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Sewer the Southside sooner than planned

RAT RUN: Crs Mick Curran and Larry Friske inspect the Cox Rd upgrade (see story below). Cr Curran wants the Southside sewerage rollout fast-tracked.
RAT RUN: Crs Mick Curran and Larry Friske inspect the Cox Rd upgrade (see story below). Cr Curran wants the Southside sewerage rollout fast-tracked. Greg Miller

THE final rollout of sewering the Southside could happen six years earlier than expected.

With hundreds of homes still to be connected, the councillor in charge of waste management in the Gympie region, Mick Curran, wants the project fast-tracked and says the money is there to do it.

The council has spent almost $3 million connecting homes since the rollout started three years ago.

Those connections, combined with the new residential estates which are all connected at the development stage, means 65% of the Southside is now sewered.

At the planned pace of the rest of the rollout, the rest of the Southside will not be sewered until 2020 or 2022.

But Cr Curran has asked for an engineering and finance report on the logistics of getting it done before 2017.

There is no broad plan stipulating which streets will be done when.

"The issue I have with that is that when residents are contacting me for a time frame as to when they are to be connected to sewerage I can't give them a definitive answer," Cr Curran said.

"The simple fact is that (private) treatment plants at the moment are quite expensive (costing $8-15,000 to replace).

"People ring up and say 'my system is about to die - when are we getting sewerage?' and I have to say 'I don't know'."

Gympie Regional Council this year changed its policy, making home owners responsible for connecting to the trunk line.

"At minimal cost to the householder they get to select their own plumber to do the work - this will have a flow-on effect to local plumbing businesses," Cr Curran said.

The timing was good for fast-tracking the project because, in this economic climate, tenders would be more competitive and the council would get "more bang for its buck", he said.

Topics:  council gympie sewer

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