Water Minister Dave Kelly today announced that a proposal to gradually remove old sections of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme pipeline over the next 50 years, enabling more efficient operation and maintenance, was open for public consultation. Essential long-term upgrades to the 118-year-old pipeline, commonly known as the Golden or Goldfields Pipeline, are required to secure safe and reliable water supply for the region into the future, as the above-ground pipe reaches the end of its service life.
Water Corporation is seeking long-term approval to carry out the essential upgrades under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, as sections of the pipeline are progressively replaced with modern below-ground pipe over a 50-year period. Extensive lengths of the above-ground pipeline will be retained for heritage, tourism and operational purposes, following planned community consultation.
Since opening the majority of the original 566km pipeline – brainchild of Western Australia’s first Engineer-in-Chief CY O’Connor – has been replaced, with all the pipework upgraded as part of a continuous cycle of maintenance and renewal. Following public consultation, further opportunities for public comment under Water Corporation’s long-term heritage ‘interpretation strategy’ for the pipeline. The proposal is open for public comment until Monday, October 25, 2021.