for 2010/11 is $575, which incorporates a 15 per cent rise.

However, some of the works will be also paid for by development contributions.

“The council is particularly mindful of the scale of this project and its impacts on rates,” Mr Truman said.

“We are continually revising our financial model and looking at which aspects of the program we may be able to defer.

“But for the new release areas to go forward this is something that we had to do.

“We wanted to do it before it was needed.”



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