A $17 million upgrade to water supplies in and around the Wakefield Regional Council area of South Australia has been completed, and is hoped to deliver a significant boost to the local economy.
Work on a new 43-kilometre pipeline stretching from Auburn to Port Wakefield has now been finished, offering the capacity to provide an additional 11.4 million litres of drinking water a day to the region.
SA Minister for Water Ian Hunter said the supply upgrade was aimed at delivering a secure local water supply.
“The Wakefield area is home to a number of expanding industries including intensive agriculture,” he said.
“This new pipeline will help ensure there is sufficient water available to meet their needs now and well into the future.
“It will also help meet the future water requirements for residential and industrial growth in Port Wakefield, Balaklava and Bowmans.”
The project included the construction of a 43-kilometre pipeline and three Pressure Reducing Valves at Port Wakefield, Bowmans and Balaklava. Over the coming weeks further landscaping will be completed by Wakefield Regional Council along Railway Terrace at Balaklava.
Minister for Regional Development Geoff Brock said more than 30 jobs were created over the life of the project.
“This is a significant upgrade of local water supplies and, more importantly, it will help pave the way for future job growth in the region,” he said.
“Access to sustainable water supplies is a clear sign that business and industry can invest in this region with confidence, and this pipeline is a clear sign that the region is open for business and ready for new investment.”
Federal Member for Wakefield Nick Champion praised the work of Wakefield Regional Council who partnered with SA Water to secure a grant of up to $10 million through the Regional Development Australia Fund. The remaining funding came from the State Government and SA Water.
“This grant was crucial in ensuring the project could be successfully completed and it has delivered real benefits for the North,” Mr Champion said.
“Investment in the region creates confidence and jobs which is exactly what Adelaide’s north needs.
“We’ve already seen one major new poultry farm established near the pipeline in order to meet its water supply requirements.”
“The new pipeline will also service the Wakefield Catchment and provide an important water connection point to Yorke Peninsula to assist in its overall economic development.”
Rex Minerals co-invested with SA Water in 2013 to upsize the pipeline to make available up to 2,000 million litres per annum of water to Rex Minerals ensuring its water demands can be met, along with additional water for the Yorke Peninsula. Rex is now in the process of finalising a contract with SA Water to construct and fund an extension of the pipeline from Port Wakefield to its proposed Hillside mining operation on the Yorke Peninsula.
Wakefield Regional Council Mayor James Maitland says the upgraded water supply gives the area further confidence when working with and attracting business, industry and developers.
“Having a secure water supply means we can all feel confident that the region can continue to grow and develop,” Mr Maitland said.
“Long term water security will also deliver many other benefits to the region including contributing significantly to local businesses in the area of raw materials, accommodation and hospitality.”