The Beagle provides the community the opportunity to raise matters in a public domain that they have attempted to communicate to Council and have found the response either unsatisfactory, questionable or simply a brick wall. This year the Beagle has given voice to a variety of issues from flooding, sea rise, swimming pools, financial reports, dog parks, bridges, environmental degradation, failure to enact the Local Government Act, selling off of Council community park lands, codes of conduct against Councillors and Council staff. More recently the issue of the Moruya to Deep Creek pipeline was raised where it was put forward that the pipeline contract was altered to such an extent that the pipeline was constructed with lower grade material, not built to standard and as such will fail the warranty given thereby putting the community at risk by consumption of water from a degrading lining and the risk of unnecessary financial burden when the asset fails to meet its design life expectancy. All very big allegations however they were assembled in good order and presented in good faith that that was, in the opinion of the writer, the facts as known and worthy of raising the question based on the evidence put forward. To be fair to Council the Beagle asked nine questions around the issues that were raised. A Council spokesperson. has, in a timely and open fashion provided the following response to each question.
Will the Moruya River to Deep Creek Dam pipe meet its 50 year life expectancy?
Yes and beyond. The life expectancy is actually 80 years.
Can Council advise what the remaining life of the pipe is as required by their annual asset audit?
The asset construction was completed in 2009 with a predicted full asset life of 80 years.
What is the current depreciation of the asset in real terms i.e how much is required in today's $ to bring it to satisfactory?
Council depreciates the asset at approximately $270,000 per annum. The amount required in today’s money to bring it to satisfactory is $0, as the asset is currently at satisfactory condition.
What is the current annual maintenance budget on the pipe line?
This asset, along with all other Trunk Mains in the Shire are maintained out of an annual Budget of $250,000. The Moruya to Deep Creek pipeline represents 9.9% of the total trunk mains in the Shire.
What have been the primary repairs to the pipeline in the last year?
Will Council continue to NOT conduct internal inspections of this pipeline?
Yes. Water Utilities do not normally conduct internal inspections of pressure pipelines.
Is the determination NOT to conduct internal inspections of water mains in the best interest of asset?
When repairs are required will they be under the 50 year warranty?
Any failures that are assessed as not meeting the pipe supply specification will be covered by the Suppliers Warranty, which expires in 2059.
Has Council made carried out any works under that warranty in the last 9 years?
There have been no failures to date.
The above answers are appreciated and hopefully now put this issue to rest. The process of democracy has been played. Mr Rogers was able to clearly and openly offer up his concerns and his evidence. Council have clearly responded to the questions asked by the Beagle and, unless there is further evidence provided this issue is now complete. Any further comments to the above should be in writing directly to Council.