Breaking ground: Works get underway

Mayor Mark Liebich and Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke turning the first sod surrounded by Weddin Shire Councilors.
Mayor Mark Liebich and Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke turning the first sod surrounded by Weddin Shire Councilors.

Work is officially underway on Grenfell's new sewage treatment plant, with Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke and Mayor Mark Liebich turning the first sod on Friday morning.

Addressing those that had gathered for the turning Cr Liebich provided some history on the old plant being replaced.

"I'd like to welcome everybody, especially our local member Steph Cooke," he said.

"Steph has come forward with Minister for Water Melinda Pavey and got $12.3 million for our new sewage treatment plant, which is absolutely brilliant for Grenfell.

"I've done a bit of a history check and our last sewage treatment works was completed in 1940 and I found some info from back then.

"The capacity of the original plant would be for 3300 people, the total estimated cost for the original project exclusive of the house connections was £38,274, a little bit different from the $12.3 million today.

"Operating costs of the plant was £1234 pounds a year and an average cost of 21 shillings to the community.

"So it's stood us well the old treatment works, done us for 80 years, its been fantastic for the community as it is all free fall down to this area so it runs at a very low cost.

"I expect the new treatment works will run at a low cost because of that feature as well," he said.

Ms Cooke said it was an exciting time to be conducting a sod turn.

"This project has been in the pipeline for some time, $12.3 million for the state governments Safe and Secure Water Program," she said.

"A program that is revolutionising the sewage and water upgrades right across the Cootamundra electorate.

"All small communities and really wonderful communities like here in Grenfell."

Ms Cooke said it was thanks to the close working relationship between the Weddin Shire and her office the project was underway.

"Mark to you and your team, the General Manager Glenn Carroll, I want to say thank you for all your hard work," she said.

"You and your teams have done a wonderful job not just in relation to this application, but making sure I've been kept up to date on the project all the way along.

"These projects do hit hurdles at various stages. It's our close working relationship, your hard work and that of your staff that has meant we've been able to get ourselves to this point here today, in effect fully funded.

"What it (this project) will mean for the people of Grenfell and surrounds is we will have a facility that meets the needs of the community well into the future which is what we want to do.

"We want to set up and create this inter-generational infrastructure that means we are leaving our communities in a stronger place," she said.

Ms Cooke said she hoped some of the builders brought in may chose to continue living with in the community at the end of the project.

"It's great for jobs and it's great to meet the guys from Haslin here today," she dsaid.

"I'm hoping with 14 months spent out here some of you might make the decision to move out here.

"In the world we live in I'm sure it's possible to live in a community like Grenfell and still work on other projects around the state.

"I do wish you all the best as construction gets underway and continues over the next year and a bit."