One of Gippsland Water’s most experienced engineers has addressed the Gippsland Chapter of Engineers Australia about the $40.3 million Loch Sport Sewerage Scheme project.

Jim Somerville, who is currently chair of the Gippsland chapter, briefed the group about the $40.3 million Loch Sport Sewerage Scheme project and the way in which the community of Loch Sport has been kept informed about the projects, its costs and timelines.

Mr Somerville is a chartered engineer with 33 years of experience under his belt in the areas of infrastructure planning, design, operation and delivery. He currently leads Gippsland Water’s Major Projects team that is responsible for delivering large scale and high priority projects including the Loch Sport Sewerage Scheme – which is due for completion in late 2015.

Mr Somerville said that the face of consultation and engagement for projects has changed dramatically over the past 30 years.

“In the old days a project was announced and we just pushed-on and built it; there was not really any further thought about communicating the project’s progress or engaging with the public,” he said.

“Jump forward to 2013 and project implementation is more of an information journey. We can’t always consult the public about the project from a technical standpoint, but we can keep them informed throughout the process and allow them to have input where we can accommodate it. Most larger projects these days aim to bring the public on the journey,” he said.

About the Loch Sport Sewerage Scheme:

The Loch Sport Sewerage Scheme is a $40.3 million Gippsland Water project that will deliver reticulated sewerage services to approximately 2,700 properties in the lakeside township of Loch Sport.

A total of $9.3 million was received from the Victorian Government towards the planning and development phases of the Loch Sport project.

The scheme will be delivered by Gippsland Water as part of the Victorian Government’s Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Scheme Program, which listed Loch Sport amongst 35 priority towns to be provided with water or wastewater services. This was announced by the then Minister for Water in January 2006.

Total scheme availability for connection is planned for late 2015.

Michelle is a freelance journalist and editor who, as well as covering all the latest and breaking industry news, is a gun proofreader and editor who never misses a trick.

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